Candidates announced for Students’ Union by-election

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The candidate list has been announced for the 2022 Stirling Students’ Union by-election.

15 students have launched their campaigns in hopes of bagging a seat at the Union table. The Stirling Students’ Union are looking to elect nine part-time officers, four NUS delegates and one sabbatical officer for Vice President Education.

The candidates in the running are:

Arts Officer

Responsible for ensuring the interests of all existing and new Arts Societies, founded on a close working relationship with representatives of each.

Shani Doudet

Shani Doudet is a third-year English and Film and Media student, and the current treasurer of the Stirling University Drama Society (SUDS). She pledges to build a closer relationship between the art societies by organising more group events such as pub crawls, open mic nights and an annual collaborative performance.

Her time in SUDS has spurred her on to run for this position, saying: “Through my own experience in an arts society, I understand how vital these experiences are and want to make sure that you have your time to shine – whether it be on stage, creating art, playing music or behind the scenes.”

Shani Doudet’s manifesto can be found here.

International Officer

Responsible for identifying and organising campaigns to raise awareness of the relevant issues affecting international students.

Ayusha Bhajanka

Building a welcoming community for international students is at the forefront of Ayusha Bhajanka’s campaign, saying: “Starting life as an international student is, well, ‘overwhelming’ for lack of a better word – and for many reasons other than having to move halfway across the world leaving friends and family behind, alone.”

By organising meet and greet events, creating more social opportunities and making student resources more accessible, Ayusha hopes to help international students settle into their new life here in Stirling.

Ayusha Bhajanka’s manifesto can be found here.

Iacopo Eliott Ivella

Also in the running for International Officer is Iacopo Eliott Ivella from Italy.

Having worked in student politics in Italy since the age of 14, Iacopo is keen to continue his advocacy here in Stirling. He will push for “student participation, students’ needs, a real and constant dialogue with officers, clubs and societies – a permanent discourse that will ensure every voice to be heard.”

Iacopo Eliott Ivella’s manifesto can be found here.

Adhiraj Singh

Adhiraj Singh is a second-year Data Science student from India.

Adhiraj’s campaign is centred around helping international students settle into Stirling, supporting them “with anything from bus numbers to academics.”

He is also advocating for more scholarships for international students, cheaper accommodation and reduced tuition fees amid the cost of living crisis.

Adhiraj Singh’s manifesto can be found here.

Media Officer

Ensures that the media societies are working together and act as an effective link between the Executive Council and the media societies.

Ciaran Sweeney

Ciaran Sweeney is a fourth-year English and Film and Media student. He has been the secretary of AirTV for three years now and, if elected as Media Officer, he hopes to “give back to all the societies that have done so much for [him].”

Ciaran believes that COVID-19 has had a detrimental impact on Stirling’s media societies, with club memberships on the decline compared to pre-pandemic years. He wants to raise awareness of the media societies available to students, as well as to see them promoted more on campus.

He also plans to encourage closer relationships and collaborations between the media societies, bring in more industry opportunities and help the societies succeed during award season.

Ciaran Sweeney’s manifesto can be found here.

Candidates for the Stirling Students' Union by-election.
Voting opens on Monday October 17 at 9:00a.m (Image Credit: Rebecca Kerr)
NUS Delegate

A highly sought-after role with four places up for grabs. NUS Delegates represent the views of Stirling Students at a national level. Every year, NUS bring together a conference of student representatives to decide which campaigns and policy work NUS should take forward. The conference also elects student members to lead this work for the coming year.

Ayusha Bhajanka

Ayusha Bhajanka is running for one of the four NUS Delegate positions up for grabs, as well as International Officer. She believes that community engagement is crucial for change and hence plans to promote student participation in policymaking and the Union.

Ayusha Bhajanka’s manifesto can be found here.

Ludovico Caminati Engström

Ludovico Caminati Engström is a fourth-year International Politics student and the founder of Global Justice Stirling, in which he has “always strived to get better conditions for students.”

He has also spent two years working as a regional organiser for Global Justice Now, as well as being actively involved in the Stirling Climate Festival and the University of Sanctuary action group.

Ludovico Caminati Engström’s manifesto can be found here.

Chiara Busini

Fourth-year psychology student Chiara Busini believes her involvement in activism makes her the ideal candidate for NUS Delegate, saying: “It would be a privilege to be chosen to fight for a fair and just future on behalf of Stirling students.”

She has previously campaigned on behalf of Global Justice Stirling and the University of Sanctuary action group, and was also involved in last year’s Climate Festival.

Chiara Busini’s manifesto can be found here.

Harrison Catling

Also in the running for NUS Delegate is third-year Politics student Harrison Catling.

He pledges to campaign for better housing deals, mental health resources and support for students during the cost of living crisis. Harrison also plans to work with the NUS to support their goal of implementing student loan (SAAS) payments over summer to help alleviate the financial pressure on students.

Harrison Catling’s manifesto can be found here.

Aaron Caulfield

Aaron Caulfield is a third-year LLB Law student and Chair of the Stirling University Labour Society. Aaron began his studies in Stirling when he was just 16 years old and this experience has shaped his campaign for NUS Delegate.

Alongside advocating for young students, he also plans to campaign for equality, sustainability, improved mental health resources and more support for students amid the cost of living and housing crises.

Aaron Caulfield’s manifesto can be found here.

Iacopo Eliott Ivella

Italian student Iacopo Eliott Ivella has been involved in student politics since the age of 14 and is keen to continue his work by running for NUS Delegate, as well as International Officer.

Student participation is at the forefront of his campaign, saying: “No student politics can be endorsed without actual student participation.”

Iacopo is also advocating for improved mental health services, free transport and accessible learning materials.

Iacopo Eliott Ivella’s manifesto can be found here.

Katie Gethings

Katie Gethings’ campaign focuses on supporting students amid the cost of living crisis and housing shortage, saying: “The government needs to be pressured to make specific and targeted support aimed at students that meets the current needs.”

She also aims to ensure that students of all ages and backgrounds – including students who are carers, parents and care-leavers – receive the same support as their peers and are not excluded by government flat policies.

Katie Gethings’ manifesto can be found here.

Daniel McPadden

Daniel McPadden is a third-year Law student pledging to hold the NUS to account and campaigning for the urgent handling of the crises facing students.

He said: “I believe that the NUS needs to get itself together. Students are suffering – bearing the brunt of the crises in the cost of living and in housing – but where is our Union?”

Daniel McPadden’s manifesto can be found here.

Freddie Petersen

Freddie Petersen is a third-year Psychology and Sociology student. Alongside their studies, Freddie is also involved in several activism groups as the founder of the Student Action for Refugees Society (STAR) and the Stirling Trans Collective.

Freddie pledges to advocate for better learning conditions for students and better working conditions for staff, saying: “We are being punished for an economic crisis that we did not cause.”

Freddie Petersen’s manifesto can be found here.

Jess Reid

Also in the running for NUS Delegate is current Vice President Communities Jess Reid.

Jess, who has held many roles in student politics, is focusing her newest campaign on three key policy areas: equality and inclusion, student housing rights and the future of NUS Scotland.

She said: “By upholding these promises, I will play my role in ensuring Stirling remains part of the wider democratic and representative values which govern our student politics, to have us heard on a national stage, and to make students lives better.”

Jess Reid’s manifesto can be found here.

NUS Delegate is a new and highly sought-after role in the upcoming by-election, with 10 candidates in the running (Image Credit: NUS)
Sports Union Communications Officer

Communicates the activities of the sport zone to the student body and a wider audience. They will also represent the views of the membership on sports activities and assist the Sport President in fulfilling their remit.

Siobhan Campbell

In the running for Sports Union Communications Officer is Siobhan Campbell, a Film and Media student and member of the Stirling University Dance Club (SUDC).

Siobhan believes that her close relationship with the university’s media societies makes her the ideal candidate for this role. She plans to promote new and existing sports clubs, encourage communication and collaboration within the Sports Union and represent the sporting interests of the student body.

She said: “I would like to act as a bridge between the general student body and the union itself. Raising their questions, interests and concerns and actually getting answers that you can be happy with – and not stopping until you are.”

Siobhan Campbell’s manifesto can be found here.

Sports Union Participation and Engagement Officer

Responsible for encouraging all students to participate in Sports Zone activities, particularly those who have not traditionally engaged with the Zone. They are also expected to assist the Sports President in promoting employability activities and campaigns to clubs and teams.

Lauren Bullock

Lauren Bullock is a second-year Sports Coaching and Development student and member of Stirling University Women’s Football Club (SULFC). She is keen to work alongside Sports Union President Murray Bussell to “break down barriers and get rid of the stigma around sports.”

Lauren’s campaign centres around inclusion and allowing people of varying abilities to have the same sporting opportunities. She also plans to visit secondary schools around Scotland and show students what Stirling’s Sports Union can offer them.

Lauren Bullock’s manifesto can be found here.

There are no candidates in the running for the paid sabbatical position of Vice President Education, as well as four voluntary roles: Post Graduate Officer, Parents and Carers Officer, Alternative Pathways Officer and Care Experienced Students Officer.

Voting opens on Monday October 17 at 9:00a.m and closes on Tuesday October 18 at 6:15p.m.

The results will be announced on Tuesday October 18 at 7:30p.m.

Featured Image Credit: Stirling Students’ Union

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News Editor at Brig Newspaper
Fourth year Journalism Studies at the University of Stirling

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