.Representation

Olivia Reed

Vice President Welfare

Key Points

  • Greater Mental Help support
  • Greater housing support
  • Data protection guidance
  • Future sustainability measures
  • Celebrate diversity

Why vote for me?

  Hi, my name is Olivia and I’m running for VP Welfare. This year as a member of several different union societies from music to sport and I’ve been directly involved in several welfare initiatives both within and outside societies. Having had friends suffer from mental health issues and consequentially drop out I know that mental health is a huge unseen problem for many students that often goes unreported. ·         Increased...(click here to read more...)

Questions & Answers

Could you explain further your policy on increasing the amount of counselling appointments available to students? How do you intend on doing this?

Hi! Of course. So one of the key points on my manifesto is around supporting people struggling with wellbeing and mental health difficulties. Having had friends had to drop out of uni and friends unable to take exams due to a lack of support I know the vital issue this can be. I believe supporting students is the number 1 priority for SUSU and as such as VP Welfare I want to ensure that there is that support in place at the union and the university. As you've highlighted I want to increase access and availability of counseling appointments available to students. This would involve a greater amount of support and appointments from existing services such as Enabling Services and The Advice Centre as well as expanding things such as Nightline. This should be a prioritisation in union budgeting.

This question was also only asked to OliviaAnswered by Olivia on 23/02/18 10:59

Would you be able to identify the key differences between the Advice Centre and the Enabling Services, and what each service aims to achieve?

Hi there. Brilliant question. The Advice Centre and Enabling services are both fantastic initiatives designed to help and support Southampton students. One of the major differences between them is the provider; The Union runs The Advice Centre whilst Enabling Services is run by the University. Both services offer drop-in sessions and can be used by any student. The Advice Centre is based in Building 40 above Stags. Enabling Services is based in Building 37 on Highfield campus, however, they also offer appointments on skype or by phone so that students further afield, (even abroad) have access to them. The two services also have a different focus. The Advice Centre focuses on offering help to students with housing, finance, academia and highlights ways to access support for a variety of difficulties. Enabling services specifically focuses on supporting students with disabilities, mental health problems or specific learning difficulties; they also have links with specialist health and wellbeing services. The two services work closely together. As a dyslexic and dyspraxic, I’ve had experiences with Enabling Services but not yet The Advice Centre. However, speaking to a range of students the issue is continually raised to me of long waiting times for appointments at both services. Therefore one of my key manifesto points is to increase access, availability, and responsiveness of counselling and well-being appointments so that students can have access to the help they need. Having had friends both drop out of uni and been unable to take exams due to mental health difficulties I am well aware of the importance these two services hold. For more info check out their websites at bit.ly/EnablingServices and bit.ly/TheAdviceCentre. Or my manifesto at bit.ly/OReed

This question was also asked to Dave Williams, Mairin Williams, Qiaochu Yang, Isabella Camilleri, Iona McPherson, Miriam BarkerAnswered by Olivia on 25/02/18 08:56

Hi. Your policy to "promote awareness about different identities and the beliefs of different groups through a campaign highlighting the diversity of groups and individuals at the university" seems a little vague. How do you actually envision this campaign, as we already do Culture Festival, which is a specific event to celebrate various cultures, and we also celebrate more specific events such as Black History Month and LGBT+ History Month.

Hi there! Yes, it is a little vague, apologies, a curse of a 500 world limit. Arriving at university I was really struck by the divide between different ethnic, religious and social groups. The campaigns already led by SUSU are fantastic, but I’d like to see them grown and expanded upon as well as more campaigns led. For example, the concourse is currently looking stunning for LGBT+ history month and also looked brilliant for Chinese New Year last week. I’d love to see the union building transformed like this more often, in a very public and engaged support for different cultures. I also think there should be society and individual spotlights on a plethora of different views, cultures, and stories to publicise and share the fantastic range of diversity we host at the university. I also think more inter-faith public events discussions and dialogues would be educational for people and help bring different communities together. This is something as VP Welfare I would prioritise. Hope that helps!

This question was also only asked to OliviaAnswered by Olivia on 25/02/18 10:10

What do you do in your daily life to be more sustainable?

Sustainability has always been a focus of mine. In my daily life, I try and do-little things such as walking whenever possible, using less packaged plastic products and be a dedicated recycler. I’m afraid I’m the kind of person who washes up and reuses tin foil and carries a spork to avoid using throwaway utensils. However, in my time at University I’ve also been involved in more direct sustainability measures such as community litter picks in Southampton and campaigning to reduce pollution around the city. I’ve also been a pescatarian since birth and I’m very conscious of my impact on sustainability as a consumer. Sustainability at the union is something which I’m glad to say has had a large focus in recent years. I’d like to build on this success and see less disposable products at union outlets. I know many students who have 9 to 5 days often struggle to locate a place to get water without having to buy a plastic bottle. This is bad for the planet and student’s purses. That’s why my manifesto includes a reducing disposable bottled water on campus or plastic cups by working to increase the number of drinking fountains, and the selling and promoting of reusable bottles at SUSU outlets. As a keen user of services like e-bay and charity shops, I’d also like to build on initiatives such as the ‘Swap Shop’ to create a place for students to be able to recycle, upcycle and swap their unwanted clothes, electronics, and household items online. This is again good for students finances and for the environment. I also know that energy use could be reduced around the university. It causes a nagging guilt/annoyance in me seeing a light on that’s unused. As VP Welfare I would support and promote campaigns such as blackout and review the current energy usage by the union. Our University and Union have some great schemes in place but could also go much further. I’ve been really impressed with initiatives such as the recycling points at NOC and multiple bins in the WSA café so would love to push this across all campuses. At Meet the Candidates I disputed that our generation wasn’t interested in looking after the planet, I think we are; and we need to show it. I’m aware that these are just a few policies, but I hope that gives you a taster into my views on sustainability and hopefully answers your question.

This question was also asked to Dave Williams, Mairin Williams, Qiaochu Yang, Isabella Camilleri, Iona McPherson, Miriam BarkerAnswered by Olivia on 25/02/18 09:21

Do you think it's fair to say that the Union, and the Postgraduate Committee, provide only "half arsed potted plants at the NOC" for Postgraduate students? Are you aware that the Postgraduate Power Teas are actually really popular?

Hi there! Apologies I by no means meant that the efforts for the PG Committee and Union were fruitless or without their merits. I’m well aware that there are many fantastic initiatives in place. As VP Welfare I intend to grow and expand welfare initiatives for Postgraduates to support them. As one of the only candidates who has focused on postgraduates within Welfare I can assure you PG interests are a priority for me. I’d do this by listening to PG needs and their wants from the union. Stress in PG life is something that has been often mentioned to me which is why I’m campaigning for increased access to counselling and wellbeing appointments. However all of my manifesto is also PG relevant. Hope that answers your question. Thanks!

This question was also only asked to OliviaAnswered by Olivia on 28/02/18 15:14

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