VP Engagement Candidate – Fiona Cook

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fdc1g10Name: Fiona Cook

Age: 21

Degree Subject: Philosophy

Positions Held:

  • Highfield Halls Fresher Rep, 2010-11
  • Democracy Assistant, 2011-12
  • RAG Team Leader, 2011-12 inc. RAG team EVA nomination
  • Union Councillor, 2012-13 inc. Union Golden Star
  • RAG Publicity Officer, 2012-13
  • PhilSoc Secretary, 2012-13
  • Media Committee, 2012-13
  • SUSUtv Member, 2012-13
  • NUS Referendum Working Group, 2012

Strength: My dedication to anything I commit myself to – If I agree to something I will always do my utmost to adhere to that to the best standard possible.

Campaign Slogan: Fiona ‘Captain’ Cook – a winning recipe.

Interview

Why did you decide to run for this position? 

I care about SUSU a lot and I feel that it has done a lot for me – this is now my opportunity to give something back. Quite a few roles were suggested to me, but I thought about the areas I most cared about, those I wanted to make changes in, and what I had already experienced. Following the restructure, I decided that VP Engagement was what I wanted.

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

My experience at SUSU has been a continuous process and it has (almost) always been incredible, so it’s hard to choose just one experience. One thing that will always stick in my mind is the last sabb elections. Seeing how many people cared about SUSU and their enthusiasm was actually quite inspiring and reinforced the great community feel we have.

What makes YOU the best candidate for the job?

My passion and experience with SUSU make me the best candidate. I have been involved in a variety of societies and this will allow me to represent the student body more fully. I have a good understanding of how SUSU is run through my experience in Council and democracy. My goals are strong, but achievable and I have ways to realise them. As mentioned previously, I love SUSU and I want to make it the best it can be.

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

I think the fact that VP Engagement now has fewer areas shows that there is a need to focus on those areas. It will give the new Sabb the chance to really support some parts of SUSU which need it, such as Student Enterprise. It also has the mammoth tasks of communications, as well as freshers’ week and the bunfight, which are obviously very important. There is also much overlap with the other positions which will allow Sabbs to support each other and work together to do even better. I don’t think this role should be underestimated.

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

It’s important to remember that the position will change quite significantly from Shane’s role to the new engagement role, and therefore a new style of sabbatical will be needed for the different challenges. I think Shane has done some amazing work and that the efforts off all Sabbs are often underestimated. However, this does not mean that Sabbs are without fault; and there are always things that can be improved on.

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

Increase funding, so that Student Enterprise can hold bigger and better events that appeal to students. Listen to students to discover what they need from SUSU. Recognise the national and international achievements of SE. Redefine SE and what it can offer students, especially regarding networking and community. Create a website to increase awareness of SE.

Set-up a CV committee for greater student input – this can also create a community within CV, so that volunteers can support and know each other. Give more recognition to support students in all volunteering activities in terms of practicality and morale. Improve the website for ease of access.

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?

I think that both of these need a big re-evaluation – and that there isn’t a huge risk in trying something new. A 9 day freshers’ could be a way of ensuring that students don’t feel the need to spend too much money; and allows them to comfortably attend their lectures in the first week. The bunfight could be split into 2 days – AU and Socs, and a bunfight map would allow easier movement. I would also ensure that there are no clashes with post-grad, mature and international talks etc.

View Fiona’s manifesto HERE

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