1) Lili, tell us why you think you are the strongest candidate to lead QUBSU as VP Activities next year?
Personally, I feel that I would be the strongest candidate for this role as it is something I am so passionate about having seen how clubs and societies work, having experienced a lot of the issues firsthand and having had discussions with various societies it is clear that there has been amazing progress made this year but there is of course always room for improvement and I feel the from my unclose experiences of the pitfalls I bring an a highly experienced and informed perspective that will be beneficial to students.
2) What experiences have you built at Queen’s University, in an outside of the Union, which you believe will help you in this role?
I have always been active in societies and clubs my whole educational life, whether it has been in university or when I was younger in secondary school. Whether it be acting in plays with players, playing badminton, debating, competing in quizes, raising money for charity through RAG or climbing Kilimanjaro; i have always done my utmost to be involved in all the opportunities that have been given to me. I have continually loved clubs and societies throughout university and have seen from the get go that every society works differently and it is these experiences on the council for Debating and RAG doing the inspiring leaders programme and taking the leap to climb mount Kilimanjaro that I think really enhance my personal affinity for the role. I am someone who is always engaging with the queens community and is willing to be involved in any experience that is thrown at me and I think that is this willingness to be as active as possible that will really enhance what I can bring to the role and have my experiences in clubs and societies at Queens to thank for that
3) What key platforms do you stand on for your campaign for this role?
The three key points that I have outlined in my manifesto, which I am running on are: Continual work on the reform of off campus procedures; this means the way the university issues noise complaints and handles them in regards to students needs to be continually tackled. Secondly increased funding for clubs and societies. With the university wanting to increase the amount of clubs and societies by 10% by 2020 there is of course a need for increased funding, while I am aware that there are cuts that have happened I also am aware that there are ways in which we can ensure that there is more funding given to clubs and societies through outsourcing sponsorship and general financial organisation. And finally, the thing which I think would make university life in regards to clubs and societies much more cohesive and engaging is the creation of a presidents forum in which the council members of clubs and societies are able to talk to each other and work together, to discuss their events and whether they can work in tandem with any other club or societies.
4) What do you pledge to do to ensure an ongoing movement against tuition fees, casualisation of staff contracts and course closures?
I pledge to continue the amazing activism that has been shown throughout the university, to listen to students views on the matter and how they best think that we can engage with them to create real change whether this be through protests, information sessions or anything else. I think that the best way to tackle these problems is to engage as many students as possible making them aware of how it effects them and what they can do to change it,
5) Student apathy is as present as ever. What will you do to tackle it?
Similarly to my approach to tackling course closures and tuition fees, I believe that engaging with the student populace, is the best way forward. There is already an amazing amount of work that is done by our SU to engage students and they have a fantastic marketing team that does it’s utmost to reach ever student however this marketing combined with getting out there and speaking to students is the only way to tackle this apathy, students are apathetic a great deal of the time because they don’t understand what it is they are being to engaged with, however if they can put a name to a face and understand how important it is for them and those around the to engage with their Students union I hope that I along with the other officers if elected would be able to tackle this problem.
6) What are the main challenges facing an officer in this position?
The main challenges in my opinion are the sheer volume of clubs and societies that need to be engaged with, I feel that people always underestimate the amount of societies and clubs that there are. It is a very demanding role as it encompasses a wide variety of students all with a variety of needs. It is something I would completely throw myself in to though, I would love to be able to engage with them all and help them as much as possible, as a very energetic person I believe that although it is demanding role it is a role that I could really make a difference in.