Iona Wagg is a candidate for the Wellbeing Officer role in the Students’ Union (SU) Executive Election. She is campaigning to improve support for student mental health. She helps the elderly as well as younger students through various schemes and work.
She spoke to Leicester Student Magazine about her goals of making the university a more inclusive environment and helping the wellbeing of all students.
“I’ve been at the university for three years and have used every service the wellbeing office has to offer… and they all stink.”
Outlining her inspiration for running: “My main one is that I would like to signpost and make it really easy to apply for help.
“There are too many steps, and when you want help it’s too difficult… what’s the point?”
One way in which Wagg would like to practically tackle student mental health in university is by clearly signposting to the wellbeing centre through Blackboard and MyStudentRecord. “This is a service every student uses, and it would be so easy to have wellbeing registered as a course.”
With COVID still being an integral part of our lives, it is natural for Wagg to have a strategy in place for mitigating the effects of the pandemic on student mental health.
One thing she would like to maintain from the last academic year is the continuation of blended learning, wherein students, if they choose to, “can relieve themselves of the pressure of getting up [and] ready, having had breakfast, and out the door to campus.”
This would benefit students who are particularly apprehensive about returning to crowded environments, especially while this pandemic still lingers.
Another issue important to Wagg is inclusivity in the realm of nights out and university socialising.
“The main thing I want to do here is to make a night out for people who have ADHD, anxiety, or autism, as people can get overwhelmed at the O2.” She wants to put into place new events that still take place at sociable hours in the evening, but in quiet environments.
Wagg wants to make nights out safer by bringing back the university’s safety bus, which enabled students to return home from campus at night. The safety bus was particularly important for students living in Oadby.
“[They have to] walk for 40 minutes down dark, badly lit roads to get home. That’s not fair.”
In the end, Wagg finds it important for all students to be included, as all students “shouldn’t be missing out on things because they’ve all paid money to be here.” To that end, she believes that the university should be a more inclusive environment for all students.
All candidate manifestos can be read here.
Vote on the SU website here. Voting closes at 12pm on Friday 11th March 2022.
This article is part of a series of articles covering the SU Executive Election. You can view all articles here.
Jeevan Bhogal is a second-year History and International Relations student at Leicester. He is the social secretary for the Film Society and is interested in reading (mainly science fiction and fantasy), film and media, as well as travelling. Find him on Instagram at jeevanjay7.