Interview with Will Oliver: Wellbeing Candidate – Elections 2024 


Caitlyn Taft (she/her) from SCAN interviewed Will Oliver (he/him) on why he is running for Wellbeing Officer for the Students’ Union.

Will is a 3rd year student. He is currently Mens+ Welfare Officer for Lonsdale College’s JCR.

  1. What hardship funds would you be signposting for in order to support the current cost of living?

Some departments have hardship funds that students may not know about, Will plans to signpost for them.

“There’s different hardship funds that are limited to some departments, like IT support funds. There’s the Gender Expression fund which trans students can request if they’re struggling. I want to emphasise that students can apply for these funds. People think they’re not worse off than others but if you need it you need it.”

  1. You describe the “insufficient mental health support” the university has to offer. What ideas do you have on reviewing the services the university provides?

One of Will’s main manifesto points is to improve the mental health support the university has to offer, he told me that:

“It’s currently restructuring. The current process is so long winded. The waiting lists are too long. We need to streamline the process. The university has ranked poorly in mental health support before. Giving more funding and support to Nightline will help a lot of students. Resources are not accessible or inclusive, for example to international students. The resources are only available in English.”

  1. How has your time as Lonsdale’s Mens+ Welfare Officer impacted your decision to run for the role?

He told me:

“The reason I went for that role is the same reason I went for this one. It’s the aspect of the university that needs urgent help and change. It highlighted to me how fragmented everything is. Even on a college level, welfare can be more standardised and collaborative.”

  1. Can you talk about the current wellbeing infrastructure within societies and why you believe it needs to improve?

Will has been in many societies and noted that there’s no consistency in welfare across societies. 

“Welfare roles are there to signpost. Sometimes, the welfare roles can take a toll on the students in them. Students with Disabilities/ different needs students/ international students could be alienated because the execs don’t know how to accommodate as they don’t have the resources. This can be solved with better training.”

  1. How will you work with the new Activities Officer to signpost and train students on handling society situations which can be stressful?

Will told me:

“There’s undeniable discrimination in sports. My aim is to bring everyone to the same level. People shouldn’t feel the need to be threatened by women in sport. Womens+ sport forum is good but sad that is something that’s needed. I would work with the Activities Officer to help break down the atmosphere and stigma of participating in sports.”

  1. Can you talk more about your point on responses to discrimination?

His previous points continued into this question, stating:

“It’s difficult to navigate as a queer person. We need to help students navigate it and stop it before it becomes a crisis. There’s loads of anti bullying stuff but something that people struggle with is determining what discrimination is. There is no tolerance for discrimination. I want to reinforce an inclusive community.”

  1. What of Josh’s work do you continue on expanding on or adapting if you become VP Wellbeing?

Will spoked about Josh (the current VP Welfare)’s work for the cost of living crisis.

“I want to make the pantry and Supper Club bigger and more accessible. Getting LCOs and Forums into LUSU with more funding is so important to achieve a good campus environment.”

To vote for Will Oliver, you can head over to the LUSU website.

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