There is a two-horse-race for VP Welfare this year, between incumbent VP John Agbonrofo and Kyle Scott. The VP Welfare has one of the widest remits in supporting students with housing, mental health, and financial hardship. They also ensure that the Union supports welfare groups.
But who are the campaigners and what do they stand for? Here’s the Strathclyde Telegraph guide to the two candidates, their backgrounds, and the key policies.
Kyle Scott has been a familiar face for any students visiting Level 7 in the Union for two years now, working as a member of student staff, first as Research & Policies intern, then as Clubs & Societies intern and currently as Campaigns & Policy staff support. This time working inside the Union has had him contributing to different campaigns, such as abolishment of the University wide zero marks policy as well as the abolishment of graduations fees.
His manifesto, broken into two key sections of mental health and student welfare, highlights some of the biggest issues currently facing welfare at Strathclyde Uni.
Under mental health, he promises to address waiting times for counselling sessions, advocate for mental health training for all staff members at Strathclyde, lobby the University to create a drop-in service for students self-presenting with mental health issues and campaign for automatic extensions for students with mental health problems.
Tackling student welfare, he states he will lobby the university to put a cap on rent increases in student halls, campaign for lectures to be recorded for students facing difficulties, advocate for more paid internships on campus, increased financial support for all disadvantaged students, improve the experience of Mature Students on campus and improve the accessbility of Strathclyde campus for disabled students.
Always a charismatic face around campus, John Agbonrofo is now running for a second term as VP Welfare. During his time in office, he has ‘organised the first ever Welfare Week’, ‘organised the first ever Monthly Birthday Celebrations’ and delivered ‘Free First-Aid training across campus’ as well as other activities.
In his manifesto, John has focused a lot on the achievements that he’s made in the previous year and his promises for the year to come are rather vague and short. He promises to develop awareness, accessability and improvement of “all our welfare services” through the Smile Project. He also promises to provide Financial, Health, Wellbeing, Housing, Safety, Employability, Legal Rights, and Chaplaincy support for all students.
In comparison to Scott’s Manifesto, Agbonrofo’s manifesto lacks any particular actions for the upcoming year and chooses instead to focus on raising awareness of welfare services around the university campus.
Voting opens at 10:00 am on Tuesday 5th March 2019.
By Callum Ogilvie – Podcast Editor