Emily Harrison

Candidate for Vice President Student Communities

  • Create a dedicated common space for Postgraduates
  • Push to provide PGR students with their own desks
  • Introduce a kids club/ family night at Union films
  • Implement and extend a buddy system for International students
  • Create shuttle services between Highfield, SGH and the NOC.

Why vote for me?

About Me

Hi, I’m Emily and I’m running to be your VP Student Communities. During my time at University I have thrown myself into many aspects of the Union, sitting on Senate, the Creative Industries zone, and RAG committee as the current Engagement Officer. As RAG Engagement Officer I have worked hard this year to build relationships with students across zones. Next year I hope to use these to foster better communication both in the zone and Union wide to create #OneStudentCommunity.


  • Improve communication and relations both within the zone and across zones.
  • Conduct a survey to all groups in the zone to help tailor my term towards exactly what they feel is needed.
  • Extending the sense of community at home: Work with VP Engagement to improve the events and day-to-day environment of halls such as City Gateway, which is geared towards Postgraduate students.


  • Common space: Work with the University to create a dedicated space for Postgraduates to relax and socialise.
  • Desk space: Secure a roadmap from the University to provide PGR students with their own desks and set up a scheme whereby tutors log spare desk space for extended time periods.
  • Lobby the University over the lack of Postgraduate funding for humanities and offer support finding channels for alternative funding.
  • Work with the Postgraduate Committee and VP Engagement to provide a tailored postgrad Freshers plan.

Mature Students and Student Parents

  • Introduce a Kids Club/ Family night at Union Films
  • Provide more car-parking access: Often Mature Students and Student Parents travel from home. Currently, the best option is parking at halls and getting the bus to campus which is not convenient. I will look into providing more parking permits for Highfield and Avenue campus.

International Students

  • Implement and extend a Buddy System: A Buddy System, whereby International students would be partnered up with home students, has been brought up in previous years but has not been acted upon. I will implement this to increase engagement between International and home students and ensure International students are integrated into the student community from the very beginning.
  • Create an International committee: Currently, there is just one International Officer to represent over 6,500 International students from more than 135 countries. The needs of a Chinese student obviously differ hugely from those of a student from Australia and having a committee would ensure more fulsome representation.
  • Provide a dedicated space on the website: As part of increasing representation, I will create a dedicated space on the SUSU website for International students. This will include information about the area, how-to guides and upcoming International events.


  • Implement shuttle services between Highfield, SGH and the NOC.
  • Hold Bunfight style events at each campus during Freshers.
  • Common spaces: Provide common spaces at all sites where there are none currently and improve the quality and accessibility of existing common spaces at sites such as the NOC.

To read my policies in more detail and keep up to date with my campaign head to fb.me/VoteEmilyForVPStudentCommunities

#AllInThisTogether #OneStudentCommunity


Questions & Answers Ask me a Question

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

Hi! The two main problems I want to tackle in regards to postgraduate students are common space and lack of desk space. For the first, I will conduct a Union-wide survey to reassess the spaces that we have available to us, what we use them for and how we can better allocate them to identify unused, or ineffectively used space, to create a dedicated common space for Postgraduates to relax and socialise. As for the second, in my consultation with numerous postgraduate students a consistent issue which came up was the fact that Postgraduates are forced to hot-desk, meaning that they do not have their own desks. However, I know that there is a lot of spare desk space in offices, particularly around hand-in periods. I want to set up a scheme whereby tutors log spare desk space for longer periods of time. Students can then find these spare desk spaces and book them. This should will hopefully provide a good interim system, whilst I work with the University to secure a longer-term solution. I have a few other points in regard to postgraduates, such as providing support finding alternative funding channels and a tailored postgraduate Freshers plan, details of which you can find in my manifesto! If you have any other questions or problems concerning postgraduates that you want addressing please let me know! :)

This question was also asked to Mingjie Yu, Chang LianAnswered by Emily on 19/02/18 18:31

You say you want to looking into providing more parking permits for Highfield and Avenue campus, but a friend of mine has a permit and yet most days turns up to park and there aren’t any spaces left. Do you think it’s more important to source more parking spaces, or source more permits?

Hi there! Of course, bringing in more spaces is definitely important. However I believe this is a longer-term issue. In the interim, bringing in more permits would allow more people access to the spaces that are available whilst I work towards bringing in more spaces in the future.

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 20/02/18 23:50

• You want to “implement shuttle services between Highfield, SGH and the NOC” do you not feel the unilink buses are enough?

Hi there! In short, I don't think they are enough, no. Although they provide a great service generally, I don't think they provide the best option for students at these sites, for two reasons. Firstly, the cost. Although first year student receive a free bus pass, the use of the service has to be paid for in all subsequent years and the passes are extremely expensive. Considering how much students are paying for their degrees, I don't think students who are based on satellite campuses should have to pay just to access their lectures. The Winchester shuttle bus has been incredible at engaging students on both ends of the route and has shown that there is definitely scope to broaden this out to the NOC and SGH. Secondly, although Unlink buses do go to these two sites, they are not solely dedicated to them but are at the very end of the route. As a result, the buses are much slower than a direct service would be and become much busier as the route progresses, meaning students frequently are not able to get on it. Bringing in a shuttle service to both these sites would address both of these problems.

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 20/02/18 23:59

One of your key points is a kids club at Union Films with discounted tickets. Have you spoken to anyone at Union Films about this considering their programming is decided by their cinema manager/committee alone? And, considering the money from Union Films funds the Creative Industries Zone budget, surely discounted tickets only serves to benefit Student Communities while taking away from Creative Industries?

In regards to the discounted tickets, I would be looking into covering this with the Student Communities budget, in order to better support Student Parents. I am by no means suggesting to take away from Union Films or the Creative Industries budget. If elected, I would sit down with Union Films to discuss the logistics of it to ensure that Union Films, nor any other student group, is negatively effect.

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 21/02/18 00:08

I honestly don't believe you've thought your idea for shuttle bus services through. In order to provide for all students needing this bus service equally, the union would have to more than triple the amount of money it puts into shuttle bus services; with the initial investment in new shuttle buses costing extortionate amounts, as well as finding the staff to man them. After the union received a 7% cut in funding last year, which will likely to happen again, how can you justify essentially spending your entire budget on this service? As well as taking funds away from other essential services?! Furthermore, have you conducted any market research from NOC & SGH students that warrants this policy at all? Would it not make more sense for you to approach the council and/or Unilink as a company to see where improvements can be met or discounts could be made? It seems entirely unlikely that this policy will ever manifest in the way it needs to in order to provide an equal opportunity to all NOC & SGH students and there are much better ways to spend student money!

Hi! Thank you so much for your question! This is a policy that I have thought a lot about. My main priority is for a shuttle service to the NOC and SGH, such as the one I have proposed in my manifesto, to be established however I am open to all channels to make this happen. I certainly don't intend to spend the entire zone budget on this, if I was to be elected. In fact, this is indeed something I would aim to work with the University. The University are extremely concerned with 'Student experience' and so are very open to changes that will improve that. This puts us in a unique position to be able to push for things like an improved shuttle service to the NOC and SGH on their side. I'm not so to think that I can come in and implement this instantly, I am aware that this will be a much longer-term process. However, I think its important to put the wheels in motion to begin something which I believe will massively improve the experience of students. In regards to your question about consultation, I used to live with a Geology student who spent a lot of time at the NOC and I know transport was a huge issue for her and a factor in her having to move out later on. I don't think this is good enough and was one of the things that brought this issue to my intention as needing to be improved. This policy is only the beginnings of a plan that I want to work on. If elected, I will of course endeavour to make sure all appropriate consultation and research is conducted in order to achieve the best possible, and financially viable, option for both students and the Union. If you have any more questions, please feel free to submit them on here or message me on Facebook. You can find my campaign page at https://www.facebook.com/VoteEmilyForVPStudentCommunities/ where you can message me with any further questions or comments and I will be happy to discuss it further. Thanks!

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 24/02/18 12:53

Two issues: Palestine societies around the country have often been prevented or hindered in some way in holding events or inviting speakers by universities, mainly due to pressure from opposing groups and the university (as many companies have links with the uni that have certain vested interests). Can we rely on your support to ensure we are able to continue exercising our right to freedom of speech? Another issue is less urgent but with rising islanohobia, Islamic society would be keen to increase engagement with the union to raise awareness to reduce hate crime (especially against women who choose to cover their heads) and general prejudice, and to untialtely grow more understanding between communities and fight division. Can Islamic society also rely on your support on this front too?

Hi, thank you so much for your question! Of course, free speech is incredibly important and I will support all societies in their right to exercise this! In regards to your second question, this is an issue which I am definitely keen to get involved with. Some fantastic work has been done by the current Student Communities and Welfare Sabbs, Arun and Sam, to help stop and provide support for victims of discrimination and harassment, most notably the recent creation of a new online tool in collaboration with Stand Up To Racism society for students to report incidents of harassment including race. As VP Student Communities, I would be very keen to work the incoming VP Welfare (Since Islamic Society falls under the remit of VP welfare) to continue raising awareness of issues such as you have mentioned and providing support for victims.

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 24/02/18 17:35

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.

Hi, thank you for your question! I feel like this is a two-part question. To answer the latter part of your comment first, I agree, the lack of availability of Union facilities over the summer period is definitely a huge issue! The problem is that it is not an easy one to resolve. It is not just a case of extending, and in some cases creating, summer opening hours for all Union outlets but the staff that would be needed to then operate these facilities, which of course would require large staffing costs. For this reason, I have not explicitly included this in my manifesto as I do not think it is something that can be quickly and easily rectified. That said, in my manifesto, I have talked about my plan to implement a survey to gain feedback from students about what they want at the beginning of my term, if I was to be elected. If the lack of availability of Union facilities is something that is flagged up in that survey as being of pressing concern to Postgraduates then I would most definitely look into trying to resolve this issue! In answer to your first question, we have a very strong pre-sessional programme for International students. I think a great way to support Postgrads during the summer period would be branching this out to them, either by incorporating them into the events going on to enable Internationals and Postgrads to interact (Which I feel would be beneficial and interesting for both parties) or by replicating a similar programme alongside this specifically dedicated to Postgrads. I hope this answers your question, if you have any further queries please feel free to submit another question here on my candidate page or message me through my campaign page at https://www.facebook.com/VoteEmilyForVPStudentCommunities/. Thanks!

This question was also asked to Harvey Rickatson, Mingjie Yu, Chang LianAnswered by Emily on 25/02/18 22:14

Following up from your previous answer: I agree staffing costs would increase as a result of increasing summer opening hours. But the union pays the staff for long hours during term, why not in the summer when there are enough people on campus who would want food, and other support services. Bridge is really expensive compare to Cafe and Cafe isn't open at all. Which is just unfair for PGs. I feel just because the UGs are gone the union thinks they can get away with a half-assed job for PGs as they won't complain as much. Don't you think the income from the PGs using the facilities can cover the extra overheads required? Also, my question was about support for PG students and not events. Events are put on by the PG Committee but what can an event once a week or month do when I have to walk off campus for a meal every day in the summer. Because I can't afford the Bridge everyday for fresh meals and that is all we get from the union.

Hi, I completely agree that it is a less than ideal situation. However the problem is that the income from the PGs using the facilities would not cover the extra overheads required. The café currently makes a loss during normal term time and the Union simply does not have the budget to subsidise it over summer when the income would be even lower. I don't want to promise that if elected I will extend opening hours and have the café open during the summer because I do not feel that it is something I could deliver on. However, it might be viable to re-look at what is offered by the Bridge and push to provide better/ cheaper options for Postgrads during the summer period. I hope this answers your question!

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 27/02/18 16:11

Which departments do not provide desks for their PGR students? I am doing PhD in ECS, everyone here has a desk, and I thought it is standard practice to provide desks?

Hi there, thank you for your question! This is something which is a particular issue within Humanities, as students are made to hot-desk so PGRs in this faculty do not have their own desk permanently.

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 27/02/18 16:13

You mention in your manifesto about wanting to introduce a scheme where home students and internationals are buddied up, yet the ESN already provides a scheme like this. What would your scheme do differently and better than the existing one?

Hi there, thank you for your question! The scheme that the ESN provides is fantastic, but my aim is to broaden it out and make it available to all international students outside of the Erasmus scheme. At the moment, getting involved in the scheme relies a lot on being aware of the ESN. By working together and providing more support, we can raise awareness of and get people more involved in the scheme! One of my other policies is to set up an International committee to provide better representation for International students and my plan to extend the scheme in line with this to make it even more inclusive. I hope this answers your question, please feel free to drop me a message at https://www.facebook.com/VoteEmilyForVPStudentCommunities/ if you have any more queries! Thanks!

This question was also only asked to EmilyAnswered by Emily on 28/02/18 12:20


Emily has not spent any of their budget yet