Student Trustee election candidates 2019

People & Planet is democratic and student-led, be part of this and vote for our new Student Trustees. Read the candidates manifestos below and follow the link sent to your email inbox to vote. Voting is open from Wednesday 27th February until 11pm Sunday 10th March.

You can register to vote until 3rd March if you haven't received a voting mail already!

How do the elections work?

Voting is done using proportional representation, using the Single Transferable Vote system which is a system of ranking candidates in order of preference so that the candidates with the broadest support win. Check out this short video from Southampton Students' Union which explains the Single Transferable Vote system in 2 minutes with Homer Simpson!

Beth Bhargava, Cambridge Zero Carbon Society

For the last year I have been closely involved with the divestment campaign (Zero Carbon) in Cambridge University. During my time in Zero Carbon, I have engaged in a diverse range of activities aimed at securing full divestment, which range from communication strategies (via both media and social media), to rally organising, to a six-day hunger strike which I embarked upon in advance of the University Council’s crucial decision on whether to retain existing investments at the start of last summer.

Further to my experience in the Zero Carbon campaign, I also have the privilege to be part of a wonderful Ethical Affairs team on the Cambridge University Students’ Union, which has recently worked to deliver the University’s first ever Green Week (encompassing a number of panel discussions on the intersectional understandings of the climate crisis, film screenings, and an open letter directed at the University management demanding full divestment and a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030). I would therefore hope to bring a real commitment and enthusiasm for climate activism to the role of trustee, and would aspire to serve as a direct link between student groups such as Zero Carbon and the national organisation.

Conor Haslem, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Swansea Campus) - Environment Society

I was first introduced to People & Planet two years ago after joining my University’s Environment Society, my first foray into activism! From that I jumped straight into bringing their campaigns into the University, being part of real, progressive policy change through divestment from fossil fuels, supporting workers rights in our supply chain (lobbying the University to affiliate to Electronics Watch) and now introducing the Undoing Borders campaign to create a more inclusive environment for migrants, both at Uni and society as a whole, a campaign I have been directly involved with in its student-led steering group.

People & Planets values are my values and I am passionate that students will lead the way to creating positive change in the world. This inspired my decision to become a Regional Organiser for People & Planet organising a regional event for students in Wales and South West England (“Bath to the Future”) to pass on my own experience to others so they can continue the fight.

I am committed to seeing People & Planet and their campaigns grow and I know this will only be achieved through collective action of students all over the UK and Ireland which is why I will hold the organisation accountable in their work and ensure students are leading the decisions of the campaigns as they introduce them to their own Universities.

Emily Adams, University of Plymouth People & Planet

I'm Emily, a final year Marine Biology student hoping to be one of your next Student Trustees for People & Planet.

My time with People & Planet started in 2015, joining the University's P&P society at the People's March for Climate Justice. It was my first ever peaceful protest, and I enjoyed every second. Since then, I have attended every workshop and activism event possible (including the infamous Power Shift 2 years running), and even summoned the courage to lead a March to the University of Plymouth Vice Chancellor's office, disputing with security and addressing senior staff on their opposition to signing the Fossil Free Declaration. As a Regional Organiser with People & Planet for a second year running, I have helped organise and/or host some empowering and heart-warming activism events in Cardiff and Bath. If you can't tell, I rather enjoy being a part of this fantastic organisation!

As a Student Trustee, I'd ensure the student voice is not dampened during board meetings using my experience as a Course Rep and Deputy Environmental officer which involves meetings with University and SU staff. I've learned the art of making clear and balanced judgements on hot topics and emotive campaigns, making sure People & Planet base their decisions and future direction on good ethics and facts. But above all else, I'd do my best to maintain People & Planet's excellent ability to enthuse and empower all types of students (and non-students) and continue to thrive as an organisation and charity.

Nick Werren, University of Surrey People & Planet

Hi! I'm Nick, I'm a PhD student at the University of Surrey doing a PhD in quantum physics. I've been involved with People & Planet for 2 years now and have LOVED every day! National events taught me skills and gave me knowledge that I've brought into my activism and shared with others. I've also been involved with housing and education activism, organising direct action outside estate agents and going on demonstrations for free education.

I would love to be a student trustee and contribute back to the organisation. The environment created by P&P is safe, creative, and hopeful, that's the exact space we need to grow the inclusive politics that will fight climate change effectively. I have a lot of knowledge on charity law through my campaigning with my Students' Union (and my arguments with their Board of Trustees), I helped organise the P&P South East Regional Gathering, and I help direct members of P&P at Surrey through our campaigns and our activism.

I would bring my character and positivity to the role, my experience as an activist, and I hope I can help P&P be the amazing organisation that it is today.

Sara Hurley, Divest Birkbeck.

I joined the student movement as Environment and Ethics Officer for Birkbeck Student’s Council and was elected the following year to Student Leader of the Students’ Union. I have developed a number of policies and campaigns which include sustainability at it’s heart. As Chair of BBK’s BoTs, I have responsibility of the oversight of the Union, working with staff and other trustees, to serve its aims while monitoring compliancy with Charity Law. I understand that discussion, knowledge and careful consideration of multiple viewpoints and disciplines are needed for a trustee to support it’s BOT’s in achieving and formulating a unified strategy.

The Divest BBK campaign is small due to the nature of student life at BBK but we have still worked hard with our members on forming SU policy. I have experience with college governance structures and have worked closely with senior management to represent the students’ voice. Additionally, I’ve worked for local election campaigns for the Women’s Equality Party with purpose and collaboration to bring more diversity into power structures.

I would benefit the organisation as I am motivated by core values of justice, equality, evidence led policy and that change includes all voices. Environmental issues are the issues of the collective, so I strive to empower people’s agency and share their passions and skills. As I will be studying in Ireland next year, I will bring experiences, perspectives and connections to conversations from students both sides of the water, and I would do so proudly.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to vote. Click on the link to vote in your email inbox. Voting is open from Wednesday 27th February until 11pm Sunday 10th March.

Elections results will be announced on Monday 12th March 2019 on our website.