The Libertine has interviewed the new members of the Liberal Youth exec on a range of topics, in order to keep you in the loop. Here is the first in the series, an interview with our new Co-Chairs, Kavya Kaushik and Sam Fisk
1) What is the first thing you will do in office?
We have been contacting each individual member of the Executive committee members and talk about conflict resolution, teambuilding and listen to their concerns/handover how things are at the moment. These include problem solving such as the website.
2) Is there anything you would like to say to the other candidate(s)? Is there anyone else you would like to thank, or pay tribute to?
Please please stay around. The talent that stood in this election was remarkable and I don’t think a small thing like “not winning” should stop you from being involved. Liberal Youth needs everyone – drop us an email chair[at]liberalyouth.org to chat. Also thanks to Erlend, Helen and Harry for their hard work over the last few months and Tom for the work he has done over the last 18 months.
3) What do you think is the main challenge facing Liberal Youth?
Kav: Engagement. Most people don’t know who we are. The ones that do know us hate us anyway.
Sam: Its time to face the elephant in the room. Most members don’t know/are apathetic to Liberal Youth. As a result we can’t be a strong campaigning organisation making a difference in the party and our community. We’re going to make a start on addressing this in our 6 months.
4) Turnout has risen in this election – how do we take advantage of this and increase involvement in Liberal Youth?
GO. MORE. DIGITAL. By transferring as much as we possibly can online we can keep engaging more people. It’s time LY got itself in the 21st Century.
This means putting more things online and realising the old ways of working are backwards and counter-productive. Online voting a prime example of this.
5) How do you see Liberal Youth acting in relation to the main party?
Kav: We’re the youth wing of a political party. We help the party achieve their goals through campaigning and recruiting. We should be administratively efficient enough to not rely on the party.
Sam: We should be helping achieve more Liberalism. Whether this through helping Liberal Democrats get elected, running campaigns on liberal issues or lobbying the party on policy areas. Therefore working with the party on achieving goals and helping younger members lobby the party if it goes in the wrong direction on youth issues.
6) Tuition Fees.
Kav: Screaming about tuition fees distracts entirely from the real issues of maintenance funding. University accommodation monopolies lead to rent that costs more than the maintenance loan. We should really be concentrating on better student grants and maintenance funding.
Sam: For me I would much rather see us tackle the issue of cost of living. Maintenance loans need to be reformed and recognition that student rents have seen a big price hike this year. Lets look more at how we can help students when they don’t have money – as opposed to when they graduate and do have money. The new paying off system is more progressive than under Labour but right now students are worrying how they are going to pay the bills next month.
7) How do you see the exec relating to members, local branches, regions and devolved nations?
We plan to contact 3 a week to hear their suggestions and concerns. We are planning a branch chairs forum to speak to branches across the country. We are increasing dialogue with devolved nations (helps a lot when one half of the Chair lives in Scotland).
Ultimately though, contact is a 2 way thing. If you have comments, suggestions, rants, we want to hear them. Email email email: chair [at] liberalyouth.org
8) How will we know your term was a success?
Kav: At least one person doesn’t want to have us assassinated.
Sam: The ghost of Lloyd George will tell me in my sleep.
Sam and Kav are our new Co-Chairs.