USU Board Candidate Profile 2023: Grace Wallman

Honi’s profile and interview with 2023 USU Board candidate Grace Wallman.

Slogan: Grow with Grace

Colour: (Switch) Yellow

Quiz score: 91%

Faction: Switch

Favourite USU Outlet: Laneway (according to Wallman the baked potatoes are underrated. Honi does not intend to find out.)  

Grace Wallman provided detail and specificity in the Honi quiz, achieving a score of 91% — the highest of all the candidates. 

Wallman has been extensively involved in student politics — she has served in numerous positions, including SRC Councillor, Officer and Convenor of the SRC’s Welfare Action Group, inaugural Disabilities Officer for SULS, FASS Student Representative on the Academic Board and Student Representative on the FASS Board. Wallman claims that her experience in both activism and clubs and societies positions her well to manage the requirements of the USU.  

Many progressive candidates promise strong political platforms with insufficient detail or structure on how they would achieve this. However, Wallman accompanied her clearly outlined progressive, left-wing policies with practical suggestions on how to implement them. 

For example, when discussing improving the experience of students with disabilities, Wallman stated that she would like to see “a concrete plan of action with specific goals to do that. Having a disability inclusion action plan, more accessibility features on the website, having training for clubs and society’s executives. 

“All of those more specific policies are really important, I think set me apart from the other candidates.” Wallman identifies that her lived experience, including choosing to openly identify herself as a student with a disability, also sets her apart from other candidates.

When asked about transparency in the USU, Wallman stated that she believed there were issues. “In-camera [privately held] meetings mean that individual Board Directors can’t be held accountable as you can’t see how they voted on any one particular issue.” Wallman expressed support for challenging a policy that prevents student media from being able to question individual Board candidates. 

It remains to be seen if Wallman continues to argue for greater transparency, should she be elected to Board. In the interview, Wallman stated that while she would remain in Switch, she would not be bound to them, and pledged her support to Madhullikaa Singh in the upcoming USU presidential election. 

Wallman was clearly committed to representing students as a Board member. Her high score on the quiz, coupled with the detailed answers in the Honi interview, indicate a self-evident competency. The polls will tell if this competency translates to action on Board.

Note: the print edition of this profile contains an incorrect assertion that Grace Wallman did not provide Honi with her policy statement prior to her interview. Wallman did send Honi her full statement, and we apologise for any ramifications arising from our error.