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Candidate for the position of President

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Larissa Kennedy

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EXPERIENCE

AT WARWICK

  • Warwick SU Education Officer and Deputy President (2018 - 2019)
  • President of Warwick Anti-Racism Society (2017 - 2018)
  • Co-President of Warwick Anti-Sexism Society (2017 - 2018)
  • Freshers Representative for Warwick Anti-Sexism Society (2016 – 2017) 

 

…AND BEYOND

  • NUS Black Students’ Committee Open Place (2018 – 2019)
  • NUS Black Student of the Year (2018)
  • UK Youth Delegate to the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (2018)
  • Trustee of the British Youth Council (2017 - 2019)

 

ACHIEVEMENTS AS EDUCATION OFFICER

  • Working collectively with student activists to get the University to concede to our demands following University Management’s atrocious handling of the group chat case, notably securing a permanent contract for the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor and an independent review of the disciplinary process
  • Created STEPfest as an opportunity for any student to be involved with education policy and re-launched Hidden Histories
  • Founded the Decolonise Project, providing paid opportunities for students to co-create and liberate the curriculum
  • Successfully lobbied for the University to commit to a cross-institutional strategy on closing the Black Attainment Gap
  • Made access a bigger part of the role: speaking at World Skills UK and organising an access conference
  • Developed a project to provide additional study space by booking spaces to reduce the underuse of certain areas in the Library
  • Produced a report on racism at Warwick, presented the findings in the Houses of Parliament on racism in HE, and contributed to the EHRC national inquiry into racism in HE
  • Leading the transformation of academic representation structures, to better engage and empower course reps and faculty reps
  • Campaigned against the criminalisation of the Stansted 15 and the consequent impingement of rights to protest, which directly impacts student activists

 

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Improving your day-to-day experiences

Making student life cheaper and easier

  • A £3 meal deal in Rootes Grocery Store
  • A post room on central campus
  • Cheaper, more affordable accommodation on campus

 

The cost of living as a student is far too high, and it makes Higher Education inaccessible and stressful. These are just a couple of the things I’ll do to make student life cheaper and easier.

 

Improving student welfare and safety

  • Specialist mental health services
  • Improve training for all personal tutors
  •  ‘Ask for Angela’ in local clubs
  • Equality in access to mitigating circumstances

 

The mental health services we have, and the training our personal students should be fit to support BME, LGBTUA+, and disabled students as well as students with experiences of sexual violence. To tackle sexual violence, I will encourage clubs in Coventry and Leamington to adopt the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme & will offer training on sexual harassment to their staff. I also want to remove disparities in how mitigating circumstances are treated across Departments, and resources to demystify University processes around mental health

 

 

Making Running Societies and Clubs Easier

  • Review of the external speaker policy
  • Easier access to society money with exec finance cards
  • Making the most useful and impactful training available for execs across the year

 

The external speaker policy is not fit-for-purpose – all too often, it’s a hindrance for students who want to provide opportunities for others & this needs to change. It’s unacceptable the exec members for societies and clubs often have to use their own money for equipment and resources before having it reimbursed: this is inaccessible and unfair, so I will create exec finance cards. I also want to increase the flexibility in access to training for execs, so that we are providing what you need, when you need it.

 

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Reclaiming Our University…

… from the erasure of underrepresented student communities

  • Creating a full-time Liberation Officer
  • Offering paid opportunities for students to co-create and liberate their curriculum
  • Tougher sanctions for sexual harassment, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and other forms of oppression that make University particularly unsafe for certain student communities

 

I believe in free, accessible, liberated education and all students’ right to feel safe and supported. Regrettably, this is not the reality at present at Warwick. We must take drastic action to change this – from the curriculum to SU representation.

 

… from corporate spaces that students can’t use

  • Securing accessible study space in every building
  • Pushing for further study space in Library 2 and the refurb of the old Sports Centre
  • Commitment to a bigger, brand new SU building in the University’s Campus Masterplan
  • Making training times, facilities and equipment more accessible for sports clubs
  • Common room space for every Department

 

Whose University? Our University! Although, it doesn’t always feel like that walking around our campus. This is our space and I will fight for greater recognition of that, so that you have more study space, and more space available for societies and clubs.

 

…from an unaccountable and disconnected University management

  • Ensure the University follows through on reform to the University’s disciplinary process & meaningfully engages students’ voices in this
  • Regular town halls with University management
  • Invest in student media so they are well resourced to continue holding our University to account

 

The current crisis in confidence in University Management indicates that we must fight to democratize our University. These are just a few of the ways that I intend to bring power out of the hands of Management, and into the hands of students.

 

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Students’ Rights

Fair pay

  • Fair pay and employment rights for postgrads who teach
  • A living wage for student staff the SU employs
  • Launch a review into the remuneration of Part-Time Officers

 

The right to fair pay should go without saying – whether you’re a postgrad who teaches, working in Curiositea or a Part-Time Officer. As your union, we need to lead by example, and then hold the University to account.

 

In the Community

  • Defending international students’ rights against hate crime, racism, and xenophobia
  • Naming and shaming of dodgy landlords in Canley, Earlsdon, and Leamington
  • Liaison with mental health services in local communities, so you can get support wherever you are

 

In the current climate in the UK, international students are at risk of being further marginalised by hate crime, among other things. I want to work with you to tackle this head on. We need to do more to support students’ transition into living in local communities – I will more clearly outline your rights as tenants and call out landlords who don’t respect them; create better links between mental health services on campus, and in the community; and more.

 

Challenge the Office “for” Students

  • Challenge the government’s attempt to act “for” students without talking to students
  • Campaign against fees, fee rises, and cuts – particularly fighting against fee rises for international students
  • Oppose the marketisation of Higher Education

 

The paternalistic approach of the Office for Students disempowers student agency in shaping Higher Education. We must challenge this to ensure that student voice is actively listened to and acted upon.

 

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Connecting you to your SU

Officer Accountability and Accessibility

  • Establish an Officer podcast to keep students updated on our work
  • Regular office hours for all Full-Time Officers, so you know when and where you can see us
  • Dedicated office space for Part-Time Officers

 

You should know when, where, and how to get in touch with your Officers so that you can hold us to account, influence what we do, and perhaps most importantly – work with us. These efforts, alongside other efforts to increase Officer accountability and accessibility will make the SU more representative of you.

 

Your SU, Your Say

  • Giving you control of the music in the Terrace Bar via the SU app
  • Wider variety of events and music to reflect the diverse interests of students
  • Increased flexibility of opportunities

 

Ever sitting in T-Bar wishing you could queue your favourite song? I’ll make that a reality. I’ll also increase diversity in music genres so that everybody’s favourites feature on our event playlists anyway. Flexibility in opportunities is crucial, particularly to fit around the timetables of postgraduates, mature students, commuting students, and students with caring responsibilities.

Contact Us

If you need to ask any questions about the elections process, you can visit us in the Democratic Services Office on the top floor of SUHQ. Alternatively, you can contact us using the details below.

democracy@warwicksu.com

Advice Centre
NUS Totum