You’re supporting students, making sure they can do what they want to do.
It’s election time, so a chance for you to have your say. As campaign week is well underway and the vote is fast approaching, you have surely been bombarded with appeals, views and promises. Although the manifestos offer an account of what the nominations are wanting to achieve, but we have gone one better!
We have hunted down and interrogated interviewed the three nominated for VP Student Engagement: Robert Leane, Shane Murphy and Natalie Ralph. This position’s main roles include supporting student led groups, creating opportunities for the students and organising events throughout the year; not a position to be given away lightly. With one candidate already dropping out, competition is fierce !
Natalie Ralph met up with us in the Union Films office in SUSU to answer some questions.
Natalie is a Student Leader and was voted in as Union Films Cinema manager in the student leader elections last year. Here’s how she dealt with our questions:
What made you choose to apply for this position in particular?
It was something I have been thinking about since last year and I really enjoy doing what I’m doing now, so I kind of just want to take the next step up. Being Union Films manager and also a Student Leader, which is part of the student engagement team, I have had almost a year’s insight into how things work and I really enjoy it so I want to keep doing it. Basically I really like all the areas underneath it, and the fact that you’re supporting students making sure they can do what they want to do.
How are you planning to build on the work done by people, in your potential position, in previous years?
Making sure everyone is kept happy.
My three key points are building on and updating resources. This year SUSU has kind of gone through a transitional period. Student Engagement is a fairly new role, so making sure that things keep up to date. Like online, with societies a lot of the information about who is in what society is very old. So just building, making sure everyone is kept happy.
JCRs are a pivotal part of Fresher’s week but then seem to fade into the shadows, how will you ensure this doesn’t happen next year?
Make sure they aren’t just trained, but they have the support of the old committee.
One of my key points was having training throughout the year, because I think it is important to have training for the new committee, to make sure they aren’t just trained, but they have the support of the old committee. It can be a bit daunting taking over something and not having the experience. Maybe more of a push on re-freshers before Christmas, I know that would be a tricky one because of the timing of training and hand-over. I know there is an emphasis on bigger events like Halloween and Christmas so maybe have a few of those that aren’t quite so focused on alcohol. One of my ideas is to do more society and JCR crossovers so you could have the comedy society go to halls to do an evening or something, so more use of all the JCR space.
How are you planning to deal with the Performing Arts’ space issues?
I had a chat with the performing arts officer and obviously it’s going into the SUSU master plan, to expand parts of SUSU; something that Union Films supports as we would quite like our own space. That’s kind of the long-term solution. But I have been looking into what we could do straight way so I would put sound proofing in the rooms that they use regularly, because at the moment you sometimes have two groups rehearsing in rooms next to each other and they can hear each other. So just simple things like that really.
If you had £1 million and an hour to spend it, what would you spend it on?
Maybe some heating because sometimes it can get really cold in here! Maybe some free tea and biscuits in the café for everyone. Less sticky floors, on Friday I was literally struggling, it was like climbing a mountain up the stairs, so that’s probably a key thing.
Less sticky floors, on Friday I was literally struggling, it was like climbing a mountain up the stairs!
Give us your best chat-up line.
I can’t really say that I use many, but I’ll tell you the first one I ever heard: ‘Do you want to feel my shirt? What does it feel like? Is it boyfriend material?’
So there you have it. Be sure to check the other candidate’s interviews and check out the coverage of the Elections. Whichever candidate you prefer, make sure you vote as you guys and girls are the people it will affect most.