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Molly Lawson is running for Part-Time Students with Disabilities Officer. In the opening paragraph of her manifesto, she states that she decided to run because during her two years at Lancaster it became clear to her that the university ‘is not accessible’ and that ‘a much higher proportion of students have a type of disability than you might expect, and the university should recognise and adapt to this.’
Molly has been an Academic Rep for two years and is now the lead rep for her department. She believes this has given her great experience of talking to people higher up in academic departments. She is also General Secretary for the Classics Society which is currently being set up, which she states has massively increased her organisational skills.
When asked why she was running for the role, she stated that somebody needs to change the fact that the University is not accessible, and that people were not as accommodating as she expected them to be. She revealed that she has had negative experiences in the past, for example asking if tutors would put slides up before the lecture and being let down or told no straight away. Molly said she wants to make a ‘standard that everyone is expected to adhere to’ and this would greatly increase accessibility across the University. She also said that she is ‘truly passionate about making change.’
SCAN asked Molly about what her priorities would be if she was elected. She said that it would be an accessibility campaign, in which she would talk to students to figure out a set of demands for each department to follow. This would include provisions such as lecture slides being put up before the session, recording lectures, and colour and image descriptions. She said, ‘Realistically lecturers aren’t looking at everyone’s individual learning support plans for every module’ and there should be a standard set of demands that everyone should follow.
Leading on from this, Molly discussed how she wants to change the amount of communication with students from the Students’ Union. She said that students’ opinions often don’t go anywhere as there is little follow up, stating that there ‘needs to be greater communication and transparency between the SU and its students. Molly further discussed the importance of student opinion when asked about her plan for a project to raise awareness for invisible disabilities, which takes inspiration from the Sunflower Lanyard campaign. She wants to work towards something similar to this so others are aware when students may need extra support, suggesting stickers on library cards and ID passes which library staff and bus drivers will be able to see. She also wants to work with the other elected Part-Time Officers to organise events and campaigns to reach niche groups on campus who otherwise wouldn’t have a large voice. Molly stressed the importance of intersectionality across campus as she belongs to three of the liberation groups.