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In a large, sparsely attended room under bright white lights, the hustings for the Graduate College Postgrad Board took place on Wednesday Evening.
Only one position on the PG Board was actually contested, and this was the position of Chair. The two candidates were Lisa Lin and Nihir Vedd, and their questioning took up the majority of the hustings.
Nihir argued that as a data scientist, he is well placed to liase with the iLancaster team and overhaul the way Grad college interacts with its student. He claimed a news function on the app could increase postgraduate engagement with their elected representatives.
Lisa took an entirely different approach, saying that social media is ineffective for postgraduate engagement and that the PG Board should focus on more old fashioned methods such as posters or word of mouth.
The small audience demanded a way to increase the turnout, which was undeniably poor. Lisa put the blame on LUSU for failing to let people know in advance, while Nihir said that the existing PG Board should shoulder most of the blame for only sending out emails the day before the hustings.
One of the more interesting arguments revolved around Wechat, the messaging service that dominates China (where Western social media sites are banned). Lisa argued that a lot of Chinese Postgraduate Students were unaware of Facebook and that they could be engaged on Wechat, but some present were concerned it would lead to division between Chinese and non-Chinese students.
The first uncontested position was the role of Treasurer, with the sole candidate Jordan Richards arguing that his two years on the Cartmel college JCR had prepared him well for the challenges of PG Board.
As Treasuruer he would have financial responsibility for organising welcome week, socials and PG board advertising. However, he would be only one of the three PG Board signatories he needs to sign off financial expenses.
The two board members without portfolio were up next – Alice Padfield, who said she had experience running societies and wanted to work towards a stronger sense of community, and Kinga Brzosko, who has worked as an event manager and wants to offer a fresh perspective in this community.
The hustings was briefly disturbed by international students setting a game of pool in the section of the room that had failed to be reserved, but after the intervention of master of ceremonies Qas Younis, LUSU’s Vice President of Union Development, the hustings resumed with only minor noise disruption.
Amber Hayes was the only candidate for events officer, and made use of her former experience at Grizedale (the most fun college in her words) to stake her claim. She wants to create events for all members, and raised the suggestion of a Kaorake night.
Voting is now open.