If you have any questions send them over and I’ll try to answer them ASAP.
Here are the ones I’ve received and answered for now:
Considering the closure of local libraries and the high cost of education, should the university library and lecture podcasts be made available to the local residents of Hulme, Rusholme and Moss Side?
Yes I believe they should be made available to the local community.
Unfortunately the government is making many cuts in areas where in my views it should be increasing its investments. Every modern country invests a lot of money in culture and education and it is the starting point to give everyone (even if they come from disadvantaged background) the potential to fulfil their aspirations if they have the ability to do so.
I believe that our University as one of the biggest institutions in the city of Manchester should do more to help local communities. Even if we look at apparently unrelated problems such as street crime and gangs, we see how it can partly be traced down to a situation of poverty, lack of sufficient community facilities, bad education and most of all lack of encouragement to continue studying.
If by simply sharing some of our material we have the possibility of trying to help this situation even in the slightest, I think we should not miss it.
What do you think of the NUS no platform policies?
I totally agree with them.
What experience do you have that will make you able to represent the many diverse groups (eg international, LGBTQ, disabled students etc) of students in our community?
International: Lived in Italy 19 years so treated as ‘EU student´although I have a British passport, I know what it feels like being non-British resident and all the problems connected to that.
LGBTQ: I study sociology and social history and I have studied identity, the problems connected to discrimination connected to gender and sexuality.
Disabled Students: One of my best friends has a form of disability and I am familiar with the stress and emotional confusion connected to accepting the disability as being part of his life and the unnerving task of talking to academic staff and the support services about his condition.
Do you think there should be a men’s officer?
No. Ideally even the women’s officer should be a temporary institution (all over the country) as one would think that 21st century Britain would reach gender equality soon, although as it stands I think there is still a fair way to go. If some people are complaining about the lack of a man’s officer maybe just changing the name, not the role, to ‘Gender Equality officer’ would stop the complaints.
Are you a feminist?
Don’t know what you define as ‘feminist’. Do I believe in the need for gender equality? Yes. Am I a super-Lad? No and I’ve never been one. Do I think that men and women are still treated unequally in several aspects of modern British society? Yes, big time.
I think women should not to be patronized by society and by laws. In particular, some legislation (as a reflection of society) is centered on the ‘man breadwinner and women as housekeeper’ model. Check my Mancunion article on a comparison on how women are treated between Manchester and Sweden (http://mancunion.com/2013/02/13/student-abroad-why-do-women-feel-so-much-safer-on-the-streets-of-sweden/ ).
How would you help students bring their ideas to life?
Encouraging co-operation with Student Media that would enable broader audiences and this way students could find other students who to work with on carrying out the projects they have in mind and gain public support.
How would you support the women’s campaign?
By using student-media and encouraging course conveyors (of humanity and social science courses in particular) to focus some of their courses on understanding the gender structures in current society and discuss how they can changed.
What’s your opinion on £9k fees?
Totally against them. University should be free as it is in any other democratic, developed country. Even Italy that is in economic crisis has low university fees (£2000 per year max) that depending on your income, may also be free.
Would you support the No More Page 3 campaign banning topless models from daily newspapers?
Yes, I find it degrading and although I would not define them newspapers I think that the society is STRONGLY influenced by the media and the education they receive at school/university. Antonio Gramsci, a great, internationally acclaimed thinker from my same island, wrote many theories concerning this (you can tell I’ve taken modules in media and gender studies).