Answers from Alex Square

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Gloria Ratsakatika, 2nd year Psychology

Abbie Lees, 2nd year, Psychology

Caitlin Hunter, 2nd year English Literature

Beckie Bellingham, 2nd year English Literature

Katie Gough, 2nd year German and Linguistics

Karis, 2nd year French, Italian, and German

Mae Reddaway, 2nd year Marketing Management

Sofia Guimaraes, 2nd year Management BBA

Ashely Antonia Jones, 1st year Natural Sciences

Jacapo Scaramuzzi, 2nd year European and American BBA

 

Photograph: Marie-Sophie Klingenbrunner
Photograph: Marie-Sophie Klingenbrunner

Are you going to vote in the upcoming FTO Elections?

No, because it’s not publicised and we don’t really have the time. Where do we vote, anyway?

— Gloria Ratsakatika, 2nd year, Psychology

I don’t really vote much. Most of the time, to be honest, I just forget about it. I’m like, “ugh”.

— Abbie Lees, 2nd year, Psychology

I know they’re happening, but I don’t think I’ll vote. My vote would be useless, and I think it only matters to a very small number of people who have put themselves up for election to have something good on their CVs.

– Caitlin Hunter, 2nd year English Literature

I didn’t know that elections were happening, I don’t know who the FTOs are or what they do. I think it’s more of a popularity contest. It can be very cliquey.

– Beckie Bellingham, 2nd year English Literature

I don’t really know much about it. I might vote when people start their campaigns.

– Katie Gough, 2nd year German and Linguistics

If I knew more about it, I think I’d vote.

– Karis, 2nd year French, Italian, and German

I only really know about it because of SCAN and because I know some of the people who have put themselves up for election. If I wasn’t a part of SCAN I don’t think I’d know much about it.

– Mae Reddaway, 2nd year Marketing Management

No I don’t know anything about it really so I don’t feel informed to vote on any of it.

–          Sofia Guimaraes, 2nd year Management BBA

Maybe, yea I think so. I don’t really know anything necessarily but I suppose I should. I’ll look for someone that is organised and seems to genuinely care.

–          Ashely Antonia Jones, 1st year Natural Sciences

I don’t know. I’m not really into student politics, probably because I don’t know much about it. I think whoever is elected should definitely work on making it more popular with the students. They could also improve contacts between academics.

–          Jacapo Scarumi, 2nd European and American BBA

Photograph: Marie-Sophie Klingenbrunner
Photograph: Marie-Sophie Klingenbrunner

What has your experience been with Student Finance?

It’s been fine. I haven’t really had any problems. To be fair, I keep forgetting my customer reference number and details, and then it takes sixty years to get to it, but then, that’s my fault.

— Gloria Ratsakatika, 2nd year, Psychology

It’s been okay. The website is a bit confusing sometimes. When I go on it, I never know where to look for a specific thing. I find it really difficult to do with my Mum and Dad, when you have to log in and stuff.

— Abbie Lees, 2nd year, Psychology

For me the university registration process was the issue as I was registered as not being here and so I didn’t get my loan on time. It’s also an inadequate amount of money. It’s not enough to pay my rent and I have to supplement my loan.

– Caitlin Hunter, 2nd year English Literature

It’s been fine for me, but I know a few people last year who didn’t get their loans until second or third term. The amount of money though has been difficult. I’ve had a massive reduction in my loan this year because of my dad’s small salary increase.

– Beckie Bellingham, 2nd year English Literature

I think it’s been good. I’ve always got my loan on time though I know some people’s loans have been late. The new website is definitely better as well now that you can log in with your email address rather than the customer reference number.

– Karis, 2nd year French, Italian, and German

Good on the whole. I think it can be supportive when you need it. However sometimes it can be difficult to access so they may need to work on that.

–          Sofia Guimaraes, 2nd year Management BBA

Yeah I’ve definitely had positive experiences with it. It’s easy enough but the website can be a bit confusing so it’s good they’re working on that.

–          Ashley Antonia Jones, 1st year Natural Sciences

The UCU have threatened to not mark exams if a pay settlement isn’t reached by the end of April. What do you think of that?

What?! Wait, why? They’re going to stop marking exams?! Well, we’re still paying nine grand. That’s very selfish of them. No, no I’m not pleased, I feel sad that they have to resort to this pay-wise. They must be desperate if they’re threatening to not mark our exams!                                                          — Gloria Ratsakatika, 2nd year, Psychology

How is it fair that we’re affected by this when we’re not even involved? It’s a big enough thing to get them a raise, I think. But then, it’s not like they really need to get paid more. It’s probably a bit greedy. I don’t think that’s very fair on anyone.

— Abbie Lees, 2nd year, Psychology

I think that’s too far. I was initially sympathetic to the cause, but it’s only ever going to be students that are affected.

– Caitlin Hunter, 2nd year English Literature

I agree that they should be entitled to strike, but it’s money out of our pockets and it affects us.

– Beckie Bellingham, 3rd year Marketing

That’s ridiculous. I understand that they have the right to strike but they also have the responsibility to teach. Their priorities shouldn’t come above ours. It’s selfish when we’re paying £9000 for tuition.

– Karis, 2nd year French, Italian and German

It’s definitely unfair considering the amount of money we pay.

– Katie Gough, 2nd year German and Linguistics

I think it’s a bad thing, but I don’t really get affected as much because I’m part of the Management school.

– Mae Reddaway, 2nd year Marketing Management

I understand that they’ve received a really raw deal from the university but I’m not sure whether it is sensible. It may be too far.

–          Sofia Guimaraes, 2nd Management BBA

Kind of annoying really. I understand their cause, they work hard and deserve more. However it seems like its harming the students more than anyone else.

–          Ashley Antonia Jones, 1st Year Natural Sciences

I don’t know what strikes are for but it kind of feels like they are making students pay for it. I wonder if it takes the rights of the students away.

–        Jacapo Scaramuzzi, 2nd year European and American BBA

Do you worry about how negative stereotypes of Students and teenagers could affect you?

I think, if you believe it’s affecting us negatively, you’re probably not looking hard enough. Obviously you can find people who are like, “I’m not going to hire you because of what I read in the newspaper”, but not everyone is like that. I think if you go to an interview and you are a genuinely nice person, then the interviewer will notice that.

— Gloria Ratsakatika, 2nd year, Psychology

I always think these things are related to use even more because of where we’re from. We’ve had it because of our accents and stuff. It makes me quite angry, the way people do that. To be honest, teenagers are getting worse and worse, even if I look at my sisters’ year compared to when I was that age. They’re so much meaner than the people in my year were.

— Abbie Lees, 2nd year, Psychology

I think this could be true. When I get the train home I have my ticket checked about five times because people assume that I’m a teenager trying to get away without paying. The media give young people a bad reputation.

– Beckie Bellingham, 2nd year English Literature

We definitely get given a bad press. Teenagers never have good representation in the news.

– Caitlin Hunter, 2nd year English Literature

No I don’t think so really. Obviously there is a stereotype but I think many people will be able to see that there are lots of different people who aren’t like the stereotypes.

–          Sofia Guimaraes, 2nd year Management BBA

No I think there’s a stereotype but I think they tend to apply to people who don’t go to uni which is still wrong but wouldn’t affect me personally really.

–          Ashley Antonia Jones, 1st year Natural Sciences

I think we have a lot more competition for jobs these days which makes us worry more about these stereotypes and means people tell us we should be more scared. However it’s really not everyone, so I don’t worry too much.

–         Jacapo Scaramuzzi, 2nd year European and American BBA

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