What experience do you have that makes you suitable for the role?
I’ve been on societies committees since the third week of my first year. I was on Flix committee three weeks after I started University, and I have been chair of Flix for the past two and a half years. I have been the treasurer for the Shakespeare society and have been a Development Officer on the societies exec for two years, as well as working with a lot of other societies in my time here.
How are you going to manage Loughborough London societies from Loughborough?
A massive part of this is communication between the team at Loughborough London and the Postgrad EO. The initial set up would be a lot of work for me, but after that it can be managed quite remotely.
Please can you elaborate on your point about attracting sponsors?
Sponsorship is a big part of a lot of societies. They have sponsorships and go after them. However, many newer societies have no idea how to attract sponsorship. Sponsorship is how societies achieve some of their grander goals, the ones that seem out of the realm of possibility because they’re either too expensive or require too much work to go into them. With the support of a company, these goals are sometimes possible. For example, the Space society have some really big ambitious goals that they cannot achieve with just membership alone, they will need the backing of something to get that extra money to achieve them.
How would you reward various societies?
An idea that Joe Ross Nelson proposed was that I could hold back a very small amount of the grant pot , so that when societies do really good things, win society of the month or organise an outstanding event, we as a section can reward that and put £50 into their society bank account.
You talk about all the memorable things previous section heads have achieved, what would you like to be remembered for?
The main thing would be the remembrance of getting societies working at London. I’ve spoken with Ellie Reed about this and she said they haven’t been able to find a way to make it work at the moment, because there is so much change from year to year. There are very few people that are there for more than a year so there is no continuation like there is from year to year at Loughborough. We elect a committee in March and then they run until the following March, by which time a new group of students will have become interested and take over. It cannot work like that in London, so we need to find new way to make it work and make it sustainable.
How would you make societies more approachable throughout the year?
I would build on what other people have done. Jenna introduced the second ‘Give it a go’ week, and hopefully we can build on the refresher’s fair and make it a big event, so societies who are looking for more members can advertise. I think the perception of only being able to join at the beginning of the year is changing massively anyway, so I think I just need to keep building on what other people have done and keep people aware of the fact that they can join later in the year. A lot of societies offer a semester 2 membership, where they reduce the price by about £5. This also encourages Erasmus students to join societies.
What do you think needs improving most in your section?
A lot of the behind the scenes stuff and the processes that goes into that. The way we handle risk assessments and the way we keep societies informed about anything they could improve on. The models we have for the societies section at the moment were made when the section had 60 societies and that hasn’t really changed. We’re now at nearly 130 societies and it is very clear that there are certain things that need to change to make it more sustainable and less man power intensive.