Candidate for the position of Wellbeing Officer

Image for Lotti Morton

Lotti Morton

There's a Lotti More Work To Be Done

Hi! I’m Lotti (she/her) and I’m re-running for the role of Wellbeing Officer. I studied English Lit & Lang and was the President of Engsoc, and I’m your current Community Officer. You might have been given a free plant from me earlier this year, and I promise there are more of those to come… This year I’ve been shouting about rent refunds and student housing, as student renting is completely in favour of landlords, and this has only been amplified by Covid-19. There’s a Lotti more work to be done!

You can view an interactive website version of my statement here.

 

Why would I be a good Wellbeing Officer?

I will continue to build on the progress I’ve made with student housing, focusing on legislative change. I will use my relationships with the University, Leeds City Council, Unipol and Leeds MPs, to tackle issues with student safety, housing, and student support provisions. I have championed for students on both a local level, working with councillors on safety following campaigns such as Reclaim Headingley Stadium Alleyway, and on a national level, as an NUS delegate and with MPs on rent & tuition fees.

 

The three areas I want to focus on as your Wellbeing Officer are:

Flexible, Fair, Affordable Housing

We need flexible, fair, affordable contracts now. This year I have been lobbying for rent refunds for students. Covid-19 has exposed the inflexibilities and inequality of student renting contracts: student renting is completely in favour of landlords. Students deserve the same rights as any other renters.

  • Contract Release for students who are struggling or whose circumstances change in both the university and private sector. Currently, contract release is only offered to students who intend to drop out of university entirely. The University can afford to be flexible and help students in need. 
  • End UK Guarantor Requirements. The University can become a guarantor for these students, reducing renting restrictions for international students and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Flexible tenancy lengths and cooling-off period after signing a housing contract.
  • Continue Lobbying for National Student Renting Reform, such as rent level caps and a 28 day notice period as in Scotland, enabling students to leave their contracts.

 

Student Safety

The university must invest in student safety and this area of work must be prioritised within LUU. Students deserve to feel safe wherever they are in Leeds.

  • A complete rethink of university security services, following issues within accommodation.
  • Instant emergency assistance for students to access wherever they are in Leeds, such as the SafeZone App.
  • Review report and support systems for harassment and hate crime, building on Sophia’s work on sexual violence.
  • Use LUU’s platform & relationship with the council to lobby for criminalisation of street harassment.

 

Student Support - Covid Recovery

We need a well resourced support approach to returning to campus, when we are going to see another rise in students needing emotional and financial support. Support looks different for everyone, the University & LUU must provide and make accessible support, specific to the diverse needs of the student body at Leeds.

  • Same day support - every student must be able to see and speak to an advisor the same day. This is crucial in assisting students early, no matter the scale of their issue.
  • Targeted help to reach students who don’t typically access it, such as PGRs or students going into their second year who may not be aware of the support LUU and UoL can offer, adapting to what is a difficult transition even in a normal year.
  • Support at your fingertips - make financial, wellbeing & health assistance as easy and simple to access as possible, communicating services in one place such as Minerva.

 

Within the Exec team, I will continue the fight for tuition fee reduction and compensation, I will make sure sustainability and climate stay on the agenda, and push the university to rebuild trust with their students.

And of course...FREE PLANTS FOR EVERYONE!

 

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