Ryan Peteranna is one of two candidates in the running for the position of Students’ Union President.
He is currently studying a Masters degree in TV Content Development and Production, but is willing to put that on hold for a chance to lead the sabbatical officer team.
He has been involved in many clubs and societies during his five years at the university, and currently sits on the committees of the Disabled Students Association and the Tenancy Union.
Despite running for the role in the past and losing convincingly, Ryan is optimsitic about his third campaign.
Speaking to Brig, he said: “My campaign is all about listening to students and being accountable for them, while trying to improve their university experience and drive their interests forward.”
In researching his manifesto, he spoke to more than 100 students, as well as the current sabbatical officer team of Gill Thayne, Amy Smith and Joshua Muirhead to see where they are standing.
When conducting his research, the biggest issue Ryan came across was mental wellbeing.
He told us: “Access to counselling simply isn’t adequate for a large number of students. Current waiting times were between 3 months and a year, depending on who I spoke to.
“If elected, it will be a matter of priority to push for an extra counsellor. Failing that, I would like to introduce more mental health mentors on campus.”
He also has plans to introduce a ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ event, where students could get together to take part in sports, or less strenuous activities like board games.
He added: “I’d like to be a Union President that is accountable and open to listening to students and fighting their corner.”
Ryan also commented that more than a dozen university staff members are paid more than £100,000, including Principal Gerry McCormac, who is getting a pay rise.
He said: “Projects like Campus Central are great for aesthetic, but not so great for students who are struggling to access a counsellor.
“I want the university to free up resources and make them available for students.”
Speaking on his opponent, second-year psychology student Chloe Whyte, Ryan said: “We are very good friends and I think she is a strong candidate.”
But he believes that his strong stance on the environment will give him an edge.
Ryan wants to push the university to follow in the Union’s footsteps by setting a net zero carbon emission target, and actively working towards it.
He added: “It’s tempting to say that environmental effects aren’t a top priority but if you look at the litter-pick ups during this climate week, there has been lots of student engagement.
“I hope to drive positive change forward as we go into the next few moths and deal with transport, accomodation, campus central development and the environment.
“I place well-being support at all levels as a matter of priority. I will maximise space during construction works. I will lobby the university to achieve a net zero carbon emissions target.
“I want to be an accountable, transparent and welcoming Union President. I can reach out to all sorts of students, and create a Union that works for everyone.”