This year’s welfare VP election may not seem as competitive as the president or other VP positions, but it is worth taking a closer look.
The candidates Omolade Adedapo and Emma Thompson have come up with two similar, but diverse manifestos, that envision their plans for how the student welfare policies on campus should change, and in what ways Kent Union should continue their working relationship with the local Canterbury community.
Looking at the incumbent candidate Omalade’s manifesto, her promises address issue areas that she has not focused during her first term as the Welfare VP.
Rather than developing from her achievements this academic year—installing gender neutral toilets, getting elected to the NUS welfare zone Committee, and successfully running Black History Month—her newly presented manifesto focuses on gambling support, enhancing student housing experience, sexual health support, assisting Medway students, and establishing a stronger and more stable link between academia and student wellbeing.
Although she outlines positive change she is willing to bring to the campus while serving as the Welfare VP for her second term, one thing Omolade lacks is continuity from her current term, failing to elaborate on how she can fulfil her promises from her previous manifesto.
To make your own analysis of the manifestos, follow the links below:
Omolade Adedapo's Manifesto
Emma Sampson's Manifesto
Omolade has also stressed her belief in strengthening student engagement within the local community. Reiterating her response from the Kent Union poll questions, she told InQuire that she wants to remind the students that they are already part of the local community and she is willing to promote more and better opportunities for students to become part of local projects, activities, and communities.
At the fundamental level of her manifesto, however, Omolade’s central concern remains the BAME students and LGBTQ+ welfare, which she believes is key to tackling a lot of relevant issues such as mental health.
Emma Thompson through her manifesto also stresses the importance of diversity and integration among students. Emma places her emphasis on bringing students together regardless of their race, religion, and sexuality.
As a newly running candidate, she lacks practical outline of how she is planning to achieve each promise. Nevertheless, her manifesto attempts to address issue areas that have yet been openly and widely discussed throughout Kent Union, such as student education on relationships, students handling social media, and platforms for environmental societies to push for a greener campus.
She expressed her strong conviction behind helping students regarding relationship and social media problems, which she believes will bring a great amount of positive change in student wellbeing. Just like Omolade, she recognises the necessary improvement in Medway student support and LGBTQ+ & BAME student engagement.
During her press conference interviews, she agreed with Omolade on recognising mental health problems, furthering the integration between the university and local communities, and enhancing academic experience in relation to more welfare issue areas.