Peter Donnelly, Editor
With voting for the Student Union Elections, commencing on Monday 1st March 2021, The Gown concludes our series of candidate profiles for the SU 2021 Election candidate hopefuls.
Megan Stith who is running for the position of Postgraduate Officer in the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year, outlines her aims should she become the next student Postgraduate Officer.
I’ve been deeply involved in student life ever since I first came here as an international student to study international politics at the HAPP School. I saw that the university needed major reform in many aspects of academic and social life, and I realised that I could use my voice to actually do something about it.
Now more than ever, we see that universities and the entire higher education system is prioritising profits over their students, and any Student’s Union needs a proactive, bold leadership to steer student consciousness into an influential movement.
As a queer socialist feminist, I believe that this student space should be somewhere for the entirety of Queen’s student body to have their voices heard and, mostly importantly, to see change taking place, which is why I am running on a platform that includes:
- Making student finance available at PhD level, similar to England and Wales;
- Increased support for postgraduate wellbeing, academic or otherwise- such as financial assistance and counselling;
- Extending the COVID Disruption Payment to international & part-time students, with Queen’s matching the payments if the Executive does not;
- Lobbying for additional financial and academic support for carers, particularly in relation to the Queen’s crèche ;
- Supporting the Student Safety Net and Students Deserve Better campaigns;
- Solidarity with all QUB workers taking industrial action, such as lecturers and SU staff;
- Challenging the Chancellors £300,000 salary, as well as his over-inflated expenses budget.
This is an ambitious platform, but I believe that if we carry forward the momentum from campaigns such as Students Deserve Better, the Pro-Choice movement, and Climate Action demonstrations, then we can make radical, lasting change at Queen’s University, Belfast.
As the 2021 SU Election campaign approaches its final stages, The Gown continues to invite all candidates standing for election to contact us in order to be given a platform to unveil their campaign objectives and pledges. Given the current public health circumstances, in which we all find ourselves, it is these times that homegrown, student-led societies, such as The Gown, are an invaluable tool for spreading the student voice.
A full list of candidates are available on the Queen’s University Student Union website, here.