I have had two roles on the Students' Union's Executive Committee since I joined ULIP. I was Welfare Officer in BA2 and now that I'm in BA3, I was voted as President. While the SU has taken up a lot of my time and energy throughout my degree, I have really really loved it. It's forced me to tackle issues I never thought I would have to, to stand up and say things in rooms that I would previously have found intimidating and to balance my time at university more carefully.
I'm going to graduate this summer and, as is typical of an SU President, I would like to leave the SU in good hands when I go. I know the SU can seem intimidating, like a lot of hard work or even just a bit dull, here are some reasons why you should put yourself out there and run for a position on the SU Executive Committee or Student Council this semester.
Our university is perhaps more political than most because pretty much everybody has the opportunity to have their voice heard if they so choose. Running for a position on the Students' Union means that you get to be at the heart of these democratic processes. Whether you're a Course Rep or on the Executive Committee, you'll meet frequently with members of staff and other SU members to see what improvements could be made to the way things are run.
Working on the Students' Union will give you more opportunities to interact with students. The team you're working with may be full of people you might otherwise have nothing to do with or perhaps you'll just be a more familiar face around uni. It's a really great way of getting to know people outside of your year group.
3. Control over student experience
You might be surprised about the amount of control the Executive Committee has over the running of the SU - there's little to no input from any of the staff. As long as we stick to the Constitution, pretty much anything goes. If you're looking to influence how Freshers' is run, to change the way the SU communicates with other students, to make the Instagram (even more) beautiful, being on the SU is a sure-fire way to make a difference.
While we do have full control over the SU's activities, we do have some support. In previous years, those who held positions in the Students' Union were largely left to their own devices. But thanks to the work of the last two years, mentorship has been put in place for the President and Vice-President, the Course Reps are provided with a handbook and the Welfare Officer is able to have supervision with the ULIP Counsellor, if so required. If you're worried about stress or not knowing what to do in a certain situation, don't worry - you will be looked after!
Honestly these roles are just really great and I always think that if you haven't done something SU related in your time at ULIP, you've really missed a trick. You'll form some really great relationships with students and staff, be introduced to ULIP's important visitors and you'll be able to really throw yourself into something that you're passionate about. Even if you don't run for an 'SU' role, I encourage you to become a Head of Society, to write for Parlons, to go on Bike Ride or become an Officer. There's so many opportunities at ULIP, there has to be something that sparks your interest.
Please do come and chat to me in my office hours or drop me a text if you'd like some more infortmation on elections or the SU more generally. I'm really looking forward to seeing all the campaigns and the ideas you have for the SU. Good luck!!
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