SPA chair elections 2021

Who will lead the best – and largest – student media association across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland?

Your candidates have prepared their manifestos, polished their ideas, and have put themselves forward to be the next chair of the Student Publication Association.

Meet them below, and cast your member publication vote from 9am on Friday, September 3 to 9pm on Sunday, September 5. Voting details will be sent to your registered publication email address – if this needs updating please email

And if you want to quiz them in person, come along to our special general meeting at 7pm on Sunday, September 5. Details on how to join will be sent to your publication email but anyone is free to attend and pose questions.

Meet the candidates

Lars Mucklejohn

At the University of Exeter, I have developed a keen interest in journalism, and I now lead my student newspaper, The Falmouth Anchor, which provides news coverage to students at two universities – Exeter and Falmouth. My responsibilities at the Anchor range from correspondence, recruitment, and finances to writing, editing, and website development.

Developing a young newspaper (formed in 2015) during lockdown has not been easy, but overcoming challenges and innovating has given me the organisational, communication, and teamwork skills necessary for a role like SPA Chair. Experience working at the Newbury Weekly News and The Week magazine this summer has further developed my confidence in these areas.

Ultimately, I am nominating myself for this role because I think the SPA is an extremely important charity, and its efforts to offer students the support to revolutionise journalism align closely with my own values. In my work as a student journalist, I have tried to draw attention to students’ voices across various issues, such as discrimination, sexual harassment, tuition fees, academic mitigation, and mental health. The position of SPA Chair offers me the chance to continue doing that in a unique and impactful way.

Teddy Coward

As last year’s Co-Editor-in-Chief of Bristol University’s student newspaper, Epigram, where I led a team of almost 70 student journalists, I’ve not only been highly involved in student media, but am now at a stage of wanting to give back to the community of students that provided me so many opportunities.

My ability to communicate with other student journalists was shown by my work in convincing the Editors of student papers at all 24 Russell Group universities to co-sign a comment piece calling on universities to introduce a no-detriment policy, which I co-wrote.

I also understand and can empathise with the challenges faced by student papers, having made some difficult decisions regarding print runs during the various lockdowns. Ultimately, we were able to financially steer the paper through a challenging period as one of the only entirely self-funded student papers, largely thanks to a close working relationship with our business team.

I currently work as a content and marketing executive for an arts and culture magazine, whynow, where I decide content, edit pieces, and implement digital advertising campaigns. This also gives me strong connections to the industry, as I speak to other journalists and writers regularly.

Chay Quinn

Student publications mean everything to their members. I spent my time at university in a variety of positions at student publications including as Editor of York Vision.
I know first-hand the fantastic work the SPA can do, having held the position of Conference and Events Officer at the SPA for two years until February.

I have intense knowledge of what works and what does not work within SPA structures right now. My drive, understanding and existing relationships within the SPA mean I can hit the ground running on day one in securing the future of the SPA in such an exciting time: having recently become a charity and approaching its tenth birthday.

I am also an NCTJ-qualified journalist working for DMG media with a wealth of experience in both student and national publications. I also was nominated for an SPA award at the 2020 awards: a career highlight so far!

Managing the last team to deliver in-person events for the SPA means I am well-placed to organise the SPA National Conference in spring 2022 as well as innovate our events offering after running talks virtually during the pandemic.