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Union News

Interview: Union President Candidate, Marley Eleven Bury

Where are you originally from?
I was born in Reading, but I have lived in Hampshire since I was 4 years old.

What course are you studying and what year are you?
I am a second year film production student.

What drew you to the University of Portsmouth?
Honestly, it was just the feeling of the place. I’d looked at a couple of universities and I found the attitudes and environment didn’t click with me, it felt a bit off. Then I came to Portsmouth, i remember walking in, and seeing a random student play on one of the pianos and I saw a Dalek right next to it. I thought this is the type of place that inspires people to just be relaxed, whilst playing music next to cool, geek memorabilia. That’s the sort of place I felt that was close to my heart. And I was proved right there.

What is your favourite thing about the city of Portsmouth?
Would it be generic if a film student was to say the cinema is one of my favourite things? For me I love how close it is. Again, growing up in the countryside you had to travel miles and miles to the local shop, let alone the cinema. And for a film fan it’s like being starved to being surrounded by a buffet. That’s one of the things I love. But generally one of the things I most love is that Portsmouth has a really nice atmosphere. The people are very chill and relaxed generally. I mean people are stressed about their work and everything else, but it just has a good energy. It feels like the sort of place that isn’t constantly buzzing. But it just has a lot of nice people who make you feel really relaxed and welcome. There’s always someone to hang out with or complain to about how stressed you are.

Who is your idol and why?
For me it’ll have to be certain film makers. People like Spielberg, Nolan, Alfonso Cuaron, filmmakers that are very personal and influential to me, which led me to pursue film production as a study. They are probably my biggest influences. As generic as it is, I have to say a lot of filmmakers and those in production fields. I have nothing against any sports figures or vloggers, or social media celebrities. For me, I’m the sort of person that can name 30 or 40 actors but if you get me to name a few celectrities and sportspeople id be like “is david beckham still relevant?” That’s how out of date i am so i won’t pretend otherwise!

I mean, we can guess the answer, but what is your dream job?
To be a director of the Marvel or Star Wars films. Ultimate dream and Childhood goals. Maybe one day.

You could do A re-reboot of Star Wars?
Yeah, Star Wars 51!

If you won the lottery what’s the first thing that you would buy?
There’s a store in cascades called Sonner Toys. They have some of the coolest geek merchandise ever. They have 3D replicated models of various Marvel and DC characters and they are so detailed in quality. I would love to buy some of them. They’re about £300-£400 each, and I can’t justify spending that. The first one I would buy is the giant Hulkbuster one. It would be a great conversation starter.

What was the primary reason for you running in the student elections?
I don’t have the same experience with societies or the running of university clubs, as other candidates do. But i think that gives me a different advantage, but I come from the group of people who are distant from these processes, who don’t hear a lot of stuff from the union. Not that they can’t, but it doesn’t capture their interest or attention. They don’t feel as represented and they don’t feel what it can really do for them. They focus on studies and that’s it. I wanted to say to these people, I know how you feel, I’ve been there as well, but I would like to make these processes more open and more engaging which would build better lives for people at university.

If you could change one thing that would instantly improve everyday life for students at the university, what would it be and why?
For every individual subject, I would want to establish my manifesto point of subject funds. People have a lot of good ideas about what is needed on their course. A palaeontology student came up to me and told me that on his course they don’t get field days studying on site until very close to the exams and it’s a very tight schedule. If there was more funding it would increase people knowledge. No candidate can ever know all of the individuals. But if we get people engaged in stuff like that and have the funds available, the people who know what would work best for their course could make a difference, we could really improve day to day life.

When you mentioned more practicals throughout the year, that can be applied to any course really. Most courses are still very classroom based, and for the cost of university you would hope to get more…
That’s another factor I hear a lot. People feel that there are great lecturers here, people want practical skills. It’s not going to last forever, the practical skills are required for the long term. I also think work experience is one of the best things that university can offer.

Sum up your manifesto in ten seconds.
Multi network platform to get people more job opportunities after university, subject funds so people can increase the quality of anything they need, and the go solar initiative, to get solar panels on every building to show that the younger generation can lead.

Do you consider university students to be stakeholders or consumers and why?
I personally think that’s quite a corporate way to summarise people. I get the logic, and using that terminology I would say both. We have an investment in the university, we’re paying money and we’re going to have to pay it back. At the same time were consuming lectures, knowledge and equipment for our course. I would argue that we are both, which is why students should be and deserve to be more invested in the things that go on around them.

What are your views on the current state of the Higher Education sector?
I mean it’s difficult to say for Portsmouth University and how much is down to central organisation here. There has been a lot of frustration over higher education, and over the years people have got more frustrated with it. With every new government, they decide what they think is best. I don’t feel that our government does enough to provide forward thinking method. I think universities individually do, but there’s only so much they can do with the government’s help.

As President, you will be put into a lot of difficult and unique situations that at times, you won’t be allowed to talk about to anyone. So, how resilient are you to intense stress?
I’d say i’m quite resilient, but I don’t think anyone is going to answer this question, I’m incredibly weak! I know any answer here is going to be a politician’s answer, that can only really be proven at the time. Ultimately, given the nature of my course and what it requires, so you’ve got to know how to be diplomatically balanced. I know things can be very intense and challenging, and do require a degree of privacy and respect on things. I am hoping to be as open as I can with this stuff.

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