Hi Jerry, what are your main pledges?
I have three principal pledges. The first, and most important, is to abolish EUSA in its current form.
I see. Can you expand on that?
Yes, I can. I don’t think EUSA is run as well as it should be. My team has read through the financial documents and I feel like it’s not as transparent as it should be. Student Council, and any legislative process for that matter, is not sufficiently publicised. I went to a meeting last week and there were a hundred people present, making decisions for tens of thousands. Frankly, I don’t think that’s okay. Certainly, EUSA can be guilty of censoring student media.
We’re all too aware.
A few years ago, writers from The Student had to physically tear out pages from the paper because of a Students’ Association interdict [against a story about a Sabbatical Officer]. Frankly, that’s unacceptable. My second pledge, therefore, is to increase transparency. The third part is that I will drop out of my capacity as President if I do get elected. Call it protest or whatever, I just want people to care. The problem with politics nowadays is that people don’t care, and I’m just here to change that. If we revamp EUSA from its current form, nobody will go to Teviot so we can transform the building into a giant ‘Spoons [Wetherspoon pub]. Nobody would be running Big Cheese, so why not privatise it?
Say you do get elected and you step down. What do you foresee happening after that?
If I do drop out, my votes would just be redistributed to others. They broadly want the same things as me, particularly with transparency, so I’m confident any of them would do a good job.
What’s your utopian vision of what a students’ association should do?
How should they serve the student body? They should publicise council meetings, and put more effort into dealing with widespread issues, not just those of immediate interest. We want a larger turnout than six per cent, and the Students’ Association should stand up for student media. We’re all in this together. Lastly, I don’t have anything against EUSA members. Every person working for the association that I’ve interacted with has been lovely. I just think there’s more structural change that needs to be put into effect.
Image: Edinburgh University Students’ Association