The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper

»

News

Vote UPSU: VP Welfare and Community Question Time

We’ll be live from the Union from 5.30pm bringing you all the information from tonight’s question, with the four candidates debating their campaigns ahead of next week’s vote.

Key points:

  • Stay with The Galleon this evening as we live blog this year's VP Welfare & Community Question Time live from the Student Activities Centre. We will be beginning at 5.30pm and continuing right through to the conclusion of the event at around 8pm.
  • There are 4 Candidates running for the role. These are: Olamide Alli-Balogun, Mario Oliveros, Gianfranco Paddeu & Connar Walford
  • Each Candidate will be asked 10 questions. You can follow their responses on this blog.
  • by Aidan Williams

    This concludes the Question Time for VP Welfare & Community. Thank you for reading and be sure to check back tomorrow where it will be the Question Time for the VP President Candidates.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Cat's Fun Question - Connar

    I would be a pair of black heels that every girl has in her wardrobe because I will be there to make you feel confident and ready for every situation.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Catherine Redding's Question- Mario

    I would say I would be a boot, which is what I am wearing today.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Connar's Question- Mario

    For me, welfare is about the wellbeing of the students, ensuring they are ok, making sure they are happy with their studies and finding out if they have any difficulties. It is also about making students aware of the opportunities and support available. From the community’s side, it’s important to know how we are seen and to try and improve student relationships with the community.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 15 - If you were a type of shoe what would you be?

    This is a fun question asked by the President Catherine Redding.

  • by John King

    Response to Question 14 - Olamide

    Community relates to the whole of Portsmouth and the community at university. In terms of Welfare it is terms of students on a daily basis. It covers a vast topic.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 14 - What is your definition of Welfare and Community?

    This question has been asked to the other candidates by Connar Walford

  • by John King

    Response to Question 13 - Olamide

    The fun day I want to organise will involve all students. Everyone is shy at the start of university. At university you want to meet people and this is the case for everyone. I think we should aim to break down the barriers so everyone can interact.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 13 - Connar

    International fair – make sure it is clear cut what the uni can offer them. Create more volunteering opportunities for them.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 12 - Connar

    Meet with all of the student officers to discuss what they have already done this year and what they want to develop next year. I want to make sure that what we do is led by the students.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 13 - What do you want to do to tackle the issue of disintegration with students, particularly international students?

    This question has been asked to the other candidates by Mario Oliveros.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Olamide's Question- Mario

    First thing I will do, I would say, is start working on the website. It is difficult to find time to start building on the website, so I will spend at least the first few weeks online working on this.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 12 - if you're elected for the position what is the first thing you want to do?

    This question has been asked to the other Candidates by Olamide Alli-Balogun

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Question 11 - Mario

    I think promoters for clubs should select a member of staff to look after the students. Any promoter we are working with should have a zero tolerance policy and work closely with the police to ensure more safety on a night out.

  • by John King

    Response to Question 11 - Olamide

    We need volunteers who I think should make it easier to offer more help to students. There are accidents on a nightly basis. Help such as providing glasses of water for people who are too drunk, handing out condoms for those who need it will make things a lot safer for students.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to question 11 - Connar

    Eskimo have a welfare officer and sadly she’s leaving this year, I want to sit down with the uni and Eskimo to see how we can develop and expand that role.

    I want to keep it more sustained, more positive and make sure that they are well known.

    I also want to work with them to ensure that in their business plans and models there are methods to control and deal with lad culture.

    I will look into making the walkway through Southsea safer for students with more lights etc.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 11 - What will you do for both Student Welfare and the Portsmouth Community with regards to nights out?

    This is a question from the floor.

  • by John King

    Response to Question 10 - Olamide

    In terms of measuring a campaign it will be how many volunteers have we got and what the success of that was. A campaign can last for several days so it is difficult to measure.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 10 - Connar

    It depends on what it is you’re trying to do. We can ask: have we achieved your aims? It’s whether you see it, you experience it or whether you’re actively part of it – it is hard to measure.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Question 10 - Mario

    It all depends on the campaign. We need to have a look at numbers, so how many people engaged with the campaign, and how many attended. Have a look at the results. Have we managed to achieve what we were campaigning for?

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 10 - How would you measure the success of a campaign?

    This is a question from the President

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 9 from the Floor - Connar

    It’s who you ask really. It’s all abut heightening what we do for the community, like more volunteering, coaching systems – sending sports teams out to schools and cleaning up the streets projects.

    I believe that students have negative image of locals too, so we should work towards getting rid of the negative stigmas on both sides.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Question 9 - Mario

    Some local residents will complain about us. However, only 4% of noise complaints are due to students, which isn’t huge. We aren’t a huge problem in the city.
    We need to integrate students more with the community. We have some schemes within schools such as the reading project, but we need to build on these.

  • by John King

    Response to Question 9 - Olamide

    As far I have researched, the view students have of the local community is somewhat bad. However I have spoken to some community members and they have said that students liven up the city. I want to find that balance between students and the community.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 9 - Do students have a negative or positive image with local residents?

    This is a question from the President Catherine Redding.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Question 8 - Mario

    I think we are doing ok, but there is a lot of waste paper, such as during events like Freshers Fair. There is tons and tons of waste every year. We need to look at things like energy waste. Leaving electrical supplies on, leaving lighting on is an excessive waste of energy. I’m a very keen cyclist, so I want to encourage more students to get into cycling. I want to introduce incentives, such as free bike checks to students to encourage people to use their bikes more.

  • by John King

    Response to Question 8 - Olamide

    I want to organise a ‘Clean Up Portsmouth’ day. In terms of carbon footprint every little helps. I think small prompts and reminders do help a lot. We should install an initiative to reward students if they reduce their carbon footprint. Giving people that initiative will encourage people to help improve the environment. I do think it is important to let students know in halls how they can improve things environmentally.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 8 from the Floor - Connar

    What’s not broken, don’t fix it. For me I believe that we need to improve to help their development and create forums and online approaches so we can work with people’s ideas.

    I don’t want it to be just about my ideas because this is for everyone, so I want students to get involved because I’m sure there are some really creative students out there that want to have a say and have some great ideas.

    At the moment I feel as though we need to develop it rather than drastically change the whole situation.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 8 - How would you improve our environmental potential as a union?

    This is a question from the floor.

  • by John King

    Response to Question 7 - Olamide

    When I did take students views a lot of people brought up housing situations. I think housing is a very important issue. Because a lot of tenancies are too long. A lot of students are spending a lot when they are not living in the homes. I think we need to liaise with tenants and work with them to find out the issues. Students need to communicate with us to bring up these problems.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 7 from Twitter - Connar

    As most students are on the internet, I would take an online approach to it. I would aim to show where are the best places to live, what agencies are trustworthy, and what problems you might face and what other students have gone through.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Question 7 - Mario

    I think taking a proactive approach is important. People should have better contact with landlords, and we should strengthen our relationships with certain housing agencies. We need to help students who are finding it difficult to find house mates to interact and find people to live with. We should provide more information on where is best for them to live, and what sort of facilities are available to them in these areas.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 7 - What do you think are the issues facing students regarding housing and how will you tackle them?

    This is a question from Twitter.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 6 from the Floor - Connar

    It is not something that should be accepted at all, it should be hit head on. It isn’t just something at uni, it happens everywhere, we should approach it as a community not just as a university.

    68% of students feel as though they have sexually harassed at some point and that’s just not acceptable.

    It’s not just women, men are affected too so we should take a unified approach.

    We could create a confidential line people feel that they could call, make sure people are aware what can happen on socials. We should have a zero tolerance approach in sports and approach clubs in Guildhall about the issue.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Question 6 - Mario

    I think it is something wrong, it promotes ignorance, it goes against diversity. People want to show off in front of their friends and I think we should take a proactive approach to educate the students. Committee members should be made aware of the problem, and we should promote equality amongst students.

  • by John King

    Response to Question 6 - Olamide

    I think lad culture is a part of University life. Obviously it can be taken to the extreme but I don’t think you can regulate it. It is at people’s own risk so in terms of lad culture I think it is a part of the University experience. It doesn’t need to be stopped but people should be careful.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 6 - What's your stance on lad culture and what will you do about it?

    This is a question from the floor.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Welcome back to Question Time, we will be resuming with the questions shortly.

  • by Aidan Williams

    There will now be a short 15 minute access break. Question Time will resume at 6:15

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Question 5 - Mario

    Being the face of the students and working with the students is important. We must seek to help students who are having financial difficulties, and we need to make plans to provide food for people who are facing these difficulties.

  • by John King

    Response to Question 5 - Olamide

    As a student who has gone through financial issues during my time at university I can relate to this.  There are several things you can do. You can get a job whether it is volunteering or paid. I think a lot of students need to get out there a lot more and just apply. Money is constantly on our minds and it can be restricting. If student services see you are in trouble then you can seek help.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 5 - Connar

    I am able to work with the centre in Nuffield that we do already have to help promote their services and send students their way when they need help.

    Perhaps we could do a finance awareness day/month to make people more aware of the issue and the solutions if they do appear.

    Promote the advice services that are already available.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Question 4- Olamide

    We get weekly emails about volunteering opportunities from our lecturers. If I do get elected in, one of the first things I will do is a Portsmouth clean up. Especially Guildhall as this is one of the places that students use the most. This will tackle not just a volunteering problem, but a community problem. Volunteering shows you have integrity to do something worthwhile within yourself, and it looks good on your CV. Students need to be pushed to do volunteering, its not as if the opportunity is not there.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 5 - What would you do to help students who are having financial difficulties at University?

    This is a question from the floor.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 4 - Connar

    Work with VIP closely – awareness and promote them more – up their market and social media.

    Make sure that the other societies have a volunteering section.

    Develop a reward system for the people that do volunteer.

    Work with sports because sports students need volunteers for their dissertations, so I will look into setting up a system so people can actively apply and know what they are getting involved in.

  • by John King

    Response to Question 4 - Mario Oliveros

    By working with the students and the community. People are interested in volunteering. It is rewarding to be involved in and looks good on your CV. It is important to find out what the community wants and needs. I am sure there are loads of places in Portsmouth who require student volunteers.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to question 3 - Mario Oliveros

    I don’t think you can say there is just one thing, there are two sides: the university side and the community side. I think it is important for students to engage more with members of their community and seeing what the community needs.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 3 - Connar

    Developing welfare – engagement of students with our advice service

    Awareness – all students have an understanding and a appreciation of what we offer. passive support community within our student body.

    Volunteering – every student worries about what they are going to be doing after university, make volunteering more popular and encourage more students to get involved.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 4 - How will you develop volunteering in our union?

    This is a question from Twitter.

  • by John King

    Response to Question 3 - Olamide

    My manifesto is focused on listening and guiding students. A lot of students have said they don’t feel comfortable at the university in terms of being part of the community. My role will look at making everyone proud of their university as a whole. As a community we can be united as one and we can be part of Portsmouth University.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Response to Question 2- Mario Oliveros

    We are all different, but it’s good to be different. It is important to bring this ethos to the union. If we all put effort into the union it will work. I also think having an international Welfare Officer will be great for ethnic minority students, as they can relate to someone with a similar background to them. I think its important for students to know who is there working for them, and for that person to be approachable.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 3 - What would you say is the biggest problem you're trying to solve?

    This is a question from the floor.

  • by John King

    Response to the Question - Olamide

    In terms of getting everyones voice out there, our role is important. I think there needs to be more awareness to send in queries anonymously. If that opportunity arises it would make it easier for people to express their opinions.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 2 from Twitter - Connar

    Student council don’t have a face officer, maybe we could have a face officer for the different religions?

    Some students have unseen disabilities – I want to work with sports and societies so when students sign up to societies at freshers fayre they can declare it and sports officers are aware of how they can accommodate them.

    I will try and work with the women’s officer more to make sure that women feel as though they are represented in the Union more and that their opinions are heard by everyone.

  • by John King

    Response to the Question - Olamide

    In terms of the advice this year I have put them to the test. The fact that I didn’t know who to go to needs to be changed. In the first year you don’t think about things that might come about later that relate to advice. I would look to promote a small group of students who are on an advice related course. We need more awareness and this should be promoted in the main buildings so students can actively seek advice every day.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 2: Arguably liberation campaigns are umbrella'd by specific groups: what would you do for each group?

    This is a question from Twitter.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Response to Question 1 from the floor - Connar Walford

    People aren’t aware of what the Union offer at the moment and I want to change that.

    Students should have information in their freshers pack about what services we offer and how we can help them if they need us.

    I will find out what students want this year, to develop it for the next year.

    I will promote it better because students don’t seem to know where or what we offer.

    I want to engage with the students, I want to make sure they know me and know that they can come to me if they need help.

    I want to work with the President next year to make sure that I am doing my job and I will be available to them.

    I will take a pro-active approach – it should be support throughout the year. I want them to know this is what I do, this it what I am, I want students to

    Unified approach – I will go along to certain councils to understand what it is that students need and to make sure that we are up to date with big issues.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Mario Oliveros

    I am going to start looking at things like going to the library on a monthly basis and making students aware of the facilities available to them. I will also approach students in the street and ask how they are doing to make sure everything is going ok.

  • by Aidan Williams

    Question 1: If you were elected into the role what would you do to promote the student services that are provided?

    This is a question from the floor.

  • by Harley Stevens

    Opening Statement - Connar Walford

    I am running for this role for the students of the university, I wasn’t always an active member of the community, I was shy, and the uni helped build my confidence

    I want to raise awareness of what we offer at the union

    I am the AU executive for RAG – I am good at taking a project and developing it and that’s exactly what I want to do with the Welfare and Community role.

    I want to be your face of welfare so please vote for me.

  • by Jack Backwell

    Mario Oliveros

    My friends like to call me Super Mario. I want to make sure people’s issues are tackled. I have been working closely with the NHS, you may have noticed they were at the freshers fair. That was because of me, and I am continuing to work closely with them. I am trying to raise awareness of certain health issues at university. I think giving me a year in the role will help me improve and become a useful contact for candidates to find help for the issues they are facing.

  • by John King

    Opening Speech - Olamide

    I am currently a 3rd year marketing student. My manifesto is focused on guiding and getting students opinions on what is going on at the university. I am beginning to understand how students are feeling at university. My manifesto also covers the community and how we can help out the city of Portsmouth. I want to increase volunteering opportunities as it looks good on your CV and is good to be involved in.

  • by Aidan Williams

    The candidates will now make a two minute opening speech.

  • by Aidan Williams

    The President of the Student Union, Catherine Redding, has announced that candidate Gianfranco Paddeu is not present at the debate tonight. This is due to personal welfare issues.

  • by Aidan Williams

    The start of the VP Welfare & Community Question Time has been delayed by approximately half an hour. So check back at half past 5 for updates on how the candidates get on!

  • by John King

    Welcome to The Galleon’s live blog of the Question Time for VP Welfare & Community!

    We will be getting started at 5pm and will be covering the whole event until around 8pm.

    There are 4 Candidates in the running for the position. These are:

    Olamide Alli-Balogun

    Mario Oliveros

    Gianfranco Paddeu

    Connar Walford

Comments are closed.