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Union News

Interview: VP Activities Candidate, Roy Senkali

Where are you originally from?

What originally drew you to the University of Portsmouth?
The seaside. I wanted to be near the seaside so in the summer it’d be nice to go to the beach. I’ve been in a city all my life so I thought it’d be nice to explore somewhere that’s a bit more open.

What is your favourite thing about the city of Portsmouth?
Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth. In the summer, me and my friends would go there after sitting on the beach all day and go swimming. I’m a really chill person and I enjoy the simple things in life.

Who is your idol and why?
I know it sounds a bit funny but I like Kylie Jenner. I don’t know why, she’s just a cool person, like she’s very calm and collected and she seems to act very differently to the rest of her family.

What is your dream job and why?
Event planner. I have loved events as long as I can remember. I’ve been working in music events for work placements and the corporate side really intrigued me. I’d like to do birthdays, big private events, stuff that will challenge me. I like seeing people happy, that’s what makes me happy. And I think events planning is the best way to gain people’s appreciation for my work and to be fulfilled.

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing that you would buy?
I would pay off my Mum’s mortgage. I always dream about winning the lottery but the one thing I’ve always said I’d do is take care of my Mum. Make sure she has 10% of my winnings and make sure she gets a bigger house after we’ve paid off the mortgage haha.

What was the primary reason for you running in the student elections?
I wanted to make a difference to societies and because it’s events related partially. I want to change Portsmouth University. I’ve loved being here for the last four years and if you have someone who’s passionate about the university and the students, I think that person will leave the sabbatical position having made a positive difference. I don’t want to just graduate, I want to make my mark on Portsmouth.

If you could change one thing that would instantly improve everyday life for students at the university, what would it be and why?
A place where people could come to talk about their issues because it seems like there are so many people around university that look really down. So maybe a safe space where people can just come and have their problems heard.

Sum up your manifesto in roughly 10-15 seconds.
Making a change for the university, getting people together for more activities, and making university more sociable.

How do you intend to promote the union to our less engaged students?
Through the aid of social media. One of my old companies I used to work for, Overhead Portsmouth, is a big group that I don’t think we utilise enough. I think if we posted more on Facebook and the website, it’d be easier to connect people and make people aware of the union services. Facebook is such a widely used tool so why not make it an asset of the union.

This role deals with a diverse range of activities and students. What experience do you have that will help you deal with the diverse population and its demands?
For work experience, I worked in events. So I had to deal with a wide range of customer requests. You learn to deal well with all kinds of people in these kind of jobs. And that’s something I could definitely transfer to students easily.

How viable do you think your manifesto is?
I think it’s quite viable. The bus route is one of my points and even though it’s more of university wide issue, I think it’s still achievable and relevant to me. The bus route has changed this year and I don’t think it’s as good but at the same time it wouldn’t be difficult to change it back. I think if we incorporated the new and old routes together that’d work well. And with ICP students, I’m looking to increase the range of activities so they can get more involved. I’m also looking at creating a group where these students can socialise and meet people in similar scenarios so they don’t feel isolated when they transfer here. We’ve got so much available to us to make it work for everyone, we just need to put our ideas into action. I believe the microwave issue can be solved easily too. These issues can be resolved viably it’s just about implementing my ideas and also getting feedback from students on what they want.

Why do you think you are the best person for this role?
I’m the best person for the role because I’m well known by the students – for the good things haha. I’m very sociable and I’ve got experience in leading activities and planning events, so why not incorporate my past experience into this role. I’m very easy to talk to and I’m very friendly. I love people. That’s a big part of the role for me – being sociable and approachable and being that person that students feel comfortable approaching. It’s about having that passion and I have the passion to help people. To me it’s not just a job, it’s an extension of me and a positive step towards a future.

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