Eve starts the race with several achievements up her sleeve, one of the most popular being the First bus route changes. Her objectives are now to set up regular meetings with the company in order to avoid this situation to repeat itself, as well as working on a bus tracker app. Eve wants to set up a marking system to track private sector housing quality and seems to hold accommodation as one of her priorities. More microwaves, more mental health services and more international student support are also on the agenda.
Arron comes in strong with measures such as developing a booking system for rooms in the Edge, continuing to make the Bath Award less daunting and securing a commitment from the university to go carbon neutral by 2030. His policy of introducing a recycling reverse vending machine on campus, however, is something Francesco has also mentioned in his manifesto and that came up during a Societies Exec General Meeting in February.
Detail may be lacking in other manifestos, but Francesco’s bid for activities officer does not fall short of precision: concrete measures to make the SU more accessible, facilitate inter-group events and increase sustainability are proposed. A limit might be put on the sheer number of projects Francesco wants to work on – weekly drop-ins between Activities Officer and societies and installing an “I’m bored” button to name a few – which might hinder their feasibility.
Among Alisha’s many achievements so far, she can lay claim to the introduction of black hair products into Fresh, launching the Report & Support tool, securing £10,000 for refugee scholarships and creating a rating system for students to review their landlords and estate agents. With regards to mental health, she promises to lobby the university to provide multilingual counsellors. Additionally she proposes to develop the #NeverOK campaign into the city centre, although this is already well underway.
Still to be tackled from last year’s manifesto are: a campaign to tackle the stigma around male mental health, an active citizen award and a Faith Awareness Week on campus.
Beth’s manifesto promises “culturally competent mental health support” and better induction events for international freshers, with a possible earlier arrival date into their campus accommodation. She also plans to extend the successful #NeverOK campaign, promising to work alongside LGBT+ society to tackle the discrimination they face. Her welfare promises touch on a number of hot topics – providing free sanitary products in the SU, free sexual health testing in partnership with the Riverside clinic and free drug-testing kits. However, there is some vagueness in two of her promises: a cap on overall student numbers to address the housing crisis, and increasing the capacity of mental health services.
The education officer candidate has held strong committee positions in the past, notably illustrated by her promises of pushing for more recorded lectures, expanding the stress-free campus initiative and promoting peer support workshops. She is the only candidate to make the connection between stress and academic performance. However, her manifesto is lacking in detail, namely in her goals for student engagement and placement support. A quick look at the current officer’s manifesto from 2018 shows that Ruqia is going to have to explain how she will “explore new ways” and “ensure” her words become action.
As the only female candidate for Sports for the last 2 years, Abi’s manifesto prioritises the link between sport and mental health, creating an online court-booking system, and closer links between SU sport and student sports clubs.
Her proposed online system for booking court-space is both practical and popular, with the aim of making it easier for clubs to to make and edit court bookings. With the STV’s gym extension opening just a week before campaigning, Abi has specific intentions to eliminate ‘gymtimidation’, make the gym more accessible for everyone, and to negotiate better student membership deals such as gym-only and class-only memberships. This last promise could be difficult to achieve, although it would of course be hugely popular among students if successful.
Tom’s main goal is increasing inclusivity at Bath by encouraging students to test out different sports through speed-dating-like events. Tom also wants more recognition for volunteer positions like committee members and coaches, as well as building links with the Department of Health to increase sports performance. The candidate might have appealing proposals, but some seem to run into budget issues, such as wanting to open the STV at 6AM and developing team spirit with “huge” sport showcase events.
Dominik’s top priorities are increasing total student participation in sport, introducing a student leadership programme, and developing the STV’s facilities for University students. He proposes that all sports clubs contribute free slots to the Bath Active programme, allowing non-members to try a variety of sports free of charge. Similarly to Abi, Dominik also recognises the importance of mental health in sport and therefore promises to expand the Exercise Peer Mentor scheme and arrange mental health awareness events. He has additionally recognised student frustration at the delays on the gym extension and 3G pitch, and so promises that, if elected, he will ensure such deadlines are met. He does not, however, specify how this will be achieved.
“The experienced candidate” lists stroking a campus duck among her biggest wins so far, and the animal theme continues as, if elected, she promises to bring reindeer to campus as a way to improve postgraduate mental health services. Looking forward, her priorities include a print credit refund system, developing the SU doctoral representation system and increasing postgraduate engagement in the SU, although it is not clear how she intends to tackle this.
Looking back, she has achieved last year’s promises of longer appointments and an easier booking system with the University Careers Service, as well as postgraduate Bath Active sessions. However, last year’s campaign promise of allowing students to top up their library card with money to spend in campus eateries with a 10% discount has seen no progress, despite being a major part of her success with undergraduates.
A current MSc International Management student, My’s manifesto talks of creating a bigger and better student community and becoming a liaison between students and the university. Her most practical proposal is to create more working spaces for students in City accommodation, although it is not clear whether she intends to do this with new construction, or by transforming the existing space. Either possibility could be difficult given the premium on space in the city centre. My also promises international events for students to exchange experiences and cultures, presumably building on the existing International Students’ Association (ISA) which works alongside the SU Community Officer.