Incite has asked all candidates in this years SU elections what they want to change at Surrey.

In the running for the Community Zone is Elina Riznic, Karim Acolina, Matt Aikin, Mine Atan, and Theodora Plati Loverdou. Dan Hood is also running for RAG chair, which is part of the community zone.

Theodora Plati Loverdou

Thanks to the great work previous and current union members have done our university is already different than when I had already joined in 2018. However as with everything I always see where we can improve.

Theodora Plati Loverdou

The first idea is reducing food waste. Currently the Community Zone will be launching a scheme to help distribute the leftover food from Stag Hill campus eateries at the end of the day in collaboration with Olio. My pledge is to expand this to Manor Park and Hazel Farm. Most student accommodation is now not located in Stag Hill so by expanding I would be increasing accessibility and reducing food waste. I also want to include community fridges and shelves on each campus so that students can also give away their leftover food. This scheme would also mean more volunteer opportunities on campus so this means students would not need to pay transport or go far to do some volunteering.

My second idea is increased awareness of the Rubix reseller ticket platform on and Rubix improvement. My original pledge had been to create a platform for reselling but since submitting my manifesto the union has already brought this up. My pledge is to create a marketplace so students can advertise their ticket and maybe even a way to pay so students dont get scammed. By reducing the use of social media it means those students who dont have every social media going can still get tickets and sell theirs without the hassle of having to comb through every single chat and group. The addition of more water fountains/coolers is also crucial as many students should stay hydrated during the night and do not want to queue just to have a glass of water. My other idea is also to keep the Food vendors the union started to introduce during club events so as to promote small local businesses but also so students can eat without having to leave the Rubix area.

Finally the last change I would like is to improve the welcome pack all students get and make the accomodation experience more smooth. Many students would not have been to Guildford let alone the UK especially now that the Coronavirus has happened. An improved welcome pack with what to do in Guildford as well as a little bit about the council and areas would be a great idea so students can feel welcome in their new home. 

As part of accomodation improvement increased maintenance on the launderette machines is crucial. Often times the machines poorly dry the clothes and sometimes they don’t even work at all. Another idea was to include a laundry card in the dig in box with £5 credit so students can have their first wash for free. The use of a rechargeable laundry card instead of the mobile app is great as the app often times does not work and the signal is poor. 

All in all I hope that these small ideas for change will improve our university life and make Surrey life the best it ever has been! 

Mine Atan

My name is Mine, pronounced Mee-neh, and I’m a second-year Food Science and Nutrition Course Rep. This year I’m running to be a Community Zone Part-Time Officer. My passion for sustainability is why I want our campus to be redesigned in the light of Permaculture which is an approach to sustainability that aims to design closed-loop systems that benefit each other. This way, human needs are met and ecological health is improved. The first step could be to install rainwater harvesting systems on campus.

Many international students struggle to adjust to the new culture, new people, and new environment. I want the international orientation programme to include many interactive activities like games and to be advertised better while being made available for all international students (EU and non-EU) from all levels of study. This way, each student will have a better chance of making friends.

There should be more inclusive events organised by the union that will benefit not only the extroverted but also the introverted students and shy ones. It’s already difficult to make friends when you are shy or an introvert and the pandemic isn’t helping at all. A change that I would like to see is events that will benefit everyone including the introverts, this can be achieved by organising events with smaller groups which can be both daytime and night-time events. The Basement would be the perfect spot for these night-time activities and a picnic at the lake would be a great day-time activity to achieve this.

Another change I would like to see at Surrey is the better handling of intoxicated students by security at Rubix and reduction in the risks of sexual harassment which can be achieved by training the security better.

Dan Hood

Hi, I’m Dan, a second year Vet Student, and this year I am running to be your next RAG Chair! I have gained a lot of experience helping to organise the Movember Campaign over the past few years, and I am looking to use this experience to build on the foundations laid by the previous RAG Chairs, Owain and Adesuwa.  

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Dan Hood

I am looking to develop the prevalence of RAG and make it a more integral part of the Surrey experience. As a Movember Ambassador I spoke to reps from other unis and asked them what made their campaigns so successful, and the thing I kept hearing from them was ‘Charity Culture’. At universities like Exeter, Loughborough and Oxford RAG is a big part of their student life, with Loughborough well known for raising £1m a year through RAG. To continue developing this culture shift will require more than just one PTO. In my opinion Adesuwa’s greatest achievement this year was working with Lizzie to get a proposal for a RAG subcommittee, as it will take a larger group to keep making these changes and improvements. With these changes coming into play, I am aiming to raise £50k through RAG this year, with £10k of this going to our two RAG Charities. 

I am also looking to change how we record and celebrate fundraising, with a focus on transparency. I would aim to have monthly updates on how much each club and society has raised, highlighting when STARS requirements have been met. This links in with increasing RAG’s social media profile, particularly with the Facebook and Instagram pages.  

If you want to be a part of these changes, please vote Dan [1] for RAG Chair!

Elina Riznic, KJ Acolina, Matt Aikin did not respond to Incite’s invitation to write to students.

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