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Sruthi Chilukoti is running for VP Welfare and Community. Her manifesto outlines her relevant experience; she is in the County College JCR as the International Officer and formerly filled the Media and Communications and Sports Rep roles. She is also on the Exec for the university radio station Bailrigg FM and states that her ‘proudest’ moment in community building was developing and delivering the Intercambio scheme which pairs international students with UK students to help them settle into life at Lancaster. When asked why she was running for the role, she stated that it would be a way for her to ‘give back’ to the University through working on the pledges that are outlined in her manifesto.
In her interview, Sruthi said that there is an issue with communication in the current SU, stating that it can be confusing knowing which person to turn to when there is an issue that needs resolving, especially for students outside of JCR and Union roles. She suggested that many are unaware of the help and support that is offered to them, that she would have to search ‘very hard’ on the university website to access relevant information. She would strive to change this through campaigns, and ‘maintaining clarity’ in the Students Union.
She highlights how she would be working with liberation groups and PTO’s, notably Womens+ where she states that she would attempt to ‘tackle period poverty’ and more openly promote the free sanitary products which the Students Union provide. When asked about this in her interview, Sruthi said that she wanted to ‘take away the taboo and create a more open environment’ through the use of campaigns on campus. She also notes how it would be important for her to speak with the University in regard to allowing post-graduate students more time for sports and societies, and that it is ‘’unfair’ that Wednesday afternoons are only free for undergraduates.
As Welfare and Community covers a wide range of areas, Sruthi said that ‘It’s all about listening to the students’ and seeing what they would like the VP to focus on, rather than cornering in on one specific area such as mental health. To achieve this, she said that during her campaign she would be visiting a number of groups and societies as a way to see what individual students would like to see from the Students Union.
She also stated that if elected, she would not just be ‘sitting in an office.’ Instead, she would be regularly visiting liberation groups and meeting with the relevant PTO’s to tackle the issues and needs of groups such as LGBTQ+ and Womens+.
Trivia: Sruthi could name 5 of the 6 liberation groups. Missing mature students.