Candidate interview: Grace Fitzpatrick

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“It’s vital we justify ‘safest campus’ accolade”

Grace Fitzpatrick – Lonsdale College

Having worked as Lonsdale’s Female Equality, Welfare & Diversity (EWD) officer and undertaken the Cross Campus Officer roles of Equality campaigns and Welfare campaigns respectively, as well as her current service as LUSU Council’s Vice Chair, Grace Fitzpatrick feels that she has been given “a thorough view of the goings-on in LUSU”, and is now ready to add a final string to her bow by stepping up to the task of overseeing the Union’s EWD activities.

In her previous capacities, Fitzpatrick firmly maintained that events should be “manipulated in order to get the most out of them.” She has played a large role in events such as ‘The Big Chill’, a fundraiser for Lancaster District Council’s homeless shelter and a showcase of student bands and societies.

Having sat on various councils, Fitzpatrick believes she has recognised the shortcomings surrounding the work of EWD officers; “as an officer, there hasn’t been an opportunity for me to liaise with [University staff]” adding that  “there should be more of a connection between all EWD officers and the University staff.”

She also believes that a lack of consistent communication between the Vice President, Cross Campus and JCR EWD representatives has led to some initiatives not reaching their full potential; “we have initial meetings where we design campaigns which are really innovative and interesting, then there is no communication between the meeting and the day of the event.”

Fitzpatrick says that her creativity will combat this, bringing enjoyment to the more ‘mundane’ EWD related tasks; “we don’t just have to sit there and say ‘you do this and that’, it can come about in ways that bond the officers together.”

A lack of student awareness of services is a frequent criticism directed at LUSU, but Fitzpatrick asserts that the resolution is simply a case of “using the structures we already have, such as posters, Facebook, SCAN and LA1:TV to promote what we offer.”

Fitzpatrick has already addressed safety issues, working with current Vice President (EWD) Matt Saint on the ‘Light the Way’ campaign, a response to the lack of lighting between the Sports Centre and South West campus made in the hope that the University will install lamplights. A specific cause of concern to her is the fact that a student was recently run over by a car near Lonsdale College; “there are footpaths that meet either side of some of the roads, and no crossings in between them […] I plan to run a campaign on that next term.”

If elected, Fitzpatrick’s intention is to draw attention to the most basic welfare issues, believing that it is vital for Lancaster’s accolade of having one of the safest campuses in Britain to be justified, and that the Union “shouldn‘t take this for granted.”

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