Iona McPherson

Vice President Welfare

Key Points

  • 'Ask for Angela' campaign to be supported by external bars
  • Create an online Wellbeing-Guide
  • The Union to offer pushbikes for lease
  • Support those who are faced with legal tenancy issues
  • Build allotments so students can grow their own vegetables

Why vote for me?

Hi, my name is Iona McPherson and I am a third year History student running for the position of VP welfare. Being the editor-in-chief of the Soton Tab has put me at an advantage of knowing what students really want out of the Union.  As VP welfare, I would tackle the issues and create an engaging Union built on respect, cooperation and mutual understanding. Equality and Diversity: Sexual awareness is a pressing issue that needs to be made known to everyone. I will aim to… Support...(click here to read more...)

Questions & Answers

Could you discuss further your policy on supporting the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme? You state that you will push the scheme out to external bars/clubs, but most are already involved, as is the Union. How do you intend to develop the scheme?

Hi there. I wish to develop the Ask for Angela scheme so external bars, clubs and pubs all over Southampton are aware and involved. I recently went around Southampton's bars and only a select few actually support the campaign, although the majority had heard of it. By ensuring every venue in Southampton supports this would encourage sexual awareness and be a development of student safety. Every bar wants their customers to feel safe, so by personally going into the venues and directly questioning whether they are involved with the campaign would surely encourage Southampton bars and clubs to support and become involved with Ask for Angela. I will work alongside the University press outlets to write about the scheme which would further the encouragement for bars to support Ask for Angela.

This question was also only asked to IonaAnswered by Iona on 19/02/18 18:32

Other than the bikes for lease, what other plans do you have for sustainability on campus?

Hi there, I have a lot of original plans for sustainability on campus. The current VP Welfare has done amazing work in this area and thereby given all the candidates running a fantastic platform to develop her work. I will firstly, continue to work in collaboration with EthiCo. I also have plans for the creation of allotments on and around campus so students can grow their own vegetables or flowers. I will also aim to initiate a photo competition which would celebrate the biodiversity of Southampton and its green spaces.

This question was also only asked to IonaAnswered by Iona on 25/02/18 18:14

You say you want to "Build an allotment so students can grow their own vegetables or flowers". Are you aware that this has been tried multiple times before by various student groups and not yet been successful? How do you propose to make it happen?

I understand that this has not been possible on campus in the past but Southampton has plenty of external green areas that are owned by the University. I will also be in contact with Southampton city council and work with the ecologist manager to specifically create allotments that are to be owned by students. I will also aim to work with the estates team to improve the biodiversity of the University's ground.

This question was also only asked to IonaAnswered by Iona on 25/02/18 18:22

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

Absolutely. The Online Wellbeing Guide I would aim to create, would enlist a variety of issues faced specifically by students and will clearly signpost the direction to get the most relevant help. There will also be a description under each of the services the Union offer, so students can know exactly why they are there and the help they provide.

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

On your policy to "work with VP Sport to ensure that AU sport societies are accessible to everyone", are you aware that this is currently an ongoing project with the current VP Welfare and VP Sports; they asked all sports clubs to complete a pledge! How could you develop this project?

I am aware that this is an ongoing pledge, however I don't think enough has been done so far. I, myself, have been unable to continue with a specific sport society because of an illness I was faced with, and of course not only was I disappointed, but I was out of pocket. This is not something that two VP candidates can tackle alone'; the students who run the society need to have the correct training to be inclusive to everyone and no-one should be forced to quit because of a disability. I feel this matter is only really addressed during Freshers' and, as VP Welfare, I would aim to continue the pledge throughout the whole academic year. I would aim to implement a clear, familiar system which would allow students to give feedback and report any discriminatory problems they may be faced with.

This question was also only asked to IonaAnswered by Iona on 28/02/18 15:15

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

Sustainability, for me, is not only the ability to reduce the damage caused to the environment, but it is a way of life. I, myself, in my every day life take caution with ensuring I have recycled what I can, avoiding long showers and making sure the house is not wasteful with energy. But I feel that is not enough. By being VP welfare, I would have the chance to influence, not only myself, housemates, family etc, but a whole University to become environmentally friendly. I would love for the improvement of a whole University's sustainability to became part of my every day life. I would aim to bring in resources, such as allotments and the Union bike leasing scheme so sustainable options are broadened. Everyone has an ecological footprint, and with the encouragement of the influences around us, such as the University that determines how 'far we have put our foot in it'.

This question was also asked to Dave Williams, Mairin Williams, Olivia Reed, Qiaochu Yang, Isabella Camilleri, Miriam BarkerAnswered by Iona on 28/02/18 15:30

Rather than the rather allusive 'I will support the sexual consent campaign', what specific proactive steps would you take as welfare officer to help raise awareness about issues regarding sexual consent?

I think that holding events to raise awareness for Sexual Consent is imperative. I will ensure that, not only does SCA week continue, but there will be many other events to support this campaign. I will also aim to work alongside the Union media outlets to ensure that this matter is addressed and I will be speaking with Union bars and external bars and clubs to find out what they are also doing to support this campaign. Furthermore, I will aim to clearly signpost the advice and help you can get in regards to sexual consent, by implementing an online well-being guide which will clearly direct students to the most relevant form of advice/help.

This question was also asked to Dave Williams, Mairin Williams, Olivia Reed, Qiaochu Yang, Isabella Camilleri, Miriam BarkerAnswered by Iona on 28/02/18 15:09


Iona has not spent any of their budget yet