Amy Merchant – VP Welfare

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Amy Merchant is running for the position of VP Welfare for the coming year. She has been inspired by student groups pushing for positive change, has been a member of the LGBTQ+ forum for the last 3 years, and is the former President of County College. She wants to be the person to push for even more positive change and celebrate diversity on campus and make sure welfare is the best that it can be and to continue the ongoing work.

As former president of County JCR, she has good managerial skills and oversaw the welfare provided, and while LGBTQ+ social media officer has promoted events such as the coffee social which is a safe space for students, while responding to any queries. She was VP Socials and Events for county JCR before she was president, was also a Media and Communications officer and has a wide range of experience she can bring together in the role of VP Welfare.

She believes the thing that sets her apart from the other candidates is her experience, and her motto is ‘if you don’t do something that puts fire in your belly, it’s not worth doing’, and that’s how she feels about the role of VP Welfare.

Her priorities are her student housing campaign, which helps to advise students, especially first years, who are looking to rent houses for their second year. As county president, she noticed that an issue was signing housing contracts very early in the first term, calling it a ‘culture of panic’. Her research found that 28% of students sign their housing contracts before the Christmas break, meaning that they can end up with dodgy landlords or living with people they don’t know very well. She would be working with LUSU Living to ensure that their contracts would not be signed until after the Christmas break, therefore setting the precedent for other student housing companies in Lancaster, which would ensure that more students would be living in better environments for them. She would also promote the Marks out of Tenancy scheme, which shows students what housing is like, which she feels would increase student welfare as they would not be living in bad accommodation.

Something that she would like to change about the current students union would be to push diversity more and create a campus that is safe for everyone. She will stand her ground and is not afraid to voice her opinions.

In order to see that all students are getting the welfare that they need, Amy wants to be the face of welfare, and to work with the PTOs and use their help to ensure that all ‘areas are touched upon’, and types of students are getting the specific welfare that they require. In order to increase communication, she would invite them to the welfare committee in order to increase communication and face to face interaction, as she believes everyone will work stronger as a team. She wants to run campaigns on intersectionality, and has worked on diverse projects across campus, and has seen what students actually need. Amy would want to work with student media on her welfare campaign in order to promote it further.

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