The Glasgow University Union is today having two by-elections for their board of management. After the assistant honorary secretary left the university, the position has been left vacant since the beginning of this term. After the election was announced, Present Student Member (PSM) Kate McMahon resigned her post in order to run. This created an opening for another by-election for the PSM spot. Kate, however, is contested by former Libraries convener Owain Campton. The PSM spot is uncontested, and thus will be given to Amy Reid.
Owain Campton was the libraries convener last year and ran for Union President at the last general election. His manifesto sets out to improve reporting, awareness of policies, and reviewing the disciplinary memorandum. He also mentions providing students with more mental health support in the union. Another point of interest in his manifesto is his promise to look into getting Tennents in the Union, much to the delight of big juicy fans. Overall, his manifesto seems quite ambitious, yet he believes his experience gives him the ability to accomplish his goals in such a short term.
At the Hustings he highlighted his experience on the board and his fiscal concerns for the Union. He said that he wanted to expand the Union’s influence across campus and put welfare first by requiring mental health and first aid training. He mentioned the possibility for the Union to provide counsellors to better deal with issues in the Union. He also suggested a complaint manual in order to better address incidents that occur within the Union. When pressed about the Tennents issue and what he could bring differently, he said he would like in the future service decisions like switching beer consult students. His hype song was “Man I Feel Like a Woman” and enjoys, controversially, reef pints of fun.
Kate McMahon has served as PSM over the last year and a half. Her manifesto looks to expand the board’s education on mental health issues and on sexual violence, by making Mind Your Mate and Let’s Talk About Sexual Violence courses compulsory for the board. She also suggests building a better relationship with the Union’s clubs and societies by checking in weekly with them. Her manifesto seems comparatively smaller yet is very explicit in what she is trying to do making them appear very achievable given the short timeframe of the term of office.
At the Hustings she highlighted her own experience and how she can provide continuity, as she’s been on board since the last election. She points her desire to increase pastoral support in the Union by increasing support education with board members. She pointed to her manifesto where she wants to give additional support for Union affiliated clubs by clarifying the agreement they have with GUU. When pressed about what she would do about complaints about affiliated clubs she said that the Union would have better abilities to discipline these clubs by removing room bookings and perks. Her hype song was “Come on Eileen” and likes yellow pints of fun.
The PSM sole nominee is Amy Reid. She ran for PSM during the last election. Her manifesto includes expanding sanitary product availability and trying to get first years more involved in the Union especially for the newly formed PR committee. Her hustings speech was a highlight of her manifesto and most of the posed questions were typical for uncontested candidates.