Hi! I’m Jenni, I’m a 3rd year Geography and Politics student. I’m also running to be your next LUSU President. I have the experience, passion, and knowledge of the university to serve you at a level which you deserve. If elected, I want to focus on three main things – Investing In You, Standing Up For You, and Including You in your SU.
INVESTING IN YOU:
- Fees and rent: student bursaries have not risen in line with fees and rent. First year students have been told they have to pay more, despite entering their course on the understanding that they are paying £9000 per year. I will work to reverse this unfair decision, and lobby for an increase in how much money low-income students receive in bursaries.
- Building projects: we should be investing in students who are already here, not in projects like the spine refurbishment which do not benefit current students. This money should be spent on social areas, college bars, lecture theatre space, and financial support for students who need it.
- Sports club memberships: the idea that a student must pay £99 for a membership of the Sports Centre in order to join a sporting society is ridiculous. This amount should be lowered, or subsidised by the university.
- Summer hardship fund: some students are not able to go home over the Summer period, and aren’t able to financially support themselves to stay in Lancaster. There should be a hardship fund for those who are unable to support themselves over the Summer period, as well as a half-rent schemes for students who wish to remain on campus over summer.
STANDING UP FOR YOU:
- Brexit: a drop in numbers of EU students should not mean a rise in fees for international students. International students are not cash cows. I will not leave EU students behind, and I will not have international students held to ransom. I will fight to ensure that EU students will maintain their current rights, and that international students will not bear the brunt of Brexit-induced costs.
- Counselling: the current VP Welfare is working on the allocation of 1 counsellor per 2500 students, as recommended by NUS guidelines. I will continue to lobby for funding for this vital service.
- Student staff: some students work over 20 hours a week in order to pay for living and study expenses. Many students do not receive financial help from their parents. For those on contracts through the Employment and Recruitment Service, despite working many hours, there are no staff benefits in place as there would be with a contract through Human Resources, such as cheaper bus passes and vouchers for eye-tests.
- Accommodation: in 2015-16, the then-FTO team ensured that basic accommodation remained under £100 per week. However, due to the contract the University has signed with UPP, the managers of the University accommodation, this led to rises in prices in other accommodation. Students who go through clearing, or who do not get their first-choice accommodation, may not be able to afford higher-price accommodation which they may have no choice in taking.
INCLUDING YOU IN YOUR SU:
- Transparency: student representatives are gagged, meaning that officers are not allowed to tell you about fee increases, vanity building projects, and expenditure of your tuition fees that don’t benefit you. This information is made public, before you can have your say on it. I will always put your concerns and your finances before the unrepresentative confidentiality of the university.
- Representation: there is currently not enough student representation on university committees which take decisions that affect you. For example, only one student and the President are eligible to sit on University Council, a body that decides the price of your fees and the level of your rent. I will work to ensure that the student voice is powerful and represented on these bodies.
Thank you for taking the time to read through. A full manifesto will be soon uploaded here with more detail and more aims I hope to achieve.