We were wondering if you could expand on the Strategic Plan and what role you’ve had in that?
Well, in the Board of Trustees there’s been a sub-elected project board delegated to designing the new Strategic Plan. We’ve had surveys recently, in the last few weeks, and a lot of students have been engaging with that. There are three separate sub-committees within that. I’ve been on the future-scanning one, looking at how the future will affect it and trying to anticipate the future. With the Strategic Plan related to my roles, obviously it’s going to affect budgets and stuff like that, and we have the prospective new Union build to corporate. That’s how it involves me. My position was as a student member, and there were I believe four or five along with members of the Executive.
Organising Freshers’ for the whole university is going to be rather different from organising it for your hall. What makes you think you are up to this job?
The two roles I had on my hall committee while running Freshers’ was as Treasurer and PA.A.I.R Rep. As Treasurer I got to manage funds, making large payments to various clubs , and I had to optimise what we paid. As the P.A.A.I.R Rep and the Treasurer I got to see the difference that Freshers’ makes to Out of Halls students. With the freshers of 2015, my hall, Harry French, had 67 affiliated freshers from Waterways, who we managed to engage really well. As P.A.A.I.R Rep this year I was anticipating we would get a similar amount but unfortunately we weren’t given any. I want to be able to give my knowledge of how to get Out of Halls students engaged and feed that to other halls, and make sure every student, whether they’re in a hotel or Waterways, have the best Freshers’ experience they possible can.
How will lending halls card readers help on move in days?
I’ve been Chair of Treasurers on HSF for the past year now, and one of the main things I was trying to achieve last September, and throughout summer, was to be able to lend halls card readers. The purpose for that was that halls take in roughly around £1000 in cash on move in days, with subs and other payments, and my logic behind letting halls have card readers, for free, was that they take in a large amount of money and it creates a level of security that saves the Treasurer walking around with £1000 cash in his pocket for the next day or two. Unfortunately, as only a student last year I wasn’t able to make any ground and there was a lot of confusion around the role I’m running for at the time. Nothing could be done. But I’m going to jump in head-first if I’m elected, to make sure our halls and Treasurers have the best Freshers’ experience.
Affiliation comes up every year, what methods are you going to employ to make sure affiliation is effective this time?
As much as there is a method for it, I think it relies on who is running Freshers’ and hall committees. We had a very good committee two years ago when we had those 67 people, but you need a committee full of people who know how to get everyone involved. I’ve seen what gets students involved.. A ten-minute walk isn’t exciting for them, you’ve got to make them want to come back. You’ve got to engage them, and method-wise it’s down to delegating the best people you have – the best Fresher Helpers, your most exciting committee members – but not too far to the extent that you’ve got the rowdy ones who may alienate the quiet ones, you’ve got to have a mix. Basically the best method is to have the best people.
What would you say your favourite thing about the Union is?
It has something for everybody. I personally have got involved in a number of sections, but there are a few sections that I haven’t got involved in and still would like to I see something for everybody, every kind of person. Someone like me, who has enjoyed managing money and stuff, I’ve been involved in money-related student boards. There’s Action for volunteering, there’s charity and stuff – it just encapsulates opportunity for me, which filters down to halls as well. LSU is very much based on opportunity.