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Elections 101 with your Education Officer

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Running in the elections

What made you run in the SU Elections?

I ran because I wanted to stay involved in improving the student experience – I ran several societies as a student, including the LGBT+ Society, Open Mic Society and Amnesty International Society. These all made me want to take what I was doing to the next level.

What was your favourite part of running in the Elections?

Meeting new people – some of the people I campaigned to have become really good friends!

What was most challenging?

Comparing my manifesto to other candidates and not thinking I deserved the position. Election campaigns are hard to run, especially if you’re pretty introverted like I was. It made a lot of talking to people and approaching strangers exhausting, but most people were absolutely lovely.

What would you say to someone who wasn’t sure if they should run or not?

Do it anyway – it’s two weeks of campaigning, and I’d say a week or two of preparing your campaign (which is easier when you have a campaign team to help!). Those few weeks of hard work will either give you a job with amazing experience and great people or a chance to put yourself out there and get confidence in yourself and your ideas. It’s a no brainer to me.
 

Being an officer

What has been the best bit about being an officer?

When my campaigns have gone right. The best thing I’ve done in this role is lead the team Let’s Be Honest campaign – I’m so grateful to have had a chance to do something that has such a good impact on students.

What has been the funniest part of your SU journey so far?

The other officers, particularly Leigh, can make me laugh no matter what mood I’m in. We’re a bunch of jokers at heart.

What has been the most unexpected part of the role?

Being a Trustee of the SU was definitely something that I didn’t know was part of the officer role, but I’m glad it is. Being a trustee means having oversight over all of the finances, strategy and governance of the SU – it’s a hard and exciting role.

What has been the most challenging part of being an officer?

For me it was the change in Higher Education policy that came in just as I started the first year of my role. It involves raising tuition fees, making universities compete against each other and measures teaching quality badly. Being able to respond to this, make a stance, explain it to students, work with ARU – it was really hard, but it’s been amazing to learn a lot of new skills and get my teeth into things I’d never thought of before.

Would you do anything differently if you could start your year again? If so, what?

I’d probably have put different things onto my manifesto – when you run for election it’s one thing, but when you’re here and trying to make things work suddenly you find out about so many things you could be running campaigns on and suddenly your priorities shift around and adapt to what students need the most. But it’s always okay for this to happen, as long as it’s always students that motivate the changes.

Click here to find out more about The Election 2017

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