Good morning Callum, can you tell me why you’re standing for EUSA President?
I’ve been studying sustainable development for four years, so I’ve got lots of great experience in that field which I could bring to the office. EUSA could really do with someone pushing for true environmental and social sustainability.
What are you planning to do about this, specifically?
On the environmental side, we have things like the student Green Hub, a space for all the university’s green societies to get together, while I’d love to gather money for a student-led sustainability project. We want carbon emissions to be zero by 2040, and in my view that’s not too unrealistic. In terms of social sustainability, I’ve got pledges such as asking for more payment for liberation officers, as well as making Teviot more affordable, just because I, and others, often cannot afford to eat there. I also want low-cost housing for students, and I doubt I’m alone in that.
Do you want big structural changes in EUSA?
I’ve thought about this a lot, particularly regarding payment for Sabbatical Officers. The biggest pledge on my manifesto in terms of that is changing the management structure so that it’s completely transparent. It’s a public institution, it’s paid for by the students, so everything should be clear and visible.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Hopefully, all my pledges will come out during my campaign. You don’t want to put too much in your manifesto, make it this huge, long document. Basically, I’m just coming from the experience of studying environmental matters for four years, so things which might be obvious to me can be spread to our student body.
Do you think enough people are engaged in this election?
I’ve been asking at briefings about what turnout to expect, and the figures are never great. I’m not exactly sure how we can change that, as EUSA is a free association and there isn’t necessarily a strong incentive to be involved in the process. Part of that relates to the transparency issue, so if we get those changes through we should see participation increase.
Additional reporting: Conrad Maddox
Image: Edinburgh University Students’ Association