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Katie Williams – SU President Candidate 2014

Her Campus spoke to Katie Williams, the only female candidate for SU President this year. Katie, a third-year Law student from Wales, told us why she wants to shake the SU up. Incredibly eccentric and far from a BNOC, Katie’s main aim is to make the SU more transparent and approachable.
 
 
Your campaign slogan is One Promise, why? 
 
Rather than make the same meaningless promises we hear year after year (Lenton hopper bus anyone?), which quickly dissolve into time the minute the individual reaches office, I make only one promise, which the voter can answer. By the end of my term as president, you’ll know who I am and what I have done for you. So few of us can answer those questions currently; we’re so separated, excluded from this annual popularity contest. You’ll know me, you’ll know you can approach me, and you’ll know that I’m active. That’s all I ever wanted from my president. I’m not a BNOC, I’m not a careerist – it’ll be different this time.
 
Wow, that’s such a simple promise. What changes do you want to make? 
 
I want to really shake the SU up. It’s separated itself entirely from the ‘ordinary’ student body. It has access points of accountability, but these are poorly attended and poorly advertised. The SU is unapproachable, sitting in its unattainable, lofty heights at Portland. It doesn’t have a presence in the majority of student’s lives – which has to be why 70% people didn’t vote in last year’s election. I want to change all of that; I want it to be transparent, honest, accountable and approachable. It’s facing away from students right now, and it needs to turn around.
 
What makes University of Nottingham great? 
 
It has to be the 200 plus societies enrich the university so much. Whoever you are, there’s a place for you and there’s a group of people you can have something in common with. The network of connections is huge; everyone knows everyone by some form of project, sport or interest. We’re both diverse and connected, and that’s amazing. 
 
So why do you want this job? 
 
The job is a means to an end. I can’t leave this university so frustrated and apathetic with the current state of such a potentially great organisation without at least giving affecting change a go. The job will give me the opportunity to shake things up, to leave a legacy of transparency and honesty. Next year’s campaign wouldn’t be a popularity contest; things would be different. The emphasis would be on good character and policies. That’s got to be worth fighting for. 
 
Are you a good leader? 
 
For this, yes. This is a huge task, to win this campaign as an ordinary member of the student body, and then to shake the whole system up. It’s gonna take guts, and I’d like to think I’ve got plenty of that! 
 
What else makes you right for this job? 
 
I’m different. I’m honest, open, gutsy and as eccentric as hell. This job needs someone different, it needs change. We’ve had years of the same old candidates, it’s time for someone to step up. 
 
How are you finding the campaign? 
 
Tiring! But the reception has been amazing. I’ve been honoured by so many individuals approaching me to thank for me standing for change, for standing for them. Win or lose, we stood for something; we stood for the person who’s been ignored for years. We demanded more from this SU. I’m tired, but I’m running on the enthusiasm and the belief of those around me. 
 
 
Voting opened today, but why should we vote? 
 
I’ve been talking a lot about this ‘vicious cycle’ this week. By that I mean that those demographics that are considered not to vote are ignored during campaign because tacitly they’re not considered worth it. They get ignored and so they certainly don’t vote – 70%, in fact. I’m not ignoring those people this year, and I’m hoping they can prove the tactics wrong and step out and vote. By voting, you force people to affect change in your favour, you force people to address the issues you’re raising. Whomever you vote for, make sure you vote. It’s the only way to force people to answer you.
 
QUICKFIRE ROUND:
 
Ocean – yay or nay? There most weeks. Can’t help myself, it’s almost inevitable.
 
Dream job? Does everyone say SU President? I want own a bookstore somewhere exotic. I’d smoke a pipe, talk about literature, drink coffee and try and convince strangers my odd-looking cat empathised with the communist regime. I’m a simple person. 
 
What did you have for breakfast this morning? I’m a bacon woman. What can be better than waking up with a pig?
 
Personal miracle hangover cure? Yeah. Avoid Ocean. Because I hang like a parliament every single time.
 
Are you a spender or a saver? Spender. Money comes and goes; there are much more important things to worry about. Like David Cameron’s eyes, how can he see through them, they’re so small?!
 
If you were an animal, what would you be and why? I’d be a dog, have you ever seen a sad dog? No, exactly. Although, I’m anything but graceful, perhaps I should be a swan or something to fix that.
 
Snog, marry, avoid – Jack Whitehall, Ryan Gosling and Jamie Laing (Made in Chelsea) Ryan to marry. He’d just stare at you all day, and say nothing. And that’s fine by me, because he’s beautiful. Jack to snog, he’s been skiing, and that’s impressive in my books. I’d avoid Jamie…and the whole of the MiC cast, actually. 
 
Got a fun fact about yourself, personal claim to fame or special talent? I once touched Alex Ferguson’s car. Now I sound both creepy and criminal, don’t I? Damn. 
 
 
Voting is open now so log into the portal and have your say!
 
Follow Katie’s campaign on Twitter @KatieOnePromise and like her Vote Katie for President on Facebook here
Hannah Rought is a third year English student at University of Nottingham. She is successfully (?) managing her studies and being Head of Social Media for Her Campus Nottingham. Expect her to tweet #thirdyearwoes a lot this year, she doesn't want to graduate and have to become a real life grown up! 
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