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Harvey Snape – currently serving his second year as Oxfam society President, alongside being Treasurer of Amnesty International Society and People & Planet society – is passionate about welfare and claims mental illness and lad culture are the two greatest problems he would like to deal with if he were to be elected.
“I’ve been involved with the Feminist Society, as a member and as part of their Consent Week Committee,” Snape told SCAN. “I fully support the reintroduction of… liberation officers, I think they never should have gotten rid of them […] they will help give these underrepresented […] a voice.” Tackling lad culture is an issue close to Snape’s heart, and he was extremely praising of current VP Tom Fox’s actions this year. Snape told SCAN he would build on this by continuing to lobby WHSmith on campus to stop selling lad mags. However, he also believes lad culture should be dealt with at the root: “A lot of students don’t see lad culture as an issue, that’s quite possibly because they haven’t [experienced it] themselves.” Snape would like to see more campaigning to ensure every student is perceived as “equally valid and important.” He would also like to have Freshers’ Week talks about “sexual consent and sex education, because… it is something that LUSU hasn’t really [done before]”.
The counselling services are a hot topic, and Snape believes “it is a case of lobbying the university in order to allocate greater funding… if they can spend £8,000 on something for the 50th anniversary and can give £40,000 to JCRs… then I think they can certainly put greater funding into the counselling services.” Snape revealed that he has used these services before, and six to eight weeks is far too long to wait for students in need. He would also like to make students more aware of the available services such as Nightline, or simply talking to friends and family about the problem – as well as organising more events like the recent ‘Time to Talk’ day.
Snape believes that rent prices for students are an issue, and that “[they] have spiralled out of control… 80% of the accommodation on campus is owned by UPP, which is a private company” and prices have inflated to the point where students cannot afford them. He would like to lobby the University to have them lowered, but acknowledges “it would be quite difficult for me as an individual to tackle this issue.” Instead, he would encourage student activism and try to garner support from as many students as possible.