On 4 March, the Glasgow University Union (GUU) held their Spring Election Hustings in the Debates Chamber, where candidates had the opportunity to talk about their manifestos and answer questions from the audience. Voting is done in person, in the GUU, between the hours of 9am and 7pm on Thursday 5 March.You must be a member to vote, and to become a member you must bring your UofG student card to the GUU porters’ box. You can find a summary of information on the available positions and candidates below but we would encourage you to read the candidates’ manifestos in full here.
Convener of Debates: Bronagh Hughes
Convener of Games: Jack Findlay
Convener of Libraries: Francisca Matias
Honorary Secretary: Blake Gray
Assistant Honorary Secretary: Kate McMahon
Candidates: Duncan Armstrong-Martin, James Charleson, William Goodrich, Calum MacLeod, Sholen MacPherson, Lauren Lilley, Emilio Seifert and Nico Felix Single-Liertz.
A large focus of the one-year PSM candidates was a focus on improving environmental sustainability. Most also wanted to increase accessibility and improve student welfare.
Candidates: Joseph Brown, Vilhelm Carlsson, Christopher Falkingham, Shih Yi (Chloe) Huang, Lina Leonhard, Shiona Luke, Sharath Nambiar, Kajetan Puchalski, Amy Reid, Mark Sullivan and Shaun Turner.
Points raised by two-year PSM candidates included, again, a focus on sustainability, more safety training for board members and more non-drinking events.
Convener of Entertainments
Robbie has been on the Entertainments Committee for one year prior to running for convener. He thinks his experience in events will give him an advantage moving forwards. His main focuses are sustainability, committee responsibility, and the revamping of Open Mic as he feels it has lost its value, needs more consistency and to be more accessible for potential performers.
Lewis has previously been on the Entertainments Committee and has also been on the Daft Friday Committee. He wants to delegate jobs better amongst committee members and introduce rehearsal nights for the Entertainment Committee, allowing them to have a prepared set list for Open Mic, making sure attendees don’t feel like they’re the only ones performing. He also wants to introduce the GUU Battle of the Bands, where bands can showcase their skills for a cash prize.
Tiger has been a member of the Cecilian Society, the General Secretary of STAG and has also been on the Entertainments Committee. Her aims for the year are revamping the Open Mic Instagram, more themes for Open Mic and securing more cross-campus collaborations for events. Her main focus was public relations in general.
Gavin is standing for re-election as vice president. His main focus was on the Union’s place in the ongoing campus redevelopment, keeping the Union relevant and at the forefront of University life. He wants to push forward acceptance on campus, acknowledging that the Union is cliquey and that there is no issue with this as long as it is accessible to join the Union community. Gavin works in plastics, and therefore feels he has a realistic approach to sustainability with achievable goals over a two-year period. When questioned on sabbatical roles within the GUU board, he stated he held a neutral stance on the topic and would be neither for nor against it.
Dr Tom Berry
Tom is a Glasgow University medic, having graduated in 2006. He previously served the Union as Games Convener and Honorary Secretary, and he wants others to have the same positive experience he had while at University. Tom wants to set long-term goals for the Union, claiming that he is the man to ask “the difficult questions” – referencing to the current protests across campus on the University divesting from the arms trade. He is actively against the Union, and the University, putting its money “in places students don’t believe in.” He wants to make the vice president available pre-board meetings so other members of the board can discuss agenda issues. He also wants more engagement with students and the wider community. When questioned about the vice president becoming a sabbatical position, he said he would be for sabbatical positions on the board.
Owain has a wealth of experience within the GUU board, having been Honorary Secretary, Assistant Honorary Secretary and Libraries Convener – amongst other roles. He believes a big issue in past years has been inexperience in the executive, and he can bring the experience the new board will need to keep things running smoothly. He believes in past years too much time has been wasted on board members getting to grips with the job and believes his experience will allow him to “hit the ground running”, allowing more to be accomplished in a shorter period of time.
Owain identified the president as a key link between the Union and the University, stating that without a good link, the Union will not last – not just for this term but for the long term. He wants to make the Union a place for everyone, bringing in a new, more diverse crowd. He referenced his “progressive manifesto,” the main point of which being that the Union needs a sabbatical president by 2022 to ensure it is being run adequately. Owain also wants to introduce a Welfare Convener to ensure student safety, and a PR Convener to connect the Union more around campus and engage with students. Favourite pint of fun: REEF.
While less experienced, Nam came across with great enthusiasm in the hustings. That being said, she has still been a one-year PSM, on the Daft Friday Committee, and temporary Assistant Honorary Secretary. Her manifesto focuses on three things: welfare, clubs and societies, and getting all aspects of the Union working “in symphony”. Nam placed a large focus on Welfare in particular, and would implement greater first aid and mental health training if elected. She would also seek to introduce online memberships, increase PR and generally modernise the GUU for long-term sustainability. When asked why she made the jump from PSM to president, Nam said that there is less pressure on her as a second-year student, thus allowing her to dedicate more time to the presidential role than she would be able to in later years of study. Favourite pint of fun: dark cherry with coke.