Hi Dan, thank you for joining us today. Why are you running for the position?
Firstly, I’ve already been doing this job for a year and I have loved it. I want to keep going with it. There is more that I can give, more that I can do and, with a history of working with halls, I would like to continue in supporting those groups.
What experience do you have that makes you fit for the role?
I have been VP Engagement for one year and the stuff I have done this year kind of speaks for itself. I have brought in changes to the website and that will be one of its biggest overhauls after the elections. And I have extended the enterprise methods. We also achieved the highest satisfaction ratings for Freshers ever this year. I hope that we’ll reach more goals and bigger targets this year.
Do you see the highest satisfaction ratings for Freshers as being down to you?
I see it very much as a team effort. My role was very much a coordination of all the elements that brought Freshers together.
What are the main problems you identify within the remits of the role, and how do you plan to fix them?
I think that development is an important issue for my role. I see this moving forward with enterprise and developing further their specified calendar events. Freshers needs more student consultation in the hope to improve it. More support needs to be offered in terms of student consultation. I think more structure for societies can help support them and I think working with halls committees will allow me to continue to develop and improve our student engagement.
You said in your manifesto you wanted a Union Points reward system, what do you mean by that?
It will basically be that, when you purchase something at a Union outlet, you will get loyalty points awarded to you which can be utilised. What they can be used for will need clarification, but I think it’s something that everyone would enjoy. I mean who wouldn’t love, say, a free pint in the Stag’s?
You said in your manifesto that you wanted to increase the enterprise fund, how are you going to do this? Where is the money going to come from?
Yes, so the enterprise fund is increasing from £500 to £1000. I think that there are other budgets within my remit that this can be taken from, but also from sponsorships of the enterprise. All manner of things can happen with it.
In last year’s manifesto, one of your points was about building the profiles of smaller societies. Yet in this year’s manifesto, this does not receive a mention. Do you feel you have achieved this already or that it has been more challenging than originally thought?
I think that raising the profiles of smaller societies has proved difficult. Although at Bunfight, we saw smaller societies having high sign-ups. However, I think there are still some difficulties here. I think that utilising the experience and support that RAG has to offer will help other societies. I think that other charity-based societies could work well with RAG and collaborate more to produce some excellent results.
You have said in your manifesto that you want to bring in more Freshers reps. Given that these will be only in the early points of the year, how will guarantee a more cohesive freshers community?
I think that crucially, Freshers reps are the first people that Freshers see. Nine times out of ten, the Freshers experience is really good and seeing the Freshers Reps is fundamental to that feeling of community when Freshers arrive. Having more Freshers Reps will allow for that feeling of community to expand. It will get more Freshers involved in the Halls Committees as part of the continuing cycle of students.
Give us a 30 second closing pitch as to why students should vote for you, Dan Varley, to be their next VP Engagement?
I have the experience to perform well in this role. I’ve been involved in lots of different projects across the Union in democracy, social media and education. I will expand the engagement with social media such as Snapchat. I have a lot of good ideas such as bringing in short-term volunteering schemes that will help the Union grow.
Dan Varley, thank you.