You're absolutely right, in my experience in the role so far students can have a difficult time interacting with our democratic processes. This is, in part, because they aren't clear at all. How can we expect students to come along to a zone meeting when they have no idea what a zone is? What I want to do is make a Union that changes this; I want to literally rewrite the rules, consulting with relevant groups of students to make sure that the rules the Union and its members are governed by are clear and actually usable. I've also started the process of taking a serious look at the roles of sabbatical officers, the focus of these roles and how they best serve to represent students. If re-elected I would then look to extending this to how the levels underneath sabbs work; the zones. I think some of the issues we've had in the past have been, like you said, the way that things like Referendums came about (Now called All Student Votes as Referendums had such a bad rep the Union went so far as to rename the process!). If they're just on the whim of a sabb that doesn't mean students care. This is why I don't advocate for simply 'more All Student Votes'. Don't get me wrong I would love this to be the case, but only happen they are created naturally, by students for causes they care about, not just by the VP DCI deciding there should be more to give the illusion of better representation. This would only cause voter fatigue and perpetuate the stigma surrounding Referendums/All Student Votes. I believe that this year I've helped to start a move away from the idea of these things as negative. Take the All Student Vote on the University restructure. This vote came about because a group of students started a petition, which triggered an All Student Vote, about an issue they cared deeply about and they demonstrated that it resonated with other students too. We then worked with those students to write the questions to take to the whole student body, and are working with them still in our response. This is what I want to make more of. I would also add that, although I do want to rewrite the rules, there are some strong processes in place for representation, it’s about letting students know about them. I want there to be a big button on the website for petitions, and other representation processes. I want our You Make Change platform to be more user friendly, and to make it easier to track the process of the ideas and questions students have submitted. This is part of making the Union more transparent, one of my key points, and part of this is about letting students know what the Union is actually doing for students. I’m not talking about just emailing, as we all know how many emails are left unread or deleted by a busy student, but it’s about going out and doing what the Union is here to do – talk to and represent students! From simple things like having a screen on the concourse which tells students where the money they spend in Union outlets goes, to getting out of building 42 and going to sites, to utilising our reps more and to shout about their successes too. If we as a Union can demonstrate what our processes are and that actually, if used right they can and do work we become that bit more accessible to students. The other part of de-stigmatising representation is holding the representative that students elect accountable for what they do or do not do. How can a student feel that they are being properly represented by their sabbatical officers when Senate ‘runs out of time’ for them to ask their question? When there is little to no formalised way for a student to find out what the individual sabbs are supposed to be working on that year? I want to work with students to give Senate some teeth, to build on and improve the senator training that was introduced this year, to make Senate one of our most widely advertised events of the year, to allow more opportunities for unelected students who aren’t able to attend to ask questions, and I want to work with students to find out what they want to see. The Union has a reputation for being defensive and hiding behind its decisions – this shouldn’t be the case. The Union should want to be held to account, as this is how it can most effectively fulfil its purpose, and this is the Union that I want to create.