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YUSU Elections 2016: President Candidate – Millie Beach

Credit: YUSU
Credit: YUSU
Credit: YUSU

Millie Beach is running for Union President. Last year, she was chair of Vanbrugh College and is particularly enthusiastic about encouraging all students to make their voices heard.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m currently in my third year doing English and History. Having said that, I’ve spent a lot of my time at uni doing extra curricular bits and pieces. I was Chair of Vanbrugh College last year and I’m also one of the public faces of Nightline. In the past I’ve also been really involved with dramasoc and I also work in the exceptionally glamorous Vanbrugh catering!

What inspired you to run for YUSU President?

I think it was a whole combination of things, Sam (Prez 2014-15) and Ben (current Prez) have both been big influences in the way that I’ve developed as a person and as a professional while at uni. For me, the inspiration was talking to a student who said they didn’t feel like YUSU listened to them. I really want to change that and be really active in going and seeking out student opinion. I really love creating an environment where people feel valued and are able to thrive.

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

I have quite a bit of experience. Having been a college chair last year, I understand how YUSU works and where the issues are but I haven’t been part of YUSU directly, meaning that I can bring a fresh pair of eyes and a critical perspective to the role. I would say that what sets me apart is that I really want to inspire change, but I think that’s actually true of all the candidates or they wouldn’t be running, I should know, I live with Habib! What I can say is that I know that every one of my policies is achievable and I know how to make them happen.

Which of your policies are you most excited about?

I actually pitched the idea of the #LoveYork social media platform to YUSU before I was certain that I was running for President. I’m really passionate about it for a few reasons. First up, from a communication perspective it should help to centralise all the info that is currently quite spread out. There are loads of exciting events and projects going on that we don’t know about because there isn’t a central place to go and look at. This should change that. Secondly, it’s a group that’s pretty much autonomous from YUSU, meaning that the students running the project will be publishing things that students find interesting, not just what YUSU tell them to. Last up, it provides a volunteering/work experience for students who are interested in going into advertising and PR. That sort of work experience is actually pretty scarce at the moment so it’s exciting in that sense too.

If you could change just one thing about the way the University works, what would it be?

Actually dredging/cleaning the lake is the dream. Doubt that’s going to happen though, I think the (attainable) dream for me is to increase the amount of students in important university meetings. By that, I don’t just mean sabbatical officers and college chairs and presidents, but students who are interested in how things work, or even those who don’t have a clear opinion but want to get involved. Having attended those meetings, I can confirm that you develop opinions quickly and it’s important that student voices are heard loudest.

Who do you think is your biggest competition?

Literally could be any of the candidates. I think we all bring similar ideas to the table but all have very different approaches. I’m a fan of Oliver’s use of videos, and I really like some of Habib’s policies, and he’s an all round great guy.

The YUSU Candidates Debate will take place at the Lounge on the 14th February.