#ExecElections – Societies E.O. Anonymous Manifestos

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Candidate 1

LSU in London Societies Development

There is only 1 society at LUiL. I will work with the team at LSU in London and Postgrad EO to find a model for “Societies Experience”, that works for the PG environment of LUiL. I believe this is going to be a mix of establishing “wings” of Loughborough societies, encouraging Loughborough based societies to run events in london and developing ways societies can continue over multiple years here.

Societies Framework

Establish templates for some elements of a society including, LSU web pages and risk assessments for common event types. This will make setting up a society less daunting, frameworks give you a starting point you can build on and develop. I will work with existing Societies and Societies Development Officer to build these up, rewarding those Societies that can contribute.

Personal Development

I will work with the new Enterprise and Employability EO and University Careers Network to run more sessions focused on personal skill development. Some examples there’s already interest in:

  • Attracting sponsors
  • Marketing your Society
  • Teaching others

These sessions would be non-compulsory but would be additional to the twice yearly training for committees.

Build on the work of those that came before me.

The section doesn’t need radical change every year. It is important to build on what those before me have done. Sophie Farley’s Appraisal System, Jenna Holmes’ Employability Award and Joe Ross-Nelson’s Societies Forums are all hugely important for the section and need to remain an ongoing priority.

Candidate 2

Throughout my 5 years at Loughborough I have always been an active member of societies and have taken full advantage of the multitude of opportunities it has given me. I feel like many students don’t participate with societies and I feel like everyone deserves the chance to take part in this amazing section. If elected I would:

-Change Give it a Go week.

I’d like to change this to a fortnight for the beginning of the year nearing the end of Fresher’s week; first years sometimes have so much information thrown at them at the beginning of the year, that having the chance to see what is on offer for a longer time would hopefully increase involvement in the section.

-Implement Swap Week.

The idea for this is so that people actively involved in the section can switch or combine with another society. This will be organised by myself and will have set up sessions for specific societies which have shown an interest to be involved with the week. Through this I hope to achieve higher inter-societal interaction.

-Attempt to increase ongoing engagement within the section.

I’d hope to achieve this by sorting out a rewards scheme with the union for active members in terms of loyalty points. The way active members would be decided is through nomination by the chairs of the societies once a month and then the executive committee would decide, there would be 10 winners a month.

R.O.N

Hi, I’m R.O.N and I stand for Re-open nominations. It’s my job to make sure you’re aware of candidate shortcomings. If you don’t feel that the candidates are applicable to the role, have a read of MY manifesto, and vote R.O.N.

Both candidates seem to have very opposing styles to their manifesto, with one very focused on increasing student engagement, while the other appears highly based around section development and administration.

The Societies Section, and LSU as a whole, are limited in terms of space and infrastructure, so a manifesto purely based around increasing engagement may not be feasible – unfortunately, everything has limits, and I would be concerned about any long-term impacts pushing these limits could have.

The idea of a ‘Swap Week’ has been mentioned many times by previous candidates – who either were not elected, or who decided against implementing it. I’d argue that this means it is not necessarily an idea that either voters or voted in officers have deemed important. It is a shame that neither this, nor the other points within this manifesto, are particularly new or original from the candidate.

When looking at both the ‘Swap Week’ and ‘London Societies Development’ concepts, put forward by either candidate, I would be interested to know how they plan to incentivise current societies to participate. There seems to be very little consideration given to the fact that society committees are run by those volunteering their time, who may need encouragement to branch out beyond their own society and members.

While it is a nice touch to include some of the achievements of previous Societies Officers, there is no mention of how these would actually be improved, developed or expanded upon – and as such, feels like a redundant point to include in a manifesto.

When looking into both manifestos, it is a shame that there is very little mention of some pressing issues within the Societies Section and LSU – such as engagement with Loughborough College, collaboration with other sections, including the new Enterprise EO and its conflicts with certain existing societies, and the pressing concern of changing spaces and developments within both the University and the Union.

While both manifestos contain some very positive points, I’d be interested in delving more into where their priorities for the section lie.

To find out who these candidates are, visit ExecElections.lsu.co.uk on Sunday 26th February at 9pm.

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