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Michael Sammels: “I have this really natural ability to help others”

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First-hand experience, a track record of helping students and a close relationship with the Union: Michael Samuels believes he has the credentials to become the next Mature Students Officer.

The third-year Computer Science student wants to help mature students engage with the union about any issues, offering his support wherever he can.

Sammels sat down and spoke to Brig ahead of the Union Elections this Monday.

The role appealed to Sammels after a close friend had recommended it to him. Upon further reading, he thought it was perfect for him.

He said: “When I realised what the role itself entailed, I realised I was doing that already as a module rep, so I just thought I can take it a bit wider, just outside of my department, I can take it further afield to the university student body.

“I also have this really natural ability to help others. I’m trying to resolve a lot to make everyone talk to each other more confidently, to try and get students to just go and complain to lecturers if they have a problem or speak if you’ve got an issue.”

“I want to get everyone to talk to each other at the same time. I would love to see if we could all do it together as a union, because that’s what it is, it’s a union of people. We need to have better collaborations and talks between the students.”

Michael sammels

One of Sammels’ promises is to start a focus group where discussions can take place about any problems students may have.

He said: “Obviously I’ll be doing my one-on-one sessions, but I also want to start focus groups for these issues so I can take them and then push them out there and try to get them rectified. I’ve not seen anyone do that yet, or if they have, I’ve not heard of it. “

Brig also asked him to outline what experience he would bring to the role.

He said: “Okay so there are two different incidents I can give here, last semester there was a student who was struggling a little and lacked the confidence to directly go to the lecturer. So, I contacted the lecturer, and we contacted the student and we set up a separate meeting for them.

“The other more hands-on experience I’ve got is in the second semester of second year a lecturer approached me and asked me if I could help a fellow student because he wasn’t doing too well. I sat with him for a few nights every week and we got him passed his exam, I think it was actually a 60 that he got.

“I’m also currently sitting on two societies as president and publicity officer. I’ve been going between lecturers and students for years now pushing ideas forward.

“I’ve also had to deal with a lot too, I was off a year and a half with asthma so I’ve dealt with SAAS and part-time study so if anyone needs help with this I’ve been there. I have a friend who asked for help when he wanted to go from full time to part-time and I was able to send him to the right people to get that resolved.”

Image credit: Stirling Students Union

Sammels insists that his attitude and friendly approach make him a strong candidate for Mature Students Officer, concluding the interview with a further example of him helping other students on campus.

He said: “I’ve been on campus walking through Cottrell doing my own business and students have stopped me and asked for directions to places and I’ve actually walked with them to that location. I’m always there to help you in every way I can, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“It makes you feel so warm when you help somebody.”

Michael Sammels manifesto can be found here.

Voting opens at 9:00a.m on Monday, March 14 and closes Tuesday, March 15 at 6:10p.m. 

Feature Image Credit: Stirling Students Union

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