We asked the new exec to introduce their roles and explain what they expect to get up to in the name of the Union this year…
Alice Townend – Community Officer
I am here to represent student interests in the wider community, such as providing volunteering opportunities (I sit in the new Student Volunteer Centre), quality accommodation (by working with Unipol) and improving crime prevention. The Community Officer’s role is to ensure that students get the very best out of the places they live by improving our relationship with permanent residents, developing student input in the community and promoting the positive impact that students make.
I want to see more involvement from students in our community and I will be promoting the positive affect that students have upon it; for example, through volunteer work. I want to continue the good work of both the Sshh! and I Heart Notts campaigns and make their presence more prominent. I will also work with Unipol, the City Council and local community groups to continually improve the areas that we live in.
‘Crouchy’ – Societies Officer
My role is to facilitate and encourage the development of existing societies and guide new societies through the affiliation process (and to mess around in the Student Activities Office!)
One of my aims this year is to successfully implement the new system of signing up to societies using the SU website. Hopefully the online presence of societies will mean that obtaining information and joining a society is much easier, leading to more participation. Another aim is to give more guidance to society committees so that they can effectively tap into the huge pool of sponsorship money that is potentially available to them.
Stu Bailey- Student-Run-Services Officer
My job has two functions, firstly supporting and strategically developing each of the 10 student-run-services (SRSs), from backing the WeekOne Exec to throw the biggest and best WeekOne in the world, to boosting the impact (deliberate pun) of our awesome award-winning student media (Impact, URN, NUTS). The second thing I’m here to do is represent all you guys who get involved in an SRS to the Students’ Union, University and rest of the world. A couple of big things in the past have been protecting the New Theatre from exterior redevelopment and RAG raids from security! Get involved with your SRSs, never again will there be so much to do – find your favourite tunes in CDRL, get on the radio with URN or TV with NUTS, pick up a phone at Nightline, debate with Forum, 7-leg it with Karni…plus much, much more. Go on, jump on it!
Paul Lloyd – Athletic Union Officer
The sporting opportunities available at Nottingham make up an integral part of the whole student experience. There is a diverse array of sport available at the University and these cater to all levels of sporting abilities. Last year we came 6th in the overall University sports ranking, missing out on the top 5 by only 5 points and we have also sent several students to the Olympics in Beijing. My role as AU Officer involves supporting AU clubs to ensure this continued success. I also run the intra-mural sports programme, which is arguably the strongest in the country, amongst other things. We are currently working on getting a fruit and veg stall to come to University Park every week, offering another way to stay healthy at the University.
Hannah White – Welfare Officer
It’s a pretty broad job; from complaints about food in halls and campaigning on mental health issues to working with the new JCRs. JCR changes (they’ve now all been under the SU) are the area that is going to occupy the majority of my time, especially in the first few months. But I also want to establish the campaigns better, because some people tend to roll their eyes when it comes to welfare. Rather than just highlight dangers, the plan for the welfare network is to make it fun and interesting – promoting the good things. Jen started this really well last year with a smoothie bike during Healthy Living week. The most obvious example is Easy Tiger, who goes out in Week One partying and dancing, living proof that you don’t have to be drunk to have a good time!
Nsikan Edung, President
What are your aims for the year?
My primary aim for the year is to ensure our new JCRs, Education Networks, Representational Officers and Student Volunteering Centre are all up and running. I hope to work closely with the University to introduce a Skills Award for involvement in Students’ Union activities such as volunteering, sports and societies. One major project for next year will be to foster closer relations with our Students’ Union counterparts at our international campuses in China and Malaysia.
We are especially privileged to be at the only university in the country with not just one, but two international campuses and therefore our Students’ Union is in a unique position to support the development of those in China and the Student Association in Malaysia. We can also help to create opportunities so that our student groups and clubs are able to benefit from linking up with similar student groups at these campuses.
Will you be leading change or enabling continuation?
I don’t think that the two are mutually exclusive. We can have both. There is a lot that the Students’ Union does which is excellent and should be encouraged. For example, we have the biggest student-run charity organisation in Europe (if not the world) in Karnival as well as the biggest Union election turnout in the country. However, we will need to adapt our internal structures and improve upon the way in which we communicate to make sure that we stay relevant to all of our members.
Why do you think that students have chosen you as their president?
It’s hard to answer a question like this without sounding arrogant! I like to think that I was elected because of my willingness to pursue change on particular issues, directly engaging with thousands of students along the way. Activism on the ground goes quite some way to getting a result and I urge more of the same next year!
If you were Prime Minister tomorrow, what is the first thing you would do?
I would buy Leyton Orient Football Club and get loads of world-class players in with taxpayer’s money. Or alternatively, I would pass legislation to increase funding for higher education so students aren’t burdened with tuition fees and debt.