What experience do you have that makes you suited to this position?
I think my main one is being Faraday Hall Chair and I was Sports Sec before that. In terms of university, those are my main credentials. In the past, cricket was the main aspect of my life and as a cricket captain, this started my sense of leadership and inspired me to help people achieve their goals, and that developed into more organisational role when coming to university and Sports Sec kind of engaged sport with that. Being Hall Chair was the pinnacle of getting involved with the union and it has given me an understanding of how things are run in the union. In terms of the leadership side, it’s also taught me how to deal with the budgets, the committee and also being responsible as being the voice for 500 students.
By sending Exec away across campus you are removing them from their section and the people who need them most more than they already are. How will you stop this impacting on the work of their volunteers?
I think as long as it’s organised properly far in advance and it’s not just a random day, it would work. The reason why I’ve decided I think it’s important for us to get out there going around and speaking to people is to make people more familiar with the exec with face to face interaction. I think the pros outweigh the cons, it would just be a matter of organising it properly to ensure that there is support needed for students in the office on that specific day. It would just be a single day once every month/two months and as long as it’s organised well, then it can be that safety net in case anything does go wrong. It is all on campus, so if something does go drastically wrong and they are needed we can get back.
How do you think you can accelerate the renovations of the union building in a way previous Union Presidents haven’t been able to?
I haven’t sat in on the meetings so I don’t know how active they’ve been in the actual meetings, but I think it’s important that we’re constantly putting across opinions from the students, even if it’s just little issues with the building, getting them across and ensuring it just keeps getting brought up and it isn’t just simply ignored. It’s important that we keep bringing it up, not pressurising encouraging the union and the university to keep moving forward with the plans.
It’s easy to say you will engage all students equally, but how will you actually do this? Postgrads are notoriously hard to engage, as are international students…
I think it links back to the idea of campaign the union connects with, because I believe it’s really easy to get involved with something that’s right there in front of you, and with everything in the union and once you get a taste of it you want to do more and get involved. So I think it’s a matter going to their doorstep and bringing what we have to offer to them. A small amount live in JP for postgrads, but the union also connects with the town and so we can also be engaging with them, chatting to them, showing them what’s on offer. A lot of students don’t know you can have your own radio show, go on an action project to a horse farm, for example, so I think it’s really important to get into their traffic zones and being right at their doorstep. It’s not just within the union, it’s saying we are across the entire campus and the whole town and we can come and engage with you.
How exactly will you maintain the “good relationship” with the university’?
I think communication is key, I think just being transparent with everything we are doing and what we plan to do. As an example we had this with our warden, a good example of someone who’s more connected with the actual university rather than the union, and talking to them and showing them our plans, hopefully this means they’ll be willing to help us and we can help them out too.
Sections already give out as many loyalty points as they are able to. How are you going to increase the amount of loyalty points given, surely this will need costing up?
I have had a meeting with Ally from Marketing and she has said the loyalty points scheme have been going for 3 years and is at the point where it needs to be reviewed. She liked my idea and thinks it could be a possibility, but it would just be a matter of researching properly and seeing whether it’s just a case of reducing the value of loyalty points but increasing the probability of people getting them, or extending the budget to sections to ensure they get a few more points. So it’s more of a redistribution and it is feasible, I just wanted to make sure I do the background research as I don’t want to give out hollow promises.