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Vice President Candidate:

Layla Weiss

Proposer: Gemma King

 

Seconder: Candix Odio Higgins

What policies would you deliver if you became Students’ Union Vice President?

 

I would work towards creating more of a connection with local businesses and venues to create real-time opportunities for students to sell art and make connections during university to help ease anxiety and inspire confidence. 

Start a weekly, light-hearted support group for students to craft and chat about any issues they have without judgement. This would act as one of the low pressure, long-term opportunities for students to have a support system, with the option of taking part online too for accessibility. Also, making it mandatory for student reps to go through mental health training so other students can feel more confident going to them.

I would also like to continue the fun, creative wellbeing workshops from last year, and introduce some new themes such as body positive workshops.

I would put in place a stronger focus on supporting underrepresented artists throughout the year, not just during dates such as black history month and LGBT+ history month.

What is the main change you want to see at NUA?

A key focus of my vice presidency will be the students’ mental health and wellbeing inside and outside of university. I aim to find more accessible, long-term support solutions for them. I will do this by working closely with the student support team, liberation officers and, of course, students.

Additionally, I will work towards easing the anxiety of students regarding leaving university and finding placements within the art industry. I will organise opportunities for students to present and sell their work outside of university through connecting with local businesses, artists and beyond.

What skills and experience do you bring to the role that make you the best candidate?

My creative and professional practise evolves around inclusivity, diversity and fair representation. I am co-founder of an art magazine which collaborates with a hugely diverse set of artists. A lot of my practise focuses on accessibility, and I am always learning about how I can make art and workshops more accessible to people with disabilities, low income and for minorities.

I enjoy combining activism and art together, I believe it is a very powerful tool to create change. 

I have experienced mental health problems during university, so I emphasise a lot with students who struggle during this time. I enjoy helping others because I have been through it myself.

Why should students place their vote with you?

University is so vital for our growth, beyond just our work, but reaching into who we want to become as a person. I understand this path is different for us all, my focus is to empower all students and provide them a safe space to be heard. I want them to get the best opportunities at university and out of themselves. I want to provide you and those who are underrepresented a platform to express yourselves and your practise. I have great ideas planned which I will see through by listening, collaborating and supporting you.

In fact, I want to do more for underrepresented artists, such as from the disabled, BAME and LGBT+ communities. I believe for there to be equality, there must first be equity, this means providing more support for the people who have been unfairly represented.

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What would you want to be remembered for after you completed your year as Vice President?

It’s not about me being remembered, it’s about me making an impact on student’s university experience and making it more of a safe space. I want every student to feel like they are given the same support as others, no matter what background. I also want them to feel more comfortable leaving university and starting a career in what they love.  I want to leave behind a system in place for supporting the BAME, LGBT+ and disabled communities.

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 the other candidates:

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