An Interview with Allie Guy
Introducing Allie Guy!
Allie Guy is currently a third-year BA(Hons) Journalism student studying at Falmouth University. She is running for FXU President Community and Welfare. Below is our interview, where we talk about Falmouth, her experience at university and why she wants to be your next FXU Community and Welfare President.
Daniella Ferguson-Djaba: Why do you want to be the FXU Present for Community and Welfare?
Allie Guy: During my years at university, I have been involved with the FXU a lot. I was a Student Rep for my course in my first year here, and have now been a Department Rep for the last two years. So, I know a lot about the FXU, and they’ve been a great source of support during my time at Falmouth. I had an issue with a lecturer, and they were beneficial. They helped me massively, and I would like to give that back.
I’ve also had much experience with the Welfare services. I’ve had a study mentor, and I’ve had counselling with the university. There are some things I’ve loved and some things I’d like to change. So, I feel that being the Welfare and Community President would put me in a position to do that.
DF: Awesome! What are a few points on your manifesto that you’re most passionate about?
AG: One of the things I’m most passionate about is animal therapy. Everyone wants animal therapy, but the reality of the situation is that it can be quite tricky. Some people may have allergies and other similar problems that we could run into. If bringing animals into the university isn’t possible, what I’d like to do is collaborate with outside organisations. The Donkey Sanctuary in Penryn and Cats Protection in Truro, for example.
I would organise a rota that students could go and sign up to at the FXU, and they could spend time volunteering. You also then get that interaction with the animals, which is good for your mental health.
I'm also passionate about creating safe spaces, if elected. There would be rooms which would be technology free, WIFI free. They would have beanbags; you could have a nap in there. You would be able to chill. I would see if the Yoga Society or Meditation Society would want to host morning or evening sessions in these spaces. It would just be a nice zen place to relax and get away from university stresses. I know that when you’re at university, you don’t always want to be learning, in the library or at the café.
DF: So, it’ll be a breakout space for people to chill.
DF: That sounds so lovely. So, going back to you being here at the university, you have been at Falmouth now for nearly three years. What has Falmouth meant to you for the past three years, as a university but also the town?
AG: Falmouth is home for me now because my parents live abroad. I love the area; it’s not like anywhere else. Also, I mean, I’m only from Devon, but still having the sea here, and the beach – and being so involved with the environment, it’s become my home. I love it, and it means a lot to me. I’ve had some great experiences in Falmouth.
Also, at university, I’ve enjoyed my time here. I know many people don’t or they’ve got many complaints. However, when I look back on my time here, I’ve just really enjoyed it.
DF: I love that. One of the things that brought me down here was the environment but also how close-knit everything is. Especially with our course as well, everyone knows everyone.
DF: So, what experiences at Falmouth have informed your decision to run? How have these experiences prepared you for your role of Community and Welfare? You briefly said you'd used the welfare services before, could you elaborate?
AG: Of course. I’ve suffered from depression and PTSD for the last ten years. So, I’ve had every therapy under the sun, pretty much. However, I’ve also had a study mentor for the last two years who has helped me. I see her every week, and I see her as a mother figure.
Those kinds of services are just so good, and I honestly don’t know where I’d been right now without it, and her. I would love to make sure that people still have access to these services. Everyone deserves to find the support they need. I mean, students need them, the university requires them, and I want to see if we can make that more prominent. I am aware that you can only have six counselling sessions under the university which is good and for some people, it works well – but for others, it doesn’t. You have to pay for the rest. I believe that policy should be changed. It should reflect on what the counsellor thinks would be best for the student.
I’ve also had a few issues where I’ve needed the support of the FXU behind me, and they’ve been there for me. To support me in situations where I've required that extra hand, where without them I wouldn’t have had my voice heard.
DF: So, the FXU have been a big part of your support system here at university?
DF: Being the President of Community and Welfare would be your way of giving back and showing gratitude for all the support they’ve been able to provide. That the services you’ve been privy to stay in place and hopefully grown under your leadership.
AG: Exactly. I know how supportive the welfare services can be and I want to see it grow and become even better.
DF: Great. That’s wonderful. Okay, so what do Community and Welfare look like for you? And what does it look like for Falmouth?
AG: I think that for the variety of people we get down in Falmouth, and we do have a wide range of people from all different backgrounds that come here. I think that is because you can feel comfortable here. Whatever your background – it is a place for the weird and wonderful. And I count myself as one of the weird and wonderful. That is another reason why I believe that the welfare services are essential because you need that extra support – especially when you have felt like you haven’t found your place in other spaces. Also, on that side of things, it is vital. Societies such as the LGBTQ+ Society need welfare, as we all know the world can be a cruel place. And though people are starting to become more open, it is still a slow process.
DF: Definitely, we are still in the discussion phase. People are only just starting to get over their fear and beginning to engage in these topics.
AG: And that’s why welfare is so important. For the people who are brave enough to stand up and say, this is me. We are here to hold them up and support them.
DF: Going off that point, I know you are the editor of Voices. A project started by our current FXU President for Community and Welfare, Harry Bishop. What made you want to join the team?
AG: Voices is a fantastic project, but it’s also can be a little exhausting. Also, I'm a journalism student, so editing is my forte – I love it. I love writing, being able to read different people’s stories. It has been so much more than I ever thought it was going to be! Reading their stories, things that I never expected to – it's become so much more. It’s grown massively, and we’ve been able to touch on some sensitive topics – I’m proud of it.
DF: Any last thoughts?
AG: I’m excited for election week, but also terrified. But more than anything, for me it is going to be a learning curve. I’ve never had the confidence to put myself out here like this before. I’m excited to see what happens and who I am at the end of it.
DF: Well, thank you Allie and good luck!
AG: Thank you!
by Daniella Ferguson-Djaba