With only one day of voting period to go, now is more important than ever for you to decide who will be your next full & part-time officers for the next academic year. Here, we interview Issy Worrall, who is running to be your next RAG president.
Why are you running for the position of RAG president?
Because I’ve really enjoyed my time this year as campaigns officer on committee for Rag. I’ve really jumped in the deep end this year after not really getting involved in my first year, but this year I jumped straight in, applied for my current position and got it, and have completely loved every minute of it. It’s been really challenging organising everything and improving my organisational, communication and teamwork skills, but it’s been amazing! I think that RAG has so much potential – when you look at some other RAGs around the country raising around £1 million per year, you realise that we can achieve this goal here in Southampton and I want to play my part in order to ensure that we are on our way to do this!
Jailbreak, Enigma and Lost are our trinity events which is this new thing we’ve developed this year and something which we’re really trying to push as a brand, so hopefully this will increase the communication between the events, and once people get involved with one they will get involved with all three. Once the reputation increases for these events – Jailbreak is huge already, we got people to Hong Kong! – increases, and then we’re good! With the Big Give, there are some things that went so well this year but other things that need to be improved, but hopefully with a strong committee and a strong group of volunteers, it will be up on point!
It’s easy to give money to RAG, but how do you bridge the gap between giving and fundraising?
That’s a tricky question! It’s obviously amazing to give any money, and all of it is appreciated. With fundraising it’s about generating new ideas and new ways to get people to give money, so things that I organised this year, such as our Movember campaign, featured a shave-off. Whilst it wasn’t fundraising per se, it did catch people’s eye on campus – so that’s what I think we need to focus upon for fundraising, getting new and quirky ideas in which hopefully people would be more likely to give and contribute to fundraising for.
Is it a shame that you’re uncontested?
It’s such a shame! Obviously I really want to get the role, but having someone competing against you really forces you to push that little bit further, which can only be beneficial to winner, who would have won because they had the right ideas. Obviously I think I have the right ideas, that’s why I’m here, but it would have been more fun and enjoyable if I had someone to run against.
How has RAG’s relationship with the current VP Engagement been this year?
It’s been alright – there are some things which I feel can be improved, and I did join late so I missed the start of the term, so I did miss an opportunity to create a strong bond with Hannah. However, I did meet with the candidate running for VP Engagement this year, so hopefully we can improve the connections between the two of us.
RAG’s quite a visible group on campus, how would you increase further the visibility of them?
Something that I’ve put in our manifesto is to strengthen the group of volunteers we have – we have a really strong group of volunteers, and what I want to do to further the engagement and visibility of us is to ensure that the volunteers play a part in organising events, not just committee, so they feel like they actually play an integral part in the running of RAG, which can only serve to heighten our visibility as they will tell their friends etc. It’s about making the organisation of events available to as many interested people as possible.
What will you do to ensure that Southampton RAG raises as close to £1 million per year as possible, as some Universities do currently?
I want to do so much! The main things to focus on are Jailbreak and Lost. They are big, big fundraisers. Also, our international challenges raised over £100,000 this year. So it’s all about pushing these big three events – our largest fundraisers. Also, the Big Give has so much potential – with a little bit longer and greater precision in our decision making it will only get bigger!
Why should I, the reader, join RAG?
RAG is such a great thing to get involved with because it is so easy to get involved. Many people often say that they don’t have the time to get involved, but if, say, you spend one hour shaking a bucket around, you’ve got involved in RAG. You can sit down and organise Jailbreak for three months, and you’re involved in RAG. You can do as much or as little as you like, and it looks great on your CV!