Opinion: VP Welfare and Community Debate 2020

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of InQuire Media

Image courtesy of KTV

The Welfare and Community debate was the biggest two horse race we will see this election campaign. Simply because only two of the three candidates turned up, Ming Tan and Aisha Dosanjh.

Muhammad Abdullah has a promising manifesto on the Kent Union website, with ideas to launch a ‘Wellness app’ for mobile phones. But he was nowhere to be seen during the debate. Which in itself speaks volumes.

Even though Muhammad was a no show, he looked second best alongside the other candidates. Credit to Ming for actually turning up, but she would’ve done herself more favours if she used Muhammad’s tactics, with her debate showing similarities to a cringeworthy horror show.

If there’s one overriding attribute you want from a welfare and community Vice-President it would be, knowledgeable. They need to know about current welfare and community projects, so they can develop and evolve our university. After Aisha’s brilliant and simple answer about adapting the university foodbanks, Ming openly said that she knew nothing about the foodbanks. Bearing in mind the Vice-President of Welfare and Community would be involved within the foodbanks system, this comment from Ming showed warning signs of the type of Vice-President she would be. But, to be fair, there were already signs from the start.

Right from the beginning, more often than not, Ming did not answer the questions that were asked. She would go off on some sort of tangent. However, when she did answer the questions properly, they were very underwhelming, unrealistic and uninformed. For example, saying how she wants to declare a ‘Climate Emergency’, which the UKC School of Anthropology and Conservation has already done. She wants the Co-Op to stop all single use plastics, which is very unrealistic. Finally, she wants to make the university eco-friendlier by re-paving pavements- see the hypocrisy?

However, Aisha did not come without faults. During the debate, she said something rather dodgy about her working with kids meant she was less likely to be ‘mean’, which I personally would not have said on a livestream. Whilst giving similar politician responses as Ming, such as, when asked about improving sustainability, she responded by saying she thinks the bamboo cups the university gives out are good, without giving any further projects which the university could pursue.

Most controversial of all, was both their views on political correctness. When it comes to this hot topic, they shared the same opinions, which is to essentially punish people for not being PC by making them educate themselves so they feel responsible for their actions. Which in some twisted way is not actually politically correct in itself.

If there’s one thing I gained from that debate it was that Aisha should win. But it is disturbing if these are the best candidates that the university can produce. Muhammad failed to show up, Ming had a car crash of a debate and Aisha said some questionable things and failed to answer questions, but by far she is the best of the three.

You can get your own opinion of the candidates by watching the debate here

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