The Union is an organisation which exists to provide for you as a student and to speak up for you in College. Union clubs and societies are an integral part of student life at Imperial. I am an experienced and active member of the Union. I?ve been a club chair and a club treasurer. I edited Guildsheet, the engineering students? newspaper, and I?ve written for Felix and Live!
College must put students first. It?s the little things, like having a lunch hour, being consulted about changes to our university, or at least being given adequate notice. I?m committed to supporting faculty unions to build better student representation across college so that all students, including MSc and Post grads, get a say in how things are done.
The Union needs a new website, an intranet and a new finance system, I?ll make sure we get these within a year. We can do more to save the environment and save money at the same time, by doing things like running the union minibus fleet on bio-diesel. I support the idea of a Fairtrade university.
I'll make the time to listen and answer emails personally.
1) A smoke free bar area in the Union.
2) Direct communication between sabbaticals and students.
3) Less money on full time union staff, more money for clubs and
Sure we?d all like more coffee bars and better catering, but anywhere can serve a double mocha-choca-latte. The Union is the only place providing your representation.
It?s at the start of term that so many of the Union?s important services are delivered, so we need a President with experience and the ability to make changes immediately.
As current Deputy President (Finance and Services) I?ve achieved results already, taking leading roles in the Strategic Review - the Union?s biggest ever student feedback exercise - restructuring the club budgeting system, and the Union refurbishment project. I?ve fulfilled manifesto promises including reinstating nightbuses, improving feedback and working towards a Union Coffee Bar.
Having helped get these started, I?m most qualified to see them through; a newcomer would take time to learn the ropes and gain my knowledge and experience.
The Student Activity Centre needs overhauling so we must implement this over the summer, starting by eliminating the excessive paperwork involved in running clubs/societies and replacing them with simpler online systems.
Improving communication between the Union and students needs to be a priority, with every student knowing what we do, how to get involved and who?s there to help. We can achieve this via Felix articles, a more comprehensive and user-friendly Union Website, adopting a more approachable style and having a campus-wide presence.
I?m committed to extending library hours year-round, improving integration for outlying campuses, and better representation for Postgraduate and International Students
Everyone benefits from a better union ? with a President committed to the needs of all students. With my experience and track record, I?m the only candidate who?s guaranteed to hit the ground running and deliver results.
I?m running for President because I believe I?m the best person for the job. I will not make loads of promises I won?t be able to keep, but I do promise that I will listen carefully to the students, represent them to the best of my ability and broker the best deal possible. Also, I promise to provide better resources and administrative support for clubs and societies. Lastly, I promise to make the Union a venue that caters for everyone regardless of their ethnicity, religion or other beliefs.
My main aim as President will be to gain the trust of the students; I believe I can do this. I have leadership experiences both from various clubs as well as the Union, where I worked for almost three years. I sit on Union Council as well as the Executive Committee and I?m the ACC Vice Chair this year. I hope these experiences have put my finger on the pulse of students? opinion of how the Union should be run.
We must elect a candidate representing the broadest student opinion. Whether you believe I?m the best candidate or not, the important thing is for the majority of the students to elect who they believe to be the best person to represent them. I therefore strongly urge all students to vote so we can truly claim to have a Union run by students for students.
After four year?s involvement with ICU, at every level, I have strong beliefs of what I would deliver as President:
Studying in a vast, anonymous city, at a large intensive university, everyone needs something to identify with. Making this possible is one of ICU?s most important roles. I recognise the importance of all the constituent groups which make up ICU, everywhere. Crucially, ICU must be in the background supporting these groups, not placing hurdles in their path or trying to force them to agglomerate under one ?brand?.
Although student activities at ICU are already amongst the best in the country, I will work to strengthen this situation, ensuring that resources, both financial and practical, are in place to support activities. I support the current moves to modernise Beit Quad, but will ensure that student activities are not jeopardised in any way ? in terms of finance or facilities.
Value from Services
In South Kensington, some of the Union services (e.g. Catering, Shop) are underused. I believe that we should seek to more fiercely challenge our commercial competitors (e.g. WHSmith) in terms of both offering and value for money. I?m committed to this at all of our campuses, so that services really do what you want.
Arguably the most important role of the Students? Union is Representation. I see the role of the President as your ultimate representative, responsible for actually making your voice heard to College and, if need be, on wider issues which affect you too.
It?s time for radical change in the way our students? union is run.
The illegal war and continued occupation of Iraq have left over 100,000 dead, whilst our so-called representatives sat back and did nothing. Top-up fees were forced through against the biggest ever rebellion in the Labour party, with the full support of our rector, and again our union?s response was pitiful. Time and again the threat and implementation of increased hall rents is allowed to pass almost without challenge from our sabbaticals. Our equal opportunities policies are, at best, weak. For all these reasons and more, it is time for change.
Over the last few years I have become increasingly involved, and frustrated, with the union bureaucracy, first getting involved with student council and now as the union?s Welfare Campaigns Officer. This has made me even more determined to help take our union out of the hands of the hacks, and turn it into a fighting, democratic, representative organisation.
I have also been heavily involved with the mobilisations against top-up fees, George Bush?s visit to London last November, and the ongoing conflict in Iraq. Recently, I have been proud to be part of the coalition in college fighting for justice for Babar Ahmad. The union?s somewhat reluctant support for this campaign is an important, but small step forward. Elect me as President, and we can make giant leaps.
It?s time for change.
FOR AN ANTI-WAR, ANTI-FEES, FIGHTING STUDENTS? UNION? VOTE COLIN SMITH for PRESIDENT.
...is also standing but has yet to submit a manifesto.