Interview with Owen Coppack: President Candidate – Elections 2024 


Caitlyn Taft (she/her) from SCAN interviewed Owen Coppack (he/him) on why he is running for President for the Students’ Union.

Owen is a 3rd year History and Politics student. He was also previously Furness JCR’s President. 

  1. What opportunities would meetings with Sugarhouse and college bar management give to college presidents and colleges overall?

Owen told me about how there’s a lack of meetings with college presidents, college bar management, and Sugarhouse. 

“From my experience in Furness JCR, there’s a lack of meetings. We have good relationships with bar management but other colleges don’t and that’s not fair. It leads to people struggling with organising events. Having regular meetings with events crew and LUSU staff would be exciting.”

  1. When ideally would you help college execs prepare and plan for Welcome Week? What are the benefits of helping to plan it early on?

As he has been a JCR President during Welcome Week, Owen spoke about his experience.

“I spent my entire summer planning Welcome Week. So, I didn’t have a summer. It’s always a struggle with the transition of officers. I want to have meetings early on over summer as having someone to talk about it would avoid miscommunication. JCRs are taken for granted.”

  1. You talk about holding regular meetings with the local MP, what would that entail? 

Owen talked to me about his concerns about students and how he wants the student voice to be heard nationally.

“I want to take stories about students who are struggling to local MPs. Championing students’ voices is so important. Being able to raise awareness about the struggles that students are going through because of the current cost of living.”

  1. How do you plan on engaging with voters for JCR, FTO, PG board elections?

Owen explained that one of his main manifesto points is about interacting and engaging with voters.

“It starts with Welcome Week. Change the narrative and provide JCRs with the support they need. Having good engagement with JCRs means that the Students’ Union will benefit. Lancaster is unique because of it’s college system. We [Furness] do a question time for our JCR elections. It’s entertaining and I would push other colleges to module that.”

Owen continued, saying:

“People won’t vote if they don’t feel represented. I want to make voting fun but also make students’ voices heard. LUSU is generally disliked and seen as a negative but we change that if they engage with more students. Also, I would push the general election. I want students to vote in general.”

  1. You say you want “to push for the organisation to be better”. What currently is not working in the terms of organisation and what do you believe could be a potential solution?

Owen emphasises his experience with lack of communication and miscommunication from the Students’ Union.

“Communication is huge! There’s a lack of communication with LUSU and a lack of responses with emails. We [Furness] have had issues with our JCR and finance because we have last minute purchases. We need fast responses and they’re not quick enough.”

  1. One of your main manifesto points is on continuing the cost of living support, like Supper Club and Where the Food events. Can you tell me more about what you want to do outside of helping those events continue?

Owen continued his conversation about the cost of living support, saying:

“Where The Food events’ funding has been cut. The UK hasn’t seen an increase in maintenance loans. It’s cruel for events like this, Supper Club, LUSU Pantry, to be cut. I understand from Cerys how hard funding Supper Club is. These are basic things the university should be providing. It’s not acceptable. The silence on rent from the university is deafening.”

  1. Can you tell me what form the regular updates of what you’re doing to champion the students’ interest would be? Online? In person? You also mention proposing a weekly president office hour, would that play into your idea of updating students on what you’re doing for them?

Owen talked about why he wanted more regular updates on what he would do if he became President of the Students’ Union.

“It shows that the Students’ Union is open for conversation. It’ll make them feel more approachable too. My idea of weekly President office hours stemmed from me going into the office and not finding the people I needed to see. These office hours would be open to everyone: student leaders, JCR exec, students struggling with cost of living, everyone.”

To vote for Owen Coppack, you can head over to the LUSU website.

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