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Laurie Butler is running for VP Welfare and Community. He was elected as an NUS delegate in his first year at university, and was also a LUSU councilor before the SU’s council was abolished. He was also the Vice President of the hiking club from 2016-2017. In his manifesto, he states that he wants to ‘fully integrate welfare throughout the university’ and if elected, would work with the VP Activities to encourage welfare themed events for societies. He said that it is sad that people have a negative image of the Students Union when there are currently lots of factors impacting students’ welfare and wellbeing.
In his interview, when Laurie was asked what he would like to change about the SU, stated that many of their projects are ‘top-down’ but have not consulted with students about what they want to do. He wants to tell students the allocated budget and ask them what they would benefit from this being spent on, and said that student’s most feel the benefit of the SU through societies, and so would try to promote welfare through their meetings. Laurie suggested that welfare themed events should be integrated within societies events and used the Hiking Club’s ‘Wellbeing Walks’ as an example of this.
Laurie also said that he would be engaging with the PTO’s and attending their meetings to effectively work with the liberation groups. He would ask them to come to the Union for help with training and support so they can effectively run their own campaigns.
One of Laurie’s prominent points in his manifesto was that he would continue to lobby the SU to stop the 6-7 lecture slots. When asked what actions he would take to try and change this, he said he would organise ‘Mass protests and walkouts in Alexandra Square.’ He also said that all lectures need to be recorded and that alternative times organised for those who cannot make the 6-7 timetable hours. His manifesto also states that he would ensure that Wednesday afternoons are kept free, as students should have this time available for societies.
Brexit is also mentioned in his manifesto; he notes that those considering studying abroad will require extra advice and that he would ‘lobby the university and government with NUS’ to secure the rights of Erasmus and EU students. He said when asked about the issue during his interview, that what will happen after the 29th March is a ‘major concern’ and that students need a guarantee from the University that if Erasmus+ funding is stopped, they will be replacing it. Laurie also noted that without Erasmus he would not have been able to go on his year abroad and that lobbying the government about the issue is also important.
Trivia: Laurie could name four of the six liberation groups. Missing mature students and international students.