Brookes Union 2021/2022 Election Results

The votes have been counted, here are the people who will be representing you for the next year!

 

Union President

Niamh Walter

I’m Niamh current VP Activities & Employability and I am re-running this year, for president. There are still lots of things I want to improve at Brookes so vote for me to see change. I Promise to; 

  1. Continue fighting for the compensation students need for COVID. 

  1. Hold the university accountable during the transition back to normal learning; ensuring it is smooth and students are not negatively impacted. 

  1. Continue the ongoing Exceptional Circumstances review to make it fairer for students, let's keep the pressure on to make it right!

  1. Hold the university to account for their communications and make them more transparent and understandable - get rid of the many words! 

  1. Increase the number of opportunities for students to give feedback to the SU and the university. 

  1. Undertake a review of our catering options looking to make them cheaper and more accessible.

  1. Utilise all the resources possible including fellow officers to ensure that Brookes continues to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and continues to support all students and staff.

  1. Ensure the university has a happy healthy and secure environment on every campus, improve on this where necessary and ensure students feel safe. 

  1. Make Sport at Brookes fairer, more open and accessible to all. Everyone should be able to participate without barriers.

  1. Ensure the university takes a proactive approach in further supporting students on different campuses and creating a uniform experience. 

  1. Continue creating a platform and advocating for underrepresented students, ensuring their voices are heard. 

View designed manifesto

 

VP: Student Voice

Sarah Tammadge-Wall

Sarah Tammadge-Wall for STUDENT VOICE

About me;

I am a third-year Biological Anthropology student currently working on their dissertation about the impacts of COVID-19 on culture in China. I have been part of The Fortune Singers for two years and The Guild for around three years. I started at Brookes on a foundation course in Life Sciences which was taught in Abingdon where I live currently with my parents, cousin, and dogs.

I have been at Brookes for four years now and have had such a fantastic experience. I want to be part of a team working to make my fellow students’ experience as good as my own! As an anthropologist I have a great interest in people. I think it is so important that our voices are heard, especially in the face of this pandemic where students have been let down time and time again.

I am a general committee member of The Fortune Singers. This has taught me to work as part of a team and has also allowed me to realise a true interest in listening to people and making changes to accommodate them. 

I want students to feel heard, understood and for us to see change in the university experience for the better.

What I want to achieve;

Improve communication problems between the University and the students.

This last year has obviously been incredibly difficult and students have been left feeling lost and kept in the dark by the University and I would like to make sure that this does not happen again. I feel as though Brookes has always been a university that listens to students and adapts to their needs. I would like to work on this so that the university can gain this reputation back. Communication needs to be more detailed and needs to address students’ different situations in order for everyone to feel included and supported by their university.

Attention drawn to smaller more overlooked subjects.

Personally, coming from a course with six students in the whole year I feel as though smaller subjects do not get specialised support because they get lumped in with a larger cohort. I would love to put in place more communication between lecturers and students, and students to students from upper years. Perhaps a coffee morning for students from upper and lower years and their lecturers to meet and talk to each other. I feel very strongly about establishing networks between people so that they can communicate better.

Better support for students

I will ensure a continuation of the support for the student reps from the union. It is incredibly important for the union to be a bridge between the student reps and the University. I would love to open lines of communication and create an online platform for students to be able to give feedback about their problems in relation to academia or around campus so that they can be acted upon more efficiently.

Remote learning and grace period

Some students have found that remote learning and the grace period has been incredibly useful for them. I want to work to ensure that the university will not go back on the support they have provided during this time. I hope to ensure that lectures will continue to be recorded even after we have returned to face-to-face learning and that the university will continue the availability of the grace period for students who need it.

View designed manifesto

 

VP: Student Wellbeing

Katie Starns

I’m Katie, I am the current VP Wellbeing and I am re-running this year as I still have lots I want to improve. If elected I promise to; 

  1. Ensure the transition back to normal learning is as smooth as possible and that students are not negatively impacted. Ensuring support for student wellbeing throughout.

  2. Work on empowering students to prevent and respond to sexual violence. Are we sure our campus is fully safe? I want to make sure that the university is doing everything in its power to safeguard all of its students. 

  3. Work with LGBTQ+ network, society and officer to create inclusive pledges for both sports and societies. Making sure they are a safe space for all students.

  4. Hold the university accountable for their Mental Health Strategy, making positive improvements and changes to support EVERY student. 

  5. Continue to improve the Wellbeing service at Brookes, so that there is support for EVERY student in EVERY situation. 

  6. Work closely with the SU student networks to help advocate for underrepresented groups of students and their needs. 

  7. Work with Thames Valley Police and Brookes Security to help improve security for students living in both private rented accomodation and university owned.

  8. Host a series of Mental Health and Physical Wellbeing events on all campuses when safe to do so to continue to raise awareness and encourage more students to speak out.

  9. Review Academic Advisers and ensure they are all trained in Mental Health and Wellbeing support. 

  10. Combat the student feeling of loneliness at university by improving social areas for students on and around campuses.

View designed manifesto

 

VP: Student Activities and Employability

Saskia Clubb

Saskia Clubb for Vice President: Student Activities and Employability

Who am I?

I’m Saskia (they/them), a Social Anthropology student here at Brookes and I’m running for the position of Vice President: Student Activities & Employability. As a third year student, I’ve enjoyed three years of continuous involvement with the University and our Union. I remember what it's like to be a nervous fresher and am beginning to understand how it feels to be a nervous pre- graduate.

I am currently president of the Guild, our tabletop and roleplay society and one of our biggest non-sport societies. Being a part of a society has been the most valuable part of my university experience (except for studying of course) and I am committed to helping all of our societies run as smoothly as possible so that as many students as possible can have the enriching experience that I have.

As a final year student, I am also very aware of the issues of employability now affecting all of our students. Before COVID the idea of graduating and finding a job was scary enough, let alone now. You can rest assured that I am committed to helping all students by organising events, talks and career advice and, if elected, will do all I can to assist all Brookes students at this difficult time.

My Experience

·       President of The Guild, one of the biggest non-sport societies at Brookes. This means I know the benefits and the struggles of both running and being a member of a society here at Brookes.

·       Worked for an event organising company in my gap year and was involved in running debating events in schools and a weekend long political festival.

·       Academic rep and student ambassador for my subject, having worked events such as open days and attended subject meetings.

·       Heavily involved in scouting, including being Deputy District Commissioner for two years, a post that involves event organising, meeting attending and all things admin.

My Pledges:

 

Societies

  1. Rebuild societies post COVID

    • I’m aware that all societies have suffered because of the pandemic. Some are impossible to take online, some have hit financial difficulties to go online, most have seen a decrease in members and engagement online. I am dedicated to getting societies the support they need to rebuild, be this through training, membership drives or financial support. 

  2. Improve communication between societies and the Union

    • Anyone that's been a part of a society committee is aware how hard communicating with the union is. If elected I will ensure the emails are better managed, people get training on Slack, and ultimately aim to move communication to a more accessible forum. Additionally, I will drive to make this forum one that can be used for society committees to communicate with each other, making collaborative events a lot easier. 

  3. Introduce wellbeing officers and wellbeing training for ALL societies

    • The Union’s start to implement wellbeing officers in sports societies has been great, but the failure to deliver training and the neglect of non-sport societies isn't enough. If elected I would ensure officers trained in mental health issues, sexual trauma, LGBTQ+ issues and much more, are present in all societies.

  4. Reassess funding- especially in sports teams

    • After discussions with various sports teams, it's apparent to me that the funding for sport societies is wholly unfair, and some sports are being entirely neglected. I will work with Brookes Sports to aim to end this inequality and allow all sports to have the financial support they need. Additionally, I will work with Brookes Union to ensure that non-sports societies get a similarly reflective amount of money to work with to better their members’ experience. 

 

Activities

  1. Create Brookes Declassified Adult Survival Guide.

    • I plan to create the Brookes Declassified Adult Survival Guide where we aim to organize a series of events and more to give you the opportunity to learn all things you should have been taught in school but weren’t. How to change a tire? What the hell are taxes? Advice on dealing with renting as a student? With it culminating in a digital (and eventually hands-on) survival guide to be passed on to new and returning students.

  2. Bring back Brookes Union Explores

    • For those that don’t remember, Brookes Union Explores was a programme that used to bring activities to all students, that weren’t just focused around drinking and club night. Be it quizzes, movie nights or self defense lessons, I think there should be a range of activities that is inclusive to ALL students.

  3. Commit myself to Freshers and ReFreshers Fairs.

    • COVID changed a lot of our university experiences, and our student fairs were no different. This year they were forced online, onto a site, that in my opinion, wasn't easy to navigate or well-attending by Freshers. If we have to do it online again, I will aim to make this site easier to both find and use. However, I am hopeful that we will be back to our usual lives by September, meaning that a larger and better than ever Freshers fair will be needed to truly celebrate.

  4. Make our 100 year anniversary one to remember!

    • It’s Brookes Union’s 100 year anniversary in the next academic year. I want to help make it as successful and memorable as possible with fun events and celebrations.

 

Employability

  1. Work with Brookes Careers to bring workshops and speakers that students truly want

    • The Union has done a great job at getting speakers in for Zoom calls and such this year, should I be elected, I would passionately want to continue this. Once everything is back to normal, I aim to work WITH, rather than against Brookes Careers, to ensure that every student has confidence going into the working world.

  2. Work with societies, departments and the university body as a whole to improve our charity contributions

    • Brookes Union and Brookes University as  whole is well known for our charitable endeavours. From Movember to sponsored rows, we love giving back. I would ensure this continued and bring in schemes such as charity of the Semester that we all work together to support.


 

I truly believe that if elected I can help improve our Union for the benefit of every student. 

 

Any questions, comments or even for a chat you can email me at 18072881@brookes.ac.uk, check out my socials on https://linktr.ee/HugoAndSaskiaForVP  and ensure you vote between 1st- 4th March!

View designed manifesto

 

Black Students' Officer

Iman Tadu

IMAN TADU FOR BLACK STUDENTS OFFICER

WHO AM I?

I second year law student who has been acting President of the Afro Caribbean Society 2020/21. In my role within the society my focus has been on finding ways to further enrich the experience of Black Students on campus and bring opportunities to engage with African/Caribbean culture. A fulfilling aspect of my role has been the opportunity to provide a platform for students to find a community.

WHAT I ASPIRE TO ACHIEVE IN OFFICE

Celebrating black excellence throughout the year and ensuring intersections within the black community feel welcomed and accepted is something that shouldn't be done to fulfil a quota but create lasting change within the culture of an environment. The development of cultural awareness within Brookes Union is something I feel particularly passionate about as enabling Black students to have the facilities to recognise the potential of their legacy is my main goal.

I want to help tackle the issue of the attainment gap and help provide ideas to create more avenues for students to excel. This would be through working closely with the Student employability services and black businesses to open up more opportunities.

I also want to work with the BAME staff network and lecturers to look for ways to create more visibility and create a more inclusive environment within the curriculum for BIPOC students.


 

Disabled Students' Officer

Samuel Bilson

My name is Sam Bilson, I’m running in the election to be re-elected for the position of Disabled students officer. In my last manifesto I laid out a rough idea for the kind of change I wanted to bring to Brookes in regards to the Disabled representation within the university’s environment, my commitment to being the voice of the Disabled community is unwavering and hasn’t changed, however due to the lockdown my commitments to many things have been taxed.   

It’s been a strange few weeks for us all. 

Being in and out of lockdown certainly hasn’t helped me with my studies, for context, I’m having to resit my modules for last semester, so my workload seems heavy, and I suppose it would be for anyone regardless of ability. Perhaps it’s my Autism, perhaps it’s my work ethic, but I can’t help but feel that I have to prove my worth at Brookes, not just as a Disabled person, but as a first year undergrad. The Uni environment has brought upon me freedoms that, coming from a small village in the middle of Buckinghamshire, I hadn’t really had before, and I was thrown into this environment having had little experience of Urban lifestyles, and having not engaged in anything academic due to COVID 19 for at least six months. 

Over the past few weeks I’ve been made aware of increasing numbers of students who think that it is acceptable to use the Sunflower lanyard, a resource mainly used by people within the disabled community to help others recognise hidden disabilities, to fake an exemption from wearing a face covering. This is appalling, and I believe that this is fundamentally a blight against disabled people within Brookes, because not only are lanyards being handed out free of charge, there’s an element of people within the university system not vetting who is and isn’t exempt. Trying to tackle this problem, in my role of disabled students officer has become my top priority. 

I am also open to any new issues or concerns any of the Disabled students within Brookes may have and I’d encourage them to join our Disabled students network, wherein we have a small but gradually growing group of like minded individuals who seek to raise concerns to the university board that affect disabled lives. 

It is my hope that I can be re-elected this year so I can continue with the work myself and others put towards this most vital endeavour.


 

Environmental Officer

Julia Baczyk

Hi, my name is Julia and I am running for the position of an Environmental Officer, because I am passionate and deeply care about this beautiful planet that is my home and I feel I am compelled to protect it and want to encourage others to appreciate, safeguard and live in balance with it.

I am a second year Geography student with a passion for sustainability, conservation, and ecology. I have previous experience as a volunteer with a Nature Reserve Team where I have worked on a number of environmental projects in my local area. Helping both the environment and the community has rewarded me with a genuine sense of mission and accomplishment and with my knowledge and experience I aspire to contribute into creating a greener and more sustainable future for all of us students and staff, as well as every living being on this planet!

I feel so happy every time I see people starting to develop good habits such as recycling, choosing to walk or cycle whenever possible or simply carrying their own water bottle or shopping bag. In my everyday life I try to inspire and create awareness in others by explaining to them how our everyday life choices and actions can impact the world around us. If you elect me, I will continue to do just that, only on a larger scale, using my position to reach out to everyone at Brookes and do my best to make our university a green one!

My main goals are to:

  1. Create a 'Don't Bin It, Bring It!' recycling point where students could bring any broken, old or unwanted electronics, as well as used batteries to cut down on tonnes of e-waste generated every year.
  2. Put informative posters up around the campus with short encouraging messages to effectively communicate simple acts we can all do to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and reduce our carbon footprint.
  3. Clearer labelling of recycling bins with a list of items that go into each bin to beat the confusion of recycling
  4. Plant flowers for bees and pollinators for every season. Many people don’t realise how much we depend on bees for our food sources. At the same time, it would make our university more colourful!
  5. Create more opportunities for students to get involved with local volunteering organisations such as conservation, gardening, and recycling where they could gain knowledge and useful skills to use in everyday life.
  6. Partner up with a UK based (to reduce ecological footprint of shipping) sustainable and eco-friendly companies selling products such as glass water bottles, reusable packaging, non-toxic cleaning supplies, bamboo toothbrushes etc. in return for a discount for Brookes Students to use while shopping online (with future plans to make them available to purchase on campus).
  7. Create an emailing list to regularly update and provide students with facts and figures about Brookes University’s performance in terms of water and electricity usage and carbon emission reduction by our university.

The climate is changing and so we need to change! The future of life on Earth lies in our hands and I can assure you that I will do my best to make this change happen!

View designed manifesto

 

Independent Chair

Becky Pollock

Hey there!

My name is Becky Pollock and I’m running for the position of Independent Chair for 2021/22.

 

Who am I?

A little information about me is that I am 20 years old, currently, a second-year studying Business and Management and I’m originally from Southampton. I am active in a number of societies, having been elected Social Secretary for The Guild this year and Vice-President of Whovian Society in my first year. I also enjoy climbing at Brookes Sport so if you’re ever there you may see me dangling off something.

Why should you vote for me?

I know I am very capable of fulfilling this role with my skills in communication, organisation and people management which I hope will allow for a progressive and enjoyable environment. My intention for this role is to inspire individuals to discuss topics they feel strongly about and give them the opportunity to voice them publicly. I believe it is essential to create a student body where voices can always be heard and I wish to do anything to help facilitate this.

 

So what now?

Well, l hope this manifesto has told you a little bit more about me and what I’d want to achieve in the role.

If you have any questions or queries please feel free to e-mail me at 19008668@brookes.ac.uk.

I hope to count on your vote and support!

 


 

International Students' Officer

Aleks Madzharova

My name is Aleks Madzharova and I'm a first year undergraduate student at Oxford brookes studying psychology. I have been very passionate about internationalism ever since I was a kid. I grew up in Sofia (the capital of Bulgaria) and moved to the UK when I was 9years old. I am bilingual in both English and Bulgarian and am currently taking a Spanish module in semester 2 to further my knowledge. I enjoy public speaking and expressing my views whilst still listening to the oppositions opinion - skills I acquired through debate club in year 12. I enjoy learning about my culture a lot leading me to attend a Bulgarian school once a week in England for the past 3 years (currently not attending as I am at university). I also enjoy learning about other countries culture as I was once a part of the internationalism concert that took place in my sixth form last year. I would love to represent the international community at oxford brookes as best as I can within the student union and within the wider community.


 

LGBTQ+ Students' Officer

Arthur Roberts

Arthur Roberts

For LGBTQ+ Officer

Hello! My name is Arthur, I am a bisexual trans man and a first year here at Brookes. I am running for LGBTQ+ Officer because I am dedicated to elevating our community's voices and making sure our needs are heard.

As an Oxford native with experience with local LGBTQ+ organisations, I am in a great position to strengthen our university's connections to the city's LGBTQ+ scene. I would love to be able to use the position as Portfolio Officer to get Brookes more involved with events like Oxford Pride, as well as to improve on LGBTQ+ issues within the uni.

My Manifesto:

If elected, these are my aims:

  1. I aim to set up more public university events based around LGBTQ+ issues. It’s so important to make information accessible to those both within and outside of our community.

  1. I plan to continue the work towards more gender-neutral facilities on campus. As a trans man, this issue is extremely important to me. I want to make sure everyone feels comfortable when accessing campus facilities.

  1. I want to get Brookes more involved with LGBTQ+ events in Oxford. I believe that cementing our university as a part of Oxford’s LGBTQ+ scene would greatly benefit both our students and our city.

  1. I aim to work with LGBTQ+ students to make Brookes an even safer space for us. If elected, I will help people to make their voices heard and work with students to bring their ideas and concerns to the committee.

  1. I plan to campaign for more diversity training at Brookes. I’ve been so impressed with the level of acceptance and support I’ve seen at Brookes so far, but I want to be able to hear from students about their experiences in order to improve on this even further.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my manifesto. I hope you will consider voting for me in the upcoming election. Voting is from March 1st to March 4th, so for more information and to cast your vote please visit https://www.brookesunion.org.uk/elections. If you have any questions about my campaign, please don’t hesitate to email me at 19071768@brookes.ac.uk.


 

NUS Delegates

Ellen Hawthorne

Hello Brookes,  

My name is Ellen Hawthorne and I am a second year masters student completing a degree in occupational therapy.

I am submitting this manifesto for the NUS delegate position, as I have acted as a delegate in my previous profession and even served as secretary on a previous council board. I feel that this experience makes me an appropriate choice for the role.

If elected I will: 

1. Represent Brookes Union at the NUS Conference and report back to Union Council and the membership as soon as possible after the conference.

2. Attend all sessions of the conference and project a positive image of Brookes Union at all times.

Hugo Stewart

My name is Hugo Stewart (He, Him), I am a fourth-year SEN (Special Educational Needs) Education Studies student based out of Harcourt Hill.

I have been at Brookes for 4 years and have lived across from the JHB for 3 of them. Attending Brookes and living so close to the university has afforded me so many opportunities that have made my University experience more than I could ever have hoped for.

I have always been enthusiastic to participate in and help take a leadership role in society functions in Pole-Fitness, Archery, and The Guild. Over the past year I have worked as Union student staff (to help the run Society events in the marquee), a Faculty Rep for Undergraduate HSS (Humanities and Social Sciences) Harcourt Hill, and Mature Students portfolio officer (even though I admit, I am only 24).

I am submitting myself as an option for NUS delegate as the position, while not as popular as the other roles, is just as important. Making sure that students, like any other working group of people, are able to effectively organize throughout the UK and continue to improve the lives of all students. Moreover, I believe that in a year of such unknowns we should not be separating or distancing ourselves from the organisation that represents student unions on a national level and thus I am a supporter of Brookes Union staying within the NUS.

 

If Elected, I Will:

1. Represent Brookes Union at the NUS Conference and report back to Union Council and the membership as soon as possible after the conference.

2. Attend all sessions of the conference and project a positive image of Brookes Union at all times.

 

Javed Hamza

Name 

Hamza Javed

The position you are running for

NUS Delegate

Tell students a bit about yourself

(what, you study, your experience, why you want to run)

Hi I am Hamza

I am currently studying Accounting and finance and I am in my second year. My experience with the university has been brilliant but there are some negative points including no safety net for struggling students, I want to run this campaign on behalf of students to represent them and be their voice.

Identify your key campaigning priorities

What are your priority areas to learn about at the conference?

 

  • The cost of studying for international and national students as the amount charged for zoom classes doesn’t look fair. For this reason, I will try to lobby for improvements as the union representative.

  • The activities inside and outside University more need to be done to prepare students for their upcoming work life and I will empathize with it on every available chance.

Tell students why you’re the person for the job and why they should vote for you

As I am a minority student who has been active in different societies and sports teams. Over my 2 years at Brookes, I had observed the university policies and with your vote, I will be able to not just present a positive image of the university but play my role in making our university a better experience for all.

Social media 

@hamzajaved080

Saskia Clubb

Saskia Clubb for NUS Delegate 

 

Who am I?

 

I’m Saskia, a Social Anthropology student here at Brookes and I’m running for a position as an NUS Delegate. As a third-year student, I’ve enjoyed three years of continuous involvement with the University and our Union and believe I can use this to represent our university and union to the NUS.

My Experience

    • President of The Guild, one of the biggest non-sport societies at Brookes. This means I know the benefits and the struggles of both running and being a member of a society here at Brookes.
    • Worked for an event organising company in my gap year and was involved in running debating events in schools and a weekend long political festival.
    • Academic rep and student ambassador for my subject, having worked events such as open days and attended subject meetings.
    • Heavily involved in scouting, including being Deputy District Commissioner for two year, a post that involves event organising, meeting attending and all things admin.

If elected I will:

    • Listen to what ALL students have to say.
    • Attend all meetings fully prepared and eager.
    • Be entirely transparent when feeding back to students after the meetings.


 

Sports Officer

Victoria Findlay

Tor Findlay for Sports Officer 2021 Manifesto 

I am a second year Events Management student, running for the position of Sports Officer. I have been a member of the Hockey Club for two years, which has given me great insight into sporting life at Brookes, and how to develop it. I am an open minded, friendly person who has an interest in a wide variety of sports. If elected, I am eager to listen to your views and will try to get the best possible outcome for us all.

If elected I pledge to: 

  • Actively reach out to all sports clubs and their members to take forward any issues or concerns to instigate change.

  • To support the wellbeing of all sports club members by introducing welfare officers within all clubs.

  • To source more funding to support our current coaching teams, to further develop all levels of sports at Brookes.

 

  • To further integration of sports clubs across Brookes, through the use of more combined social events.

I have lots of ideas and would be excited to speak to you all, if elected, on what you want to improve for your sporting opportunities. Thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto and please vote for me.

https://www.brookesunion.org.uk/elections


 

Women's Officer

Hiba Abdi

About me:

  • Hello! My name is Hiba. I am a first-year Biomedical Science student. I enjoy reading and I also enjoy participating in sports. I am very passionate about equality and ensuring that the voices of students are heard no matter how big or small the problem is. I believe that everyone should have the right to express their needs without feeling disregarded.

Experience:

My experience as a student rep has helped me in developing my team working and communication skills. More importantly, it helped me with my ability to listen to what students had to say as well as representing them in meetings to ensure that their needs are met. 

Why vote for me?

If you vote for me, I will make sure your voice does not go unheard and ensure that the university becomes a safe environment for you regardless of your identity.

My pledges:

  • To work with campaigns and celebrate the achievements of women on International Women's week.
  • To campaign against harassment and assault faced by women regardless, of race, age, sexual orientation, and disability whether in public or at the university.
  • Hold the university accountable and making sure that the voices of women don't go unheard especially during the time of the pandemic.
  • Attend all meetings punctually to ensure that the issues faced by women are handled properly.
  • To work with the VP wellbeing and raise mental health awareness amongst women and men, as well as ensuring the stigma surrounding mental health is broken.

Thank you.

View designed manifesto