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Presidential candidate Adam Holt, a final year Engineering student and President of the Public Speaking Society, admits that “I haven’t [had] much experience in a huge amount of areas”, but is full of ideas. Holt told SCAN that whilst he may not have plans after graduation, he knows that he wants “to do something that benefits and makes a difference to people’s lives.” He revealed that he chose to run for President after struggling to choose between the VP positions as he had an “interest in them all, especially Activities and Education, though I don’t think I have enough specialised knowledge… to run for them.” Unfortunately, when asked about LUSU’s new strategy – an initiative rolled out by current President Joel Pullan at a recent Union Council – Holt was unable to answer.
Holt does however have plans to engage better with the student body in order to create a relationship, stating “social media […] is how people are kept in the know and kept in contact. Communication is two ways and I think the trouble is that the students aren’t bothered about learning about LUSU.” He claimed that this lack of interest in the Union came from a lack of motivation to find out, and suggested that students needed to be “baby fed.”
He also suggested that the LUSU website should become more interactive, with an easier format for students to find relevant information and with the aid of “video blogs” – presumably from members of the Full Time Officer team – to keep students informed.
In his manifesto, Holt claims that his experiences studying abroad in America made him “stand out” from the other candidates – although when questioned about the influence his experiences abroad would have on being LUSU President and what they would do to benefit the student body if he were elected, he was unable to answer. Holt was keen to emphasise that his experience as a President of his Residential Hall whilst abroad was a positive one, which enhanced his teamwork and leadership skills. Holt was unable to comment on what LUSU has done well this academic year and what he would improve on, nor was he able to express what his overall vision of LUSU would be if he were elected.
Holt also mentions in his manifesto his desire to improve the student experience and highlights the importance of the college system and how it could be improved. He also speaks of the International Officers, and claims that “international students should… meet with a personal advisor when they arrive.” He argues that the International Officers should “step up”, and when asked as to how he would ensure International Officers would engage more with students and fight for their issues – such as the rising NHS fees – Holt stated that he would be strict with them, “no lazing about, you will have to do a proper officer job and not just wear a badge.”
In reference to his desire to engage students more with LUSU, Holt told SCAN: “To be honest we live in a very commercial world here, people seem to be far too interested in Kim Kardashian and that kind of stuff… so whilst not becoming too stupid I think we should make the more boring topics [liaise] with some fun topics [to keep] people’s interests peaked.”
As a relatively unknown candidate, Holt seemed to share the sentiment of students questioned in a SCAN feature, where one claimed LUSU was a clique. Holt revealed that whilst he was working hard on his campaign, “the other candidates have a lot more friends.” As a remedy to this, he suggested providing more support for candidates that wished to run for LUSU positions but had not previously been involved.
Holt also has some revolutionary ideas for changing teaching and learning, he voiced his support for videoing lectures, so that students could access learning “at their leisure when they feel up to it”, followed by a test and the student choosing to follow up if they wanted to. He also suggested lecturers should “individually work with students based on what they [struggle] with”. He does however acknowledge this may be difficult to implement, but firmly states “when it comes to big nationwide change, it has to start somewhere.”