Label interviewed self-proclaimed “Action Keeno” Rosie Harvey, in order to find out what makes her suited to this role, and what new ideas she will be bringing if she was to be elected VP Action.
Why are you running for this position?
Because I’m so passionate about the section, I’m a massive action keeno, I’ve been a part of everything and done almost every project and seen the difference that Action makes to other people. We have so much fun doing it and I just want to be able to communicate that to other people and make sure that they have the opportunity to get involved in it like I did.
What makes you a more suited to this role than anybody else?
Hopefully the amount of experience I have. I’ve been involved in Action since I first started at Loughborough. I was a Action rep in my first year and I was a project leader at the soup kitchen last year, and this year, because I love it so much. I’m also the hall reps coordinator this year on the Action committee. Plus, I was in charge of organising volunteering opportunities for the Stage Society as part of my role as well. So having had all these experiences and been involved in different projects, I’ve been on overseas projects, children’s projects, I really think it gives you a wide knowledge of the section which I think is really important to have if you want to take on the role because it’s difficult to show how exciting the projects are if you haven’t had the experience from all the different angles.
Can you tell us about your campaign theme.
I’m doing The Hunger Games, so Rosie Harvey ‘The Girl On Fire’.
What would you say is the most important thing in your manifesto?
Ooh that’s a difficult one. I’d say increasing and developing the use of media because all of the other things I want to do, like increasing time involvement and engaging students from the College, they need to have something that shows they why they should get involved in Action and make accessing that really easy so if we can have something like an online calendar where people can go and see the opportunities that we are having each week, as well as one off projects they can get involved in, that’s making it easier for them to get involved. We could have videos of the committee saying what they’ve been up to and of all the fun projects people have been going on. I think people will respond better to visual media and hopefully it will really help us to work on the other points I have in my manifesto to really increase the volunteering involvement and the exposure of work volunteers are already doing as well.
In one sentence why should people vote for you?
I’m so passionate about the section, I love absolutely everything about it and I would put my heart into it.
What are you most looking forward to about campaigning?
Meeting all the people and sharing my experience of the section because a lot of the time you tell people about a project and they say “that’s amazing, I didn’t know about that” so I really want to be able to go around and meet loads of new people and tell them about all the projects. To share what I’ve enjoyed and why they should get involved in Action and be as keen as me.
What are you least looking forward to?
The lack of sleep, definitely the lack of sleep. I really don’t respond well to lack of sleep, so I’m really worried about that, but I’m hoping the adrenaline will see me through and I’ll just keep powering through and it will be fine. I also get really nervous when I have to talk in front of people. I’ve definitely worked on my public speaking, but I get quite nervous having to stand up in front of people. It’s not that I’m not looking forward to it, it’s something I think will help me in the week, and when I get there [Bubble Debate] I’ll be fine, it’s just the thought of it beforehand that puts me on edge.
We were going to ask you what the most challenging part was, but would that be lack of sleep and public speaking?
Yeah I definitely don’t respond well to lack of sleep, that’s my thing, lots of ProPlus and Red Bull.
What is the main focus of your campaign? Is it nights out, or door knocking, or a mixture?
I think it’s a mixture of the two. Obviously it’s important to have a presence on nights out, for pictures and things like that because people recognise names, so if they’ve seen you out and about they’re going to recognise that. But, for me, I really do want to put a focus on door knocking because I want to hear people’s opinions about the section. I really want to know what they want to see within the section. One of my points is to follow up on dropout throughout the year which is obviously something I won’t be able to do until next year but I can hear from people now if they’d heard about Action, if they’d looked at getting into it at the beginning of the yea, why didn’t they get involved and what can we do to make them want to get involved. Do they want new projects; do they want us to adapt current ones? What is it that we can do to engage them?
What have you spent your budget on?
I spent a lot of it on a costume. I’ve got the wetsuit she wears in the third one [Hunger Games film]. It’s really skin-tight but that was the majority of my budget. That, and sweets to hand out to people when I go round. I’m a bit of a thrifty person, I can really hunt for bargains, so things like stuff for my banners I went and got for 99p, the wood for my signs I got for free. I’ve still got quite a bit of my budget left just in case they throw something in there like “you’ve got to pay for that”.
What do you like about the way the role has been carried out this year?
I like all of the new opportunities that are being created. I think this year Phil has really had a focus on making sure there are a variety of opportunities available to people, particularly within the A-Team system. It can become quite repetitive in A-Teams, a lot of people associate with gardening, although we do a lot of other things, it’s just that’s a lot of the projects people want you to do on a one off basis. This year, Phil has really had a focus on making sure there are other things available, so we’ve had dog-walking and the continuation of working with the elderly. They went to an alpaca farm and in student volunteer week this year he’s smashed it, there’s so many projects, there’s so many things for people to get involved in, and I think that’s really made such a difference this year to people wanting to get involved because there is so many new opportunities, people aren’t just associating it with the standard. I mean, a couple of years back it was litter-picking and gardening, this year there are other things people can go and do as well.
What new ideas will you be bringing?
I think the main thing I want to do is reform the way the section looks at the College. I think it’s really important to look at the College as it’s own entity, and personally I think, having spoken to people at the College and worked quite closely with the College reps this year in my position on committee, is having them in the hall system doesn’t work for them. A lot of the time they’re not free on a Wednesday afternoon, which is a problem, but more than that, the hall system works because people are competitive and because people want to beat each other, and the College don’t want to do that, they don’t have that same affinity with it that everyone else does. So I think by removing them from the system and looking at them entirely on their own, still keeping the reps so there are people to communicate with, but making it so we go to them and target projects specifically to them and what they need, maybe not projects for the same large numbers but smaller focused projects that will hopefully help engage more people and make people want to make more people get involved and spread the word of Action. It’s a slow process, but I really think that’s they key to starting it on the way.
Tell us something not many people know about you.
All of Action is going to laugh at me when I say this because it’s only Action that know, but when I was about 14 or 15 I was in a beauty pageant called Miss Teen Queen UK. I got through to the semi-finals and the only reason Action know is because on one of our weekends away they found the pictures on Facebook and posted them everywhere. I’m going to go and hide this album after this. But yeah I was in a beauty pageant when I was about 15. I got a photo shoot and everything, it was quite nice.
Finally, can you give us three characteristics that make you suited to the role?
I’m approachable, I’m really passionate and I’m really organised, which is think is definitely useful for this one.
This interview was conducted by Leanna Kightley, Culture Editor and Katie Wilson, Features Editor and News Team Leader.
To find out more about Sophie’s manifesto, click here.