16:36 And that’s a wrap. Don’t forget to vote for your preferred candidates tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday. Thanks for sticking with us.
16:35 Both candidates agree that greater communication between the SU and students is an important.
16:33 Why should we vote for the candidates?
Zahid cites his past experience as an education officer.
Lexi puts the emphasis on communication with the student body.
16:31 Talking about the need for strong leadership within the SU, both candidates agree that robust leadership is vital for an effective and cohesive student body.
16:29 Both candidates note that the SU can do a lot to improve the reputation of Swansea University. Zahid says “we have a moral obligation” to go out into the community and engage with prospective students.
16:27 Is the Union better off outside the NUS. Lexi says that if the NUS is giving sufficient support structure to the SU, we should stick with it. Zahid agrees and adds that we “should not be afraid to stand up to the NUS”.
16:26 Lexi highlights her promise to “make sure SU officers give something back to the students… students need to know that [SU officers] are interested in their concerns.”
16:24 What’s the first thing we’d notice if Zahid was elected? “The first thing students will notice… is free broadband for all students. This is a fully costed policy, and it has already been tried in San Francisco.”
16:22 Lexi begins by laying out her priorities: improving financial support for students and raising awareness about the role of the SU. She also references Swansea’s “proud Welsh heritage” and pledges to push the uni to support local culture and the Welsh language.
16:19 Zahid begins by listing his achievements as education officer, adding that Swansea students can be “can be a force to be reckoned with”. Says that students have a “powerful voice”.
16:17 Here we go. Zahid Raja and Lexi Woodward take positions for the presidential hustings. Stay tuned.
16:15 Presidential candidates will be starting soonish. It’s still very cold back here at the Siren desk. Send help.
16:12 Joel and Charlotte both appeal for votes, with Joel adding that there will be ‘a surprise on the internet later’. Keep an eye out.
16:09 Both candidates recognise the importance of securing sponsors for Sport Swansea, particularly in the face of increasingly limited resources. Joel suggests that the sports societies need to work as a united front with regards to securing big sponsorships.
16:06 Charlotte wants to raise awareness of the gym facilities. Joel points out all the various clubs that are available.
16:02 Joel raises the point of the ‘OutinSport’ campaign, zero tolerance towards homophobic discrimination in sports clubs. Charlotte raises another good point that students can sign up to teams at any time of the year.
15:59 The issue of initiations are raised, much to the delight of the audience. Both candidates agree that no one should be made to do anything they feel uncomfortable with. A reminder for ‘seniors’ in clubs to go easy on the new ones, just because they went to initiations, that doesn’t mean you have to run them yourselves.
15:57 Charlotte wants better advertising of all the sports teams, saying that people don’t realise how could some of our teams are. Joel thinks we need to make more use of media teams available in the SU, improving the overall image of the university as well.
15:54 The candidates are asked what they’d ask to improve various team standings in the BUCS league. Joel argues for better coaching, and improving the structure of training sessions themselves. Charlotte agrees, but says this should be done by investing in our own student coaches, training someone up, so then they have to opportunity to use these skills after they have left university as well.
15:52 Joel suggests set days or tournaments to get more students involved. Charlotte agrees and wants this extended to a league that isn’t as intimidating as BUCS, maybe competition between houses, or between the campus and village.
15:51 Issues surrounding Varsity are discussed. Charlotte wants more buses and better promotion of matches other than the main rugby match. Joel wants bigger and better venues, and better promotion of the event as a whole.
15:47 Question: How can sports make sure to include everybody?
Charlotte wants more coverage in the student media, linking sports and the SU together, wanting them to integrate more than they have this year.
Joel agrees, reminding students should be proud of their teams, encouraging those who don’t play sports to still be involved.
15:43 Joel Stevens Leach, (constantly using hashtags while donning his own pink ‘JSL’ t shirt), rallies against 6 o clock lectures clashing with training. Wants to get more people spectating as well as participating in sport, using Varsity as an example. Would like to get more funding sports clubs at Swansea.
15:41 Charlotte Peters : ‘Sport no longer needs saving, but progressing’. Argues more that spaces for sport teams could become available if there were better links with local schools and colleges. Would like to introduce sport leagues to encourage more students to take part in sports more regularly, not just on Wednesday afternoons.
15:38 The hustings resume, a little bit later than planned.
15:19 The husting for Societies and Services candidates are now finished. Up next are the Sports Officers, who will start their speeches in about 10 minutes.
15:17 Again, Mathew wants people to get the most out of their time through work experience. Ceinwen wants more staff in JCs at peak times, based on current student demand. Sion thinks we need something like Bake n’ Take back, as SPAR can often be far too expensive. This is particularly important for students living in the Village, who may not be able to access as many shops.
15:15 The candidates are asked what services they’d want to see added. Josh argues that we need to work on ‘tweaking what we already have’, for example training JCs employees so that they’ll be able to be hired for bar work outside of university.
15:12 Question: Which services should be available on the upcoming second campus?
Sion wants all the same benefits to be available across both campuses.
Mathew highlights that whoever is elected needs to spread their time equally between both campuses.
The candidates generally agree that bars, a Costcutter, and places to get food are the most important. However, Josh also raises the importance of childcare facilities.
15:07 Question: What’s the biggest problem that societies face?
Mathew wants to refresh and change the format of the ‘Give it a Go’ week, keen for better advertising and letting people know how they can get involved.
Josh feels that there isn’t enough communication and ties between the different societies.
Sion argues that he wants the website to be more updated, more organised, points out the good example set by Southhampton University, suggests a monthly calendar of events so that people can see what’s going on.
Ceinwen agrees the need for good communication between societies, wants online booking forms for rooms, and a online space for smaller societies to collaborate and create events using an online calendar.
15:02 Question: Why are societies so important?
Ceinwen wants to retrain Student Ambassadors to drive home the importance of societies as participating within them helps your CV to stand out from the crowd.
Sion says that societies have helped him overcome shyness, and had improved his communication skills.
Josh mentions that societies kept him involved, and acted as a ‘support network’. Argues that the best societies can be like a ‘university family’.
Mathew believes in diversity within societies, says its to meet new people that you may not have do otherwise.
15:00 Mathew Jones wants to get more rooms and storage space for societies to use. Says that currently the activities room is ‘not fit for purpose’. Wants to develop online society space, making it more useful and interactive. He hopes this will also encourage societies to look at each others’ pages.
14:58 Josh Hutin wants to ‘give back’ to a union that has encouraged him to stay at Swansea University. Stresses the importance of accessibility for all societies, wants to create inter-society events. Wants to recognise those who do work for charities.
14:55 Sion Durham wants to increase training, communication and support for societies. Also wants to reward societies who do ‘amazing work for this university’. Would like to put in a new sandwich shop run my student, as well as a Farmer’s Market.
14:53 Ceinwen Cloney talks about how the experience of creating the University’s St. John’s Ambulance society gives her the ideal qualities for the role of Societies and Services Officer, namely decision-making and approachability and good time-keeping. Wants to run a second jobs fair in Employability Week.
14:52 The candidates are introduced.
14:40 Societies and services candidates are up shortly.
14:32 Candidates make their final remarks. Nick wants to ‘smash’ last year’s voting numbers. Brynley says only a fifth of students currently vote, this is not enough. Swaran closes by emphasises his previous manifesto points.
14:28 Question: What are the 3 biggest issues affecting students?
Swaran says finances, cuts and costs. Argues that every student in the room has struggled with finances and fear lack of job prospects. Suggests more work placements to increase employability.
Nick again highlights student and staff welfare, wants to prove that ‘Swansea students are the best’, like Swaran, mentions increasing work placements.
Brynley wants value for money – states that students ‘should get their £9,000 worth’. Also mentions employability, and staff welfare.
14:25 Question: What about the National Student Survey? How can we get as many final year students to complete this as possible?
Brynley wants to more effort promote the NSS.
Swaran goes further, saying the importance of the survey must be made clear to students, and suggests that lecturers should ‘give shout-outs’ to get more publicity for the survey itself.
Nick agrees that publicity is the key.
14:22 Question: How would you speed up the academic marking process?
Swaran suggests hiring out more staff to a mixed response.
Brynley agrees that ‘communication is the key’, but however stresses to keep a three week turnaround limit for feedback.
Nick says it’s a more complicated issue, highlighting the welfare of lecturers, as well as that of students.
14:20 Question: How would you improve things for postgraduates on campus?
Nick feels he has first hand experience, but also wants them to make the most of postgraduate socities.
Brynley also agrees, wants greater integration of postgraduates in societies.
Swaran suggests more open days specifically for postgraduates, focusing on showing them around to all the facilities Swansea has to offer.
14:18 Swaran Singh wants to ensure that every student has an individual timetable to access and also wants to create an interactive library map, to help students locate books. Like Brynley, highlights importance of upcoming University review.
14:17 Brynley Pearlstone highlights a lack of communication between departments.
14:15 Three candidates this time, so more opportunity for questions. Nick Hoad wants to boost employability by creating subject specific events. Says that a large number of students still aren’t sure what’s expected of their subject reps, and wants to increase awareness of their roles.
14:14 The Education Officer candidates are now being introduced. Everyone told to ‘cwtch up to keep warm’.
14:08 Quick break – in about 5 minutes time will continue with the candidates for Education Officer.
14:04 The Welfare candidates make their final points. Becky complains about the price of food, wanting healthier food to be available to students. Josh Gaskell points out an increase in student suicides, promoting the need for ‘agony aunts’ and drop in services for vulnerable students.
14:03 Becky says that a lot of students actually get caught out with signing their housing contracts, so again students knowing their housing rights is a priority.
14:02 Josh Hale again points out that students should be aware of their rights in regards to bad landlords.
14:01 Josh Gaskell promises to ‘don a wig and cloak if necessary’….
13:57 Question: How would you integrate students into the local community?
Josh Hale says show the community that students can be an asset, not a burden on the local community, promoting volunteering. Becky agrees, that there should be better access and information given to students who want to volunteer in the area. Josh Gaskell wants to hold monthly coffee mornings, so members of the community can go along and interact with students. Joe agrees with previous points.
13:54 Question: What’s highest on the agenda for student welfare?
Joe says feeling safe, Josh Gaskell refuses to narrow this down to one specific point, Becky wants students not to feel like their on their own and feel like they are being respected, Josh Hale wants welfare to be a priority not just for the current campus, but also the developing 2nd campus.
13:52 Continuing on from this, Josh Hale’s main manifesto point is introducing a healthy eating cookbook targeted specifically at students.
13:50 Becky Grimes highlights the importance of feedback from tutors and stresses the need to inform students housing rights, right through until graduation. Like Joe and Josh, she suggests that healthy eating is a major issue concerning students.
13:47 Josh Gaskell wants ‘to make this house your home’. Wants to host events to encourage volunteering within the local community. Suggests weekly drop-in-centres where students can come and share any issues they may have. Keen for free toast in Tooters, as seen at Sin City.
13:45 Joe Care wants to work with taxi companies to create an emergency scheme so students can get home safely and pay using their student cards. He also wants to improve the lighting situation in Singleton Park, picking up on points made by the Women’s Officers.
13:44 Deputy Returning Officer Stuart Rice points out that if you don’t want to vote for any of the candidates, you can always choose to re-open elections.
13:41 Everyone grabs food and coffee as the Welfare candidates get ready to go on.
13:29 Again, the candidates are asked to give their final pledge for votes.
13:27 All candidates agree that equality needs to be pushed a lot more, however the role is still necessary as women still do face discrimination at University. Rosie states that she would push for an equalities officer supplemented by a part-time women’s officer.
13:25 Question is it appropriate to still have a women’s officer draws boos from the crowd.
13:23 How will you ensure that all the liberation groups are equally represented?
Megan wants to expand and promote all of them, extend zero tolerance.
Keryn again puts forward her ideas of an equalities week and support for part-time officers.
13:21 Question: What is the most important issue facing women at university?
General consensus is safety and adherence to the zero tolerance policy, Megan adds that women participating in sport is also a big issue. Women particularly should have the confidence to participate in sport without feeling self-conscious or objectified.
13:19 Megan O’ Connell wants to launch a mentor system comprised of student volunteers, to ensure that every student has the opportunity for face-to-face personal contact. She also wants to include other minority groups, and extend the university’s zero tolerance policy.
13:15 Keryn Jalli wants to use her experience as Black Student’s officer to create an ‘Equality Week’. Wants to campaign to increase childcare hours for student parents, now that lectures continue until 6.
13:13 Rosie Inman wants to introduce a subsidised night bus for students to get home safely, and raise awareness of the contraception services that the university provide. Maintains the importance of having separate Women’s and Equality officers.
13:11 Fran Ferguson wants a zero tolerance policy towards harassment, and to work with companies to ensure equality for graduate women in the workplace.
13:10 Audience and candidates reminded not to heckle or use any bad language.
13:09 The four candidates for Women’s Officer make their way to the stage.
13:08 The tech guys take the opportunity to fix various sound and microphone problems in the tent.
13:02 A quick break before the next round of candidates. The Siren team do their best to warm up.
12:59 Candidates given the opportunity to make closing remarks.
12:58 Eleanna suggests this should be taken this even a step further, offering advice to students before they even come to Swansea.
12:56: Seveone makes a point about wanting someone to meet International students from the airport, and taking the time to find out who are they are and what they’re interested in as individuals.
12:55: Candidates are asked about their first experiences of moving in as International students.
12:52: The sudden discovery of a microphone greatly improves the candidates’ ability to get points across to the audience!
12:51: Seveone suggests a Facebook page specifically for International students to use.
12:50 Second question – how will students become better involved and engaged with student life?
12:49 Eleanna suggests that accessibility is the key to equal opportunities for all students.
12:47: Hassan wants International students to write about their experience at Swansea.
12:46 Eva is asked how she would ensure fair opportunities for all international students
Response: She will be listening hard to any students that feel they aren’t being represented.
12:44 Seveone Ye gets a lively response from the audience, before revealing a superman t-shirt.
12:40 If elected, Eleanna Mountaki wants greater student participation in the SU, particularly wanting International students to get involved.
12;39 Second candidate Hassan Hamdoun gives a confident speech but is unfortunately cut short.
12:35 Eva Donoghue starts by outlining her student experience, wants to change Ty Beck. Concerned about improving graduate employability. Also wants to ensure that societies provide their equal opportunites for all.
12:33 Procedure briefly outlined, each candidate will have two minutes to explain why you should choose them, before a question and answer session opened to the audience.
12:32pm Quiz the candidates has begun! Slight delay due to technical difficulties.
12:30 pm Last few pieces getting set up inside the tent, speeches from the International Officer candidates to start shortly.