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

In the running for VP Community is Pete Ferguson, Nathaniel Nelson-Williams, and Sam Galea. They’ve all written to tell you what they’d do to incite change should they get your vote.

Pete Ferguson

Hey Incite readers! I’m Pete Ferguson and I’m running for VP Community. I’m a final year International Politics student and this is my 4th year at Surrey. Over my time here I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in so many great societies. Currently, I am the President of Surrey People and Planet as well as the Vice President of The Stag. Beyond that, though I’ve always made an effort to stay engaged with what’s happening in the SU and

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Pete Ferguson

the University by regularly attending meetings with staff and students across departments. I’m dedicated to large-scale sustainability efforts and beyond that making sure Surrey students feel like they can call here home. 

The one thing I would like to change at Surrey? It’s a tough one because there is so much to be done! However, I would say I want to change how we students, as well as the SU and the University, deal with food. So many students go straight from living at home to being fully independent for potentially the first time. A lot of people will never have learnt to cook but what better time to start than the present!I want to build community with food through 3 simple ways:

  1. Campus cookouts! Every 6-8 weeks, I want to get myself and some volunteers set up in a gazebo somewhere on campus and bulk cook huge amounts of tasty food with cheap ingredients and give it out for free! Everyone loves a good hot meal, even more so when it’s free! Alongside the food there will be the recipe and ingredients list for anyone that wants to learn how to make it themselves!
  2. To keep costs down for the cookouts and for students more generally, I want to expand the Red Raccoon Co-op. They are a fantastic group of volunteer students that buy dry foods in bulk and sell them on cheap to students for no profit! They already operate but I want to support them to get more ingredients in so they can sell more of what students want while saving their bank accounts from other more expensive shops! As much of the ingredients as possible for the cookouts will be bought through the Red Raccoon Co-op!
  3. It’s like Chef Gusto said; “Anyone Can Cook”. In that spirit, using those dishes that I know people are going to love from the cookouts as well as those cheap ingredients from the Co-op, I want to launch a food education campaign centred on students! It’s going to be a series of cooking videos made by the SU and released online where myself and others are going to teach the basics of cooking and how to make some of everyone’s favourite dishes. I want to collaborate with local food vendors, professionals in the cooking industry and also with students and staff at Surrey to feature everyone!

I love to cook, and even more than that, I love to eat! This is so much more than that though, this is an opportunity for Surrey to come together and enjoy being with each other. My campus cookouts will be a series of community days where we can all have fun, make friends and be ourselves. If this is something you like the sound of then give me a follow on @Pete4USSU on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can hear more about my manifesto and check out my campaign video! (This sounds a lot better if you listen to the Ratatouille sound track alongside it.)

Nathaniel (Nat) Nelson-Williams

Hi there, my name’s Nathaniel (Nat); I’m a fourth-year Business Management with Marketing student and I’m currently the Students’ Union’s Community Zone Exec Officer. I’m also the Events Director at Surrey Business Society and Operations Manager at TEDxSurreyUniversity. In terms of change at Surrey: I would love to further increase entertainment and showcase events for every student at Surrey, the impact of sustainability at University and locally in our surrounding areas, and community outreach by the Union. Here making change by continuing, and indeed expanding, the term ‘Community’ to be more encompassing for every student at University.

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Nat Nelson-Williams

I’d first seen Surrey during college in 2015. My personal tutor informed me of the University’s widening participation and outreach In2Surrey Scheme; and I had always had in mind the first university to present an opportunity like this to me at the time. I’d subsequently visited on an In2Surrey Scheme day, and then an Open Day, and then an Applicant Day the following year. I’d ultimately joined Surrey in 2017, and I’ll always recall moving-in weekend, Freshers’ Week, and One World Gala, in addition to Club and Society events, and more! The opportunities here to meet so many other students continues to inspire me every day – especially through the work I’ve been fortunate to project manage and support at the Students’ Union. This year, my Events Network (formerly Events Council) proposal was approved – and is set to launch and begin recruiting from the week commencing May 17th 2021. We launched #SustainableSurrey, which was voted by students at Surrey through our #MakeYourChange vote to again become the Union’s Priority Campaign of the Year. #SustainableSurrey was a key manifesto point when I ran for Community Zone last year, and I’m forever excited by the prospect of this campaign growing! Other manifesto points include launching an online voting system for all students to choose Community Zone events and feedback on Rubix nights, which will be implemented for when Rubix re-opens, for example. These experiences have shaped the change I would love to make at Surrey, which reinforces my excitement at the prospect of continuing to work to help and support you as your Vice President Community.

More entertainment and showcase events through the introduction of an end-of-term Winter Showcase; the introduction of Surrey Film Festival; a ‘Business of’ series in line with Employable Me; and producing a semesterly calendar via the Events Network with a focus on more socials. To further expanding #SustainableSurrey, and working with Student Enterprise to incorporate the sustainability-focused businesses launched by students at Surrey, such as Roome, Instant Swim and Arkabs! Launching overnight rooms on campus for students feeling unsafe at Rubix or late events on campus, and students commuting who may have missed their last train for example, is also a change very important to me.

Overall, I would love to expand the term ‘Community’ here at Surrey with many projects and initiatives by the Community Zone. Thank you so much for reading and please vote #NatforVPCommunity [1]

Sam Galea

Hello, dear readers. I want to make Surrey a place you never want to leave. When I first came to Surrey, as a small, confused fresher from overseas, I felt at home immediately. It was pure luck – my flat was fab, my course was a tiny cohort, and I found gospel choir, my spirit society, pretty quickly. So for me, Surrey always felt like a community. But for so many other people, it wasn’t quite so easy. Not liking their flat, being far away from campus, limitations of social anxiety, and massive, impersonal cohorts made them feel small and inconsequential. My sister was one of them. And that should never happen. I mean that with every bone in my body.

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Sam Galea

What I want to change about Surrey is I want to leave no-one forgotten, by creating a student-serving campus that is led and created by students (a food co-op, a charity shop playing into RAG, chatty benches & a chatty scheme, murals promoting student-led endavours). Everyone deserves a place here. Not only does my manifesto revolve around this – about making campus spicy and gorgeous and somewhere you boast about to your mates from home  – but I have what it takes to MAKE it happen. I’ve been a support zone PTO, so I know how the union works, and I have the enthusiasm and passion to see every student-raised point to the end of the line. I will throw myself into being VP Community, because I do not know how to give anything less to the place that has become my home. 

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