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YUSU Elections 2016: Academic Officer – Tamaki Laycock

Image credit: YUSU
Image credit: YUSU
Image credit: YUSU

Tamaki Laycock is running for the position of Academic Officer in the 2016 union elections.

Who are you, what do you study and in what year of study are you?

My name is Tamaki Laycock, I’m in my third year, and I study Politics with International Relations.

What societies have you been involved in since you started at the university?

I have been involved in World Cinema Society and have been their door attendant, secretary, and am now their chair. I’ve been part of the Feminist Society as their ordinary member (although this was before they were ratified), and I am the current BME Officer for YUSU.

Why did you decide to run for this position?

I decided to run for this position after thinking about how I could help people in their daily lives. I’m passionate about academic influences on people’s personal lives, because I know personally how much the courses we choose to study have an impact on our day to day. I believe in academic institutions representing the diversity of the student body, and want to see that diversity reflected in York’s academia and experience for students.

What are your policies?

I’m here to promote DANCE!

DIVERSITY: diversify curriculum across courses – have a wider range of modules and ideas that reflect our global society. As an international, BME woman I will be able to assess situations from alternative views, which I believe will be valuable.

ACCESSIBILITY: Increase accessibility on campus so that all students, whatever their needs, can attain a good degree without being hindered by the University. This means working closely with the Disabled Students Network and other various Networks to make sure I’m meeting student’s needs.

NEGOTIATION: Negotiating and increasing communication between departments, especially to help honours students gain more support for their joint degrees. Building closer ties between all levels of the university to create a better understanding of what can be done to help each other.

CAMPAIGNING: I want to campaign for the rights of all students, whatever background, degree, and identity. This means campaigning against the cuts on Disabled Students Allowance and grants, as well as campaigning against Prevent, a governmental policy that targets BME students, international students, students of a certain faith, and students with mental health issues.  

EMPOWERMENT: empowering students by actively listening to them. This includes listening to their department and course reps, and hosting open surgeries where students can come talk to me out of office to voice their concerns and ideas.

Which policy are you most excited about?

The point that I’ve become most passionate about after writing my campaign is Accessibility. Although I knew there were accessibility issues to some degree, I didn’t realize how much actually needed to be done until I started talking to students about their issues. Even hearing that the Courtyard wasn’t accessible enough was a revelation to me in terms of my own privileges as an able bodied person.

Who are you backing for the presidency?

I’ll be happy to work with whomever the student body chooses.