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Campus Celebrity: Community Officer Candidate – Jonny Foster

Every year the battle for the LUU Leadership race gets more intense, more competitive and more creative, and this year’s race is no different. One of the most competitive of the six roles up for grabs is undeniably the community section with many fantastic entries, making the decision to pick someone harder than ever! We interviewed Mr Jonny Foster to find out why he thinks he’ll be right for the role. The Foster the Funk creator is dedicated, hardworking and will for sure be a great choice for Community.

1.       If elected, what will your role as Community Officer involve?

The community officer at LUU represents the needs and voices of Leeds students’ in their local community. Whether it’s liaising with bus companies about creating more convenient timetables for students to engaging with the council about waste and recycling. If elected I will seek to implement everything I have promised on my manifesto which will mean a lot of hard work! All of my policies have the backing and support of relevant university bodies and even the council so if you like the look of any in particular be sure to vote for me because the chances are they will become a reality sooner than you think.


2.       What made you want to stand for the role?

Ever since I began at Leeds in 2012 I’ve always wanted to run in the Leadership Race. I think it’s a great way to implement all of the things you’d like to see change in Leeds. Having been here for almost three years now I’ve experienced the city and the university from so many angles and know what students want to see change. I’ve always been involved in the union and have always had a huge interest in sustainable living, transport and community integration in particular. I believe I have the skills for the role also. I’d like to think I’m an approachable, friendly and enthusiastic guy, which is what the jobs all about really. Having the skills to engage and talk with Leeds students and represent their views and opinions to deliver what they want is crucial to the role of community officer.

3.       What do you plan to do as Community Officer?

My main aims involve tackling the waste disposal situation in Hyde Park and improving cycling and pedestrian access in local areas. Every evening when I walk home from uni I’m amazed at how much broken glass there is on the floor and how many unsightly rubbish bins litter our pavements. I really want to see the implementation of communal waste bins throughout Hyde Park where appropriate. Some streets already have these types of waste disposal units but I think they could be used more widely and would create a more accessible and prettier place to live. I’d also like to see more bottle banks as an add-on to the communal waste units, which would ideally be used by around 10-15 houses, to save students time and effort lugging bottles to their nearest (furthest) bottle bank. I’d also like to implement a text-alert system that students could sign up to and receive real-time updates warning them of any local safety incidents such as a burglary or sexual assault. This would keep students prepared and ultimately create a safer neighbourhood. I have so many more ideas so head over to my Facebook page to check out my manifesto.


4.       Do you believe you can make a real difference?

Absolutely! Honestly I wouldn’t run if I didn’t think I could make a difference; what’s the point otherwise? I believe I possess the skills to implement real change in not just the local area but the whole of Leeds. My ideas for dedicated cycle superhighways direct to university could well be rolled out across the whole of Leeds, especially as the new trolleybus scheme is coming to town. This means that many changes are going to have to be made to road layouts so now is the perfect time to lobby the council to provide safer pedestrian crossings such as zebra crossings and traffic lights at dangerous junctions, and improve cycling accessibility in the city.

5.       What makes you so unique and stand out from all the other candidates?

I’d like to consider myself a likeable and friendly individual. I’d hope my friends would describe me as that anyway! I’ve got heaps of enthusiasm and passion to create change for Leeds’ students. I’m not scared of the enormous task ahead and have a good knowledge of how the union works. As I said previously, I’m already in talks with council leaders and university staff so a vote for me is a vote for definite improvement to your local community.


 6. You currently play a big role in other societies such as Amnesty International, are you worried that running for community exec is going to mean you have to cut back on the amount of things you do for them and other societies?

I don’t think so, no. I have good time-management skills and already balance my university commitments with being on the committee for Amnesty and being involved with numerous other societies such as Oxfam and Rethinkers. Whilst I have loved and learned so much from my time on Amnesty committee it’s time to move on to other things now. I’d like to see someone take over from my position with new and fresh ideas, whilst still attending our weekly meetings and getting involved with the great campaigns we do. I’m going to give my all to this job if I am elected and promise to not let any of you down. I want to Foster the People and listen and represent your views. If there’s something that you would like to see change then it is my job to try and implement that change!


7. If anyone is still having doubts about you being a part of the union exec what would you say to them to convince them otherwise?

 I would say to have belief in me. Most of you have never met me before and many will have never heard of my campaign before either, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t believe in me. I am an honest and approachable person who won’t let you down. I have the experience to delegate with relevant leaders to see the real change you deserve. If this interview hasn’t persuaded you then I plead with you to head over to my Facebook page and watch my video where hopefully you will get more of an idea about the kind of person I am and why I am the perfect candidate for the role.

Still doubting Jonny’s intentions just give his campaign video watch…

So if you feel that Jonny will be the best candidate for Community Officer why not get on board with the #FosterFunk  check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FosterThePeopleForLUUCommunity?fref=ts #FosterthePeople

To find out more about the LUU exec nominations and to read Jonny’s and all of the candidates manifestos visit http://www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/leadluu/

Emily Willson

All images are original images.

Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSGbM9XDWQE

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