Martha Luke

Candidate for Vice President Education and Democracy

  • I always stand up for my cause confidently
  • Improve mitigating conditions for students studying during COVID-19
  • Encourage a high level of engagement in Union democracy
  • Represent the academic interests of students loyally
  • Give students continuing confidence in SUSU and its work

Why vote for me?

After realising how much I enjoyed being a course rep, I believe that progressing to a bigger role would be a natural next step for me, especially such an impactful one as this. It is important that your VP Education and Democracy is someone who will enjoy their role and take pride in their work. I know I fit this description! I’ve never hesitated to confidently stand up for what I believe in or represent others. Being VP Education and Democracy would allow me to take on this challenge at a university-wide level; something I would be honoured to do.

Why vote for me?

I feel I have adapted quite well to all the changes in situations which have been thrown at me this year and have been able to work effectively despite ever-changing conditions. I have also been able to help myself and others get the most out of our learning experience by representing my cohort in SSLCs. I am someone who can take on a leadership role naturally, but I also know when to take a step back if working in a team, to apply my efforts in the most effective way I can.

I want students to feel their wishes and needs are being presented to the university in a clear and confident way. Now more than ever, student voices need to be heard. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the lives of students into disarray, and many feel that not enough is being done to help them. I want to make sure that SUSU is doing their best to remedy this. I will look at measures being offered by other universities and, in conjunction with opinions relayed to me by the representation teams, push for better or more comparable support from the University.

For example, one opinion that I have noticed to be circulating widely is that applications for extensions and special conditions need to

-     have criteria which are made clear to all students,

-      be easy to access,

-      and offer mitigation comparable to other universities to ensure that standards will be in line with other university graduates.

It is vital to me that everyone feels their opinion is valid and that they will be listened to. Therefore, I will ensure clear communication between SUSU, UOS and students, via staff such as postgraduate and faculty officers, course reps and everyone in-between. I want all students to feel well-represented and confident about who they can speak to about their concerns or give feedback.

I will encourage a high level of student engagement in Union democracy. The higher the participation, the more representative results will be of the student body. This is crucial; elections should be accessible, and I will look at ways to increase numbers of voters, such as more publicity around election timelines, and showing the impact made by student representation.

Overall, I want students to have confidence in SUSU to represent them and feel that the work SUSU is doing is tangible to them.

Questions & Answers Ask me a Question

Where can I follow your campaign and find out more about your candidacy?

Hello! You can follow my campaign and find out more about my candidacy on both Facebook, here: https://www.facebook.com/MarthaLukeVPEducationandDemocracy and on Instagram, @marthaforvp.ed.dem. On both of these accounts you will find information about my manifesto and Key Points, and you are welcome to ask any questions in the comment sections. Remember, if you want me to be your next VP Education and Democracy, you will need to select me as your FIRST option when you vote between 9am on the 3rd March and 4pm on the 5th of March at www.susu.org/vote

This question was also only asked to MarthaAnswered by Martha on 18/02/21 15:17

What are your 3 core values?

My 3 core values would have to be: 1. Empathy - as well as emotional empathy, I find it comes naturally to me to engage with and unpack different points of view from my own. This is thanks to my study of philosophy! 2. Efficiency - I always try to find the best ways to do things, avoid wasting time and focus on getting things done well. 3. Teamwork - I find great fulfilment in collaborative work, bouncing ideas off of one another and sharing success. Remember, if you want me to be your next VP Education and Democracy, you will need to select me as your FIRST option when you vote between 9am on the 3rd March and 4pm on the 5th of March at www.susu.org/vote

This question was also asked to Charlotte James, Ryan Couchman-Sawyer, Amina Lechkhab, Jordan HickeyAnswered by Martha on 20/02/21 17:52

Hello, what experience do you each have in representing the student body, and how do you think this will assist if you were elected to this role?

Hello! Though I have not spent as much time as perhaps other candidates have representing their peers as I am only in my second year, I have still got plenty of relevant experiences. These include raising issues about assessment practicalities and shortcomings of module staff with lecturers and faculties and persisting until they were solved (even before I was a course rep), helping my course reps by attending liaison meetings in a supporting capacity to solve problems discussed by course-mates (I am joint honours and therefore have reps for the half of my course which I don't represent myself), and naturally my work as a course rep which I absolutely love! I have really got stuck into my work as a course rep, collecting evidence about key issues which are raised in SSLCs in a way which increases participation due to its ease (e.g. surveys and polls) and making sure I am informed of every opinion my peers have so I can weigh in on every issue. I love working with other reps to pick areas which we will each concentrate on so we leave no stone unturned. All of this will assist me if elected because it has helped me to become a self-assured, decisive individual who is approachable and easy to talk with - for students and staff alike. I build trustful working relationships, and will continue to do so on a larger scale if elected! Remember, if you want me to be your next VP Education and Democracy, you will need to select me as your FIRST option when you vote between 9am on the 3rd March and 4pm on the 5th of March at www.susu.org/vote

This question was also asked to Charlotte James, Ryan Couchman-Sawyer, Amina Lechkhab, Jordan HickeyAnswered by Martha on 20/02/21 16:59

What experience do you have in a leadership role?

Martha has not answered this question yet

This question was also only asked to Martha

How will you ensure communication between SUSU and the student body?

Hi! I have created plans and aims which promote communication by nature, so here I'll go through a few of them; there will be more information about these in further depth available through my Facebook page and Instagram in the coming week, so check those out here: https://www.facebook.com/MarthaLukeVPEducationandDemocracy and here: Insta @marthaforvp.ed.dem. I plan to hold more focussed forums, such as the recent PGR forum to give more specific groups of students my full attention to communicate their views and be heard. This would be for groups such as Joint Honours students, disabled students and International Students. Another of my main aims is to make Representation accessible; well promoted and easy to approach. Everyone should know where and how to give feedback and it should be easy to do! I will achieve this aim by increasing publicity about Representation and encouraging reps to set up (virtual) spaces where students can anonymously feedback at any time, such as discussion boards or Google forms. Finally, I have a transparency aim: make sure SUSU's successes, shortcomings and current projects are all information which is readily available to students. This would be something I would like to work with the President to do. Thank you for your question, and remember if you want me to be your next VP Education and Democracy, you will need to select me as your FIRST option when you vote between 9am on the 3rd March and 4pm on the 5th of March at www.susu.org/vote

This question was also only asked to MarthaAnswered by Martha on 20/02/21 17:19

What democracy experience do you have?

During my time at University I have voted in every election and vote which has been open to me, and encouraged my peers to do so too! As well as this, I have been a course rep, a job which I have absolutely loved! My fellow philosophy course reps and our Academic President have helped to make it a really rewarding experience for me. During my time in previous education, I have always taken part in student democracy structures, from being a prefect to a course rep for two of my three a-level subjects for two years. I therefore have a pretty good repertoire of ways to engage people with student democracy, and have gained valuable experience working with course mates and representing them loyally; achieving results. Remember, if you want me to be your next VP Education and Democracy, you will need to select me as your FIRST option when you vote between 9am on the 3rd March and 4pm on the 5th of March at www.susu.org/vote

This question was also only asked to MarthaAnswered by Martha on 27/02/21 20:48

How do you intend to encourage a higher engagement with democracy?

Thank you for your question! The main way I will achieve my aim to increase engagement in Union democracy is through publicity and marketing. Starting long before nomination deadlines, I will advertise upcoming elections on social media and in student communications, etc. I will share key dates, celebrate elected representatives, and give regular updates about what elected teams and individuals are contributing to the community and educational experience at UOS. I think celebrating and promoting success which has stemmed from student votes, the work of elected representatives and the You Make Change programme will help students to see how important their participation in voting is and get involved! Remember, if you want me to be your next VP Education and Democracy, you will need to select me as your FIRST option when you vote between 9am on the 3rd March and 4pm on the 5th of March at www.susu.org/vote

This question was also only asked to MarthaAnswered by Martha on 20/02/21 17:26

How do you plan to engage with the wider student body, such as Foundation year students, and postgraduates, particularly across faculties that aren't within your degree area?

Hey, thank you for your question. There will be no difference to how I engage with Foundation year students, postgraduates, faculties that aren't within my degree area, international students or any other students. However I recognise that being an undergrad in Arts and Humanities myself, these areas are going to be more familiar to me to begin with. I will pay equal and full attention to all of our faculty officers, PGR officers officers and Joint Honours officer. Furthermore, taking inspiration from the recent PGR Forum which was held, I would like to hold more forums for focussed groups within the student population, like disabled or joint honours students, for example. I want to get involved with every single student who I would represent if elected. I hope that if the situation with COVID-19 allows I will be able to return to the previously used structure of having a day each week where I am able to go to each campus in person so people can come up for a chat, to ask what I'm working on or give feedback. I am very open to feedback and ideas from anyone, so I will be able to engage with the wider student body well if elected. Remember, if you want me to be your next VP Education and Democracy, you will need to select me as your FIRST option when you vote between 9am on the 3rd March and 4pm on the 5th of March at www.susu.org/vote

This question was also asked to Charlotte James, Ryan Couchman-Sawyer, Amina Lechkhab, Jordan HickeyAnswered by Martha on 27/02/21 20:36

Would you encourage the University to cut ties with the People's Republic of China (in particular the Confucius Institute) due to the horrendous actions taken by the Chinese Communist Party?

To take this motion to the University, SUSU would need to hold an All Student Vote on the matter. Personally, I would want to cut ties. However I think it is important that as a University we continue to teach and learn about Chinese culture and put on events such as Chinese festivals, and sign-post events which are taking place in Southampton so as not to strip anyone of a chance to engage with their own culture. Hate has no place in Southampton, but community is so important.

This question was also asked to Charlotte James, Ryan Couchman-Sawyer, Amina Lechkhab, Jordan HickeyAnswered by Martha on 03/03/21 10:55

Budget

Martha has not spent any of their budget yet