Manifesto analysis: Jess Walker, candidate for AU President

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Jess Walker (2)

Jess Walker’s manifesto, based on four categories – cooperation, accessibility, progress, and advocacy – centres on expanding the AU, and connecting with a wider student base.

Her experience is certainly impressive, with professional posts inside (Health & Fitness Intern) and outside (Sports Marketing Internship at Rugby Canada) the Athletic Union. She has also been involved with the Women’s Rugby Club since her first year.

She aims to set up the Club Captain’s Forum, which has been much mooted by current President Emily Griffiths and is also included in her opponent’s manifesto, which will allow clubs to “foment effective and consistent communication”. Under cooperation, she also believes there is a “huge opportunity to build a stronger relationship”; however, it is unclear how she proposes to improve this. The new Revitalise Week, in its first year, is also something she believes in promoting and expanding – it was not a success this year, so certainly needs much work.

Under accessibility, Walker has clearly learnt from Griffiths’ ambitious promise to hold a daily drop-in session for clubs, but has perhaps gone too far in the other direction, by promising bi-semester open forums in order to create a more open Executive Committee. Indeed, at hustings it seemed a glaring error that the both of her proposed forums would only meet twice a semester, when the general opinion of the attendees seemed to indicate that more than that would be required to make any real progress.

The ambiguously-titled “progress” seems to be based around continuing with the newsletter and Sinner Sports, as well as “expanding our practical engagement with non-sports-club members”. Although these all seem like good ideas, Walker is yet to provide any actual application for this.

Finally, Walker’s paragraph on advocacy is unfortunately something of a truism. All of what is said there can be summed up as: “I will do my job”.

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