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VP Communities candidate Jess Reid promises media freedom and “more transparency in the Union”

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VICE President Communities candidate Jess Reid wants to bring a fresh perspective to the sabbatical role if elected next Tuesday, March 10.

Speaking on her decision to run, the second-year history and politics student said: “I wanted to run because I always do things I am passionate about.

“I have so much care for the community of Stirling. I have so many ideas, and being part of the Union is a way to bring about these suggested changes.”

As president of the sexual health and education society, Jess has first-hand experience of setting up and leading a society on campus.

She added: “It’s really shown me the power of clubs and societies, and promises a bright future of how much more we can do to help people.”

“I think I could thrive in the role.”

Of all her manifesto points, Jess is particularly passionate about improving housing for all students. She wants to deal with poor conditions and improve accessibility.

She will face incumbent Josh Muirhead when voters take to the polls next Monday.

She said: “I bring a unique perspective from the fact that I’ve not done things the same as other students; I took a gap year working as an au-pair after high school, and I know it can be more difficult socialising when entering university at a later date.”

Jess is passionate about sexual health, and has plenty of ideas on campaigns that she could run, if elected.

She was keen to point out that there has been a 300 per cent increase in cases of gonorrhea in the Stirling area.

She said: “As far as I’m aware, the Union hasn’t done anything to campaign around theses issues.”

She also wants the Union to take part in ‘Not on my campus’, a national campaign which aims to tackle sexual violence.

She said: “I feel that there are safety issues on campus that need to be addressed.

“For example, where the chalets are, there is not sufficient lighting to enable students to walk home safely at night.”

Jess was also keen to highlight her passions for supporting student activism and media freedom.

She said: “We need to work together with the media societies and readdress constitutions to ensure full media freedom.

“As long as things are not discriminatory and within industry standards, then Brig, Air3 and AirTV – the voice of students – should be free to publish what they want.

“We need transparency within our Union, and our student’s voice should never be altered.”

It was Jess herself who set up the petition to support the Stirling 13, who were suspended by the University for occupying the management building last month.

The petition has now reached more than 4,000 signatures and has been supported by prominent figures within Scottish Labour.

She said: “I set up the petition because I was angry. Whether or not you agree with UCU strikes, you agree that students should be able to voice their issues and protest freely. Their punishment is disproportionate and according to their lawyer, the University have broken the law.”

Asked her if there was anything that she would have done differently from current VP Communities Josh Muirhead, Jess said that she would love to have seen ‘VP teas’ implemented, one of her opponent’s manifesto points from last year.

She said: “It’s been a difficult year for students, and the opportunity to speak with the sabbatical officers would have really helped.”

The whole sabbatical officer team came under fire last year for making a controversial decision which would see NUS delegates picked from a pool of current elected officers, rather than by a campus wide vote. The decision was eventually overturned.

Jess added: “I want accountability and transparency in the Union; they were absolutely right to reverse the decision.”

When asked why voters should choose her, she said: “People have always told me that I am a dedicated person and that I have a lot to say.

“VP Communities would be the perfect opportunity to turn my plans into reality.

“I’m very understanding and I want to do this job to help students. I would be assertive to make sure students get the representation they need and deserve.”

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