If I am elected as Vice president of Welfare and community the environmental sustainability of the university will be at the heart of all my policies – because, quite simply, a prosperous, thriving future will be green – or not at all.
Economic prosperity depends on the natural world. It is the ultimate source of everything we make and use – from food and materials, to the air we breathe. Even the digital economy depends on rare earth metals and huge amounts of energy. The natural world is used by all courses whether that be a business student gathering data on where to best sell a product or a forensics student using the topography of the land. We rely on delicate ecological systems to sustain life on earth – from bees pollinating our crops to trees absorbing carbon dioxide.
Building a successful campus economy is not at odds with protecting our environment: it is in fact impossible without it. At this moment in time, we are destroying the foundations of our economy faster than they can be regenerated: we are eroding the ground we’re standing on.
Dorset has a unique and beautiful natural environment – from the magical New Forest to the Jurassic Coast to the majestic peaks of the Lake District.
As Vice president of Welfare and community I would like to change our appreciation of our natural world by working with the national trust and other governing body’s to organize trips to these sites to better understand the world we live in and how we impact it through our actions.
Basil was able to demonstrate a clear passion for sustainability in his interview with us on Friday, whilst some-what lacking in some other areas of the role. He started by stating “from reading other candidate’s manifestos, only one of them is partially running for sustainability, whereas I am fully running for the promotion of sustainability in my campaign”. This clearly demonstrates Basil’s determination on the topic and led us to ask the question of what his plans were in order to make this goal achievable.
He started by saying “I feel like it’s time to make the student’s union more sustainable and environmentally friendly, as well as future-proof”. His plans to make this possible include trips to places such as the New Forest and the Jurassic Coast so that people can “gain an appreciation for the world around us, and put a real emphasis on how these sites help us, and why they need to be protected”.
Basil goes on to say that “if the whole of the New Forest was cut down, there would be a hole in the ozone layer similar to its size, showing the importance of protecting sites like this one”. Basil also adds that only a select number of people get to attend current trips hosted mainly by Res Life to nature reserve places around the area. His goal would be to make these trips more accessible and open for more people to attend.
As part of the role of VP welfare and community, a big part of it is to look after student wellbeing. When asked how Basil would achieve this, he explained how his sustainability trip idea would enable him to “kill two birds with one stone”. He goes on to say that going outside and seeing the natural environment can promote physical and mental wellbeing, and “is a great opportunity for students to get outside and experience the natural environment”.
He adds “I’m a great believer in exercise being a great technique for physical and mental wellbeing. I go on walks with my mum a lot, and I can see the difference this makes in her”. He goes on to say that he would like to make “wellbeing walks” a SUBU-run event.
Lastly, when asked how he could increase diversity and inclusivity in campus, Basil said “Within Bournemouth University, I think diversity and inclusivity has been done to death. I feel like everyone now feels as if they are included, with the campus itself being extremely diverse. Like, I’m literally brown and Scottish and I feel very inclusive.”
It will be interesting to see how Basil approaches diversity and inclusivity in his campaigning after receiving this response during interview, as well as other ways he may wish to tackle mental health on top of his enthusiasm towards exercise.
Basil rounded off his interview with us by saying, “I feel like it’s time to make the union more sustainable and environmentally-friendly. You don’t know what the future is going to bring. We need to change now, or there’s going to be a problem down the line”.