A passion for students is what encouraged the Jamie-Lee Bracken to run for the role of student president.
At Massey at Wellington Students’ Association’s (MAWSA’s) Annual General Meeting last Thursday, Bracken was announced as President for 2019, beating out Charlotte Long for the top spot.
The communications student told Massive Magazine that as cliché as it sounds, she’s always wanted to help people.
This year she was elected the Welfare Vice President, which sparked her passion for helping students.
She says her focus for 2019 is student happiness.
“I am an avid believer that a supported student is a happy student and a happy student is a successful student.”
Bracken aims to start by addressing the support systems at Massey. She wants to ensure students are fully supported by the health and counselling and disability services.
“If we have this conversation early, then come 2019 we will already know how to engage with students from day one.
“I’m very aware that university is stressful, being a student myself, and I really want my fellow peers to know what services can help them get through university and actually enjoy themselves.”
This year the MAWSA elections gained 216 eligible votes, far behind last year’s voter turnout of 435 students.
Historically, there is a low voter turnout at student elections and Bracken aims to connect with students by being out and about and engaging with students face to face at events like barbecues, student work showcases and celebrating cultural and language weeks.
“There’s often a notion that students are apathetic, but I think that is far from the truth.
“If anything, I believe students do care but if they don’t think it’s going to help them in any way to invest their time and energy when they’re already busy enough, then they won’t.
“If students realise how much their voice is heard by the executive and see our passion for wanting to make a change for them, I believe they will be more likely to vote.”
Working with clubs and groups on campus are also important to Bracken. She wants to meet with groups like, Kokiri Ngatahi, MAPS, UniQ and the International Society to make plans for the year to come.
“We are so lucky we have such passionate groups on campus and I want to have conversations with them early to ensure that whatever support MAWSA can provide is given and see how we can work together.
“We are so lucky to have a campus that is so diverse and creative and I would love to see that come out a bit more.”
Bracken says her background as both a student and now as Welfare Vice President has given her the experience to take on the presidential role and support Massey students.
“I’ve had an incredibly fun time with MAWSA this year and I’m so pumped for 2019.”
For 2019 Jacob Paterson will join the MAWSA Executive as Welfare Vice President, while Nicolette Hurnen was voted in as Education Vice President.
Bridget McGechan and Tallulah Farrar have been voted in as College of Creative Arts Executives, Grace Needham as Communications Executive, Hine Tihore as Maori Executive, Hannah Reade as Nursing Executive and Luiz Rodrigo Carvalho as International Executive.
The Health and Pasifika Executive roles are vacant.
For more information, head to www.mawsa.org.nz