Orr is the definite outsider in this race. While having been part of the running of campus societies he doesn’t appear to have had the same directly relevant experience of either McGrellis or Munro. His manifesto focuses on improving support for clubs and societies and a reevaluation of how the University handles student debt.
Guardian: In this election you appear to be the candidate with the least obvious background in the issues of student support, what do you think you bring to the role that the other candidates do not?
Orr: I believe that during my time at university and my involvement in different societies and sports clubs I have met and engaged with a large group of students with a variety of backgrounds and needs. I haven’t been solely involved in one society or one student body on campus but had a part in many. I feel this makes me the ideal candidate to be VP student support. I understand the needs of a wide cross section of students, and after all, isn’t the SRC there to represent all students?
Guardian: You talk about student debt, what would you like to see the University do to approach to student debt more constructively?
Orr: I would like to see the end to a catch 22 situation where students can’t register for their next year when they are in debt, but can’t receive any funding from SAAS or the SLC until they have registered. This is a particularly important point for students from low income backgrounds who really are reliant on their state funding. It is imperative to make sure students, especially first years who may not have had to manage their money before, are educated about debt and spending. I would like to see the SRC provide education both in the form of classes and literature to inform students about personal finance.
Guardian: What can be done to improve the average students understanding of the SRC’s services, RAG & Health Week etc?
Orr: In my opinion, the SRC has got a lot better at communicating with students through social media and the internet in the last few years but I think they have come to neglect traditional forms of communication. For example, using notice boards and the student printed media to inform students of upcoming events. I think it’s important for a timetable to be drawn up before September and released to students at the start of the year so they know when events are happening. I would also like to see the introduction of a SRC PR team who take the time to go around campus and publicise SRC events. This is an idea used effectively by the other student bodies on campus.
With a smaller campaign in the run up to polling days and what appears to be a smaller base of support on campus the chances of winning look slim
for James Orr.