Interview with Reece Griffiths and Luke Owen, Cartmel JCR Presidential Candidates – Michaelmas Term Elections


Caitlyn Taft from SCAN interviewed Cartmel JCR Presidential Candidates, Reece Griffiths and Luke Owen, on why they are both running for joint Cartmel JCR President.

Over 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.

  1. What are your reasons for running for joint presidency of Cartmel’s JCR?

Reece and Luke both told me that they co-created their manifesto. Reece is the current Mens+ Welfare Officer for Cartmel JCR, and Luke joined the JCR after Welcome Week as Social Secretary.

“We want to make it [Cartmel] community lead. We will be putting on what people want as the student voice is so important and the basis of our manifesto.”

2. What are the main points of your manifesto that you would like to emphasise?

They both emphasised the importance of student voice and student opinions. Luke mentioned the idea of using forms and surveys, digitalised and physical versions, to engage with students more.

“Cartmel’s for the community, we’re trying to make it an inclusive space. Their voice leads our action. We’ve also been praised for our progressiveness, from a successful Mens+ event, ran by Reece. Our whole manifesto is banging on about student voice and how we want to keep the community hub of Cartmel by coming together as a team of two for presidency, as a JCR, and as students ourselves.”

3. What sets you apart from the other candidates?

As they’re a team of two, the ability to share their workload was important for them to mention. Stating that cooperation and collaboration are key to their dynamic.

“It allows us to give our 100% to the JCR and the Cartmel community, but it also allows us to have an academic focus. At the end of the day, we’re both students. Double the availability means double of what we can achieve.”

4. What would your priorities be if you win the election? Alternatively, what would be your first priority?

Both of them mentioned that ensuring that the newer JCR members feel situated would be their first priority. Having the students understand what and how to do their work is vital to having a successful JCR.

“We want to make the JCR a place you want to be in.”

5. What do you want to change about your current JCR?

Luke stated the idea of JCR handbooks, allowing the newer JCR members to have an insight into their role will aid them in the future. As Luke said,

“I didn’t have that when I joined. I had to figure out some things for myself. Having handbooks will allow a clearer line of communication between us and our fellow JCR members.”

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?

They both were very passionate about the Cartmel staff and how lovely they all are.

“[We] Love Jo Kendall, Cartmel’s College Manager. The staff makes Cartmel special. We’ve both always felt welcome in Cartmel. It’s like a home away from home.”

7. What are the benefits of running as a team of two?

Previously, both Reece and Luke told me about how splitting the workload between the two of them will help make sure at least one of them is present.

“We have the opportunity to support each other and be each other’s person to look out for. Two means someone can and will be there.”

8. Reece – as you’ve been the Mens+ Welfare Officer for Cartmel JCR since February if I’m correct – what, from your experience as the Mens+ Welfare Officer, would you be taking into this new role?

As Mens+ Welfare Officer, Reece has been in charge of running events and identifying what events have worked for the Cartmel students.

“Since being the Mens+ Welfare Officer, I’ve become good at running events, like the one I mentioned to you before. I’ve learnt how to connect with Cartmel. I’m taking what I’ve learnt, through trial and error, and implanting what works into my work.”

9. What’s your college slogan/saying/song and what does it mean to you?

Reece and Luke told me that they knew of Cartmel’s slogan, ‘Live the Dream’. They mentioned how it made them feel like anything is possible in Cartmel. However, they wanted to discuss the slogan for their manifesto.

“Your voice, our action: A Community-Led JCR. It emphasises this idea that we want to be engaging more with the wider student community in Cartmel. We want to know what works and what doesn’t. We want our actions to lead by their words.”

Voting for JCR Presidents opens today. Check out the SU website to vote for your college JCR members this year.

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