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HE Student Union Executive Committee Candidates 20/21

Hey everyone,

As you might already know, today begins the start of campaigning for the candidates running for HE Student Union Executive Committee positions. You can cast your vote between December 14th and 18th, through a Google Form that I will send out on that Monday. You can find each of the candidates posters and manifestos below.

Vice-President for Higher Education (HE) (and Student Governor) - Nath Stark


ABOUT ME

My name is Nath (or Nathan), I am a third-year Painting, Drawing and Printmaking student, and I hope to become the Vice President for Higher Education and Student Governor for 2020/21.


I have a strong passion for working with the Students' Union to make sure all students are represented accordingly. I have been extremely lucky to work with both the SU and PCA as a Student Ambassador, a Student Representative, and to sit on multiple committees. I hope to carry this on and use my knowledge and connections to support you.


Please find below my manifesto and I hope you will consider me for your next HE Vice President, thank you.


YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR VOICE

If elected, I plan to work with your current President and the Students' Union Team to be there for you, listen to your concerns, and make your voices heard. I hope to be someone that can represent you and better your experience at Plymouth College of Art. I plan to work closely with the rest of the Executive Committee members to create positive change and improve our college.


I aim to work with the Sustainability Representative to continue keeping PCA an environmentally friendly college and to improve it where possible. I aim to work with the BAME, Disability, and LGBTQ+ Representatives to encourage a forward-thinking and healthy look at equality and diversity here at PCA. Finally, I aim to work with the Wellbeing Representative to support everyone's mental health, by continuing work with Harriet Moore and Student Support on their goal to provide Student Representatives with Mental Health First Aid training.


INCLUSIVITY FOR ALL

I pledge to be committed to making PCA an inclusive environment. I want to emphasise the importance that Pre-Degree and Postgraduate students feel included in the PCA community. I want all students, no matter their level, to be able to contact me directly if they have any concerns or issues. I want to ensure all voices are known.


I aim to work closely with both the Pre-Degree and Postgraduate Student Representatives and with the FE Student Union Executive Committee to ensure FE and MA students feel as included as possible in the Plymouth College of Art community.


COMMITTEE AND GROUP MEMBERSHIPS

This year, I have taken the opportunity to involve myself in wider staff/student discussions including Committee meetings for various areas of the college. I think it is important that staff always have access to students' views as this feedback can help improve PCA for current and future students. If elected, I will continue to represent the Student Voice in the following Committees and Groups.


Student Engagement and Experience; in which myself, other members of the student body and staff, (including members of the Senior Leadership Team) discuss areas of student experience. I have attended and provided feedback on various areas of the college to help better student experience for you.


Careers and Enterprise; where I’ve discussed with staff ways to increase student opportunities and improve support for both current students and alumnus.


Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity; where I work alongside staff to ensure the PCA community is as equal, diverse and inclusive as possible. In this committee, we have previously discussed the importance of student representation via the Student Union Executive Committee positions, and discussed at length the Black Lives Matter movement and what the college can do to support our students of an ethnic minority.


As I have sat on SSLG and Student Voice Meetings for two years now, I know how much they matter because of the possibility for improvements from your feedback and the positive impact these have on student experience. Because of this, I aim to work with the current President to support Student Representatives and pledge to attend as many Student Staff Liaison Group meetings as possible, to make sure all courses are as supported as possible through the current COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. I also aim to work with the current President to support Student Representatives, through appropriate training and development of the Student Representative scheme.


EVENTS

I plan to bring you a variety of COVID-19 safe events when the campus reopens for the New Year. I want to work with your Clubs & Societies, along with the rest of Team SU to bring you a variety of fun and inclusive events, to make sure you have an amazing experience while studying.


PCA MAGAZINE

This year I started a magazine for the college called PCA MAGAZINE, and as your HE Vice President, I would continue to develop this project. I hope it will become a place for student collaboration and the go-to find events, articles, and new opportunities.


I’m determined to make sure this stays sustainable by being digital and more accessible, rather than creating unnecessary waste through creating printed copies.


Thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto. Please take the time to read the candidates’ manifestos for all positions. Please remember to cast your vote between December 14th and 18th.


YOUR COMMUNITY. YOUR VOICE. YOUR VOTE.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me via email or Facebook and Instagram at; ns10686145@pca.ac.uk or @nathstarkpcasu



Vice-President for Higher Education (HE) (and Student Governor) - Catherine Hyde

1. BEING A CONFIDENT AND SUPPORTIVE REPRESENTATIVE TO ALL AT PCA


One of my main aims as Student Vice President is to ensure that every student feels represented. That your issues, worries, suggestions - whatever they may be - are validated and supported by myself and the rest of the Executive Committee team.In order to do this, I plan to be actively engaging with the various clubs and societies here at PCA, as well as making myself accessible online via social media should anyone need to voice their concern or share a query with me.I consider myself to be a friendly and approachable individual and would love to represent the students of PCA in a confident and fair manner.


You deserve to be heard and this is exactly what I plan to do!


I strive for people to feel heard and understood with me as your acting Student Vice President. I am comfortable talking to others with a sense of confidence and fairness and have gained this approach from my experience of being a Student Representative for the 3 year duration of my time here at PCA so far. I would like the university to be a place where people feel as though they are valued and respected in a collaborative manner, as well as being able to consistently see that I aim to work to improve issues raised that effect the many and the few.


No issue is too small.


A vote for me is a vote to ensure that you are represented confidently and fairly.

A vote for me is a vote to make sure your voices are heard and respected as students.


2. MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENT WORK ON DISPLAY


PCA is full of so many amazingly talented creatives, and I feel as though the college space doesn't embrace and represent this enough! I want to make it so that you have better accessibility to have your work showcased in and around the college. Perhaps setting up a weekly reel of work that could be shown on the screens throughout the college, as well as within the frames in the corridors.I know how good it feels to see your work finalised and showcased for others to see. By having it on display for an infinitely possible number of people to see not only boosts your confidence, but boosts your exposure; expanding your audiences and ultimately giving you a higher chance of possible client work or collaboration with other students.


I want to encourage more opportunities for Students to become more of a central aspect to the main Tavistock building. I would like to develop and promote the idea of a Student Union Bursary, our President Harriet introduced when she was elected, as this is something I feel passionate about. It means that there is the opportunity for funding to be provided to students who nominate themselves in order to produce work for the SU space, or for other exhibiting spaces within the college.


3. COLLABORATION IS KEY


Being in such a creative environment, such as PCA, having to meet certain deadlines, criteria's and learning outcomes, working with someone outside of your creative practice can be beneficial in many ways. Working as a team is a vital aspect of going into any industry, it gives you a new experience of working together and gives you the opportunity to learn new skills and produce work that you may not have been able to before.


I would like to propose the opportunity to make collaboration between students so much easier, accessible and a more prominent aspect of producing work whilst at PCA.Similar to a careers fair, I think that an event dedicated to students who are looking for individuals with other creative skill sets should be available. It gives students the chance to see what work is out there, if others would benefit from your style and I feel as though having an event specifically designed for this means the people in attendance will be interested in working towards a meaningful collaboration.


4. MAKE PCA THE BEST POSSIBLE SUPPORT NETWORK


I would like to continue to increase the support available


Given the current extreme circumstances, I now more than ever understand and want to place an emphasis on the importance of mental health as well as physical health. I would love for more students to have access to better information surrounding different mental health illnesses as students and working professionals whilst at the college. Working towards providing even more helpful and supportive materials or sessions dedicated to those who may be struggling.


I have been lucky enough to take part in the Higher Education MHFA training course made available to me as a course representative. I feel as though this has been beneficial to both myself and my peers having gone through this training. I’d like for this training to be made available to other student representatives having seen the positive impact. By doing this, we will develop a stronger and confident support network to anyone who may be struggling.


With the uncertainty of lockdown and lack of social interaction due to the Covid restrictions, I’d love for the SU to be more accessible. Having digital events such as quiz’s and online gaming nights could be a great way to boost peoples morale. I would like to make sure that the SU provides for everyone in any way that they can to make sure that no one feels isolated in these difficult times.


A vote for me is a vote to always have support available to you.

A vote for me is a vote to be heard, validated and understood, no matter the issue.



Wellbeing Representative (HE) - Aaron Lovelock


My name is Aaron Lovelock and I am a Masters student studying Fine Art. I graduated from Plymouth College of Art in 2020 studying photography. Having been a student at Plymouth College of Art for four years now, I have seen plenty of change and progression in student’s attitude toward mental health and wellbeing aided by the college’s Student Support Team. COVID-19 has led to an increase in wellbeing issues: bereavement, isolation, fear. As we approach winter months, these are all attributes that are provoking mental health issues with an increase in depression and anxiety nationwide. Making this educational year even more important to increase the available support, guidance and our ever-growing community of acceptance.


As we move into 2021, I would like to be an active member of the college community and I want to advocate for students on topics of wellbeing, helping them feel that their voices are heard.


My Manifesto


In the current times we are unable to physically interact with each other, which is why I aim to create an approachable, interactive community for students online. I would like to create a virtual “hang out spot”, encouraging students to communicate with each other via Google Meets for a casual conversation and coffee.


I aim to have easily accessible wellbeing resources available throughout the college. While Student Support is closed for physical visits, I’d like to make all of the leaflets available as physical copies for students to pick up discreetly, whilst being in sanitised packs to reduce the COVID risk.


I pledge to improve the college's pre-existing Quiet Rooms and create more awareness of their whereabouts. I want to make sure that the current spaces are more comfortable, more appealing and contain wellbeing resources for those who need them. I’d like to look into the possibility of creating a Quiet Room inside Charles Cross, so that there is more accessibility for those who need it.


I believe that the student body is able to make a real difference and impact to charities. I propose to hold a monthly charitable donation collection in the reception area, with the charity decided by the student body through a Google Form, to help raise funds.


Wellbeing isn’t just mental health related; your sexual health is also important, which is why I pledge for a wider range of sexual health resources. The Students’ Union provides C-Card’s, supported by The Eddystone Trust (an independent sexual health charity based in the South West). This provides 16-25 year old students with free condoms and sexual health advice. I would like for there to be more resources on the topic as well as to destigmatize sex and sexual health.



Equality and Diversity Representative (HE) - Cameron Long


Hi, my name is Cameron Long, but I will keep this manifesto short.


I am running for Equality and Diversity Representative for many reasons. The main reason being that I want to ensure that all students are represented. Everyone has a voice and I want to make sure that all voices are heard. I want to support Plymouth College of Art in their development during these uncertain times.


I grew up in a different era to people of today. I have two loving parents but all people see is the fact that I have two mum’s. Being different was frowned upon in my local community growing up. Equality and Diversity is important to me because all of you have a right to be different. Be yourselves. I will listen to you, I will be your voice and make sure you are supported in any which way I can.


I am easy to talk to, great with people and I always support everyone. Being the oldest brother to six has taught me a lot about the importance of communication. Each with their own personality, style and way of communicating, I learnt ways to build a bond with all of them and I can do so with you.


Working as a customer consultant, my job is about supporting customers and making sure they are heard. I take time to listen, understand and learn what those customers need. These skills I have developed and been able to apply them to everyday situations. I can listen to you, learn from you and take your needs forward to the student union.


If elected, I would aim to:


Discuss with students how we can help them during this time of change. With online education becoming the forefront of learning, I want to help students and Plymouth College of Art in their constantly updating and evolving learning styles.


Help students feel inclusive in their learning. With now a screen between us and lectures, you can feel distant from them. But with the uses of modern technology, student support and social networking, we can find ways for students to feel comfortable and part of something even from the comfort of their home.


Find ways in which other students can learn different cultures expanding their worldly knowledge. Our university has groups from all different backgrounds and cultures. By discussing and creating networks, we can learn from each other and find ways to grow together. This can be taken forward into the world of work and allow future designers to have better understanding of the world around them.


Thank you for reading my manifesto and feel free to get in contact with me to ask me any questions about my ideas or just about myself by contacting me at cl10691755@pca.ac.uk.



Sustainability Representative (HE) - Bethany Mundy Who am I?

I’m Beth Mundy, a 2nd year interior design student and the founder of the PCA Cat Society; I dedicate my time to learning and adapting to what the world needs through sustainability in any way I can and believe the next step would be to support my University through the medium of being Sustainability Lead. I am a fun, outgoing person, this enthusiasm and excitement is something I would bring to the role along with my colourful and positive outlook. Why me?

I am passionate about going palm-oil free as I have been myself for almost a year now, and would aspire to make the canteen palm-oil free too. I would also love to make the university waste-free, including creative materials but focusing especially on canteen food packaging. I have witnessed some of the university’s biggest changes and would love to maintain the momentum, create more impact on changing the university for good, and become more sustainable. What I will do if you elect me;

  • Make the canteen palm oil free with more vegetarian/vegan options and by supporting local and fair-trade food suppliers

  • Put a crisp bin in a busy area to be able to recycle them properly and to gain materials we need to create blankets

  • Make the print burau more sustainable by turning the inks into sustainable ink – vegetable inks etc.

  • Make the university Zero Waste in all areas that we can

  • Bring an awareness of what you can actually recycle and things to do to help at home

  • Run workshops on certain days to create blankets from crisp packets

  • Listen to what you guys want and what the university would benefit from in terms of sustainability – what could change

  • Teach first years on sustainable living habits so they can teach others and live better


Sustainability Representative (HE) - Bhuvaneshvari "Shri" Gunasekara If I become the executive member for student union committee for sustainability, I would like to push collaborative projects to improve our university’s carbon footprint. I want to help keep our university and environmentally friendly as possible while giving opportunities for students to help with your creative CVs. I will do this by launching cross-college projects that we all can get involved with where we can take action on reducing waste and increasing recycling incentives. I will be additionally implementing new initiative ideas into the university with only minimal changes to student routine, yet with easy accessibility for students to participate in reducing waste in our university. I will be raising awareness on how to become environmentally friendly and using more reusable products and items in your day-to-day life while maintaining student capabilities and prices. One idea is my anti-food wastage scheme to help the university and us students stretch out the life of the food we buy. I would be a good candidate is because I am a friendly approachable person, with an open mind ming to hear feedback from university students of PCA. I am an environmentally consuse and forward-thinking in solving issues and being self-aware in my actions. I have demonstrated some of these qualities in my leadership of Creative enterprise society and a Student rep for illustration.

BAME Representative (HE) - Bridget Bimha "Agency: a process of becoming, a balancing act between individual and collective needs, if we think of agency only as a collective undertaking, then we forget the step of how two or more people actually become a collective" ~ Jeanne van Heeswjik Together we make a difference for the good and even better. Hello my name is Bridget Bimha and I would like to be considered for the position of the Plymouth College of Art BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity) Representative (HE). I am a BA Fashion Design second year student who was a student representative last year in the first year of my studies, which was an honour and privilege. I have been living in Plymouth from 2009 and during this time I have been involved in different voluntary community roles; serving in a number of different Churches, the Plymouth Churches Together organization and as a member of the scrutiny team for the Plymouth Community Homes team, as a member of the Plymouth Diversity Business Incubation (DBI) and also being able to work with the Charles Cross Devon and Cornwall BAME police representatives with whom I have attended training/meetings as to how we can identify and support anyone from the BAME community facing racism challenges. The death of George Floyd has brought a greater level of awareness than ever imagined before, especially with the influence and publicity of social media during the Black Lives Matter protests and I know that here at Plymouth College of Art the Senior Leadership and the Student Union Representatives held a meeting on the 2nd June 2020 to which they sent out an email to all students on how they can begin to better represent the BAME community of students and how they can take action to address systematic racism as an educational institute.

  • As PCA is already putting changes in place and it will be an honour for me to be able to work together with them in looking into the progress they have made so far and assist them through your input as well for our community.

  • Having looked at the BAME students at PCA , i would like to look into how more from our community can come and study here and be more involved in creative arts

  • To be able to celebrate our different cultures by working out ways to keep connected and make a difference in one another's lives and making our educational experience more enjoyable

  • Offering support and opportunities to communicate and share our different challenges or issues that need to be looked into with confidentiality

  • Looking into the negative experiences we might have had and how they can be addressed or improved and turned into positives that we can pass on to other

  • Providing a forum where we can share ideas, information and experiences for our professional developments and future endeavors

  • Looking also into how the lockdown has affected BAME students and working out ways of promoting mental health and well being, creating a forum where one can communicate and share their struggles without the fear of being stigmatised

  • Putting together seminars and workshops where we can invite BAME professionals from different walks of life, to speak to students on issues like bullying and harassment, conscious or unconscious bias, cultural awareness and intelligence

THANK YOU

Disability Representative (HE) - Shanara Curtis Priorities: guide peers through the courses, make classrooms more accessible, give a louder voice to a range of different people with different Disabilities Why me? I have a disability myself so I have a good perspective and understanding of needs of other student with similar issues and I have been a representative for a range of topics in the past

Best, Harriet Moore Student Union President

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