The 60 second manifestos were recorded and produced by YSTV.
I’m Sam Linley, a 2nd year physics student, and I’m running to the the Disabled Students’ Officer. I feel that I would be able to do a very good job in this role, as I have experience within the Disabled Students’ Network having served on the committee since my first year. I was elected as the Alcuin Disability Rep in my first year which led to me becoming active in the Disabled Students’ Network, and then at the beginning of my second year I became one of the secretaries of the Network. I feel that the time I have spent in these roles have given me an insight into how the Network runs and what the job entails, having worked with the current and former officer. I am very passionate about the needs of disabled students and if elected I will work to the best of my ability and go above and beyond to achieve what I will be setting out in my manifesto.
1) Disability Cuts
When I ran for this position last year, I ran on a platform of supporting students affected by the cuts to Disabled Students’ Allowance, which is a platform that I intend to run on again. Since the cuts were announced over a year ago, the university haven’t done anything to maintain the support, which I find completely unacceptable. If elected, I will make it my priority to lobby the university and do my best to make sure that this support is maintained. I will make sure to do this in a productive manner which won’t harm our strong relationship with the university.
2) Accessibility in Sport
Sport is a major part of many student lives, and I believe that disability should be no barrier at all. I plan to make sport more accessible by working with the York Sport President and club captains to see how we can improve the accessibility of sport. There are already foundations being laid out for blind football to be set up, which I believe is an excellent idea and who will have my full support. Ideally I would push for more disability sport to be played at Roses.
3) Accessibility on Campus
Over time, having spoken to people in the Network, there are still cases of inaccessibility across campus, especially in relation to certain rooms. Whether it is down to accessibility for wheelchair users or lack of hearing loops, this should not be happening. This will be one of my main pledges, to reduce the amount of issues that come up due to inaccessible rooms and aim to reduce it to 0. I will do this by ensuring that the relevant people are aware of the issues and aim to make them fix the issue, whatever it is. No students should have their education impacted due to not being able to get into a lecture and I will not let this continue.
4) Mental Health
Not enough people are aware of this, but mental health comes under the Disabled Students’ Network. Mental health affects many students, and can impact greatly on studies as well as other areas of life. I will work alongside the Network’s two dedicated mental health officers to raise awareness, especially around Mental Health Awareness Week. This is coming up in Week 4 of Term 3, which will be one of the first major events that will come under my term if elected. I will work with Disability Services and the Open Door Team to see what can be done to improve the efficiency and voice the opinions of the students. If elected I would ask students to fill out a survey of how they feel the services are working and on behalf of the students I will make sure that these issues are addressed. Also, I would aim to put a suggestion box in Disability Services so that they can receive anonymous feedback.