Elliya Gemili – Affairs and Development – Label Interview
Obviously this role has been redesigned for this coming year so what would you like to bring into the role, if elected?
What I’d like to bring into the role this year is a more developmental approach to the communications based side of things because I think it is a long running thing that needs to be worked on throughout many years, not just in one year.
You say in your manifesto that participation in student forums is limited. Why do you think that students aren’t engaging with this?
I think it has a lot to do with the advertising of it, who it’s aimed at, I don’t think it’s aimed at different levels of engagement in the Union. Currently for each section you have student forum representatives and I don’t think everyone feels that they are able to attend or even know what it is. I want to make sure that everyone knows what it is and realises they have the opportunity to come, if they want, and realise the impact they can have on the Students’ Union.
Also in your manifesto you mentioned using an increased social media presence, like making 90 second videos every fortnight, how will this work? Who will edit these? What will they include?
So, the 90 second videos…I’d want them put in the Executive calendars from the word go and I’d want to work really closely with the Media Department. I think the Media Department we have here are amazing – they can just do so much – I really think they’d be able to churn them out if they’re in from the start and know when they need to be done.
You say you want a complete overhaul of the student forum system. How do you propose this happens and what would it entail?
Currently people don’t really know what it is for a start…for a start it would be advertising it. Also, giving an agenda out before it actually happens to say ‘this is what’s going to be done in this one if you have any ideas’…to prepare people. I think sometimes with the current process, people know what’s going on but don’t exactly…the information’s not correct.
What to you is the most important part of your manifesto?
Improving student feedback within the Union. I think that if we know, in the Union, what the students want, we can develop it and make it as good as it can be.
Part of your manifesto deals with transparency within the Exec Committee. How will you ensure an ‘Exec focus program’ reaches and engages students?
What I want to do is…with as I suggested with videos, because we are a video generation, we like taking in stuff like that. Plus I want an increased social media presence, a more targeted one because if it is more targeted to specific groups…if you’re following an Action thing, you would want more Action information. I want to make sure that everything is targeted to everyone and people are not receiving things they don’t care about.
Finally, why are you running for this role?
I’m running because I got involved with the section this year and I’ve really enjoyed it and I want to increase the awareness of this section – I think this is an amazing section. I think this could be amazing for a lot of different types of student because it’s not like the other sections. I think it takes certain people to…I’m involved heavily in RAG and it’s amazing but I wish I’d found out about Union Affairs in first year because it’s something I only just found out about at the end of last year so I want to increase awareness.
– Interview conducted and written up by David Boyden, Label Sport Editor