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Bethany Crow, talked to SCAN about her candidacy for VP Campaigns and Communications. Bethany’s experience working for both SCAN as the current editor as well as Bailrigg has given her “experience in leading a team, working creatively and finding out the best ways to hold the university to account.”
Building on this, she told SCAN of her anger at the issues she has seen, and how things could be run differently. “At the moment, so much is going on campus, and nobody knows what’s happening. I feel the Students’ Union needs to be doing more to support students in the first instance, rather than waiting for the students to come to them with problems.”
She wants the Union to properly communicate with students about the activities of the university, because current events aren’t being properly communicated. “Ultimately, the experience that I’ve got means I can push the Union and the University to question what they’re doing more.”
Another important issue that Bethany wishes to tackle is to make the officers more accessible to students. “The officers are often accused of being out of touch with students, and not knowing what students want and I agree to with that to a certain extent.” One of her first priorities is to hold office hours, where people can visit and talk to the officers personally, and work on improving communications. She stressed the importance of the Union, and how it should be separate from and challenge the University.
When it came to the role itself, Bethany praised the work of Laura Wilkinson, citing her regular meetings and attentiveness. She would like to build on Laura’s work and push for more collaboration between the student media groups.
Regarding her policies, her first campaign would concern cost of living; to educate students on cost-saving facilities available and encourage students to shop more locally. She hopes to help build better relationships between Lancaster and the University itself. “Locals are concerned about the number of students coming in, and it’s a valid concern for them to have, and I think using this campaign will help support local businesses and support the local community.”
One of her manifesto pledges concerned empowering grassroots campaigns, so SCAN asked if that would apply to campaigns she was personally uncomfortable with. She acknowledged that there were issues around “radical groups… that weren’t affiliated to the Union because of their views,” but stated that she would be focusing on building general purpose “campaign toolkit” so her personal views would not be too relevant.
In regards to student media she added: “I’m of the belief that it’s time for the Union to be giving back to the student media, and I want to work in work-experience programmes that … will provide more opportunities for students to explore Media careers.” She noted that the Union has a large bank of contacts which could be utilised better and suggested that she wanted to make it easier for students to access this wealth of knowledge.