Harvey Rickatson

Candidate for Vice President Student Communities

  • #SUSUstandswith - A new campaign
  • Collaboration - Joint projects and collaborations with other Sabbs
  • Equality - Attention and effort towards all existing campaigns
  • Support - Backing all communities, their events and their wellbeing
  • Open Door - Focus on student opinion, criticism and ideas

Why vote for me?

In my three years at Southampton Uni, I have been involved in Surge Radio and the Edge, served as Societies exec and Head of Events at SUSUtv, worked as social sec for the WaterAid society and held the captainship of the History Societies’ badminton team. My years at this university have been the best of my life, and so I want to give back to the Union and help make sure that students of all communities have the best experiences they can. SUSU is vibrant with diverse communities of all walks of life, however despite the fact that every student’s experience will be unique, we are all SUSU, and so all deserve to be equally respected, supported and celebrated.

I want to instigate more collaboration with the other Sabbatical officers, starting projects and campaigns that involve all VP positions to unify our efforts in improving student life and wellbeing, the main focuses being mental health, diversity and support. I will move to reorganise how the Sabbatical team uses its social media presence, utilising SUSU’s accounts to further showcase the different events that are put on across all of the University’s campuses throughout the year. Doing this I will make sure that every student is aware of the opportunities available to them all year round, and that no campus is left out of the loop of student awareness and involvement. I will make sure that no student group feels alienated from the wider Union with a non-biased, swift and satisfying response to the requests of any community. Through times of hardship, celebration, reflection etc. that any community will face, I will make sure that the Union shows solidarity through its online presence with a new campaign - #SUSUstandswith, and I will provide spaces within the Union for students to congregate for such times, making sure that it is well advertised to the student body with the aim of encouraging involvement and raising awareness. I intend to make all first year and international students feel welcome within what to them will be a new environment, and make sure all mature and postgraduate students are just as included and involved as well. I will provide events and mixers for these groups to make them feel safe and welcomed within the student body.

I want all students to feel comfortable and able to approach me with any concerns of underrepresentation, or ideas on how their specific community could be better represented. I may not fully understand the experiences of any religious community, or student parents, or international students, however in this role I wish to learn from those I am representing and so be better equipped to enhance their university experience. I will be sure to regularly encourage students to engage with me by organising meetings and forums in which they can voice their thoughts. This way all concerns can be conveyed to me in a personal manner that will leave students assured that their issues have my full attention.

All unique, all SUSU.


Questions & Answers Ask me a Question

What are your plans to specifically address problems that face postgraduate students?

An important detail about postgraduate students is that whilst some are continuing their studies at the University of Southampton, some will have come from other institutions. One of the main things I would wish to achieve is to help those that have come from other institutions settle into a university life that is different (however slightly or majorly) to that which they are accustomed. To address this, I intend to make sure that in the run up to September, the new postgraduates are completely and satisfyingly informed on the locations of all the different campuses, how to get to each of them, and the key buildings and sites such as Student Services and the University Health Centre. I will work to provide instructional and informative videos similar to those made for freshers, but specifically for postgraduates so that when they arrive, they already know their way around. One of the biggest issues postgraduates face is an increase in pressure as the workload increases both in size and intensity. A vital part of what I wish to achieve is to ensure that not only are they able to work and study comfortably in an environment dominated by undergraduates, but that the union is there to support their mental wellbeing also. Referring to my manifesto (more specifically, to the part where I mention collaboration with other Sabb offices), there are many possible ways of how to tackle this. - Working with Welfare I would put on forums and mixers to help postgraduates meet each other and so familiarise themselves with the postgrad environment, as well as campaign and provide meetings and platforms with which postgraduates can come forward with any issues or problems they are experiencing in order to make sure they are addressed immediately, and that other postgraduates can listen (and so feel more comfortable in vocalising). Doing this, postgraduates students would feel more at home within the students union in the knowledge that we as a Sabb team have their mental health and wellbeing at heart. - Working with Education I would make sure that postgraduate study spaces are up to scratch, and that more can be made if required. I would go to every campus and observe every available postgraduate study space, making note of what needs to be changed and improved, always encouraging postgraduate students to come forward with their own ideas and opinions so that said changes and improvements are as close to perfect as possible. - Working with Sports&Wellbeing, DCI and Engagement I would move to create workshops, sports days/activities and charity events/campaigns that encourage postgraduates students to integrate more into the wider world of the union so that their studies do not dictate their lives. This, in my mind, would have the same end as collaboration with Welfare in that postgraduates would be provided with a creative/active outlet with which to take a break from work and socialise, and also know that we as a students union want them to get more involved in our wide range of societies and contribute to the union. #SUSUstandswithpostgraduates To summarise, here is a quick problem-solution list: Postgraduates from other institutions - Instructional and informative videos released during the run-up to semester 1 tailored specifically to the postgraduate community. Postgraduate mental health - Mixers to help postgraduates meet each other, as well as meetings with which they can share personal stories, troubles and thoughts with each other to encourage unity in the postgraduate community, as well as further breaking the silence on the mental and emotional toll of postgraduate study. Postgraduate study - Reviewing all study spaces, making improvements and changes where necessary, and creating more if/where required. Postgraduate involvement - Working with the other Sabbatical officers to encourage postgraduates to immerse themselves into the students union through sports events, creative workshops and charity. Throughout this campaign I have been and will be chatting to postgraduates about their lives at the University of Southampton and how it can be improved, and so my plans at the moment are constantly evolving with every new person I speak to. I hope this has been helpful! Thank you for coming with a question, if you have any more, please do share!

This question was also only asked to HarveyAnswered by Harvey on 21/02/18 11:35

Have you thought about how you can support postgrads during the summer period? There is nothing on campus after 16:00. SUSU shop, Bridge are shut or not serving food after 16:00. Cafe is permanently shut. Stags is the only thing open, but not everyone wants to go there everyday. There is nothing available for students in the evening by the union, on a daily (Mon-Fri) basis, during the summer period.

The tricky thing is that when it comes to the SUSU shop, the Bridge and the Cafe, they are unlikely to open in the summer period as most of the students will be home. This means that turnover will significantly decrease, and so keeping them open later would not be a cost/effective decision. External establishments on campus such as PRET I'm sure are a different case. My first response to this would be opening channels of communication with more postgraduates and indeed other students that are on campus during the summer period. As this issue can be applied to more communities than just postgraduates, these talks would involve the President and the VPs for Welfare and Engagement. This way we will be making sure that what is made available to all students that are on campus during the summer period (be they postgrad or other) is what we understand to be most desired based on what we have been told and what is determined feasible by the University. Assuring that the essential services to students are available over the summer is an important issue and so if I am elected, when I first start in July I will begin pushing this issue forward and if not enough is done in time for September, I will make it a priority throughout the year so that by the following summer, appropriate and satisfactory action is taken. Thank you for asking! Please ask more if you need!

This question was also asked to Mingjie Yu, Emily Harrison, Chang LianAnswered by Harvey on 26/02/18 09:36

Follow up from your previous answer: "The tricky thing is that when it comes to the SUSU shop, the Bridge and the Cafe, they are unlikely to open in the summer period as most of the students will be home." I do understand a lot of students are home, but aren't PGs students? Don't they pay the same, if not more, fees to be a student for the whole year including the summer term. Do you think its fair to say that most students are home so the union can do a half-assed job of providing students with appropriate resources (including food in the evening)? And if you're ever here in the summer there are pre-sessionals and postgrads. That is around 6000 PGs and hundreds of pre-sessionals.

Hi there! I realise that my answer was slightly pessimistic in parts so my apologies for that, I wanted to respond as soon as I could but at the same time I did not want to make any promises or assurances that I didn't know I could keep. I'm currently investigating as to changes to the opening times of Union outlets that I, as a Sabb, could bring about. Having a part-time job in Southampton for the past 15 months, I spent a lot (if not all) of my summer either working or on campus in the SUSUtv studio or the library. As a result of this, I am aware of how many students are on campus during the summer period and I also understand the frustration of there not being enough open to students that are on campus during this period. I completely agree that students who are here over summer deserve exactly the same essential services and dedication as they would get during term time, and there is so much potential for the campuses to be more vibrant and active places during this period. This in mind, I will make sure that upon my findings about changing opening times (as a starting point), whatever can be done will be done in order to make sure that students who are regularly on campus can get something to eat/drink throughout the day, and that there are engaging, fun and inclusive events on campus for them to jump into and really involve themselves in the students union. These events could range from getting in external speakers, games nights, workshops, etc., there is a lot of possibility and it'll be really exciting to see what ideas in particular these students have regarding this, I hope to speak to many more and find out! I hope that answer was helpful, as I say I'm still looking into what direction I and the Union could go with this so I'm sorry it's slightly vague, but this is a very good question and an important issue to address and I will make sure to do it to the best of my ability. Thank you very much for the question!

This question was also only asked to HarveyAnswered by Harvey on 28/02/18 12:15


Harvey has not spent any of their budget yet