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Dan O’Connor – SU Education Officer Candidate

Her Campus spoke to Dan O’Connor about his campaign to become SU Education Officer, what he would like to change about your university experience and, of course, his superpower of choice! Don’t forget to vote in the Student Leader Elections by 3pm on 13th March!

Why run for Education Officer? What makes you passionate about education?

I’ve enjoyed my university experience here at Nottingham, but if I’m honest, the one part I haven’t found entirely fulfilling is the degree side of things. Too frequently I’ve found myself disappointed in what we’re provided with, considering we pay so much. I hope that if I get elected, I can go some small way to change this.

Education is incredibly important to me, I believe it creates equality and enables social mobility, so putting any fees on education is something I’m against. Whilst I can’t reduce the student fees here, I can go some way into making the situation we’re in a little fairer.

How would you define the Education Officer role?

You’re a political representative of the students to the university. So you need to work hard to ensure that you’re representing as many student voices as possible, whilst understanding the limits of the university and their side of the arguments. Really, you’re there to ensure that the students have a voice in their degree.

If elected, what policy are you most excited to see implemented?

Transparency of course costs. I’m pushing for every school to publish a full course cost breakdown, which enables students to see how much each course costs the university to run, and where exactly the student’s money is going. Hidden costs are still an incredible issue at this university and it’s something I believe the university isn’t doing enough to address on a campus wide basis.

A full course cost breakdown will also encourage schools to think about their spending on each course, and ensure that students can put pressure on schools if they feel their money is being wasted.

Which of your policies will be the most difficult to implement, and how do you intend to overcome that?

Course materials covered by course costs. It’s one of the main policies I’m running on, but I’m not naive, I know this is a difficult policy to implement. I understand that in some schools, to have course materials covered by fees alone will be entirely impossible, but I still believe that with some smart and relatively thrifty thinking on the University’s part we can make savings that help students. For example, Humanities subjects could buy the textbooks in bulk and then lend them out to their students. Once the year is over, the students can return them, and if they aren’t in good condition, they can pay for a new one. A policy like this would save students hundreds of pounds throughout their time at university.

Who do you see as your biggest rival in this campaign race?

I couldn’t possibly answer that! There’s so many candidates this year and we all seem to be doing well at the moment!

What previous experience do you have that will make you right for this role?

I’ve been involved heavily in the SU for two years now, I worked as a Marketing Officer for the Nottingham New Theatre last year, and I’m currently the President this year. It’s practically a full time job, interacting on a daily basis with various members of the SU. On top of this, I’ve also worked as a part-time member of the Box Office team, which has given me a greater insight into behind-the-scenes workings of the SU, and how to get things done!

Quick fire round:

Describe yourself in three words:

Friendly, Motivated, Tired!

Dream job (not including Education Officer!):

Spaceman Cowboy (It’s a thing)

Snog-Marry-Avoid: Katie Price-Madonna-Miley Cyrus OR Harry Potter-Keith Lemon-Lionel Ritchie

I would snog Katie Price, marry Miley Cyrus and avoid Madonna!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I’d want to be like The Flash and have super speed!

Your favourite dance move? 

Everyday I’m shufflin’


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Harriet Dunlea is Campus Correspondent and Co-Editor in Chief of Her Campus Nottingham. She is a final year English student at the University of Nottingham. Her passion for student journalism derives from her too-nosey-for-her-own-good nature.
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