Candidate for the position of SU President

Mitchell Bate

About Me

I am a student studying Politics and have decided to run for SU President because I believe in liberal values. These are the values of meritocracy, freedom of speech and the right to a good education. These values have been undermined, especially by the NUS and I seek to challenge their increasingly regressive character.

Being a University student from a working class family, I share the same concerns as all other students and my fellow candidates in terms of Housing, Affordability and Library space. We all have the same basic views. Better housing, more library space and no daylight robbery (Fresh). Where I am different is that I am also deeply concerned that Bath could go the way of censorship and demolish your individual liberty to read, listen to or write whatever you want.

I originally come from London and outside of that, Bath is the most expensive place to live. We need to have an honest discussion about affordability, including rent controls and lobbying for substantive action. I have also, at times, been at odds with University higher-ups and would seek to create a stronger disciplinary mechanism for staff who do not treat students with respect.

If elected, my top priorities will be:

  • Freedom of Speech
  • Challenging the NUS
  • Housing
  • Complaints services

View manifesto


My reason for running is based primarily in the knowledge that students have not been spoken for. It is my contention that the culture of University has been dampened and is becoming increasingly regressive in nature. Whereas University used to resemble a symposium of ideas, where one could go about discussion and intellectual endeavour, it has become a place for group-think and identity politics has over-run legitimate grievances. I will change this.

My primary focus will be on freedom of speech, which has been increasingly curtailed at this University and others. It has been proposed for example that so called offensive songs are to be banned because it tramples upon peoples feelings, as well as jokes being restricted during a comedy performance last year because they were too culturally sensitive. I feel this is not representative of student opinion and that the voices who shout the loudest should not hold to ransom people ability to listen to whatever they wish. These are small but symbollic examples of an increasingly troubling problem. One should as a matter of course be permitted the right to question every idea they want and a fundamental shift in the culture of the University is something I will focus on. It is not my goal to speak for students per say, it is my goal to include a plurality of voices in discussion and come to rational conclusions. This has hitherto been sorely missing. 

I will also urge that the University do not "Prevent Prevent" as policy proposals suggest. In much the opposite sentiment we should enable and encourage Prevent, which is actually a counter-terrorist strategy with teeth. To ignore it would be a heinous act of moral blindness. I acknowledge the problem of radicalism and whilst Bath has been noteworthy in its absence of extremism, I would like to keep it that way. The Prevent strategy is a useful tool in pursuit of this effort. As President, I would challenge the convictions of the NUS, who all too often fall short and instead of protecting students from real threats, focus their attention on perceived ones. Therefore, I will be taking a hardline stance against government intrusions and policy positions that may affect University funding and letting go of false premises of 'lad culture' and other meaningless distractions. I will also not be in favour of wasting resources or time in pursuit of gender neutral bathrooms which were suggested by some students. We must prioritise our focus on issues that matter and this is not one.

I will communicate these ideas effectively and be a personable point of contact with the students of Bath and working together, we will pursue efforts to make Bath a meritocratic and intellectually stimulating space.

I hope to be considered and thank you for taking the time to read this.