You have a voice that you can use. More than at any stage before, university life can provide you with unparalleled opportunities to achieve your aims and gain support for academic, social, cultural and recreational issues.
Effective Democracy, a unified and innovative group of Creative Industries and a hassle-free process for our Student Groups are all vital aspects of achieving these and I will work to promote, improve and strengthen these areas to better this Union. My name is David, I'm a 3rd year Geography student and I'm running to be your Vice President Democracy & Creative Industries (DCI)
Here are some of my key points. Please do read on to see how I will support the development of the Union.
Better Productive Spaces - I will work towards creating a five year facilities vision for our Creative Industries which will have concrete results and defend the spaces we already have.
Expanded Presence - I will make sure that all our creative outlets are accessible and promoted at our halls and sites whilst getting a better audience response from you.
Your Views- I want to ensure we get more surveys out and give you the chance to question your Union officers both online and through drop-in sessions.
Accessible Materials -All our records, contact information, and previous documents need to be available to read in a format that makes sense and explains our processes.
Empower Representatives - It is important that you can trace a path to a Sabbatical. I will work on ensuring student group representatives can make real change and feel involved.
Unlocking Budgets - Understanding funding is still an unnecessarily complex task for many. Accessible budgets and treasurer training will help solve these problems.
Experience & Skills
Leading the Union is a massive responsibility and it would be an honour to promote your interests. I have experience from many different areas and which gives me vital knowledge that will make me a well-rounded Sabbatical.
Editor of The Edge (2012 - 2013) and Student Leader
Features Editor of The Edge (2011 - 2012)
Surge Radio DJ and Producer (2011 - 2013)
Wessex Scene and SUSUtv Contributor
Transport Officer for Environment & Ethics [E&E] (2012 - 2013)
Union Council Member and Union Council Star recipient
Representative on the NUS Referendum Working Group (2012)
Representative on Media Committee and E&E Committee
Geography Department Tour Guide (2011 - 2013)
And most importantly…Quizmaster at Quiz and Curry (2012 - 2013)
I believe I have the organisation and communication to ensure that my ideas can become a reality. I can offer up a fresh, honest and innovative approach through liaising with all our groups to achieve the very best.
Media, Union Films and Performing Arts produce and deliver varied and excellent content whether it is performances, videos, articles, films or radio. It is important these award-winning areas continue to prosper.Expanded Presence All our outlets have the potential to inform you about what's happening at SUSU but this is not as effective at our halls and sites. I want to ensure these teams have the capability to work better away from campus whether it is in terms of broadcasting, distribution or events so that you receive the information you deserve.
Creative Strategy Bringing together Media, Union Films and Performing Arts gives us the opportunity to deliver an even better experience to students and will allow transfers of skills. I will help lead a joint Creative Industries training week, develop combined goals, foster more collaboration and aim for bigger projects.
Union Storage Storage has often been a problematic issue for creative groups who have expensive and large equipment. I will work to rectify these issues, by looking at the introduction of lockers, specific spaces for societies, improving security and opening up more areas, as well as providing guidance on how to use current equipment, such as mobile floors and mirrors for Performing Arts.
Production Spaces Enhanced Media, Performing Arts and Union Films have consistently struggled with outdated, small spaces that do not allow these groups to reach their full potential. I will develop a five year vision and economic strategy that will give all groups a central hub from which they can operate, as well as defending and improving current spaces such as Media Resources.
External Connections We do not exist in a bubble and have a wealth of talent which we can use in tandem with the local population. This can be achieved by promoting local activities and showcasing ourselves to a wider body as well as ensuring regional and local media bodies, cinemas and performance groups provide us with wider opportunities.
Publicity Improvements Our Creative Industries do great work however sometimes publicity has been lacking or inconsistent. Delivering better training for those involved in publicity and liaising with staff to promote our content and duties will help improve this.
Creative Alumni Relations Many former students have gone onto jobs in the creative arts, marketing or journalism and many of you will want to follow in their footsteps. The creation of a contact list will allow us to develop a better community and make the organisation of future training conferences easier.
Better Audience Response All our Creative Industries help deliver content to be consumed and we must ensure this is in student interests. I'll work towards allowing you to speak up about what is produced and increase participation through expanding areas such as Union Films' Audience Choice.
Democracy is fundamental to our Union and must be fair and accessible. In order to achieve this, there need to be approachable, accountable and available teams, websites and systems in place. I want to restore faith in these processes. Question Your Officers Often many people feel distant from the Sabbatical Team or believe that their queries aren't relevant. I will make sure that every week there is an opportunity to meet your officers and have the opportunity to ask anything, as well as having the ability to ask questions online which will be answered within five days.
Student Leader Blogs Sabbatical blogs are already common place; however Student Leaders also have plenty to shout about in their relevant areas! Instead of longer Sabbatical blogs, it would be beneficial to allow Student Leaders the opportunity to speak about key events that occur and make shorter, sharper blogs. Representative Surveys Representation can often be tricky to manage perfectly, especially as you are all involved in many aspects of university and union life. Promoting a service online where people could fill out surveys would ensure that all students are able to provide feedback on how the Union runs, as opposed to just those who frequent campus regularly.
Conduct a Sabbatical Review Over the past few years there have been a number of substantial changes to the roles and duties of being a Sabbatical. It is important that these changes benefit you and that your student groups have the best support possible. This will involve discussions and consultations with all our student groups and a period of assessment in order to achieve the best mix of duties.
Promote a Cohesive Culture Too often, there appear to be divisions between different groups of the Union. All members are part of SUSU and we need to show this by reinforcing how decisions taken filter through the process and ensuring that tiered leadership leads to greater values of accountability and communication. We need to accept when decisions have gone wrong and work harder to rectify them.
Integrate Our Records and Minutes Currently a lot of important information is scattered in different locations which makes it increasingly hard for you to hold your leadership to account. Aspects such as minutes, and previous elections information is difficult to find and needs to be centralised, easy to access and presented accordingly.
Fostering Union Discussion There are a number of policies which have the potential to be controversial, but instead of shying away from them, they deserve a fair voice and an opportunity for all sides to make a reasoned debate. We can achieve this through ideas sessions away from Union Council and through our media outlets.
Clearer Processes Union Council can be a great place to start up a discussion, but many are confused by the way in which policies, ideas and questions are developed. It is essential that you understand what happens, how everything works, and how you can get involved in shaping the Union's future.
Encouraging Political Involvement On multiple occasions I have personally seen people drop out or get disengaged from involvement in the Union because of a perceived harsh environment. There need to be more policies which support electoral candidates and an understanding of what can be achieved in the Union and how to go about it. We need to take the lead on informing students about politics generally.
Our Student Groups are at the core of everything that happens in SUSU and bring together all our 22,000 members and drive real change. I will work towards ensuring a smooth process so you can focus on what matters. Empower Society Representatives It's no mean feat looking over almost 200 societies and our student representatives deserve more support. I'll make sure that all groups know that their representative has the opportunity to make real changes in the process of the Union and ensure that they cover all aspects of our student groups.
Unlocking Budgets and Funding The Union is a large body yet far too many are confused by the format of budgets and how allocations actually work, especially when it comes to large projects. I want to ensure that all treasurers are adequately trained and that groups understand what funding is available throughout the year in a simple, hassle-free way.
Relevant Leadership Training Some groups get beneficial training that has a substantial impact on the ability of these people to perform voluntary roles. It is vital that all groups get tailored training so that we can expand the scope of our professional activities and provide transitional guides that can be passed through each generation in our dynamic institution.
Utilise Student Talent Many of our student groups can offer great services at cheaper prices than external services. I will work to ensure that our societies are the first people consulted when the Union wants to start anything new or make changes so that you lead the entire experience of SUSU.
International Holiday Interaction Whilst many UK and EU students go home for the holidays, international students tend to be here for much longer periods of time. Ensuring that societies are available throughout the Christmas, Easter and Summer breaks is important and I will also help support trading of household items between international students at the end of their time here.
Engagement and Organisation It's important to work on getting people involved early on during their time here, especially when it can be one of the most exciting times of the year. During Freshers' Week a list of society events needs to be available online early and throughout the year all our groups should have access to a centralised online system in order to organise and contact membership.
Better Feedback Many societies affiliate after a long process but are then left to their own devices. While this is good for independence, I want to support a feedback network so that all our student groups feel they have a voice and lead to us creating a better support framework.
A Managed Bunfight A highlight of Freshers' Week is the Bunfight. Through liaising with student groups, a map will be available for all students much like Careers Fairs with all of our groups having a dedicated slot. I'll work to make the experience less manic and will look into the possibility of having multiple entrances and exits so you can explore what matters to you.
Maps and Spaces Guide Sometimes the buildings themselves are quite hard to navigate, across all our sites. I will help to create maps of the Union available from a number of sources to relieve what is an unnecessary problem for students. I'll also deliver a photographic guide showing the variety of spaces you can book out and how to do it.