Fiona Sunderland

Vice President Activities

Key Points

  • Increase support and communication to societies
  • Create more storage space for societies
  • Make use of professional venues on campus
  • Provide more support for WSA students’ involvment in activities
  • Restructure funding guidelines

I’m Fiona and I want to be next year’s VP Activities. I’m currently a third-year maths student and I believe I have the ability to do this role well because I’m incredibly experienced with leadership roles, I’m passionate about the Performing Arts and I’m committed to being always available to Union members. I would love to increase support and communication between the Union and society committees, increase the storage space available to societies, give more opportunities for students to use professional venues and ensure there are clearer guidelines available for funding opportunities.

I currently hold 5 committee roles including President of the String Orchestra and Music Representative on the Performing Arts Committee so I am very aware of what goes into the running of societies and what the issues are. I do this whilst getting a First in my degree - I could do so much more if it were my full-time job.

The main thing I would want to improve in this role is communication between societies and the Union, because right now it leaves a lot to be desired. I’m fanatical about checking my emails and messages and I would ensure that committee members could always expect timely and helpful responses from the Union.

Another priority is increasing availability of Union space, not just for rehearsals/meetings but for storage which is currently a massive problem. The Clubs and Soc’s cupboard is too small for all the equipment that needs to be kept there and societies using the room have to be interrupted to retrieve equipment from it. With so many societies using the cafe, particularly music and dance societies, I would push for creating a storage area on the third floor as this would be far more convenient, particularly for those with large heavy items. 

As Music Rep I chose to sit on the Turner Sims Strategic Board and I think having this link with a professional venue on campus is a great opportunity for societies. As VP I would strengthen this link and give more societies the opportunity (and funding) to be able to get the best possible use of it. I also feel that we should be using the Nuffield Theatre more; it’s such waste that societies aren’t able to use it because of the limited availability and huge cost. I’d like to build a relationship with the Nuffield to try and make it more accessible for all.

One thing I have found frustrating while allocating funding in my current role is the lack of funding guidelines available to non-PA societies. I also think the funding caps/guidelines in some PA societies are too specific and restrictive. While I doubt I’ll be able to increase the overall budget, I would like to use my experience on PA committees to re-examine the caps and guidance to improve the process. 

Thank you if you actually made it to the end of this, and if you have any questions let me know at fes1g16@soton.ac.uk.