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Sabbatical Officers
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Position information: 
Number of vacancies: 1

The Welfare and International Officer will strive to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all Members at UCL and in the wider community, and will represent the needs of international students at all levels. The officer will ensure that the Union is compliant with all relevant policies relating to equal opportunities, liaise with UCL Residences Office to ensure adequate provision of student accommodation, and ensure specific Union provision for international students outside of term and at the start of session as appropriate.


David Hunter
Hi, I’m a fourth-year SELCS Postgraduate Research student and I’m standing to ensure that students from all backgrounds enjoy their time at UCL and feel safe and comfortable here. I’m one of the founder members of Students 4 Students, the new UCLU/Rethink Mental Illness support group and I’m also involved with the Disabled Students’ Network.

The key points of my campaign are:
1. Accommodation – I’d campaign against higher rents and for improved and consistent quality.
2. International Students – I’d ensure you’d be a welcome and integral part of the UCL community.
3. Bullying and intimidation – I’d raise awareness of this issue and how it affects students’ academic prospects, social life, mental health and general wellbeing.
4. Living and studying in London on a small budget – I’d produce a single go-to guide with tips and advice on how to save money and make your budget go as far as possible.
Emma Zurcher
As an international student, I have experienced first-hand where UCL lacks in regards to integration and being welcomed into the university environment. In addition, being heavily involved in campus life has introduced me to the difficulties certain groups face, both physically and mentally.

As is evident from my manifesto, I am committed to overcoming these urgent issues. I will strive to reduce rent, bring down social and cultural barriers, improve access to Mental Health Care, improve provisions for disabled students, provide lockers, and finally, increase GP accessibility.

I feel I am the right person to fulfil this office, because the changes I aim to make will benefit everyone at UCL, not simply a portion of the student-body. I am dedicated, organised, approachable and most importantly, determined. It is my promise to you that I will target what is needed to make UCL a more fulfilling environment.

The Union needs someone who will to stand up and fight for what we deserve; a university where everyone feels like they have a place.

Feel free to come chat with me at any point to discuss my program or any further ideas you might have to improve life at UCL!
Rebecca Tyrwhitt-Drake
Hi there! As Welfare and International Officer I will do my upmost to ensure that UCL is a welcoming and safe environment for all students. The two main areas that UCL must prioritise for improving welfare are the mental health services and the support and integration of international students. The previous WIO, Leah Francis, started initiatives raising awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health problems. I am committed to the continuation of this valuable work. I will campaign for more experienced counsellors, collaboration with the mental health charity Rethink and the development of student led support programmes.

As an exchange student in Canada I have first-hand experience of the difficulties that can occur when studying abroad, such as coping with cultural differences, homesickness and adapting to a new academic system. To improve integration I would establish a ‘Mums and Dads’ mentoring scheme to connect international and home students. I plan to provide better support for first year students by arranging inter-hall events throughout the year to develop a greater sense of community. Furthermore I will support the current campaigns to prevent student halls of residence fees rising, cap international tuition fees and improve wheelchair access to UCL premises.
Tom Robinson
Tom Robinson #1 Welfare & International: the experienced candidate. UCLU LGBT+ Officer 2013-2015, UCLU Disabled Students’ Officer 2012-2013.

Supporters: David Dahlborn, Halls & Accommodation
Thines Ganeshamoorthy, UCLU Unicef & Disabled Students’ Officer
Rachael Barber, Dance Society
Jeff Gu, Canadian Society, Men’s Rugby & International Students’ Forum
Yash Mishra, Societies Officer & Vegetarian Society
Nathan Steele, UCLU Labour
Saff Law, UCLU Amnesty International
Guin Carter, UCL Fossil Free
Lucía Sánchez Roldán, Women’s Network
Hannah Lawson, Gender & Feminism

• Free education funded by taxation of the rich.
• An international student fee freeze leading to fee reduction and abolition.
• Distance participation for disabled students.
• Increased support for BME, Women, Disabled and LGBT+ students on years abroad.

• More funding for Student Psychological Services & Disability Services.
• Cheaper places in UCL Day Nursery.
• Mandatory training for student-facing staff on disability and LGBT+ issues, including mental health and estrangement.

• Lower rent and higher living standards in UCL accommodation.
• Varying tenancy length options.
• Expansion of wheelchair access in UCL halls.
• Househunting support from UCL, especially for disabled students.
• An end to housing run for profit.
Dominic Meehan
I am determined to provide everyone at UCL with a better student experience from start to finish. As a leading institute in the world, UCL should be providing its students with the best environment possible, but this just isn't the case. I will bring about real, practical changes to improve the lives of students. I will support any campaign with student interests at heart. I will fight for the best mental health care possible. I will protect international students to my greatest ability, attacking rising fees and discriminatory policies. I will not allow UCL to forget about IoE students. I will work with the liberation officers to ensure a safe and welcoming UCL for all students.

Most of all I want to bring about the change that you want to see. I believe that feedback is absolutely vital in providing a good service for students and so I would love to hear your opinions. Please get in touch with any suggestions or comments.