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- VP Activities Corin Holloway Candidate Interview
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Wessex Scene interviewed Corin Holloway, who’s running for the role of VP Activities in the 2019 Union Spring Elections.
Why did you decide to run for the role?
I’m in a lot of societies, officially on the system 25, probably 20 that I regularly attend, I am on 7 committees for societies and volunteering things so I want to help societies and one of the main things most societies want is just more members. So I just want to kind of promote all the societies that we have really well and get many people to join. I think especially during freshers’ week that’s the time that we need to target most because it starts high at the beginning of the year and then people kind of gradually drop off so I want to get that first start number really high. Telling the people coming into Halls what opportunities there are and what events and societies are happening. And then throughout the year as well but I want to target a lot during freshers’ week.
‘Employability’ falls under the role of VP Activities, how will you tackle this area?
I’m probably not the best person to deal with employability stuff, I remember attending a SUSU careers Cube event and that was attended by 20 or so people so I feel like that was a lot of time and effort for really little award.
Do you think they should be better advertised or?
I feel like instead of SUSU running specific career sessions, we should more try to promote the University ones and encourage people to go to those because the University is more equipped towards employability than we are so I think to advertise University and signpost is probably the most efficient thing to do.
Volunteering forms a core part of your manifesto, tell us what makes you so passionate about this area of the role.
I just want to make everyone happy and the world better. I spend most of my free time doing volunteering or attending talks on how to make the world better and things like that. A lot of volunteering societies struggle with not having enough members signing up to do things and us volunteers then often have to put in more time than they’d want us to. I mostly just want to get more peoply into volunteering and have a list of all volunteering opportunities so people know what opportunities are on, similar to the societies and stuff.
On that, you stated that you wanted to make a list of volunteering opportunities around the uni and in the Southampton and Winchester area, how would this work exactly?
There’s already a volunteering bank within the University system, and on the SUSU website you can look through all the societies and clubs and things, but I think there should be a specific section for volunteering so that it shows you first all the societies within the University that offer volunteering opportunities and then a list of other things you can do. I’m not sure if it’s feasible, but I think there needs to be a wider thing because to keep it updated year after year is going to be a lot of effort so I might just link the volunteering bank after that or link to other sources so people can look through them and see what opportunities there are.
You seem to have identified how students acquire society membership as an area for improvement, tell us more about this.
I feel like the system doesn’t quite work, it kind of works. If you’re logged on and you’re a normal student you can just click join membership. With the paid societies you have to pay through a card and so I’d like to make it possible to pay through cash at the box office. There are a few more areas where I see glitches that I’ll try to fix. With like making membership, sometimes it doesn’t work properly and another thing is with alumni students becoming a member of SUSU and buying a membership through the current system is just really difficult so if possible I want to see if I can try to make it less official but that might be difficult. So I may have to just try and fix the system because currently it ties in with the University system so if you’re graduated you don’t have an account anymore, so I’ll work with iSolutions on that.
You mentioned opposing measures which restrict societies’ freedom, do you know of any instances where society freedom has been curtailed recently?
I don’t think it happens a lot but there are kind of a few hoops you have to jump, through filling in the risk assessment and constitution each year, which I think is fine but there are more things you could do. I just want to make it clear that I don’t want to add more things that societies have to do. Also, there are current restrictions on memberships and things that make it difficult to be a member if you’re not a student and sometimes you want to run events and it’s difficult because of a load of bureaucracy stuff. To an extent I want t0 leave societies to run their own thing and not get too involved unless they want me to.
Could you expand on your fair funding statement in your manifesto?
I think funding should be fair. Basically I put that in there because it’s an obvious thing and I think everyone is going to say fair funding. I think no one said more funding because that would be good but not feasible because we’ve already talked to the University about that. In the current system, if it’s not fair, I want to re-do it and see if can make it fair. I think the current system is already alright in regard to applying for funding, if you’ve been on a committee and applied for funding I think you’re kind of aware of the system.
All candidates for VP Activities mention improving storage for societies, what is your plan for improving storage space and how is it the best plan?
One candidate wanted to convert current space into more storage space and I think that could be good, but it’s also like a permanent thing and permanently less space that can be used for other things. Mostly I want to check the current storage space. There’s some which is like big rooms where you have to cover the floor with things and you can’t fit more things in it but there’s a full 3D space that isn’t being used so I want to add more shelves and things to what currently is there and if possible I’d like to go through some things and see if there are items that are covered in dust and haven’t been used in years and message the society and ask if they want to keep it.
Conversely, no candidate for VP activities mentioned in their manifestos what thoughts or ideas they may have regarding support or otherwise for the media societies and union films, which all fall under the role’s remit. So, now’s your chance.
I don’t know too much about media societies I’m not directly involved in any of them but I have a few friends who are in them and mostly just I want to keep talking to them and see what they want. I’ve asked a few different committees what kind of things they want and I’ve got good responses like a media law class at the start of the year.
Yeah, you just asked before the interview, I should say.
Yeah, and I think just keep having Surge radio play in the concourse and try to get media on our screens and to just promote opportunities to join media societies as well as other ones. I will ask the media committees more what they want both now and throughout the year.
Finally, you put as one of your key manifesto points, ‘do circus tricks at meetings‘, why?
As a matter of fact, I don’t like doing nothing with my hands so I do circus tricks and spin pretty stick-thingies around when I’m free but mostly there are just cold calculated points and I thought people would see that and think, ‘that’s interesting and weird, I’m curious‘. So it was calculated to get votes, haha.
So it was designed to make you stand out?
Find out more about Corin Holloway and his policies by reading his manifesto here.