A big warm welcome to the new members of the HE Student Union Executive Committee joining the Student Union Team! It's very exciting to have such a high level of engagement this year, including for the new positions that I added to ensure representation for all. Without further ado, I'll introduce each of the new members.
Your new Vice-President for Higher Education (HE) (and Student Governor), Emmeline Kwaan!
Emm (she/her) is a Year 3 BA (Hons) 3D Crafts student from Plymouth, who decided to study here partly because it was the logical choice being where her family and children were settled and partly because of the welcoming, well equipped and a lively community feel that she experience at Plymouth College of Art - which she said she happily would have travelled to, if needed. When it comes to Emm's inspiration as a ceramicist, she draws inspiration from various sources! Her inspiration mostly comes from random bits and pieces that she sees around her; no one specific, just life.
Emm decided to run for her role because she has loved being Student Representative for her 3D Crafts cohort for the last two years. Within her Student Representative role, she enjoys working with all students and staff members to ensure that everyone receives the best and achieves the best while studying, both academically and pastorally.
This year she would like to support the Student Union President and the Student Union Executive Committee members in their roles. The main thing she would like to achieve is ensuring that each idea or plan that, whether it is in the making or up and already running, gets pushed to its potential. Her aim is that nothing that any student feels is important gets forgotten about and that all ideas are taken into consideration - that we keep pushing to make the whole community thrive.
Your new Sustainability Representative (HE), Bethany Mundy!
Beth (she/her) is a Year 3 BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design and Styling student, who has been re-elected as Sustainability Representative (HE). Beth moved to Plymouth from the Bath area, and chose to study here because it was a smaller institution, very active and engaged with the students as well as providing so much in terms of workshop access and support.
As an interior designer, her biggest inspiration has always been her mum as she has always brought out her creative side in and helped her to become the interior designer she is today by giving her the freedom over her own room choices, even paint and wallpaper for their whole house!
Beth re-ran for her role because she is incredibly passionate about making the institution more sustainable. In her previous term of office, she felt she'd already learnt so much more than she thought she would, so she was keen to carry on learning and creating change for another year. The main thing she would like to achieve in her role this year would be to have a successful waste and recycling scheme throughout the campuses, as well as creating awareness and educating the entire community about living sustainable lifestyles.
Your new Wellbeing Representative (HE), Aaron Lovelock!
Aaron (he/him) is a Year 2 Part-Time Fine Art Masters student, who has been re-elected as Wellbeing Representative (HE). He is originally from Truro, and moved to Plymouth in 2017 to study for a BA (Hons) in Photography, before progressing onto his Masters. Aaron chose Plymouth College of Art because of the tight knit community, as well as being a specialist arts institution. He liked the location of Plymouth and felt that it was far enough away from home to be independent, but not too far away if he needed to go home for any reason.
As for his inspiration as a photographer, Aaron said that the photographic work of Todd Hido has remained in his head for years, as he found that the almost ethereal landscapes and portraits Hido has created are really special to him and he finds himself being inspired constantly from the work.
Aaron ran for the position because mental health and wellbeing has always been important to him. Last year in the same role, he really enjoyed helping make changes on campus and working with the Students' Union to help students. This year, Aaron's main goal is to provide the Palace Court campus with an improved 'Quiet Room' to match the one in Tavistock Place, as well as to continue raising awareness for mental health, physical health and wellbeing support for both FE and HE students.
Your new LGBTQ+ Representative (HE), Fraizer James!
Fraizer (he/him) is a Year 3 BA (Hons) Illustration, who moved to Plymouth from a small town in the Exeter area. He moved here to study because Plymouth College of Art was always his dream study location since he was sixteen - he even used to keep a postcard from the college on his wall!
As an illustrator, Fraizer love comics and, as a neurodivergent person, he often tends to fixate on things with fantasy themes. He says this has mashed to create a weird mix of fantasy comics becoming his niche as a creator.
Fraizer ran for his role because, during his first year of studying here, he was convinced that he wanted to go 'stealth' and not tell anyone about being trans. However, during this time he realised how important that part of his identity was to him, and now he really wants to give back to his community - not just as a queer person, but as a transman, proudly. His goal this year is creating a space where people really feel like there is a queer community here. He is excited to pick up and hopefully expand the LGBTQ+ Society, and his primary goal is to connect folks of all different identities.
Your new Equality and Diversity Representative (HE), Erin Lawrence!
Erin (she/her) is a Year 1 BA (Hons) Fine Art student from Plymouth, who initially studied Extended Diploma Film, Animation and Media Production here at Plymouth College of Art, before progressing onto the Fine Art course. She decided to study her degree course here because she enjoyed her experience of the Pre-Degree course and campus - she got a feel for what the community was like and I loved it. She also wanted to continue her creative study to develop herself and her work.
As an artist, Erin draws a lot of inspiration from smaller artists and lesser known artwork. She said that she thinks the motivation and dedication to create art and exhibit it to a smaller audience is incredibly inspirational.
Erin decided to run for her position because she wanted to ensure all communities, and the people in them, are being represented and that their voices heard equally. Her main goal is to ensure everyone is represented and treated equally, as well as making sure that Plymouth College of Art is as diverse and equal as it possibly can be.
Your new Ethnic Minorities Representative (HE), Dezeta Fantie!
Dezeta (she/her) is a Year 1 BA (Hons) Fine Art student, who moved to Plymouth from South East London. She decided to study here at Plymouth College of Art mostly because of the the facilities, the fact they just seemed so broad and she also liked how we have such a close knit community.
Bisa Butler is one of Dezeta's most favourite artists and the reason she got into working with textiles. She loved the colour and textures in Butler's work. Dezeta started to work predominantly with textiles towards the end of year 13 and there’s so many more textiles techniques (and ceramics) that she wants to try.
Dezeta decided to put herself forward to join the Student Union Team because she wanted to get more involved in the university and events. Her main goal for this year is to create visibility through posters and blog posts showcasing artists of colour to the wider community.
Your new Disability Representative (HE), Archie McKenzie!
Archie (they/them) is a BA (Hons) Year 2 Illustration student, who commutes to Plymouth from a small town called Totnes, which is around 30 minutes away by train. Archie grew up nearby and already knew Plymouth well, as well as having connections in the city. They'd heard great things about queer inclusivity at Plymouth College of Art and the focus on student support, so when they felt the need to transfer from another uni, it was their first choice!
Within their illustration practice, Archie is constantly drawn to nature based themes and organic textures. Having been raised in the countryside and living close to the sea, nature and the wilderness is very comforting to them and they like to bring that out in their artwork.
Archie nominated themself partly to increase the sense of community for disabled and neurodivergent people within the institution. As a member of the LGBT community, they love the support students and staff provide each other and want that same support to be mirrored within disabled circles. Archie's main goal is to increase awareness for disabilities and neurodiverity, and ideally increase systemic support for these people. As restrictions lift, they'd also like to take the opportunity to build the community back up and celebrate the inclusive community through events and societies.
Student Union President