Vote Ben Hart for AU President: Welfare, Diversity and Progression.
Hi, I’m Ben Hart, a third year studying English and currently Club Captain of Men’s Football. I am standing for AU President because I recognise that sport is such a valuable part of university life, and my aim is to improve access for all students to sport, increasing opportunities for both individual and club success. Sport has defined my time at Exeter, including mental and physical benefits, and I want these to be accessed by a far larger proportion of our student community.
Welfare and Student Safety
Student welfare is an issue massively close to my heart. University can be an amazing experience, but often students feel isolated and withdrawn. I believe that the social benefits of our sports clubs have a hugely positive impact on mental well-being and I will drive measures to achieve a healthier and happier student experience. Student safety, too, is an issue of seismic importance. I will liaise with the Guild, while focusing on my own campaign around the safety of students on Timepiece Wednesdays.
Therefore, I aim to:
Introduce mentors to combat first year angst via a buddy system to help students settle into club and university life;
Make mental health first aid qualifications available to more sports club members;
Work closely with the Guild to promote student safety including safe routes, awareness and primary prevention programs.
Inclusivity and Diversity
When I joined the Men’s Football Club in 2017, I was apprehensive about the environment and felt pretty daunted. Since then, it’s been a memorable experience of team spirit and friendships. I will ensure that the culture of our sports clubs is increasingly friendly and inclusive through:
Increasing education, for example through the ‘Good Lad’ initiative workshops which I recently attended, to deal with sensitive issues in a comfortable and honest setting;
Promoting unsung heroes with a ‘Volunteer Recognition Award’ to highlight the contributions of individuals within their respective clubs, in particular those who do not merely participate competitively;
Working closely with ‘AccessAbility’ to provide more opportunities for students with a disability;
Helping clubs in their distribution of club kit to support those students with funding where needed;
Discussing with students, and acting upon, the campaigns and initiatives which they would like prioritised.
An accountable and progressive Athletics Union
I will bring a level of transparency to the AU that does not exist currently: students have the right to know what their elected representative of student sport is working on and, furthermore, what the AU intends to achieve. I will accomplish this by:
Ensuring all clubs have the opportunity to stage a spotlight fixture or event throughout the course of the year e.g. assisting them through publicity or help with the organisation/staging of the event;
Providing details on the AU website of my ongoing activity and focus, allowing students to track the changes they have requested;
Developing the structure and organisation of intramural sport;
Facilitating improved communication between clubs and continuity at handovers, to improve efficiency and allow for progression;
Ensuring that students have an active, healthy and mutually beneficial relationship with AU staff;
Providing feedback and thanks for the contributions of committee members in our student-led clubs.