Interview: Craig Porter, candidate for USSA President

craig porter


1. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Strathclyde students and how do you plan to resolve that problem?

Nothing is an epidemic but I believe in student welfare and that we shouldn’t discriminate against those not able to go to university. I had depression in my first year of university and I believe there is too much stigma surrounding mental health issues. The same rules that are applied to physical well being should be applied to mental wellbeing. Additionally, getting involved is such a bit part of university. So many students have no idea what is going on in their union. I want to bring everything down to the ground- the students executive shouldn’t be an intimidating force and should make students feel like they are part of something.


2. How does your previous experience in the Union qualify you for role of President?

I ran the Chemical Engineering society which is one of the biggest societies in Strathclyde with over 200 paying members. The committee the year before I was elected didn’t sell the club very well and treated it more like a professional organisation. I made it better by speaking to all 130 first years and told them about the society and how they can get involved. To do this, I organised cheese and wine nights. If I am elected president my aim will be to get people interested. It should be all about the community aspect. There will not be an immediate change but the union can really promote the concept of student experience, which will benefit everyone’s time during their degree.


3. What do you offer that the other candidates don’t?

I will make sure that the Union unites the university experience. I am the only candidate who has not always been 100% involved in university life so I know what it is like for people who are just there to learn and have separate home friends and university friends. We can’t lose sight of what it is to be a student. I have political beliefs as everyone does but I don’t want next year’s exec. to lose sight of the student experience. I’m approachable, personable, and empathetic and I believe these qualities make me qualified for the role. I have had my fair share of problems at university and would not want other people to experience them. In terms of the student accommodation crisis, I think we have to be realistic about letting. I don’t believe we should have an exclusive letting society. Instead we should have a deal with landlords.


4. What have this year’s Exec. done well, and what needs to be improved?

Kyle has been driving the volunteer side up and Gary Paterson has done a lot for student welfare, but things should be more focused on spending money on student experience. I couldn’t afford a flat in my first and second year of university so I had to save up SAAS and, as a result, I would like to campaign for more support. University is about growing as a person and if elected I will focus support in a different direction and make sure students are at the heart of the union.


Watch Craig’s presidential bid video here:

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