As election season rolls around again, the big sabbatical officer positions next year are up for grabs. To help students make better sense of the SU elections, The Beaver talked to candidates to find out why we should vote for them.
Polls open on Monday 21 March and close on Thursday 24 March. To make your voice heard, vote online at https://www.lsesu.com/voice/elections/.
Why are you running for this role?
|Leo Lindenschmid||I am running for LSESU General Secretary because I would like to create a more diverse and inclusive environment for all students. It is important to me to make an impact and positive change at LSE by working for students. I would like to be a transparent and approachable General Secretary who connects students, societies, and the university.|
|Tilly Mason||I’ve spent the past three years standing up for LSE’s community: I’m an organiser for Justice for LSE Cleaners; I’ve spent many days on the UCU picket line talking to students; I’ve joined actions by Decolonising LSE; and more. I’m used to campaigning for students and would love to continue the work we’ve done so far! As next year may see further UCU action, I’m the right person to liaise between students, staff, and LSE to find solutions for everyone. I really enjoy campaigning, and want to use my experience lobbying for change to support the community I care most about!|
|Georgia Giles||Whilst I’ve had an amazing time here at LSE, it’s safe to say it’s been far from an easy ride. There have been so many times when my friends and I have been failed by the School, and that’s really encouraged me to want to stand up for LSE students and make real change!|
|Daniel Hurst||Throughout my time at LSE I have had an amazing experience and enjoyed pretty much every second of it. However, there is a lot to be done and with me as Gen Sec we could achieve so much! I love to lead from the front and enact change for the benefit of everyone, as I did at school and as I did at sixth form. I want to be at the forefront of improving the student experience at LSE and helping us to meet the needs of every student.|
|Molly Jenno||In 2020, Zulum asked future Gen Sec candidates to ‘be the change they want to see’ in the Students’ Union. |
Fast-forward one year and I’m standing in the Hare Krishna queue with friends discussing LSE students’ reputation of being corporate nerds – and being stressed.
But the people in front of me were more than that. They were online learning survivors, teammates, creatives. They were planning exchanges, start-ups, forums.
I’m running for this role to be the change that students want – an SU that makes it easier for them to be their unique and passionate selves now that we’re back online.
What do you want to achieve?
|Leo Lindenschmid||My biggest goal is to improve student satisfaction and the integration, health, and well-being of students. Moreover, I would like to establish a fair deferral policy. Another policy of mine is to establish a mentorship program with external professionals to help students get into the world of work. Last but not least, I would like to encourage intersectional teaching and research because every student will benefit from an interdisciplinary lens of study.|
|Tilly Mason||I want to build a campus that is fun, inclusive, and supportive for all! I want international students to feel represented by the university that costs so much money by decolonising the curriculum. I want accessible mental health services, clearer financial support, diversified Consent Ed training, assessment policies that are accountable, re-opening and increasing subsidisation of the LSE Nursery, and much more! I want change at LSE to come from the bottom-up, by actively attending events and engaging with student concerns. I want justice and care at the core of the SU – with underprivileged students driving its motivations and work.|
|Georgia Giles||As Gen Sec, I want to lobby the School for change on key issues, such as the academic mentor process, and making lecture recording mandatory as we return to campus. To support all LSE students, I will improve mental health support, particularly for undiagnosed students, as well as supporting students with rising living costs. Finally, I want to empower the LSE community, by prioritising student-led campaigns and making campus social again.|
|Daniel Hurst||– LSE in-person counselling waitlists to be reduced along with ensuring that LSE really understands student mental health issues and their reasons, so that the best wellbeing support can be put in place.|
– LSE senior leaders to be held accountable for meeting their deadlines, the same way we must meet ours. No longer can we wait three days longer for exam updates!
– An increase in the hardship fund to support those on the lowest incomes as well as increasing the availability and accessibility of student job roles within LSE departments and professional services.
– Dedicated chill-out spaces around campus!
|Molly Jenno||My manifesto splits my plans into three sections: unifying societies and the community, prioritising wellbeing, and improving live learning. Concretely this involves: |
– Streamlining society-SU bureaucracy and making it easier to plan events/sort out funding.
– Establishing an alumni hub for access to graduates from the SU, rather than niche societies.
– Partnering with mental health charities to actually increase resources in the Disability and Wellbeing Service; improving awareness, waiting times, and interim support.
– Lobbying for exam results appeals and a fairer course selection for all students.
– Extending hardship funds.Reviewing sexual assault procedures.
What makes you right for this role?
|Leo Lindenschmid||I am qualified because of my experience, my high ambitions, and my motivation. During my undergrad degree, I gained experience as a leader of different student societies and a member of the student council. Furthermore, I am right for the role of General Secretary because I am a very open and empathetic person who always tries to understand the situation of every individual.|
|Tilly Mason||I’ve been an SSLC rep for the Geography Department, held executive positions in Album, Labour, and Beekeeping societies, and written for The Beaver. I helped create a major petition and organised a banner drop with J4C, wrote an open letter from geography students in solidarity with faculty, campaigned for no-detriment exam policy during the pandemic, and more! I’m familiar with SU protocol, care about LSE’s community, and want to work to strengthen it!|
Finally, as a full bursary student, I understand being overwhelmed by expensive events and not knowing where to seek support. Including marginalised students is central to my campaign.
|Georgia Giles||I have lots of prior experience in various parts of LSE. For example, I’ve been the President of the History Society, as well as an active member of multiple AU clubs. I’ve also been a SAM and have worked behind the scenes helping to coordinate the 2021 Welcome Fair. I understand LSE students and LSESU practices, and I won’t be afraid to stand up for our students.|
|Daniel Hurst||Because of my experience across all sections of LSE and in making the changes that need to happen, happen. Whilst at university I organised the ski trip, held the role of tennis social sec for two years, founded the Northern Society to bring together a group of students who perhaps aren’t usually identified as needing as much assistance in adjusting to university, and worked part-time for the SU and LSE Events. These experiences will enable me to understand and be effective in championing the rights and needs of all LSE students.|
|Molly Jenno||I’m a real people person. I have loved every second of this campaign so far just because I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many students about their experiences and opinions – and quite frankly, I’ve jumped at any opportunity to do that. I ran the LSESU Instagram during Welcome Week, listening to freshers and returning students alike. Working in the SU gym and as an LSE mentor has opened my eyes to student interests. |
But my ability to listen is only useful because I’m impertinent. If a fight is required – e.g. in re-establishing Active Lifestyle – I will deliver.
What differentiates you from other candidates?
|Leo Lindenschmid||What differentiates me from other candidates is my diversity. I am non-binary and hence belong to a gender minority. Moreover, I am neurodivergent, having ADHD. Finally, I am an international student and I am the only postgraduate student running for the position. The LSESU is not aware of any postgrad General Secretaries, although 60% of LSE’s students are postgrads.|
|Tilly Mason||Definitely my experience of campaigning! Outside LSE, I’m a researcher for the Trade Union UVW – I know how to successfully lobby for change. Having immersed myself in campaigns, I’m familiar with students’ demands – I have the initial blocks from which to build an inclusive, supportive campus for all. |
I’m actively involved in creative societies and have witnessed the lack of artistic resources for students (the massive new practice room with only a piano in it!). Alongside candidates running for other roles who have AU experience, I think having a more creative Gen Sec means we could work really effectively together!
|Georgia Giles||My experience is what sets me apart. Last year, I took various key issues to the Head of the History Department. In particular, I lobbied to reopen the common room and asked for greater support for students when facing their first in-person exams. I’ve sat modules in five different LSE departments, so I have experience with a range of departmental issues and have been involved not only with AU clubs but also within the wider SU.|
|Daniel Hurst||Arriving at LSE without really knowing what it would be like and ending up in my last choice accommodation, my university life didn’t start off great. However, I have thrown myself into every section of LSE during my time here. Having worked in the LSE comms division I know how the university works, having worked for Tuns I know how to effectively run SU events, and having been on society and sports committees for three years I am confident that I know the best ways to improve the SU and LSE – better than the other candidates.|
|Molly Jenno||Ability to put my ego aside. All of the candidates this year are exceptional, each with their unique experiences. These backgrounds inform what each of us is passionate about. I am, for example, particularly passionate about mental health, better bureaucracy, and greater opportunities for LGBTQ+ and financially disadvantaged students because of my own experiences. |
Where I am unique, however, is my ability to set my preferences aside so as to understand what students really want. This role is primarily about serving student interests in the union – and voting for me gives you absolute certainty that I will represent you.
Credit: Candidate pictures supplied from SU website.