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John Clayton is a third year Politics and International Relations student from Preston. He has had previous experience working on Pendle JCR as Events Officer, Vice-President, and President. He says he has had a positive and fulfilling experience working with students throughout his time at Lancaster and wishes for others to have the same opportunities that he has had. When asked about the current SU, he mentions that for students and JCR members, it can feel as though there is a lack of support with regards to training and direction, adding that “it can seem like the Union is distant from students”.
John cites his experience on the JCR as the reason he is running for Union Development: ‘it’s the one I’m most familiar with, and the best place to bring about the change I want”. In regards to working with external bodies outside of the Union, John speaks about how he’s worked with companies in town and suppliers in order to organise Fresher’s Week, and says he can build on the relationships that he has already formed through these connections.
When asked about transparency within the Union, he discusses how the information that students want to know is available, but that it is difficult to locate. If elected, he would like to work on promoting the reports the Union produces so students can know where the Union’s money is spent. “It’s about engaging people with the structures that the Union already has, but properly looking at how the Union can be more active and engaging in those procedures.”
His experience of organising JCR elections has given him an insight into how the Union could improve relations between student body and the JCR. He says it is important to show JCRs how to promote their elections with more support from the Union, and using their resources.
His manifesto states that John ‘will push to create a new system of JCR training’ – this would involve more officer training, working with other FTOs, liberation groups, etc. to create a system of training that is a system that runs throughout the year, possibly using Moodle’s online training facilities. He wants to make the Union accessible,and says a big focus is on making students’ voices are heard: he uses the example of Central, saying that he’d like to make prices more affordable: “It’s very difficult to do an affordable shop at Central”.
John successfully named 7 out of 9 College Presidents.