Candidate Voices: Lauren Taylor for President Student Experience

The Anchor is pleased to offer a platform for the 2022 SU presidential candidates to make their pitch to students. The views expressed in this piece are not representative of the Anchor but of the candidate.

Students can vote online between 12pm on 28 February and 12pm on 3 March.

Hi Anchor readers! Hopefully you recognise my name as a member of the Anchor team, but I will introduce myself. My name is Lauren Taylor, I am a third-year English and History student, and I am running for President Student Experience at the Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union. I was drawn to this role because of the outreach to students across the two universities, which is an incredibly unique position, and the support I aim to provide can be done with creative freedom. I have and will continue to support students and I will improve the student experience by enhancing individual elements, from sports and societies to the spaces that we use on a day-to-day basis.

| Lauren Taylor

What makes my manifesto unique is that it is full of original ideas that are ambitious but implementable and have been inspired by years of experience being a student representative. They will improve the student experience for all, regardless of background, course, university, etc. with accessibility and enjoyment at the core of each of my ideas.

My manifesto is as follows:

Improving spaces – this encompasses both digital and physical spaces that students use every day. I want to improve the communal spaces across all of the campuses by adding more facilities, making them comfortable and accessible, and set up an updated capacity checker. I want to ensure that all students are familiar in all campus spaces by establishing an interactive map of all of the campuses and running walking tours and inductions that can be booked by students. Further, I want to develop a sensory garden on the Penryn Campus – a space that is beneficial for being stress-relieving and will increase biodiversity on the campus.

Employability – students need further support when planning their future careers. I want to include the position of an “Employability Officer” to the SU Student Council who will liaise with the Career Zone and RealWORKS, SSLC/Gs, and other students to ensure that the employability support is tailored to student needs. I will also establish a “Careers Week” in which there will be pop ups, stalls, speaker events, and much more. However, support will be offered all year round with a focus on networking and regular talks from industry professionals.

Sports and societies – these are key elements to the student experience for a majority of students. I want to improve the on-campus sports facilities by offering more membership options and cheaper prices in the Sports Centre, as well as establishing student only hours. I want to enhance the Bottle Match experience with further advertising and a cheaper after party, making it a key event on both the sports and social calendars. I also want to provide all clubs and societies with an SU email address for standardisation and easier communication for students and further work with them to set up a “Give it a Go” scheme and offer non-competitive sessions.

Increasing fun – whilst there are many fun aspects of university, I want to increase the fun for all. I want to further the CoLab app by adding a messaging feature to make it easier for likeminded students to get in contact with each other. Also, I would like to plan a “Cultural Experience Week”, working with international students and representative societies to give them the opportunity to share their culture and traditions. Further, I want to build relationships with local businesses and plan pop-ups across the campuses and also increase the number of formal events and plan more and improve the informal events – such as an outdoor “Falmouth Film Festival” in the summer months.

Sustainability – the climate crisis is a major issue which is not going away anytime soon, and I want to implement ideas to make immediate change. I want to create an online marketplace for students to buy and sell second-hand course material to reduce waste, set up donation boxes around accommodation sites so that unwanted clothes, books, and other material that will be donated to charities of the students’ choice. I will continue the “Little Libraries” project that I am currently working on as a Part-Time Officer.

I have always been dedicated to improving the student experience, whether that be socially or academically. I am English Subject Chair, Exeter Open officer and have been on the committees for multiple societies. My experience with the SU, as well as my knowledge and commitment is absolutely invaluable and is why I believe I should be elected as President Student Experience. The SU has provided me with so much support and I hope that in this role I can give back to the students and provide them with the same assistance with dedication and care with further transparency and opportunities for students.