VP Societies Candidate: Jenna Holmes

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Jenna Holmes told Label about her close connection to the LSU Societies, and discusses the most important aspect of her manifesto.

Why are you running for this position?

The societies section has meant a lot to me over my three years at university, in first year I joined Christian Union which is the society that I am still involved in and have been for three years. Some of my best friends are from Christian Union- they’ve been the ones I’ve turned to and relied on. I was elected on CU Exec at the end of my first year and into second year. Knowing that I had the opportunity to continue to build the society that has meant so much to me was brilliant for me- I love being able to take care of it. This year I wanted to be involved in the societies section, to gain experience, to know about the role [of VP Societies]more. I knew I wanted to run for this position from Christmas time in my second year. I really wanted to develop good links with the union. Having been on CU Exec I know that it’s really important to be part of the main society that you’re in. Some societies are really separated and don’t really tap into the Union. At CU, we knew the Union could support us as much as we support them. This year I’m the Culture and Faith Rep for Societies, looking after the culture, nation and faith societies.

What makes you a more suitable candidate than others?

My role involved me looking after a team of twenty, and then each of them had a group in their halls that they looked after to allow freshers in CU to let them be a bit more comfortable in halls, take them to church or introduce them to restaurants. I know how it is to manage a team, and I play hockey so I know how it is to work in a team. I’ve dabbled in a lot of the different sections, particularly Rag, in which I’ve been a team leader on different projects. Being on the societies committee has given me a great insight into the role, I’ve shadowed Sophie and seen how she does her job.

Can you tell us about your campaign theme?

I’d have clearly been missing a great opportunity considering my name if I’d chosen something random, so I am Jenna ‘Sherlock’ Holmes! This works well in my manifesto too, where you’ll see the word CLUE, each letter relating to a different part of my manifesto.

What is the most important part of your manifesto?

The CU was a place where I found out a lot about myself, I want people to be able to get involved in the societies and be treated the same way. I want everyone to have the opportunity to tap into societies so the Culture, Nation and Faith sections are important to me.

In one sentence, why should people vote for you

Vote for me because I’m looking to encourage people to value their time within societies. I want people to be rewarded for their time on committee, give them the opportunities they need, or if it’s just a place for people to make friends- I want to be able to facilitate that.

What are you most looking forward to about campaigning?

It’s going to be a very new experience- but I’m actually looking forward to getting out and meeting people. I love being able to chat to people- I want to gauge their ideas and find out what the section means to them and if they’re involved in societies. I want to interact with the students and get them involved with my social media. I’m really looking forward to the Bubble Debate- I think that will be a great time for me to really express my manifesto and properly debate against the others. I love the chance to be able to verbally articulate what I want to do.

What are you least looking forward to?

Being absolutely shattered! Early mornings are not my strong point. I need to try to keep my personality from dropping and being grumpy- I really don’t want to be like that! I want people to see how I really am.

What’s the main focus of your campaign?

Door knocking is where I’ll get the most value. Nights out will be good for raising awareness. I really like being given the opportunity of being like “Hi, I’m Jenna, compare me to the rest, but figure out if you want to vote for me yourself”. I don’t want people to go with “my hall is voting for this” or “my society is voting for this person”.

What kinds of things have you spent your budget on?

I’ve spread my budget out. My costume wasn’t too expensive; I’ve also bought sweets, baking materials. I’ve got a stamp, business cards and other bits of printing that will hopefully be a bit more memorable for people.

Tell us three characteristics that make you suited to this role.

I’m passionate, about all things that I get involved in. People can rely on me, if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it well. I want my passion for the section to flow through everything I do and say. Competitive- I’ve been pushed during preparation to think of things that other candidates might not do to make sure that people vote for me. Hopefully approachable, I hope that people will come up to me and chat to me, drop me messages on Facebook or Tweet in, I really want people to get involved in my campaign.

What new ideas will you bring?

I want to introduce a second ‘Give it a Go’ week, after exams, at the start of semester 2, for Erasmus students or people who missed the opportunity the first time round. It’s never too late to get involved and ‘Give it a Go’ week gives people the chance to try things, without the commitment. I also want to introduce a nationally recognised award. The ‘ESSA’ are introducing a pilot scheme for 2015, and I want that to be introduced into Loughborough, so that people are rewarded for what they already love doing!

This interview was conducted by Leanna Kightley, Culture Editor and Katie Wilson, Features Editor and News Team Leader.

To find out more about Jenna’s manifesto, click here.

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