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Candidate for the position of Democracy and Development Officer

Michael Kynaston - MAGIC MIKE

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Magic Mike for DDO

Hi, I’m Michael and I’m running to be your next Democracy and Development Officer. I’ve loved my time here and I want to be your next DDO so I can make sure that the SU continues to help improve as many students’ lives as possible.

My policies and aims are below. If you want to find out more, please go to fb.me/MagicMikeforDDO/.

1. On-Campus eating and drinking facilities

Increased student access to microwaves, kettles and water fountains. Being able to heat up packed lunches and make their own hot drinks would hugely improve students lives, especially those who can’t afford to buy lunch on campus everyday. Increasing the number of water fountains across campus, including on the astroturf pitches and lakeside courts, would be hugely beneficial for people playing sport and is environmentally advantageous since people could easily fill up their reusable water bottles.

2. Buses

I will lobby Stagecoach to replace lost bus passes. Students can't afford to shell out hundreds of pounds multiple times simply to get to campus and back. Furthermore it is brilliant that we have a 24 hour library, but we need an all year round 24 hour bus service to go with it, otherwise we are in danger of encouraging unhealthy studying habits.

3. Summer party

Relaunch the incredibly popular yearly summer party. Having spoken to Warwick alumni I have heard that this was undoubtedly the highlight of the Warwick calendar and it has left a gaping hole in our student experience since it was cancelled. It needs to be brought back as a reward for everyone’s hard work throughout the year!

4. Protecting students from exploitative landlords

I want to lobby Warwick Accommodation to expand their operations in Leamington and Coventry, trying to recruit more landlords and give students who can’t afford the deposits charged by private landlords a better choice of accommodation. Furthermore I want to set up Rate my Room, a service where students can review their house and area so future students can see this information before renting a property.

5. Student voice in SU outlets

I do not want to see, nor am I going to promise, drastic changes to our SU outlets - they are currently well run and and popular. However, I believe that there needs to be more of a student voice in our outlets and so would like to make the food and drink choices more interactive, with students voting monthly on the SU app for a new dish on the menu at the duck or a new cocktail at the terrace bar, for example. Through this, students could have their say on the running of their student outlets and maybe the Jumbo Yorkshire pudding could make a reappearance in the Duck! 

6. Purple Prices

It is fundamentally unfair that societies and sports clubs using Bar Fusion to circle pay so much more every Wednesday than their contemporaries in the Copper Rooms.. Whilst I am clear of the reasoning for this - Fusion is not SU owned, and stocks different beers and ciders - I am passionate about lobbying and negotiating a better deal for our societies and sports clubs.

My Experience

  • SU Democracy Exec

  • HistSoc President

  • UWMCC Tour Sec

  • Worked in NYC Mayoral Election

  • Two years' work in the Sirty Suck

  • HistSoc Ball Officer

  • ArtSoc Treasurer

  • History Department Ambassador

 

Democracy for all

1. Clarity

For a democracy to be healthy, there have to be clear and universally applied rules. Without them, the system becomes confusing, inaccessible and unfair. I wish to ensure that the guidelines governing our democracy contain lots of detail to ensure everyone understands how they work and that there is no room for confusion. This will ensure that students find it easy to understand and get involved in SU democracy and engagement can increase.

2. Transparency

Our SU does some excellent things, and is committed to improving our lives here at Warwick. I want to make it clearer to students just how the SU is spending its money. By publishing quarterly statements detailing SU outgoings, I hope to promote accountability and transparency. Furthermore, by demonstrating to students exactly how much the SU does for them student appreciation of the SU will increase as hopefully will engagement.  

3. Sabb Office Hours

Our Sabbs are the face of our SU, and the first point of contact for so many student issues. As such, I will aim for each sabb to have a specific set of ‘office hours’, during which they will be available for a chat with any student. This means that students can seek help, assistance or advice from whomever they need without the worry of knocking on the door of an empty office or finding their Sabb is already busy.

4. Engagement

All of the above ideas, both democracy and development related, are key when it comes to engagement. This isn’t an issue whereby you can just flick a switch and it’s solved, so I won’t promise simply to raise engagement. Instead, I believe that by implementing my above policies, student interest in the SU will rise, as they benefit from positive changes like increased eating and drinking facilities on campus, and their engagement with all aspects of the SU will increase accordingly.

5. Simplicity

Continue the excellent work done in this past year of highlighting to students exactly how the SU democratic process works and have such information readily available for students to read online and in multiple formats in an accessible, clear and concise manner.

Improving campus life

1. Student common rooms

Space and the lack of it is one of the biggest issues on campus. I want to use both the copper rooms and the graduate, which lie unused most days, and turn them into areas where students can relax and have some downtime. I will aim to put both table tennis tables and football tables in there which can be easily moved for when the rooms are used at night.

2. Sports Television in Bar Fusion

Traditionally Bar Fusion has been the hub of all sports viewing on campus. It has been an incredibly popular spot for students to come and watch sport as a community and some societies such as Matchday depend on it for their campus based socials. Bar Fusion has recently decided to cancel their Sky Sports and BT Sports subscriptions; I will lobby them to reverse this decision and bring back the sport that people love, it’s not fair that freshers have to catch a bus to watch it.

3. SU Society Nights

Encourage more societies to hold nights in the SU. Our Societies are one of our greatest strengths as a university and as a union and it would be great to see more collaboration between the venues and societies. As can be seen by Warwick Economic Society’s very successful night during Freshers Fortnight earlier this year, Societies and the Copper Rooms can be a brilliant combination and it would be great to see more of the same!

4. Hidden Costs

Work with the Education Officer and President to lobby for departments to wipe out hidden costs such as printing charges and textbook purchasing. All students should have such costs covered regardless of what subject they study.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and making it all the way down to the bottom. If you like what you read, maybe you should vote Magic Mike for DDO. 

To find out more or ask questions, find me and my campaign on Facebook.

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