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Final year Accounting and Finance student, Josh Woolf, says it’s his desire to “give back” that has motivated him to run for President of LUSU.
As president of two societies, Jewish Society and Airsoft Team, Woolf said that he has experience of being in meetings and committees. But, he says, this is not all: “I think one side of it people haven’t really put as much thought into is the stuff you do outside of the office.” Woolf spoke about the importance of “being willing to get out there and get involved,” and says “I like to think I have an open mind and I’m willing to get out there and quite willing to jump in and get stuck in with all the different things around me and hopefully it will open me up to different ideas.”
He says his unique selling point is “a bit of a weird one,” and is his ability to take on and represent the views of others regardless of his own opinion: “throughout my different roles I’ve had to accept that my views aren’t always the views of the people I represent. I think that’s what makes me stand out.” He explains, “I’m very willing to accept that I don’t know everything. I’m happy to go out and find out what people actually care about and represent them rather than representing what I think they want.”
The Union sometimes is required to strike a balance between representing all students and being politically active. Woolf is clear that “representation should always come first.”
“We are a Union,” he explains, “which means we are a collective of the students and we are there to represent the students and if the students say we don’t want to get politically active then that’s their choice as a collective.”
Woolf still understands the importance of campaigning on national interviews, and says the NUS is a valuable platform for these campaigns. He is against disaffiliation from the NUS, as he believes “the best way to deal with [a problem] is from the inside … rather than stepping away and losing the amazing resources they do provide to us that a lot of students don’t see.”
Woolf acknowledged that turning student feedback into policy was a difficult topic – but he believes that “just by trying to listen to students personally” policy can be submitted that represents the student viewpoint. He suggested a loyalty card scheme to encourage students to take surveys that would gather their views.
Above everything else, Woolf has put emphasis on his aim to learn more about the wants and needs of Lancaster’s student population: “throughout my campaign one of my main things is going around with a whiteboard and asking people to tell me what they want and what concerns them, what they’ve seen that’s good what they’ve seen that’s bad, that kind of thing. So hopefully I’m going to find out more.”
Trivia: Woolf correctly identified the governing bodies of the University.