Candidate interview: Andy Barnett

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Andy Barnett
Pendle

Reassess part time officer roles
Bring in external companies to put on events
Get Union Officers to spend an hour a week speaking to students

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Andy Barnett hopes to increase office times, so the Union can offer advice when running events or helping with politics across the student body.

Barnett was asked what he thought would be the main issues he would be facing would he be elected. “Democracy wise, over the past 12 months there’s been a big change in all the bylaws for the colleges.” On how he would look into these bylaws he continued “try and make sure that’s something that I agree with.” Between a pause he said: “Also maybe go over all the roles from JCRs to Cross Campus Officers (CCO) and make sure there is no unnecessary overlap, make sure there’s no one who could be doing another role because they haven’t got much on their remit.”

Throughout Barnett’s time with Pendle JCR, he has been part of socials. When pushed to give examples and what he had learnt from them Barnett replied: “We did something similar to the Gallon Challenge in Fylde. We didn’t know there was a Gallon Challenge; we did the Pendle Beer Tap Challenge which got a lot of stick as everyone was saying it was just the same Fylde’s. So before I throw everything into something, [I’ll] do a lot more research behind it.”

Considering the issues for events, Barnett would like to look at more external events. “I’m CCO at the moment and we’ve been doing things like Battle of the Bands for Beach Break Live which has been going really well. So hopefully we can build on using more external events.”

As there is a good level of innovation required for the role of Events and Democracy, Barnett was asked what ideas he could bring to the table. He brought up external events again as he believes that, as he has collaborated with Beach Break Live, he’ll be able to do so with other companies. “We could look at some more external companies and see what they have to offer because there’s only so much one person sitting in an office can do. With the Get Loud and Live and the O2 tours, and try and explore a way to say ‘we’ve got a venue down in this college which can support this many people, would you like to support us?’.”

Talking about student politics, Barnett was asked how he could get students interested in becoming candidates for the many positions around campus as well as potentially increasing votes. “I don’t see forcing voting down students neck is going to help.” As a possible solution, Barnett thinks providing students a chance to speak to Full Time Officers (FTO) will get them wanting to take part in democracy. “I’d like to be able to maybe have an FTO have an hour in each college once a week. As soon as you start getting the communication between everyone I think it’ll be a natural progression upwards. You’ve then got a pool of people interested in the FTOs and JCRs and we can get people who want to run for it”

On international students, Barnett believes that the key lies in translating things into different languages so students feel more included. “You can send them something in English, and they can read English but they might not feel like they’re being involved. So we could maybe send out an alternative language version of things.”

Asked how foundations would be set next year to begin catering for those students paying up to £9,000 Barnett was unclear. He said that there would be more choice for students as there is more money involved but failed to answer how he could set the foundations.

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