Jess Lishak

Having found out that RAG Manchester has chosen to back Jess Lishak, a 3rd year at the UoM who is running for Women’s Officer, Her Campus Manchester thought it was important to meet Jess and find out a bit about her!

We asked her a few questions about how she first got involved in the Women’s Campaign events and what her manifesto is all about.

Even after just 5 minutes of chatting to her, it was clear that she is one of the most caring and passionate people we have ever met. It really would be an honour to be represented and supported by her. We will be backing you Jess!

Voting will take place from today, the 14th of March until Next Thursday the 20th at 3pm. The current officers will then continue with their jobs until the hand over at the end of June/beginning of July.

When asked whether this would be the only job she’d want after she completes her degree in Sociology, Jess replied “to be paid to be a full-time feminist would just be incredible. I don’t think I would get that opportunity anywhere else, and it would be an amazing springboard to enter the world of charity.”

How did you first get involved with the women’s campaign?

“At the beginning of this year, I went to the women’s campaign forum. They were discussing what the women’s campaign was going to be doing and what everyone wanted to get involved in. From there I realised I just wanted to get involved in everything!

My dissertation is on gender differences in sport and football fans so when Tabz, the current Women’s Officer, said she wanted to bring about a “women-in-sport event” I just thought, I would really love to get involved in that! I organised it with a girl called Helen and chaired the event. We had some amazing sports women come along to talk about the barriers in sport. I also got involved in Reclaim the Night and the “We Get It” anti-sexual harassment campaign.”

What are the main points in your manifesto that you are working with?

“My manifesto is split into three different areas. One of them is about nighttime safety for students, which I think is really important. This follows on from the “We Get It” campaign that I was involved in. In that campaign, we got a thousand signatures of students pledging to stand up to sexual harassment on campus and not engage with it, stand up to the culture of it, and educate themselves against it. This was a great way to raise awareness.

We’ve done this on campus but I want to take this further, and have it included in Freshers packs. This is so that when Freshers arrive, they know that we have a zero tolerance policy to sexual harassment. I then want to take this into clubs and on the night bus.

A lot of students don’t feel safe on the bus, and it seems like a lottery as to who is driving the bus, when women report assault on buses. It shouldn’t be this way. There should be a coherent policy and all bus drivers should be trained in how to deal with this. The same applies to nightclubs, all staff should be trained to deal with harassment and assault and know what to do in those situations. Hopefully I will work with the police to get packs together for clubs to train their staff. That way we will be able to make a list so that students know that where they are going, they should feel safe, and the staff will know how to deal with any problems that might arise.

Secondly, I want to make our campus safe and welcoming. I want to educate others in how to report harassment and abuse. This will be made easier through the development of the report button, which will be available on the MyManchester homepage and phone app. This button will provide a direct link and information to the Union’s Advice Service, and a form that you could fill in about the abuse that you have experienced.”

The third area of Jess’ campaign involves engaging women in all decision-making situations around the University. She believes that female achievement in male-dominated areas should be celebrated and showcased, whether it is in sports, nationality groups or music! She aims to create a support network between female sports teams, to help ensure that women’s teams are treated fairly and equal to men.

If you want to ask any questions, or help out in the campaign, contact Jess on;

·      Her Facebook page 

·      Tweet #JESSWECAN

·      Email her at [email protected]

To view Jess’ manifesto on the Student’s Union website head to this link!