As part of The Stag’s coverage of Surrey Decides we offered candidates running for President an in-person interview. Unfortunately Ajay was not able to fit it into her campaign schedule. As an alternative we sent our questions over email and copied Ajay’s responses and as a result we do not have the same style of follow up questions as we have for the other Presidential candidate. For more information about Ajay’s campaign, see her manifesto below and watch in person or over livestream, her Question Time performance at Rubix on Tuesday 3rd March.
What made you run for President and when did you decide you wanted this? Was it while you were a zone officer/VP?
I am currently Vice President Voice at Surrey Student Union and I really enjoy what I do so I thought why not run again?! Being able to make positive changes that benefit students is one of my motivations.
I believe I have a lot more to offer and would like to maintain some of the projects I’ve started this year and develop new ones.
How do you feel about running against the other Presidential candidates?
It is quite exciting, as we all have different personalities and skills to offer. [At the time of interview, there were 3 candidates running for President however one has now dropped out].
How would you describe the spirit of your campaign?
I’m running what I would call an inclusive campaign, as the student population is so diverse, and I believe it's important that people feel represented and heard.
I noticed sustainability isn’t mentioned in your manifesto. Is sustainability important to you and if so why is it not mentioned at all in your manifesto?
Yes, sustainability is definitely important to me! As VP Voice I ran the “make your change campaign” whereby students voted on the number one campaign they’d like to see the university focus on and that was sustainability.
It’s not stated on my manifesto as I unfortunately could not fit all of my points on there.
People & Planet are running a campaign to get the university to affiliate to Electronics Watch, who help ensure no sweatshop labour is used to produce the electronic goods they buy. The cost is less than £3,000 to affiliate. Do you support getting the University to affiliate with Electronics Watch?
Candidate failed to provide a response to this question.
Last year we had a vote of no confidence in senior management with the overwhelming majority of students that voted, voting no confidence. Do you have confidence in the performance of senior management and how will you hold them to account?
I believe that the senior management have attempted to take more proactive measures to restore faith in students however I do believe a lot more can be done.
As your current VP Voice, I have meetings with the executive board every 3 weeks to discuss the priorities of the student’s union and how the university could support us. This is a means of accountability as senior management inform me about what they are doing, enabling me to take a stance on certain issues in the best interests of students.
This will be maintained if elected President as it is a great way to hold each other accountable and foster a relationship.
What would you like to be your ‘flagship’ policy that would be your top priority and ideally your legacy if elected?
One thing that I am really advocating for is a specialist in ‘mental health and culture’ in the centre of wellbeing. This is because maintaining good mental health is vital and students should feel like they have someone to speak to irrespective of their cultural backgrounds.
Additionally, I also aim to improve the quality of education for all students, have a look at my manifesto to find out more!
Voting opens after the third night of Question Time finishes on Tuesday 3rd March 2020 and will close on Saturday 7th March 2020 at 18:00. Voting can be done via a unique link that will be sent to your university email or via the USSU website.