Students’ Union election hustings stir up the race

Today concluded the three-part series of SU elections live debates, with all 17 candidates having had the opportunity to put forward their opinions and policy ideas regarding topical issues affecting the future of the Students’ Union.  

The SU election debates took part on Monday and Tuesday.

The hustings began with the Activities Officer candidates on Monday, followed by the Presidential candidates in the evening and finally Sports, Community and Education candidates on Tuesday. All three debates were covered by Media, with Campus TV filming, bathimpact tweeting live and URB interviewing candidates afterwards.

The debates were question-based and thus enabled interested students to interrogate their potential future officer team on their policies so as to gain a better insight on the potential changes facing our Union.

The Activities candidates kick started the event as they looked at issues such as restructuring funding, providing students with greater skills training and additional publicity for societies.

The contenders expressed their intention to improve the relationship with committees and the SU along with a general interest in collaborating with Sports so as to exploit the creative potential of students without undermining the Sports excellence of the university.

Some of the candidates also intend to expand political representation through the potential creation of activists and anarchists societies, a relevant issue in light of the upcoming General Elections.

In the evening, the five presidential candidates took to center stage to enlighten us on their policies regarding the strain on facilities on campus in light of a growing number of students at bath along with the relationship of the Student Union and the University and its effect on enacting policies

The issue of ‘Lad Culture’ was inevitably brought up, with candidates stating that although the research wasn’t perfect, the ‘Lad Culture’ campaign created a much-needed conversation, paving the way for progress. Finally, the debate took a turn for the controversial when all five candidates agreed to cut bathimpact’s funding and workspace if need be.

On Tuesday, the remaining three positions took turns to express their views, starting with Sports. The main focus remained on recreational sports and the budget.

All three candidates had policy proposals, which looked at creating incentives in sport clubs through recreational sports programs, publicity and recognition schemes for committees.

Ideas of rethinking the Sports budget, membership fees and the BUCS funding were brought to the table, before the debate concluded on getting the university at a Varsity level, particularly with Exeter.

As for Community, candidates tackled social isolation on campus, zero hour contracts, housing and student representation. Little was said on volunteering and fundraising, however a part of the debate did target student welfare both in terms of personal support and better facilities.

The contestants stressed the importance of looking after International students and representing their differing views. Their proposals aimed to Increasing cultural events for international students a potential new student council.

The debate between the two potential future education officers proved to be the most insightful of all, as both candidates engaged with the BME attainment gap, getting constructive feedback from coursework and improving post graduate experience at bath.

Both candidates also discussed the pressing issue of space on and off campus, as the increasing number of students at bath means that study space is at capacity. The needs for space along with action against planned changes to the academic year structure are requests deemed achievable through greater communication with the University.

You can watch videos of all five of the hustings and more here, thanks to CampusTV. 

Photo credit to Saskia Kovanzich 

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