Candidate for the position of Vice President Education

Image for Eliot Wooding-Sherwin

Eliot Wooding-Sherwin

Help not Harm

TRIGGER WARNING: This manifesto contains a reference to sexual violence.


The University of Stirling has failed in its duty to support students in numerous ways in the time since I’ve been a student.

Notably, on the issue of drug use. In 2019 Scotland saw over 1,200 drug related deaths, with this number increasing rapidly, it is clear that criminalisation simply does not work and yet the University of Stirling maintains an approach which punishes rather than supports students. 

Nicola Sturgeon called the number of drug deaths a ‘national disgrace’ and appointed a designated minister to tackle the issue. The SNP manifesto highlights how Scotland needs a public health approach to drug policy. If our own government can see that punishing people for drug use is harming more than helping, why can’t the University?

The University’s disciplinary code punishes drug use in its disciplinary code as a ‘level one’ offense - with punishments of up to a £200 fine, a three month suspension and even eviction from University accommodation.

Furthermore, as I have experienced myself, the University offers very little support to students during a disciplinary process.

Many students are suffering for various unique reasons and should be offered help rather than the harm given by the disciplinary procedures. 

Vote for me to further the Help not Harm campaign’s demands:

That possession of drugs (with the exception of those notoriously misused for date rape i.e. GHB and rohypnol) be removed from the University’s and Student Union’s disciplinary code.

That instead of punishing students for possession, the University offers them counselling.

That the University adopts a Help not Harm approach to campus control/supervision and adopts a Help not Harm campaign on drug use.

Many students turning to drugs do so out of stress, and difficult circumstances. In their current attitude, the University is only making their situation worse.

A vote for me is a vote to take the fight to University management.