Caitlyn Taft from SCAN interviewed Furness JCR Presidential Candidate, Nikhil Khosla, on why he is running for Furness JCR President.
Over the past few days, I have interviewed various JCR Presidential candidates across campus. I asked them all nine questions, two tailored towards their personal lives and previous work on the JCR.
- What are your reasons for running for Furness president?
Nikhil has been part of the Furness JCR since he started at Lancaster.
“For me, it’s quite simple. Furness College is very near and dear to me as an international student. Furness gave me that sense of belonging, and everyone deserves to feel like that. The idea of Furness being small helps it have such a close community. I want to make sure everyone feels included.”
2. What are the main points of your manifesto that you would like to emphasise?
During the interview, Nikhil gave me an overview of his approach to his manifesto. He outlined three main points: inclusivity, social events, and engaging more with students.
“I want to make sure everyone feels that sense of belonging in Furness. The social aspect of being part of a college is important. Running more events and bringing people together is crucial and that links to my point of engagement. I feel like we sit on the social media and don’t use it to its full potential. Lately, it feels like there’s been too much engagement for events, we’ve been underestimating numbers for events.”
3. What sets you apart from the other candidates?
Nikhil explained to me what the role of presidency means to him:
“President is a manager role; it’s about directing people but not being involved in the small events and allowing yourself to have trust in your team. I have experience from serving as an academic rep for the PPR Department as well.”
4. What would your priorities be if you won the election? Alternatively, what would be your first priority?
It’s vital for the newer JCR members to feel comfortable in their roles, which Nikhil emphasised in his answer.
“My priority would be to understand where every other JCR member stands and knowing their goals from their manifestos. I want to increase Welfare events around exam season, as we don’t have a lot of events going on during that timeframe. Prioritising Welfare events is crucial as JCR members have helped me with my own welfare, and student well-being is so important.”
5. What do you want to change about your current JCR?
The lack of engagement on certain Welfare events is something Nikhil kept commenting on:
“Welfare [events] haven’t been received well previously, I want to work on changing the approach to Welfare altogether. Given the factor of post-COVID life and seeing how the Freshers this year are engaging more than in previous years; I want Welfare events to be small fun events and not just chats about life as that can be intimidating for some students.”
6. Can you tell me a bit about your college and are there any parts of it (social events, welfare talks, group/JCR activities, etc) you are wanting to continue with/ develop on?
He continued and praised Owen Coppack, the current President of Furness JCR.
“I want to continue Owen’s work. Personally, I think Furness College is perfect. I love the college. Whether it’s sitting in Trev playing pool or going into the foyer and speaking to the staff. There’s nothing I want to change apart from the use of social media and the Welfare events.”
7. You’ve been on the Welfare team, what experience have you gained from that that you want to put in your role as president?
From learning how to manage events and how to engage with students, he states:
“The experience I have from being on the Welfare team has been good. I’ve seen what events worked and what events haven’t. I’ve also experienced reaching out to different bits of the uni like the employability service.”
8. How will you handle the welfare of your JCR?
An important question to raise as everyone on the JCR are students who have their own struggles. Nikhil told me:
“I’d like to highlight regardless of what level of Welfare, there’s always a professional making sure everything is okay. I want to make sure fellow JCR members are doing well by checking up on them and pushing them towards professional help via the College CATs team or the University’s mental health service if needs be.”
9. What’s your college slogan/saying/song and what does it mean to you?
The official Furness slogan is ‘Everywhere Else is Nowhere’, which Nikhil noted, confuses some students.
“Angels by Robbie Williams is our song. I never heard of it before joining Furness. Having it played at the end of the night after a long event, you’re there, standing with your JCR members, and being proud of your work. It means the world to me.”
Voting for JCR Presidents opens today. Check out the SU website to vote for your college JCR members this year.