Here at university of Sunderland, we have a yearly election to decide who the next president will be for wellbeing. SRNews spoke to Keith Bays and Diogo Quintas to help you choose the best candidate.
Candidate 1: Keith Bays
Keith is running for president as he has worked six months with the union council so feels he has good knowledge of the issues at the university and wants to feel responsible for helping correct these issues. He also said that he has personal experience in his family with mental health so he feels that he can bring a lot to the table in terms of knowledge. He aims are to make the university experience as good as possible.
He feels that because he is a mature student, he has experience that will help in the role. Having worked for three years with Northumbria police, he now works closely with the police constable on campus, using his knowledge to help with crime prevention. He feels that this experience will be beneficial for helping international students to ensure they get more information about the laws and accommodation as he feels that there is not enough information in the university.
Mental health and LGBTQ+ issues:
When asked about his manifesto on mental health, he told us that he would always be available to talk to students. His experience with his wife has taught him that just talking to someone can be beneficial to help them feel better. This will also help him get a feel for issues and improve in areas that require it. He feels like taking in students words will help in rectifying issues.
Another thing that was mentioned in his manifesto was that he feels the LGBTQ+ community don’t get enough recognition on campus. he said it has become clear that people across campus think that they don’t get enough recognition. Keith wishes to improve this to help them get the best experience. He feels that the LGBTQ+ festival happening at the university in the summer should be moved to before term ends. This is because a lot of international students may not have a festival to celebrate. Especially if their sexuality is forbidden in their home country.
Keith told us because he has a lot of life experience, he feels like he has a lot of knowledge and experience which he thinks will benefit students.
Candidate 2: Diogos Quintas
Diogo is running as president of wellbeing as he is an international student who understands what he believes is going wrong within the university for both national and international students. He wants to be the voice of students, meaning he wants people to know you can talk about any issue with him. He also wants to be responsible for a positive change in the wellbeing of students.
He has told us that he believes students should feel prepared to address sensitive issues. Therefore, he feels that even if a student doesn’t feel ready at a given time, they should know that he will always be available to speak. He believes that an open door policy will allow students to feel more open. He felt that as a student, there was never a right time to address sensitive issues, anytime is the best time.
Library issues and Scholarships:
Diogo plans to have a 24/7 library, as the current library hours do not fit the needs of students. He believes the students are responsible enough to leave everything how it was found within the space. He said the library was made for students, so why shouldn’t a student be able to use it at a time that is convenient to them? Nowadays, we go to the library and check out a book without talking to staff. So the only difference would be that there wouldn’t be any staff present to help search for material.
We asked why he thought that scholarships should change, he thinks that they are not disclosed properly. It’s not explicit who can and can’t receive funding and how to apply. There are also students who have financial difficulties who he feels should have easier access to funding when needed. Diogo thinks that the get there scholarship should be available to postgraduates too and StudyPLUS should be extended. He said the university has over 4,000 postgraduate students. Some of whom have financial difficulties and the faculty is not allowing a balance between university and work.
Who will you vote for? Vote here: https://www.sunderlandsu.co.uk/users/sign_in (Remember you have to sign in to your student account to vote)