VP Engagement Candidate – Claire Gilbert


cg17g10Name: Claire Gilbert

Age: 21

Degree Subject: History

Positions Held:

  • Monte RAG JCR Officer 2011-2012
  • StageSoc Secretary 2011-2012
  • SUSU Performing Arts Secretary 2011-2012
  • Theatre Group Vice President 2011-2012

Which has meant I have sat on: Union Council, Societies Committee, RAG Committee, Monte JCR committee, JCR Committee, Performing Arts Committee as well as all my other society positions.

Strength: organisation of collaborative large scale events such as the Performing Arts tent at the bunfight, or helping with the Performing Arts Show in which around 20 societies took part.

Campaign Slogan: Gilbert For Gold


Why did you decide to run for this position? 

After having watched Performing Arts grow and come together during my time at University, I wanted to pass that knowledge on and this was the perfect position for it! I had become disengaged with RAG in my first year and wanted to change that for the thousands of new students starting.

What has been your best experience during your involvement with SUSU? 

Last summer, I had the chance to take a show up to the Edinburgh Fringe through Theatre Group – which looks set to make a profit – which was the best month. Organising 20 people, keeping them enthusiastic about marketing in wet Scotland for 3 weeks and having to react to constantly changing situations was challenging, but so very rewarding and I would be able to transfer those skills to the role of VP Engagement if elected!

What makes YOU the best candidate for the job?

I can approach all the different areas fairly and give each of them the care and attention they need. My experience of creating long-term strategy and marketing mean that I have the skill set to help bring together all the unique facets of this job. From being a Student Leader this year I understand how to improve collaboration and have a great understanding of how SUSU works. Overall my enthusiasm, experience and focus on long-term solutions sets me apart!

What would you say to the claim that VP Engagement is the least important Sabb Position?

We have discussed this as a team (Adam, Fiona and I) and came to the conclusion that we were the “Good Sabb” – there is no way you can judge all sabbs the same and say there is nothing to their role, as to me I think Communicating what SUSU does to the entire student populace is rather a big deal! Also the areas in which VP Engagement will be focussed on aren’t huge…YET that means they need the time and focus of a sabb to build themselves up!

Do you think Shane has done a good job in the position?

Yes: by being a student leader underneath him, I have seen how hard he has worked. Student Engagement is very diverse at the minute and means that his time is stretched between many areas. It is true that Enterprise hasn’t been particularly focussed upon, but all the problems encountered by Shane this year have seemingly been solved by the change in role.

How do you plan to improve the profile of the less well-known parts of your role; Student Enterprise & Community Volunteering?

The change needs to start from the bottom. With regards to Community Volunteering the systems need to be improved and worked upon before it permeates the whole student body.

With a bit of collaboration, Student Enterprise would automatically build on its profile. At the moment, there is no collective work done by the presidents and I would like to change this. After the Conference – that should hopefully be happening in early May – a wider group of students will also become engaged. I think the relationship between the careers department and Enterprise would also be one big way that the profile of Enterprise societies can be increased, as currently the societies have no access to mailing lists and hardly any opportunities to advertise the great work they do.

The Bunfight and Fresher’s week as a whole is one of the most important times at university for students, often defining what societies and sports students are involved in during their time here; how would you make it a) is inclusive to everyone and b) isn’t too much to take in all at one time?

a.) I believe that the bunfight should be the culmination of freshers experiences building up to their first week and so, on the day a student gets their results, I believe we should send out a video detailing what they can expect and get excited about. I think keeping the bunfight zoned is important as that means students can target what they would like to find. Also checking, it doesn’t clash with any major holidays would be important!
We should also do more for sites students: I would want to work with VP Communities to build on the Winchester bunfight of last year by advertising it earlier and making sure there was a range of activities on offer. Hopefully this will be made easier after the ‘Give it a Go’ month I helped to organise!

b.) I would like to look into starting the bunfight slightly later, but also having it run until after lectures finish as sometimes departmental inductions clash. I believe each area should also be separate, similar to how the Performing Arts Tent works, so that people can go to as much or as little as possible.

View Claire’s manifesto HERE


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