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Oliver Robinson is running for the position of Student’s Union President. When asked for his reasons for running, Oliver stated that he wanted to rectify the issue of students voices being ignored, citing the decision to have a fully elected trustee board which has still not been acted upon. If elected, he wants to ensure that the Union is run by the students for the students.
Oliver has experience with being a city councillor for Lancaster for 2 years, with achievements including a redrafting a policy in which the city declared a climate emergency and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030. He has also been Chair of Personnel, a committee on the council, dealing with HR policy. He is also on a board of trustees for a North West Employers, a HR organisation, and has been involved in fighting for numerous student issues on campus, and feels his experience sets him apart from the other candidates.
His first priority in office would be the education of students during the Coronavirus crisis, and to ensure that students are listened to, as the current emergency schemes of delegation in the university management do not have any way for students to input their voices. He is also concerned about the delivery of online learning, and wants to find a successful way to make education worth the amount students are paying for it, and urges that students be involved in the universities decision making.
Oliver would like to change how decision making is done in the union, as he feels that there is too much power concentrated in the trustee board. He would use his platform as President to showcase the achievements of the students and academics of the university.
Due to the Coronavirus crisis, Oliver acknowledges that the possibility of the university working remotely for the next academic year might make the job of the president a lot harder. He would make the support of students with access issues a top priority if courses were moved to online only.
He has plans to push for Roses to be held in Lancaster next year through appealing to York University Students Union and putting pressure on Lancaster’s management to make the case for a home Roses.
When asked about his plans for student media freedom, Oliver stated that to hold the union to account, SCAN should be allowed total editorial freedom, and should be allowed to criticise the union without being edited by anyone within the union. He feels that this healthy criticism would allow the union and democracy to thrive, and give them an opportunity to do better, and that it means that people are paying attention.
Oliver also spoke on the issue of fees for the next academic year if all teaching is moved online. He stated that Lancaster either needs to find ways to deliver a more dynamic student experience or cut fees for the students, and a priority would be to ensure that classes are not fully online, as the student experience of university is crucial, and he does not feel that it is sustainable for the university to be online for an entire academic year.