The Student sat down with Ollie Glick, Edinburgh University’s Students’ Association’s VP Community to discuss his plans and aspirations for the coming year.
What were your main reasons for running as Vice President for Community?
I only decided to run very close to the deadline, it was actually because the new community position was created.
It showed the Students’ Association’s willingness to improve on that front which was interesting for me because my background is not the political stuff here, it’s volunteering, community stuff, my work with the Shrub, running debate clubs and chess clubs, so it felt like a fit.
Tell us about your experience working with Sexpression and why this led to your belief that the initiative needs more funding.
I was primarily a teacher. It was a lot of fun because the sex education is schools is so out-dated and Sexpression genuinely do a better job than the citizenship classes do. [They] are already doing a fantastic outreach service but they could do more with more resources.
Which other student initiatives would you want to secure more funding for?
I think, as I said in my manifesto, there are specifics like food sharing or the Shrub. But I think the whole idea is to create a sustainable platform for any idea to get off the ground and we are doing that with our social enterprise pilot scheme.
It will take on about five social enterprise ideas and will be a kind of platform, which will allow some really cool ideas like Freshsight or Enactus or others along those lines to grow.
In your manifesto, you mentioned plans involving bike subsidies and rental schemes, how widely do you plan to introduce these schemes?
The pilot scheme called University Cycles at Pollock Halls is continuing this year and it has already sold out so we are seeing the demands. My goal is to get that model, where you take it for a term or a year and pay £30 and a deposit, to not just be for Pollock students.
We will need to build on our good working relationship with the transport department who hold the keys in that area. We have already done good work improving the shuttle bus service but cycling is something we need to do better on and so the rental scheme is one idea.
How are your plans for more secure bike storage on campus coming along?
We know that the university has just put up another shed next to 50 George Square but my interest is all the campuses so King’s, ECA and Murray House. The students and staff there want secure bike storage and I think the uni could be doing more on that front. So far we haven’t been told no but we need to get the plans in place.
Why do you think it is important to promote collective events specifically for societies of different faiths?
So, collective events in general are something that is a group objective. Engaging as many students as we can is one thing we are working on as a team.
That can be anyone from so called satellite campuses – which I think is a bad term – and postgraduates who are traditionally disengaged. We have tried to address these issues, for example, Skill Swap and Sabbs on Tour are a part of this.
I heard during campaigning that several societies and faith groups do want more inter-society events. Many of the people who voted for us wanted this to happen.
Finally, what is the best night out in Edinburgh?
Oh gosh, you have asked the wrong person, I’m in bed at like 10:30pm. I am going to say the Jazz Bar off Guthrie Street.
Image: Ollie Glick