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This week Her Campus Leeds talks to Sam Ross, who is running to be Education Officer in the Leeds University Union (LUU) exec elections!

Hi Sam! Tell us a bit about yourself...

Hi, I’m Sam! I’m a 4th year doing an integrated Masters degree in Ecology. I’m hoping to end up in research as a career, preferably somewhere exotic! I’m originally from Nottingham but Leeds feels like home after 4 years of living here. I also really love music; pretty much any kind. I’ve played the piano for 15 years now, although with all my uni work I’m probably a bit rusty at the minute… Some days I’ll go from listening to the charts, to some background music while I work, then something a bit more relaxing during dinner and then I might head out to a house or dnb night, so there can be a lot of variety!

What made you want to run for LUU exec?

I’ve been heavily involved in my faculty for years and I love doing my bit to make student-led change a reality in the Faculty of Biological Sciences (FBS). I’m the current biology school rep and I’ve been the go-between for staff and students for 4 years, so I know how to get things done! I love watching ideas form and develop over the course of weeks/months and seeing how students can impact the process and really make changes, so I’d love a chance to use my experience as part of the Exec to help make university the best experience it can be for students at Leeds.

What’s a typical week like for you?

I don’t really have a typical week! Most of my time is spent sitting in the Manton cluster working on my Masters thesis, but I get plenty of breaks to attend faculty meetings, work as a student ambassador and consult with students about any changes we’re making. When I’m not working, I’m normally catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a while, and I love a good night out, so you can probably catch me at Fruity! Because of how busy I can be with school rep and Masters work I always make sure I get some time to unwind and watch a film (or 3!)

What changes do you want to make if you are elected?

Crucially, I want to do what STUDENTS want. I’ve been asking around to find out what people want to see changed, and their answers have helped form the main points on my manifesto. One of the things I’ve heard a lot is that people want better support for those who are working part-time or aren’t on campus a lot; working helps people keep on top of their money and is great for getting valuable experience (and funding that extra pint at Old Bar!) so is really important for loads of students. I want to make sure your boss understands your education needs more clearly so your uni work doesn’t have to suffer. I also want to standardise modules to make sure you know what you’re getting for a set number of credits, something I’ve been working on a lot in FBS. I also want to push to increase the amount of engaging and interactive sessions such as seminars and tutorials, so that you don’t just spend all your time falling asleep in lectures or reading the same page 6 times in the library… My ideas keep evolving based on the things students are telling me, and if I get elected I want to make feedback as simple and accessible as possible so I can keep making the changes that students actually want to see!

Why should people vote in this year's election?

I’m all about student representation; one of my manifesto points is about increasing student involvement in all decision making processes to make sure everyone actually is represented! What better way to be represented than by having your say in who speaks for you and helps shape the way your union is run?

Anything else to add?

Yes, I just wanted to say thanks to Her Campus for choosing me as your Campus Celebrity this week and for having me at that Give It A Go session the other day! I had a great time, there was even a rare opportunity to show off my artistic prowess *cough*… Follow me on Twitter @U_in_Education and find my page on Facebook (Sam Ross for Education) to keep up with how I’m campaigning to put the U in Education, and most importantly, let me know your ideas anytime, because this campaign is all about YOU!

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