Candidate interview: Matt Saint

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Matt Saint
County

Plans for an alternative Freshers’ Week
Support student officers in putting on their own campaigns
Communicate to students about advice provisions

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As the current Liberations Cross Campus Officer (CCO) and previous President of County, Matt Saint believes he has the leadership skills vital to the role of Vice President (Equality, Welfare and Diversity).

If elected, Saint says he will strive to look at all aspects as equally as possible, bringing in features of liberation as well.
With the University wanting to increase international participation by 50 percent of its current intake, he also believes that diversity will become a definite focus, with cuts to the University being another issue.

Saint claims that he will “keep on top of what the university are doing” in regards to “making sure that the services that are available and the faculties that have replaced the Student Learning Development Centre are up to the standard they need to be to support the students”.

Saint also has previous experience as LGBQT officer on the County JCR and took up the role of male Education and Welfare after someone stood down.

He believes that this experience has given him a “broad view of the entire remit”. His current liberation campaign is focused around positive body image and set to be showcased “when International Woman’s week takes off”.
He also believes that it is important to have a good working relationship with current officers, such as CCOs and JCRs, and will strive to encourage those officers when it comes to their own initiatives and campaigns.

A main focus for Saint are alternative Freshers’ Week events, with more non-alcoholic activities. He believes that the CCOs would have to take the lead role in this; “last Freshers’ Week I had some of the CCOs helping me on moving day” he explained, “which was really nice for people to actually see them because they’re not as visible as JCR officers are.”

His idea is to expand on certain things that have already been done, “I think when people think about non-alcoholic activities and alternative activities they automatically think they’re boring, and I think they shouldn’t be. I think people that are enjoying the rest of their Freshers’ Week with their ‘traditional’ alcoholic events sometimes may even want a break, they might want to do something different”. Saint would like to think out of the box in terms of these activities, suggesting possible excursions to places like Go-Ape or professional paintballing, “I think if you miss people in Freshers’ Week it can often mean they don’t feel at home at Lancaster for their whole degree.”

With tuition fees set to rise, Saint thinks that it is key to have a lager support system for students, because “an increased amount of people are likely to feel the pressure of their degree a lot more”. If elected, Saint said he will first “look into what the LUSU Advice and the University between them already have in place and after that we need to make sure we can keep up with that, and making sure, obviously this is a larger university issue, that communication with students is kept up.”

Saint also believes that if tuition fees do rise Lancaster does need to be charging around seven or eight thousand pounds because otherwise he feels it “will lose money” and “not do well for itself.” He thinks that as a top ten university Lancaster needs to be charging that money in order to give students a good education. “I think my focus would have to be getting out of the University an education worth what they’re going to charge and an experience worth that money.”

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