By Sam Creighton
It’s not very often that you interview a candidate in an NUS election race who happily says they don’t really want to win, but then again it’s not often that you interview Sean Rillo Raczka – chair of Birkbeck Students’ Union, NEC member and candidate in the race of Vice-President Welfare – who has already claimed victory in an election this year and will take office in July as Vice-President of the University of London Union.
“I’m standing on a political manifesto” he explains, “I’m standing on a political slate that wants to make NUS a fighting organisation and the reason for that is that there is a real fight on, it’s a fight for our education, it’s a fight for our welfare state.” He is running in the election to raise issues, shape the debate and call NUS up on their welfare record this year which he says has been disappointing. “I’m standing for VP Welfare because I think we need to have a different approach to welfare, defending our right to protest, defending young students who are being hit over the head, we need to be chasing the BNP off our campuses, chasing out the fascist EDL, we need to be talking about liberation and integrating different groups into our Students’ Unions,” things which he said the current NUS leadership has abjectly failed to do.
Sean has been a vocal member of NUS during this controversial year and an outspoken critic of the current leadership, he explains: “I’m one of the most frequent speakers at the NEC because I’m the person who asks the difficult questions and I raise issues that are relevant to mature and part-time students and I raise issues that are pertinent to activists and I’m proud of that.”