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This year there is only a pair of candidates running together for the Womens+ position in the SU.
- Lydia Moodycliffe and Charli Clement
In our interview, we discussed the candidates’ motivations for re-running for the positions, their top priorities if they are re-elected and their opinions on the upcoming referendum of no confidence in senior university management.
For Charli, the most important motivation for re-running has been the womens+ forum. She was one of only two exec members last year and now the forum has grown to need sixteen execs and she loves running it. Lydia has similar reasons and is really passionate about the campaigns they are running together. She genuinely enjoys the work and working with Charli.
Lydia’s top priority if they are re-elected would be continuing a lot of the campaigns that they already have going, specifically the They Matter campaign. Lydia also wants to give more women+ groups a platform so they will work with a lot of other groups that are trying to launch their own campaigns and they’ll support them doing that. Wider collaboration with the other liberation groups and officers will make sure that liberation is put into all policies that the SU are putting out. Charli wants to put even more emphasis on intersectionality than they do now, making sure that cross-forum links are really strong. Charli wants individuals that identify with more than one of the groups to know that they are there for them as a whole rather than catering just to specific identities.
When asked how they would be different in their roles compared to last year Charli said that she has learned how to balance the different campaigns that they want to run and how the forum wants to run too. They’ve had to put a lot of emphasis on engagement due to the pandemic which has put a couple of campaigns on the back burner. The key lesson for her if re-elected will be making sure things are balanced just a little better. For Lydia, it has been understanding how to manage a bigger exec as they’ve gone from small numbers to a much larger engagement. They’ve had to get used to high turnout and become managers of the forum instead of it just being a small group. Lydia also wants the SU staff as well as the SU officer team to be keeping up with accessibility issues.
When asked about what the upcoming vote of no confidence in the Vice-Chancellor (VC) and university senior management means for the relationship between the students and management, Charli said that she personally will be voting no confidence as she’s been upset by the ways in which the university has dealt with things in the last year, like the food boxes. She said that along with Lydia she has been pushing for better mental health provisions. She hopes that whatever the result of the referendum it will put pressure on the next officer team to work on that and continue to improve the work started by this officer team, particularly regarding mental health. Lydia agrees with Charli completely and will also be voting no confidence as she didn’t become an officer to be a puppet of the SU or the uni. She says she is there to hold people accountable and thinks the uni aren’t doing enough.
A significant part of their manifesto is focused upon intersectionality and the fact that many people have identities across the liberation groups. Lydia mentioned how a lot of people when they come to university won’t have heard about intersectionality or gender pronouns and so they are committed to educating people with leaflets, gender pronoun badges and the gender-neutral toilet map. In their second term together they hope to go even further and promote intersectionality with other liberation groups. One of their focuses will be on getting staff to think more about it too because a lot of LGBTQ+ students have said that if their lecturers put their pronouns in their emails it makes them feel much safer and that there is an understanding.
When asked to summarise why students should vote for them, Charli said that when students vote for them they will be voting for a duo with multiple years of experience and a heavy focus on intersectionality. She adds that both she and Lydia love what they do. Lydia wants students to look at their past records and see that they have been reliable, they care about what they do and even if they weren’t re-elected they would continue to help promote the causes that matter to them.