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Ronnie Rowlands is a candidate with a wealth of experience, a firm understanding of LUSU and is someone who is not afraid to stand up for what he believes is right for the Lancaster students. Having chaired LUSU council for two terms, acted as a CCO for two terms, sat on the University’s Senate and written over 100 articles for SCAN, Rowlands knows his way around the University and understands the issues students face today. Rowlands was also instrumental in two recent high profile campaigns, the business process review and the ‘Save the Arts’ campaign, both stemming from Rowlands’ lobbying of the University and the Union. “I believe that the loudest possible voice for students is vital to ensuring that they are at the heart of all decisions the University makes,” Rowlands explains, “I’ve always been outspoken with how I feel about the decisions this university has made which leave students worse off.” The ‘Save the Arts’ led to an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) which over 500 students attended, where the motion to go against any further cuts to the arts was passed.
Wider issues are also something Rowlands is passionate about and he feels it is essential to focus on national issues that affect students as well as campus based ones. “You have to look at stigma around mental health, homophobia, transphobia, LGBTQ* issues, these are issues that people go through on our campus but also nationally.” He is also passionate about lad culture, having written an article for SCAN about it last year which crashed the LUSU website and was retweeted by Stephen Fry and Tom Watson MP.
Turning the focus on media Rowland has a clear opinion on the long standing idea of a joint media stating, “I feel it is actually detrimental to [SCAN, Bailrigg and LA1:TV’s] individual identities. I would also say the job [of the VP (Campaigns and Communication)] is not to be the boss of media, rather I want students to view the student media as a conduit for their voices.”
The idea of collaborating is also apparent in Rowlands’ ideas about campaigns, “[I feel this job is] about giving students advice on how to run an effective campaign and a bit of endorsing here and there. Or even better someone comes to me and says I feel strongly about this, I could write a motion to LUSU council on your behalf and us mandate the campaign on your behalf.”
Whilst vocal about standing up to the University, Rowlands is quick to stress that he has and will continue to work alongside the University on key issues. “It’s all about information, for example when students found about the music degree closure all of a sudden it appeared as an item on Senate, all of a sudden a high-ranking manager was explaining himself. […] I think it is more effective to raise it as an issue to the students and say to the University that students have an issue with this so maybe you should reconsider the policy.”
The essence of Rowlands’ campaign stems around empowering students and listening to their voice, “no amount of committee busy-bodying is of use without the support of student voice. [The University and the students] must work together.”