Sunday, May 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

VP Welfare & Diversity

In a joint venture with Insanity Radio, we have interviewed all the candidates for VP Welfare & Diversity and created a podcast with questions that delve deeper into their individual manifesto points. Our ongoing Sabbatical Officer coverage and involvement with the elections has been exceptional this year, with the media outlets chairing Candidate Question Time, and we will continue with this by interviewing all winning candidates on elections night so keep an eye out for our coverage. Here are our brief summaries of each candidate and their manifestos:

Sophie Bury – 0:00.30-0:12.30

Sophie Bury is standing on a platform of ensuring that lecture capture is instituted across departments, a review of the sexual health care provided to students (or lack thereof), prioritising student safety after a night out, dedicated support for sexual assault survivors, and support for student activism. We questioned her on many of her individual manifesto points and asked her for more details as to how she plans on continuing with the work the SU have already done in regards to lecture recordings and sexual health care. Additionally, we asked about her student safety platform after a night out – a complaint that is heard throughout RHUL – and she was adamant that improvements to the SSHH bus services and more care taken by security will ensure fewer incidents with our students walking home.

Lucy Simpson – 0:12.30-0:26.15

Lucy Simpson has previously worked with the Mental Health Network, a network that sits on the Equalities Council of the SU. According to her, this ensures that she is capable of being our next VP Welfare & Diversity as well as giving her experience in working with the SU and with the current VP Welfare & Diversity, Willow Wong. Her platform includes working closely with student support services to improve their wellbeing and counselling services to our students, increasing the amount of peer-to-peer mental health training so that societies and sports clubs can help their own members as well as better cooperation between underrepresented student and staff groups with the SU and the college. She admits herself that does not understand the BAME experience, not being part of the group herself, but that she will try to help BAME people on campus, in particular by working with the newly-elected BME Representative.

Chloe Milburn – 0:26.15-0:39.47

Chloe Milburn has dedicated her campaign to focusing on lobbying for increased mental health services, encouraging socialisation between Home and International Students as well as tackling student poverty through the creation of an SU campus food bank. We questioned her on this food bank, in particular asking how she would ensure that it was not exploited by students who did not need it. Her answer involves tokens and a way of proving that you are in need, in the same way the extensions services works but on a smaller scale. Additionally, one of Chloe’s manifesto points are significant in that no other candidate has mentioned it: she wants to set up addiction groups on campus that will help students who suffer from any kind of addiction as the nearest group is in Staines.

Charlie Mills – 0:39.47-0:53.20

Charlie Mills’ campaign points focus on the counselling services here at RHUL overall as well as particularly for transgender and non-binary students. Charlie is a transgender student and thus has experience with this. Thus, the support that the college offers could be better, according to him. Support for sexual assault survivors, training on consent and wellbeing services could also be better and that is what he is campaigning for.

Nicole Dady – 0:53.20-1:05.01

Nicole Dady discusses increasing interaction between students of all backgrounds, improving counselling services for mental health and improving access for those with disabilities on campus. In terms of ‘backgrounds’, we were curious to see her opinions on student sex workers on campus, an often neglected liberation group.

Sarah Cowan – 1:05.01-1:30.00

Sarah started their interview by identifying what pronouns they would like to be addressed as. Their main points concern the accessibility of toilets on campus, for students with disabilities as well as considering non-binary and transgender students. They are very passionate about increasing awareness and support for non-binary students, as they are one themselves, and are aiming to create a more supportive environment on campus for everyone, but in particular for marginalised communities.

Listen to the full interviews here