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Osaretin Aghahowa, a post-graduate studying Advanced Marketing Management, is running for VP Campaigns and Communications when he noticed “a need to get easier access into support from this union and also support from the media”. He said his experience as Black and Minority Officer PTO for part of Michaelmas term, and an executive on the Ethnic Diversity Committee, makes his the right person for the job: “I’ve really been able to understand the difficulties and challenges of campaigning within this school.” He cites his additional experience working in media offices in Nigeria and the fact that media plays a big role in his studies at the moment.
His big plans for the Union include a toll-free line to report cases of ‘social injustice’. He says that some people don’t have access to smart-phones and computers, so the UniSafe app on iLancaster is not enough. To fund this, he will lobby the University or approach Network Providers to foot the bill.
Aghahowa said the student body did not have enough of a voice within the Union. He wants to give students a platform: “my campaigns, if I get elected would be based around students immediate challenges that affect day to day activities. Whatever students are interested in, I would be able to get that information from the ideas and petitions board.”
In terms of student media, Aghahowa said that “they are actually doing quite a good job” – but he wants to make changes. He says that the content is not relevant to the entire student body, citing particularly post-graduate and Asian communities: “I would look for budding students within these categories I’ve mentioned that are interested in the media and I would put forward to them if they would like to support us.”
He would like to see LA1TV feature transcripts of their shows to make it more accessible. On the topic of accessibility, he also wants to introduce digital boards with audio along the Spine, so that: “those that can’t necessarily see, if they go past it they will be able to listen to what the campaign is about.”
Perhaps controversially, Aghahowa says he would like to see an end to SCAN’s print edition: “I think we should slowly phase out the use of the paper tabloids and go more via the app and online.”
Aghahowa would also like to see more networking opportunities for student media “companies in the media would come together and network with our students to give them advice, paid internships and most importantly sponsorships” that could fund student medias. Another funding option Aghahowa would consider is online advertising on the various media websites.
Aghahowa said that he wants to represent BME and international students: “I put myself forward for them, for all the minority groups who feel they are not being represented on the student board, and I feel I would be one of the only people who could actually understand the challenges they are going through.”
Trivia: Aghahowa named LA1TV but could not give the head. He named both SCAN and Baillrigg and their heads. He did not name Take 2 Cinema.