After a year as Glasgow University’s Sport Association (GUSA) Welfare Convenor, Sally Bell is now aiming higher, running for the position of Vice President. As Welfare Convenor, she worked with a number of cross-campus groups, and she certainly has a solid track record behind her, including orchestrating GUSA’s involvement in Glasgow University’s LGBT+ History Month and the publication of a Healthy Body Healthy Mind newsletter.
Bell’s manifesto is clearly laid out, and while not particularly exciting, it contains a number of sensible and achievable objectives. It is heavily focused on student welfare, proposing increased involvement for home and international students, and those who are also parents or carers. However she does not go into a great amount of detail on how she plans to achieve this. She is also keen to improve training for Equality and Diversity Officers through collaboration with the Counselling and Psychology Services, saying that she doesn’t think the current structure provides enough support. When questioned about inclusivity for non-affiliated clubs, she says that she is keen to promote a campus-wide approach to student welfare, and so hopes that information will be available for smaller clubs to get involved. However for the time being, the focus will remain firmly on existing GUSA clubs.
Bell also indicates an enthusiasm to increase funding for the GUSA Ball, by using the newly updated sponsorship structure to encourage local businesses to get involved. In particular, she emphasises the success of Strathclyde’s plan to introduce table sponsorship, saying that this is an area she would like to replicate at Glasgow.
Her manifesto does not propose any radical changes to the current system in place, however, that is not necessarily a bad thing. When asked about GUSA’s previous relationship with SAMH, she emphasised that the focus is currently on working with smaller charitable organisations, so there is still a wide range of support on offer for students. All in all, Bell is a reliable and qualified candidate. It’s easy to make pioneering and exciting promises, but a candidate’s track record is of more importance, and as far as Bell is concerned, hers will serve her well.