Hello everyone I'm Chris Fairhurst. A third year student studying history and politics. Some of you may know me already but if you don’t you soon will as I take up the challenge of running for this position. I am currently serving on Pendle JCR as an events officer and am working as part of the Sugarhouse staff team so I would already be very familiar with my colleagues I would be working with as a part of my role and have some experience to contribute to my remit. The student Union is the first and foremost way to get students involved in making the university a better place for us all to be and I think it does a good job at this in some aspects. However I also think that some areas require reforms and have done for a long time. Below will be some policies I will outline in order to achieve this:
NUS REFERENDUM: LUSU is an affiliate student union within the NUS. While the NUS as an organisation creates solidarity between student unions in order for us to put more pressure on government. This is a positive good but being a part of the NUS costs the student union and our students £35,000 every year, making it the single largest expense on affiliations the Student Union pays every year. I think we, as a student body, should have a say on how this money should be spent. I also feel it would be good for student democracy and engagement to get students involved in what the student union does at it s most important level. It is no secret that there has been a swathe of referendums by other SU's around the country, including York and Newcastle. My simple question is: why haven’t we had this conversation?
Constitutional Review: LUSU entered something of a new era last year due to the outcome of the democratic review. The Student Union had a major revamp of its constitution and governance functions including, most significantly, the dissolution of LUSU council in favour of a student jury system. The new system has been implemented for a year now and I think its time we look at how effective the new system is as a whole. This could be done through surveys or a campus-wide vote in conjunction with data about student engagement. I think this would help the student union continue to move forward using the new system or find a need for a more effective direction if it was deemed necessary by students
Improving student engagement: One of the key issues facing the student union over the course of my life at university has been the issue of student engagement with the student union. There is a large sense of ignorance and apathy across the campus to what the student union does across the campus- this needs to change. In the last round of elections only 17% of students voted. This was down from 20% this time last year. This lack of engagement is limiting the student Union in the work it can do for all students, not just the few that vote, and I think this is a shame. I have already outlined two policies that will hopefully raise student engagement above but I believe that giving more power to other levels of student governance, such as more autonomy for JCR's and societies and making student juries more transparent along with more information about what we are doing as a student union through the use of better advertising in SCAN, will engage with us better and therefore get people talking and getting involved in SU affairs, making the SU more effective as a whole.
These are just a few of my main policies I intend to implement and run if I am elected to this role. If you agree then why not vote for me?
Thank you for listening