Current President Paddy Everingham looks to be the one to beat for this year's GUSA Presidency. Running for re-election, Paddy has eight months of experience in the role to equip him in his candidacy, which he believes set him apart from the other candidates who face a "steep learning curve" when first assuming the role.
Despite his repeat candidacy, Paddy emphasised the importance of change to improve GUSA, rather than maintaining the status quo, and conceded that some changes take considerable time to implement.
When challenged on the current £125 membership fee, Paddy indicated a comprehensive knowledge of the financial constraints that must be taken into account when considering the practicalities of any change, and explained why the introduction of a monthly instalment plan would be complicated. It's clear that Paddy isn't going to promise any drastic cuts to membership fees solely to win the election, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have ambitious goals in store to make GUSA more accessible. Paddy's manifesto focuses on efforts to improve inclusivity, specifically the instalment of a hardship fund for those who can't afford a gym membership or club trips, and the implementation of a full-time Welfare Staff Member to provide mental health support. These are big promises to live up to, and if achieved would make GUSA a much more inclusive environment.
The presidency is certainly in safe hands with Paddy, and he's well versed in the practicalities the job entails. As ever, the problem lies with funding, and whether Paddy is capable of following through on these big ideas remains to be seen.
Read Paddy's manifesto here.
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