.Representation

Emily Harrison

Union President

Key Points

  • Ensure withheld lecturer strike pay is used to benefit students.
  • Improve transport links to NOCS and SGH
  • Set up a recycling reward scheme
  • Improve laundry facilities in halls
  • Review catering on campus

Why vote for me?

About Me Hi, I’m Emily Harrison, your current Vice President Student Communities. This year, I have worked hard to improve student experience by implementing the WSA Shuttle weekend service, our first ever Bunfights at Sites at Boldrewood and Avenue and Advice Centre drop ins at Avenue and WSA. I also sit on the Sustainability zone and have worked extensively with international, postgraduate and medical students living in halls. You should vote me for Union President because I’m incredibly...(click here to read more...)

Questions & Answers

Because of the Sabb restructure, environmental issues are now the President's job to deal with. What do you intend to do to help SUSU/UoS/students be more sustainable. Do you have any experience researching/dealing with environmental issues?

Hi there, thank you for your question! There are a few things I intend to do to help SUSU/UoS/students be more sustainable. Firstly, I want to introduce a recycling reward scheme by installing reverse vending machines which give students rewards, such as vouchers for Union outlets, in return for depositing recyclable items to encourage more people to recycle and reduce waste. Secondly, I want to set up a small Zero Waste shop selling organic, plastic-free, unpackaged products (Such as rice and pasta etc.) where people bring their own containers. This is something which has been set up at Sheffield SU and works really well and was surprisingly cheap to set up- Just £500! Thirdly, I want to utilise SUSU building roof space to create a garden and allotment area for students. This would provide a potential space for vegetables and such to be grown. Although this wouldn't be on a very big scale, it would allow for students to have experience with growing their own food which would hopefully encourage more thought about sustainability of their food consumption and buying fresh produce when shopping. Additionally, these kind of activities can be incredibly beneficial for well-being and mental health, as it provides a safe, calm space for people to take time out and have a hobby. In terms of experience, although Sustainability does not come under my remit of Vice President Student Communities this year and therefore have not been dealing with environmental issues directly, I do sit on the Sustainability zone this year and so play a part in the conversations and solutions to these issues. I also work very closely with Isabella, our current Vice President Welfare, who has done a fantastic job this year of working with these issues and so I learned how to best research and deal with them. Additionally, I believe the best way to research and deal with these issues is to engage in student consultation. There's been some fantastic examples of this year with things such as the Sustainability survey which asked students about how to make our campuses more green and sustainable. I intend to use data from things such as this and continue to work with our fantastic societies, student groups and student leaders who are passionate about these issues. I want to empower our students to feel confident to lead on implementing their ideas for changes in sustainability and all areas into practice. I hope this answers your question! If you have anymore, or would like to stay up to date with my other policies and campaign, you can find more information on my campaign page here: https://www.facebook.com/VoteEmilyForUnionPresident2019/?modal=admin_todo_tour All the best, Emily

This question was also asked to Nik Mukherjee, Aaron Page, George Fairweather, Henry Hill, Henry Oliver-EdwardsAnswered by Emily on 19/02/19 23:45

In your manifesto you state that you would "ensure students are not negatively affected during the interim VC period". This sounds quite vague, what exactly would you do to to ensure this?

Hi, thanks for your question! The reason for the vagueness is purely because there is a 500 word limit on our manifestos, so thank you for giving me a chance to explain in more detail! I think the most important thing for this period of change at the University is that there is continuity at the Union. The main way to ensure that students are not negatively affected is to ensure that the projects and plans that we have discussed to improve student experience do not get forgotten when the current VC leaves. Having worked as a sabbatical officer at the Union this year, I am the best candidate to ensure that this happens. It also means that I have a better knowledge than most about what the issues we need to tackle as a University are and I can provide this knowledge to the interim VC to ensure that the right things are still on the agenda. Having worked with Mark Spearing, who will be the interim VC, this year I have an existing relationship with him and therefore can continue a positive relationship between the University and the Union. This is incredibly important as there could be a risk of negative impact on students if the candidate who becomes President does not have a good relationship with the interim VC, as nothing would be able to get done effectively. I hope this answers your question. If you would like to chat about this further, please feel free to message me through my campaign page here: fb.me/VoteEmilyForUnionPresident2019

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 06/03/19 16:45

I have a dream that one day, the university facilities will not have awful horrible scratchy thin toilet paper. I have already submitted a YouMakeChange petition about this and nothing happened. This is the most pressing issue to me as a voter so I want to know what you will do to make my dream a reality and improve the toilet paper on campus (especially in the library please). My vote depends on this.

Hi, thanks for your question! Scratchy toilet paper is the worst so I sympathise! I know that our VP Education is currently dealing with this issue and I have every faith that he will work to make sure this is resolved before the start of the new Sabb term in July. However, please consider this a promise that if it is not resolved, I will personally take on this issue and continue the conversation with the library staff to ensure that the toilet paper is of an acceptable quality for both the University and students. I hope this satisfies your concern, if you'd like to talk about this any further, please feel free to message me through my campaign page (Which you can find here: fb.me/VoteEmilyForUnionPresident2019). All the best!

This question was also asked to Nik Mukherjee, Aaron Page, George Fairweather, Henry Hill, Henry Oliver-EdwardsAnswered by Emily on 26/02/19 21:06

Given the resignation of the last President and issues with the one prior, how do you plan to regain the trust of the student body? I feel as though students don't trust the Union President to represent them anymore.

Hi, thanks for your question and it's a good one! There is a lot of fantastic work that the Union does so I think it's a real shame that instances like this can cloud people's perception of an entire organisation. However, I do completely understand why this has become the case. I think partially this has to do with the fact that the President, and indeed all of the Sabbatical Officers, spend so much of their time in meetings, answering emails and other more operational and admin tasks which means they are almost always down in an office and not out with students. This means that the only time students really hear about or see the face of the President recently, is when it has been in conjunction with widespread negative news which of course leads to distrust. I really want to change the way we work as sabbatical officers to move away from the admin tasks so that we can get out there and actually chat to students. I believe people relate to people and so face to face conversations are much more valuable to show students who you, what you are about and ultimately that you can be trusted. Currently we deliver welcome talks to first year students but I would love to do this for all year groups in the first semester as well as going along to more club and society meetings to re-familiarise students with us as Sabbatical Officers and what we do as a Union, so that we're not just a faceless organisation to students but real people that you can trust to represent you. I hope that answers your question. If you'd like to chat about this further, please feel free to message my campaign page (Which you can find here: fb.me/VoteEmilyForUnionPresident2019) All the best!

This question was also asked to Nik Mukherjee, Aaron Page, George Fairweather, Henry Hill, Henry Oliver-EdwardsAnswered by Emily on 26/02/19 21:18

Your first key point is to "ensure withheld lecturer strike pay is used to benefit students". As I'm sure you're aware, this is an oft-repeated soundbite, and something that has been promised and attempted many times before. Over the past 10 years or so, there have been numerous lecturer strikes, numerous instances of staff pay being withheld, and the University showing very little sympathy to the Union's demands for how this money should be spend. Using knowledge of the past, we already know they'll either tell you to go away, or provide a polite non-answer about how the money is already spent to benefit students. In as much detail as you can, please explain what you would do differently. You use vague terms like "ensure" and "work" - how can we know this is an actual plan, and not an empty promise?

Hi there, thank you for your question. I completely understand the reservation given past events. However, the reason I am confident that this time will be different, and is not just an empty promise, is that in my role as the current VP Student Communities, I have already been working with Professional Services at the University, who have control of the money, about what is happening with it. I currently sit on a working group which has been set up by them which is focusing on various issues to do with student experience, including things that come out in the NUS. We have been given a deadline to submit proposals to resolve these issues, and anything else to improve student experience and had it confirmed that the funding for these projects can come out of the withheld lecturers strike pay. The reason for the vague words is purely just because there is a 500 word limit on our manifestos which is not enough to go into detail. However, I hope this reassures you that this is very much not an empty manifesto promise but an actual plan with weight behind it. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch via my campaign page here: fb.me/VoteEmilyForUnionPresident2019

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 06/03/19 16:31

Do you support the university's position on withholding pay from staff working to contract?

Emily has not answered this question yet

This question was also only asked to Emily

How would you deal with any backlash from students who do not agree with a decision that you have made, even if students had been consulted in the decision-making process?

Hi, thanks for your question! Having been the Vice President Student Communities at SUSU for the previous 7 months, I have had plenty of experience of this! Firstly, I think it's incredibly important to make sure that the right people are consulted in any decision making process and, if it's a decision that affects a large amount of people, to make sure that you have consulted with a wide range of groups. If you do this, I think it makes it much easier to deal with backlash (If any occurs) as you are confident in the knowledge that you had adequate consultation and you are making the right decision based on feedback. Secondly, I would publicise the evidence of this consultation with the people who were opposed to the decision to back up the fact that it is a student-led decision. I would also invite students who do not agree with the decision to come in and chat to understand why exactly they disagree and see if there's anything we can do to resolve the issue. With over 21,000 students at the University, it is impossible to ensure that every single student agrees with a decision but taking the steps I've outlined above ensure the right process happens before and after a process I believe helps to minimise backlash. If you would like to discuss this any further, please feel free to get in touch through my campaign page! You can find this here: fb.me/VoteEmilyForUnionPresident2019

This question was also asked to Nik Mukherjee, Aaron Page, George Fairweather, Henry Hill, Henry Oliver-EdwardsAnswered by Emily on 06/03/19 16:52

Your manifesto talks about improving transport links and increasing the frequency of U1 buses. There are major problems on the route between the Interchange and Wessex Lane Halls between 17:15 and 19:00 mainly due to tailbacks from a significant bottleneck along Woodmill Ln, which results in tailbacks along Langhorn Rd. High Rd. and Wessex Ln. It regularly takes over 25 minutes for U1 buses to travel the last 500m from Langhorn Rd to the Wessex Lane bus stop. It is almost always faster to walk. Would you look into lobbying directly, and encouraging the university to do the same, the council on behalf of the students residing in Wessex Lane to make major infrastructure improvements such as installing traffic lights at or widening the Woodmill Bridge.

Hi, thanks for your question! In short, absolutely yes! In my role currently, I am already working with the University and Southampton Common Forum to lobby the council to make major changes to transport infrastructure in Southampton. We are currently also supporting them in their bid to the government for a significant amount of money to improve travel. If this is successful, we will very much have a stake in how this money is spent and so things such as Woodmill Bridge and traffic lights could easily come into this. Obviously, this is dependent on if they secure the money and would be a long term project, however in the short term I would be happy to have further consultation with students about ideas for improving transport to then lobby the council for. I hope this answers your question, if you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me through my campaign page! You can find this here: fb.me/VoteEmilyForUnionPresident2019

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 06/03/19 17:08

Union President is responsible for making sure the other Sabbs are doing their job well too. How will you hold all elected VP's to account on their manifesto promises? And how will you help them achieve them?

Hi, thanks for your question! Once Sabbatical Officers are elected, you sit down and go through your manifesto to turn it into a Sabb plan. This is essentially your commitment to paper of the projects you will be working on throughout the year and this is what Senate measures your progress on. Once these are completed, I will have bi-weekly one-to-ones with each of the VPs individually, part of which will be going through their Sabb plans to measure progress, offer help and guidance and discuss any issues being faced to ensure that they are following through with their promises. As I said, Senate (Which happens three times a year) also requires progress reports from each of the Sabbatical Officers and so there is a higher accountability process should anyone not being following through on their promises. However, the point of having one-to-ones is to ensure that it doesn't come to this and any issues can be dealt with before. In terms of helping them to achieve these promises, having been a Sabbatical Officer for the last 7 months now, I have a good understanding of how to most effectively get things done and see things through. I also have built up a lot of good relationships and contacts at the University, Union and in the local community, so will be best placed to point the other Sabbatical Officers in the right direction to get their projects off the ground. I hope this answers your question, if you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me through my campaign page! You can find this here: fb.me/VoteEmilyForUnionPresident2019

This question was also asked to Nik Mukherjee, Aaron Page, George Fairweather, Henry Hill, Henry Oliver-EdwardsAnswered by Emily on 06/03/19 16:59

What does your promises to "Work to improve things such as sports and library facilities" include?

Hi, thanks for your question! In relation to the library, this includes things such as digitising course collections so that people will no longer have to fight over the only two copies of a core book needed for study. In terms of sports facilities, this would involve working with the VP Sports and students to determine the priorities of what needs to be renevated. The current VP Sports is working on a Sports Experience Strategy with the University which is looking at things like new buildings, updating existed facilities like changing rooms, the boat houset etc. I hope this answers your question, if you want to chat further about this, please feel free to message me campaign page on Facebook!

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 08/03/19 12:58

You mention Bubble Tea. Do you think the lack of this is a serious student issue? What else does your "Introduce more world food and drink" policy entail?

Hi, thanks for your question! I don't know if it's a 'serious' student issue but it is something which i have certainly be asked for many times from various students during my time as Vice President Student Communities! Whilst it's true that Sabbatical Officers work on a lot of policy and serious issues, ultimately our main purpose to represent students and improve their student experience. Therefore, if students ask for something (Such as Bubble Tea!) then I will look to implement it, if there is enough interest and it is possible. In terms of introducing more world food and drink, I would love to get international street food, even if this was available one day a week on the Redbrick for example. Having visited Sheffield SU, they also have an International food fayre once a year where international societies provide food from their various cultures and this is something which is something I think would also work very well here. I hope this answers your question, if you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me through my campaign page! You can find this here: fb.me/VoteEmilyForUnionPresident2019

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 06/03/19 17:19

What kind of leader will you be?

Emily has not answered this question yet

This question was also asked to Nik Mukherjee, Aaron Page, George Fairweather, Henry Hill, Henry Oliver-Edwards

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Emily has not answered this question yet

This question was also asked to Nik Mukherjee, Aaron Page, George Fairweather, Henry Hill, Henry Oliver-Edwards

Do you believe SUSU will achieve its goal of being in the top 5 of students' unions by 2020?

Hi, thanks for your question! Given that that is in just 10 months time, I would say it's unlikely. However, this was always more of a stretch target than a definite deadline. It's good to put a date to have a goal to aim for, however I believe the most important thing is that we are just improving year on year and making progress- Which we are! Our score in the NSS actually went up by 7% last year, at the same time as many other Russell Group institutions went down or stayed the same. For me, constantly improving and enriching the lives of our students' experience is more important than an arbitrary league table goal.

This question was also asked to Nik Mukherjee, Aaron Page, George Fairweather, Henry Hill, Henry Oliver-EdwardsAnswered by Emily on 07/03/19 09:41

What are you going to do to ensure SUSU’s “Vision2020” maintains on track to achieve its goals, particularly in becoming one of the Top 5 SUs in the UK? Do you think these targets are still viable given the controversy surrounding SUSU this year, and if so, does this mean a revised plan is needed?

Hi, thanks for your question! Ive answered a very similar one already so I will repeat my previous answer and then expand to address your additional points. Given that 2020 is in just 10 months time, I would say it's unlikely. However, this was always more of a stretch target than a definite deadline. It's good to put a date to have a goal to aim for, however I believe the most important thing is that we are just improving year on year and making progress- Which we are! Our score in the NSS actually went up by 7% last year, at the same time as many other Russell Group institutions went down or stayed the same. For me, constantly improving and enriching the lives of our students' experience is more important than an arbitrary league table goal. So, in terms of a revised plan, if we don't reach that goal then yes we will need a new plan. However, as I said, I think the main plan should be to just improve on our NSS score every year. In terms of helping to achieve this, I think it starts with being more accessible and in touch with students. At the moment, the Union does some genuinely fantatsic work but not many people know about it, or even that Sabbs exist. I think the reason for this is that we spend so much time in an office or meetings doing the work that means we aren't our with students enough which ironically leads to the belief that we don't do anything when actually the opposite is true! By getting out and actually chatting to students more, not only are we more visible so able to create a stronger and better relationship with them, but also means we are more in touch with their needs and what's going on so we can work to improve student experience quicker and better which in turn I believe will lead to an increase in our standing as a Union. I hope this answers your question!

This question was also asked to Nik Mukherjee, Aaron Page, George Fairweather, Henry Hill, Henry Oliver-EdwardsAnswered by Emily on 08/03/19 13:29

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