Rebecca Scott analyses Eva Simmons’ manifesto for VPSS following their interview.
One of two candidates running for the position of Students' Representative Council’s (SRC) Vice President of Student Support (VPSS) is Eva Simmons. Having been a General Representative for the SRC over the past six months, Eva has first-hand experience with the Council and voicing students’ concerns to senior management. Additionally, Eva has experience with on-campus societies such as Extinction Rebellion, being actively involved in sustainability campaigns such as the Green New Deal and encouraging University divestment from fossil fuels and arms companies.
Eva’s manifesto prioritises improving the counselling services available for students at the University. Eva explains that the pandemic has had a catastrophic impact upon students’ mental wellbeing, and as a result believes it is imperative to direct increased funding towards counselling and psychological services at the University. When asked about what specific resources and actions she would undertake in her attempts to improve these services at the University, Eva provided suggestions such as increased training of mental health mentors through the SRC and further implementation of suicide prevention training for students and societies.
Additionally, Eva’s manifesto touches upon tenancy issues faced by students at the University, noting such issues as being intrinsically linked to student welfare. She contends that students require increased support from the University if they are struggling with rent payments and/or inadequate living conditions, and is dedicated to helping students with such issues - though she does not explain precisely how she will achieve this.
If elected, Eva is eager to continue work laid out by Ella McCabe (present VPSS at the SRC) through continuing to implement measures such as drug awareness and safe testing initiatives. By again highlighting the negative effects that the pandemic has had upon the student body, Eva explains that the University has a responsibility to help students who are consuming drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication in a safe manner. Eva believes it is important to continue these initiatives as a means of ensuring student welfare during this difficult time.
Overall, Eva’s manifesto focuses on improving student welfare at the University with a significant focus on implementing better counselling and psychological services. With her experience working as a General Representative in the SRC, Eva has shown her ability to effectively communicate student concerns to the Council’s senior management and hopes to continue this if elected as VPSS.
Voting opens at 9am on 3 March and closes 5pm on 4 March. You can vote here or on the UofG Life app.
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