As an extension of our Exec Focus articles in Label magazine, in which we interview our sabbatical officers, Label are also chatting with LSU’s Development Officers. Label Editor, Katie Wilson, recently caught up with Postgraduate DO, Leo Rekiaro. You can find all Postgraduate coverage from LSU Media here.
Hey Leo! So what have you been up to in the last few weeks?
Predominantly getting feedback from various events and now I’ve been working with other members of the union, so union affairs for the VP Postgrad idea, we have a newsletter which will be catered to postgrads because they get emails like drinks offers at Stupid Tuesday, it’s not necessary or appropriate, which has been putting students off for years. The existing students who were here came in immediately with a distrust of me and the rest of the union. It’s trying to break that down and establish a new rapport, electing a new committee that sort of thing. I have been trying to make a connection within each section, I believe in the union that we have now and I believe in the system regardless of the systems, this is my fourth year here now. I truly believe that when we say that we’re very proactive at LSU and I don’t think that comes down to one person, it shouldn’t fall down to me.
Yeah I see what you mean, so you need to make a connection within each section, such as Action and Media, to get postgrads involved, so your role becomes one which coordinates.
Beyond the technical hiccups that I can force coming, the people in charge of the VP Postgrad deal, they’re bolder than me and I feel like I’ll set up a framework regardless for whoever succeeds me, be they a VP or a DO. I feel like I can establish a framework with what’s going on now. there are so many clear areas and I don’t think people see it, and there are excellent people Action, RAG, Media, other places, who are engaged, and I feel like the stuff that they’re doing is not for Postgrads as a whole or for their engagement, they’re doing it for John Philips, my representative hall, I’m doing it because I’ve enjoyed it, for my CV, but I gain a passion for it. There are so many factors. I look at this and see that one person focussed on postgrads in each section can do so much more than I can by splitting my time between all of them. We are a Students’ Union, we effective but we can be more effective and utilise the talent that we have. I hope that I succeed in this framework and them we grow organically from there.
Yeah absolutely, it’s about experimenting with what your role actually means as much as anything else, because obviously you haven’t been in your role as long as everyone else.
Yeah I was elected at student forum, this is about 6 weeks now. After the end of term, I’ll have been in 2 months. I generally feel that I get along pretty well, I’m not one to come into stuff with political agendas. I trust that the people in these roles are doing the best job that they can.
What’s the best thing about your role at the moment?
I really enjoy interacting with everyone. People who work in the union full time and the exec who are here on sabbatical and the students, I get a charge off it, I’m not one to lack motivation. Then when I’m studying at the same time, I have these things I spend x amount of hours on, then I devote pretty much all of my free time to this role. I don’t see it as a job because I’m interacting with highly motivated people who came into this position for what I there were the right reasons. I feel like I’d be doing similar stuff even if I wasn’t in this position. I’d still probably be a programme rep, I’d still try to be involved with Media, Action RAG. I don’t hate anything.
Since you’re highly engaged in those sections it seems very beneficial for your role, you can see the opportunities available for postgrads.
Yeah I think that’s what got me the role. The guys I ran against are fantastic, and bring their own different strengths and had more experience than I did, but I feel like I do tick the boxes per say even if they might not be to a higher standard. I can relate to internationals, I can talk to people who are academically oriented, I can talk to people who are motivated additionally by stuff. from a personal perspective I’m not one to get highly engaged into a particular person or thing, I like to expand my interests, switch it up from time to time. I try to find something that excites me in a way. I guess it’s the same for everyone, but I guess I take it to an extreme level, which my mean I have wins and losses I’m sure.
It works different for different people, some people do a lot more, whereas some just do their course, it depends on what your organisation is like I think.
I’d say my organisation is pretty good. I don’t overreact or take too much joy out of anything, because if it is taken away, I don’t want to become emotionally vulnerable. In the same way, if something happens in this role and I get bad feedback or I’m unsuccessful in something, I understand now as an older, more mature person, that I am equipped to handle that and I can improve. It’s a far more positive mindset to have and I probably made a subconscious decision when I was younger to be like this and it has now manifested itself.
Thanks for chatting with us Leo! Our catch up continued into a discussion over the idea of having a VP: Postgrad, which you can read here.