Support, Health, Transparency
Hello! My name is Gethin Binns and I’m running to be your Undergraduate Law Representative. I’m a second year undergraduate Law and Politics LLB student, and the Advocacy and Outreach officer of the Model United Nations Society here at Edinburgh. I also write for the Leviathan Journal.
This is not the first time I’ve run for an elected student office; in high school I was twice elected to my school’s student “Senate” and was elected chair of that body my senior year. In such capacity I attacked issues of sexual harassment in my school head-on, re-wrote the constitution and secured for my peers the right to directly and regularly discuss matters of policy with the school’s administration. For this I received my school’s distinguished leadership award.
At Edinburgh Law School, we are all given immense opportunity. However, many are not able to avail themselves of that opportunity due to insufficient student support that severely handicaps those who are, while perfectly capable, undermined by harsh and unforgiving standards, and often unclear expectations. Well into second year, many of my friends are still asking questions that should have been answered in the first week of our first year but were instead pushed off to LawPALS, who, while wonderful and well intentioned, should not be given the near-sole responsibility of teaching core skills.
Mental health is also a challenge for many – and it doesn’t have to be. The University has the resources to improve its ability to support its students, and we have every opportunity to make use of them. People should not have to suffer in isolation – and we as a school must do better at reaching out to them, to giving them the resources they need, and expanding the services on offer.
Finally; transparency transparency transparency. If I’ve learned one thing in my time as a representative and elected officer it’s that listening and communicating are the two most important parts of the job. I am not all-knowing and I don’t expect you to be either – what good is it if some great policy is established and nobody knows enough about it to take advantage? And how can one create good policy without listening and understanding the problems that matter to those that one represents? I commit to weekly 'office hours' to listen to your concerns.
As your representative I will fight for both those who are left behind by the helter-skelter of law school, and those who are at the front of the pack. We’re all in this together – and we need representation that ensures that all of us are a priority – and none of us are forgotten.