DSU Election Interviews 2013: Community Officer

Voting opens on 26th February

Community Officer candidates:

  • Grace Abel
  • Mohammad Anisur Rahman Jamil (declined to comment)

GRACE ABEL

How would you sum up the priorities of this role?

I think it is important for the Community Officer to keep strong links between Durham’s community and its students. I believe that charity fundraising is a crucial form of communion and would be my priority going forward.

What are the current problems you would like to tackle or improve on?

I would like to make a change to the issues already acted on in campaign weeks, not just raise awareness. I would also like to stop the early housing rush with a ‘Don’t Settle’ campaign.

How do you remain relevant with Nightline, welfare drop-ins and pastoral tutors already in place?

The Community Officer will need to support all these services, for example, holding meetings for the Welfare Officers from all colleges to share best practice. A Community Officer is the link between all three.

Can you comment on why the LGBTa has had their grant cut, and funding for welfare supplies have been cut? Where do you stand on this decision?

I think that LGBTa and welfare committees do not necessarily need money to get their message across. Social media is an increasingly influential, free tool to communicate ideas and messages. Obviously, it is important that the budget does not get cut further as supplies are necessary.

Is the DSU counter-intuitive to a collegiate university? How do you plan on bringing it back into significance?

The DSU is a helpful central resource of information which shares ideas for all colleges. It also provides many services and activities separate from college which are beneficial to those interested in different societies. Marketing what is going on in the DSU will be vital to improving the quality student’s university experience.

How have you personally benefited from the DSU? How has it added to your university experience?

To be honest, I have hugely benefited from the college system – I have loved the community which exudes from college. The DSU has been in the background slightly and I would like to inject the verve college life has into the DSU.

What is the one thing that makes you suitable for this role?

I currently read Sociology which is a degree about community, society, equality and diversity. I am so passionate about such issues and would love to apply this knowledge and understanding to a role where I could really make a difference.

Manifestos:

http://dsu.org.uk/files/grace-abel.pdf

http://dsu.org.uk/files/jamil-manifestos.pdf

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