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Union News

Interview: VP Welfare & Community Candidate, Wanqing Tan

Where are you originally from?
Malaysia.

What course do you study?
Master’s in Crime Science and Criminal Psychology.

What drew you to the University of Portsmouth?
I like the seaside, because in my country I was living in a city. Plus, I have a friend who lives in London, and it’s quite close.

What is your favourite thing about the city of Portsmouth?
I would probably say the seaside.

Who is your idol and why?
President Kennedy because one of the things that he states is ‘ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’.

What is your dream job?
I don’t have a real idea, but I would like to do something that helps to prevent crimes.

If you won the lottery what’s the first thing that you would buy?
A ticket for my parents to come here!

What was the primary reason for you running in the student elections?
As stated in my manifesto, I come from a country which is hot and here it’s very cold. Where I live is very far away from the university, and the bus doesn’t give me the option to go back and forth. I want to try and help the university students to make more improvements.

If you could change one thing that would instantly improve everyday life for students at the university, what would it be and why?
I would like to have cheaper accommodation, which is much closer to the university.

Sum up your manifesto in ten seconds.
1. Improve the bus service. 2. Bring in a microwave and hot water service all around campus. 3. More placement opportunities.

How do you intend to promote the union to our less engaged students?
I want to have a forum where students can learn more about university. This is my first year here and before student elections I had never heard of the union.

What do you feel is the top ‘welfare’ issue facing students and how would you use the role to support them with this?
Before I wrote out my manifesto, I met with some of the students. From what I gather, the issues relating to the hot water and microwave service is important. I would also like to improve the accommodation, but I know that this is a very difficult issue.

Student safety is a big concern at the moment. If elected how would you address this issue?
I think we need to pair with the police, to help with student safety. I think they have a lot more solutions than what we have. I think students need to be more aware about what is happening around campus, and how to help themselves to not become victims.

The police is probably one of the best partners and obvious choice…
Yeah, I now volunteer with the student watch and I have meetings with the PSCO who do have lots of concerns about student safety. They need the students to help them to make real progress on this issue.

There can sometimes be tensions between those who live locally and students, what would you aim to do to improve this and the view of students in the city in general?
I think it would depend on the situation. Students provide more jobs in this city, more restaurants, more entertainment. I do understand their frustration because for a lot of us, it’s the first time away from home and we are enjoying the freedom. As long as the pubs are not near the local residents, trying to reduce noise on the way home will help.

What are your values as a candidate and student leader?
For me it would be what I can do to improve. I think it’s not enough for me alone to know what are the problems that students face. I would like to learn more from the students, to learn the real problems.

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