Presidential Hustings: Experience versus Freshness
Monday saw the Presidential Hustings take place in the Marketplace in the Student’s Union. Stuart Thomson, Peter Ptashko, James Berragan and Philip Woolley all got the chance to speak to students about the issues that were facing them. In a wide ranging set of speeches, the break down of the candidates seemed to be steady as it goes with Peter Ptashko, a listening president with ‘Tommo’, direct policy and lobbying from James Berragan and slaying mythical postgraduates with Phillip Woolley.
Peter’s campaign at the hustings made much of his experience; being a sabbatical officer for a year he believes means that he has a better understanding of how to achieve a better student’s union for all. He is focusing heavily on the idea of student debt but has been forced to distance himself from previous student presidents who also ran on lobbying student loans companies.
Stuart Thomson campaigned seems to recall the campaign made by Joe Kirby, the current Student President. Using phrases such as ‘listening to students’ and ‘getting people involved’, Stuart draws on both his experience through Warwick Snow as well as his freshness in terms of a lack of a union politics background, his candidacy seems to be very much entrenched upon popularist anti-establishment credentials.
James Berragan has been focusing on the practicality of the policies that he has put forward such as the corporate recycling scheme while also distancing himself from the current establishment at the Student’s Union. The use of ‘full blooded conservative ideas’ in his manifesto seems to be the ideological aim of his campaign and based upon the idea of getting business involved in helping students rather then seemingly opposing them.
Philip Woolley’s imaginative campaign was further backed up by a rather popular performance at the hustings which due many laughs. By being clear and frank on most of the questions that were asked of him he contrasted the rather seemingly long winded replies of the other Presidential Candidates whether or not this will secure him any votes we have yet to see.
With campaign reaching the final few days and the candidates desperately rushing around to try and attract the interest of first years in their halls by touring kitchens, this was a vital chance for Presidential Candidates to get out to a wider audience of students. Though it would be impossible to pick out a star performer each made sure to play on the individual ‘strengths’ of their campaigns. However one can only speculate the amount of votes that have been one or lost at this event and by who…