Big Student Election Polls have opened – meet the candidates

By Jennifer Constable, Editor-in-Chief (@Peculiar_Jenny)

The Big Student Election polls have now opened for the University of Strathclyde’s Student Association’s 2017-2018 student board.

From Tuesday the 7th of March, until 4pm on Thursday the 9th of March, USSA members will have the opportunity to vote online for the next academic year’s student exec team and department representatives.

The positions in the running include the role of USSA President, which this year has three candidates campaigning for the job.

The candidates in the running for President include current Vice President Sports and Wellbeing, Calvin Hepburn, who’s role and leadership as VPSW has seen Strathclyde achieve its highest ever BUCS (British University and Colleges Sport) ranking of 26th, while also overseeing 2800 members, a record high number of people, getting involved in activity at Strathclyde.

Hepburn’s main policies involve ensuring Wednesday afternoons free from classes, an extra study week before exam, making the union a hub of activity again and ensuring SUMSA and MSA are well represented.

Founding President of the Nigerian Society and Strathclyde Student Ambassador, John Agbonrofo is also standing for the presidential role. His experience includes working with Strathclyde’s Career Service to organise the annual Scottish Graduate Fair, while also organizing and hosting the “Be Enterprising Series”, aimed at enhancing students’ employability and life skills.

Agbonrofo’s manifesto points include a declaration to improve career development support, enhance learning opportunities, improve support services, have variety of affordable and exciting events and ensure an all-inclusive union.

The third candidate in contention for USSA President is Thomas McEachan, who feels his experience in the Scottish Youth Parliament, Glasgow Youth Council and UK Youth Parliament make him suitable for the role.  His campaign promises to hold a Referendum on National Union of Students (NUS) Membership, the introduction of the College System to Better Campus Social Life, and a focus on Commuting Students.

He also wants to see the creation of a Union Crisis Fund to help disadvantaged Students in dire need, reforms to student parliament to increase engagement and understanding, links with the Scottish Youth Parliament to ensure that we can put Student issues firmly on the Governments agenda, and promises to ensure that every undergraduate student has a named advisor of Studies.

Other positions USSA members are able to vote on include the role of Vice President of Diversity, which Leo Siebert and Taylor Lai Wa are currently campaigning for.

Bohdan Starosta and Mohammed Muftahu Alhassan are both in contention for the position of Vice President of Education, while Andrew Strachan and Habibul Liton and running for the role of Vice President of Sports and Wellbeing.

Both Liam McCabe and Keith Burns run uncontested for the positions of Vice President Volunteering and Development and Vice President Support, respectively.

Details of all candidates’ manifestos can be found at the Strath Elections website, and students are able to cast a vote via the USSA webpage.