Welfare Officer is set to be the most contentious and competitive position this year, with the dissolution of International and Women’s Officers meaning that liberations responsibilities have fallen largely on Welfare. Perhaps that explains why there are six – previously seven – candidates running for the post this time around, with the one withdrawal coming from Becky Grimes, the incumbent officer. The campaigns this year converge on a few key issues: housing prices, healthcare accessibility (particularly regarding mental health), and laying down Welfare provisions for the new Bay Campus. In a bid to stand out, several candidates have adopted striking graphics or gimmicks to promote their campaigns – most notable are Rhydian’s ‘Spiderman’ imagery, Chuks’ train and Joel’s rather disturbing banners depicting an enormous set of teeth. Below are the manifestoes of all six candidates, digested just for you:


Rhydian Morris

 Rhydian promises to launch an investigation into men’s mental health, suggesting the use of an ‘anonymous submission system’ to collect data.

He also backs a voluntary landlord accreditation scheme.

As welfare officer, Rhydian will make FTOs more accessible and accountable, with their contact information freely available to students and a new feedback system.

Rhydian will lobby the city council regarding drainage in Singleton park.

Rhydian will make information relating to the Union more readily accessible to Freshers, suggesting a “Freshers pack” containing relevant information.


Joel Gascoyne

 Joel plans a highly publicised landlord accreditation scheme, and will publicly fight rent increases.

He plans to pre-register students for the 2015 General Election.

He will lobby to extend support structure on the new Bay Campus.

He will encourage a review into clashed regarding assessment deadlines.

He promises to fight for minimum standards of personal tutoring.

He also wishes to work with taxi drivers to allow student cards to be handed over as security on taxi fares.

He pledges to extend the lighting of Singleton Park

Lastly, he plans to launch a review into the business model and pricing of campus food.


Zarina Hamzah / Shareena Ekhtari

 Zarina promises to hold gatherings to discuss housing and transport.

She pledges to improve the quality of student accommodation on and off campus.

She plans to lobby with the university on bus fares.

She also promises to work closely with other FTOs on a range of issues.


Chuks Nwabugwu

 Chuks pledges to give every student a say in the running of the university.

He wishes to review campus security in order to improve safety standards for students.

He pledges to work with campus catering to improve quality and cut the price of food on campus.

He promises to lobby for affordable student accommodation.

He also plans to extend a ‘buddy scheme’ throughout the university.


Dharani Vijayakumar

 Dharani pledges better information regarding physical and mental illness as well as an offer of free first aid training for all students and staff.

She also wishes to introduce a more relaxed social environment on campus, including alcohol-free nights and film nights at Diva’s.

She plans a meet and greet for FTOs and new students.

She pledges to extend welfare provisions to Bay Campus.

She promises to train staff in understanding mental health issues.

She plans to increase staffing for the Health and Wellbeing Centres on campus.

She also pledges to introduce welfare wardens to student areas off-campus.

Lastly, she pledges a subsidised bus route between Singleton and Bay campuses.


Verity Williams

 Verity wishes to set up and anxiety and depression forum for students.

She wishes to extend university support for student parents.

She plans to work on improving housing standards, including the provision of ‘survival packs’.

She promises to make healthcare more accessible to students.

She pledges better bike racks and shelters on campus and promises to lobby for campus parking for students.

Finally, she wishes to extend access to contingency funding for international and UK students.


Full Manifestos can be viewed here.

By Oliver Treen