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Candidate for VP Campaigns and Communications, Laura Wilkinson highlights her experience as a unique selling point of her election campaign. Her role as editor of SCAN will allow her to see situations from both a VP and a student media perspective.
A priority for Wilkinson is finding sustainable funding for student media. She believes that her experience as Alumni Relations Officer for the University Boat Club could will help her to do this, by “increasing the alumni base within student media” she believes that she can “create further opportunities in the future.”
“People would like to give back,” Wilkinson explains, “and do in fact give back to the University, but most of the time this doesn’t reach the people it was intended for.” Therefore, Laura would try to ensure that donations from alumni impact student media positively so that funding can continue whilst LUSU may have to make budget cuts. Wilkinson would push to continue printing SCAN, since: “making a print edition of a paper is incredibly difficult, it has very specific skills that workers and employers are looking for.”
Wilkinson’s experience on the Scrutiny Panel, where she was able to question current LUSU vice-presidents, has meant she has “a really good understanding of what they do, how they do it, and how much is actually realistic with the role.” Wilkinson has also had a show on Bailrigg FM, made numerous appearances on LA1 and worked for the University in accommodation and careers – meaning she has worked in almost every aspect of campus life.
Wilkinson pledges to run a mental health campaign, pointing out that 11% of Lancaster students have dropped out by the end of first year, which could be due to stress caused by work and financial pressures. Laura would seek to make the mental health process more personal. Laura would also “like to make it so the term ‘problem’ isn’t used as much. I’d like it to be removed entirely because people with mental health issues already have serious stigma attached with it.” Wilkinson would also like to see increased training for the Nightline staff.
Another important issue for Wilkinson is increasing the training for those around individuals going through mental health issues: “Friends and family often find it very, very difficult to help people that they know are going through these issues. So, if you’re not experienced in mental health issues, it’s very, very difficult to understand what it’s like to go through that, and the people around you who love and care about you are often put in a very difficult position where they don’t understand, and they want to help but they can’t. So, I’d like to increase the training there.”
Laura would like to see lesser-known sports and societies receive more attention in the run-up to Roses, “introducing a sports team or a society every day for a certain amount of time, say two weeks,” and featuring them on social media. Laura is hoping that support from these societies will see her win come election day.
Trivia: Laura could name all four student medias and their heads.