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Jenni Dybell, a third-year Geography and Politics student, thinks the Students’ Union has “become quite weak”, telling SCAN: “I feel like the Students’ Union isn’t a Union anymore and we need to have a stronger force behind what our values are. I feel like I have the right experience and motivation to do it.”
She refers to her experience in various roles across campus: as a Cross Campus Officer in two different roles, Bowland JCR Member, in University Council and in three different University Departments: “I could actually bring those experiences of what I’ve learned ot the role and it would hopefully save a little bit of time during the training period.”
“My unique selling point,” Dybell explained to SCAN, “is the fact that i’m someone who knows how the university works and what to do when it comes to making hard decisions.”
On the topic of issues that students face, Dybell referred to rising costs – both fees and costs of living. She pointed out the threat of fees going up for international students in the wake of Brexit. She described the importance of student involvement: consulting students through referenda, and giving them enough information to make informed decisions.
Indeed, Dybell said that the Union should take a stance on the Higher Education and Research Bill: “it affects every single student and I think the union has been quite lax. They have taken a stance but they haven’t really done much on it.”
“I think the union needs to be a bit stronger and a bit more forceful in what they feel about it.”
Dybell pledges in her manifesto to lobby the University to Freeze the Fees: “I would actually provide some force behind it,” she says, “ in recent years there have been talks about how the union need to be friendly with university management but there is a line that needs to be drawn.”
“Instead of making compromises we need to be forceful in saying what we want and why we want it.”
On the issue of funding, Dybell says it is important to prioritise: “if something can’t have more money put towards it,” she explains, “maybe we should look for other options.” She suggests “the University subsidizing it.”
Dybell says she has the skills to balance herself: “you have to prioritize between being someone who sits in a lot of meetings, but also being someone who needs to get out there and see what students want and think. You shouldn’t run for this role if you don’t think you can do that.”
“You need to have have time management you need to be organized you need to know what you’re doing,” she concludes. Dybell thinks she possesses these presidential skills that will make her ideal in the role.
Trivia – Dybell correctly identified the governing bodies for the University and Union.