Dominic Taylor | Sports Editor
With SU Sabbatical Officer elections coming up, the Founder takes a look at the campaigns and manifestos of candidates battling to become the newly created VP Societies and Sports.
Alex Winch is a third-year Politics and International Relations student, secretary of Men’s football, a keen supporter of all clubs and societies and a familiar face on campus. Additionally, Alex has recently shaved his head for Movember and participated in the Dance Talent Show in support of the Sam West Foundation.
In order to “make our time at Uni even better”, Alex has five key manifesto points:
- Additional funding for societies and sports from external sources, reducing membership costs and increasing activities.
- In order to encourage greater support and attendance, he would also aim to list all social events and sporting activities.
- Similarly, by using websites and social media to get more people involved in events, Alex aims to better promotion of meetings, events and matches.
- Further, he aims to support fund-raising activities with practical help with and backing for charity.
- Finally, by providing extra facilities for meetings and events, Alex wants to give societies a better range.
When asked for comment, Alex had to say: “I hope that you will give me your first preference vote for Societies and Sport VP, but if you are committed to supporting another candidate, please give me your second preference, so that together we can get a better deal for our societies and sports clubs. Thank you”.
Ahead of the RHSU elections, Faith had to say:
“As a part of MuSoc and captain of the Basketball team, I am deeply an immersed member of the Sports and Societies communities. I understand the struggles we face as students, from not having enough spaces, to even figuring out the BUCS play app – I want to help in every little way possible.”
Faith’s policies would include:
- Looking into funding for a multi-purpose rehearsal space for students of any society in need of a dance studio, or practice rooms for example.
- A combined fundraiser gala to recognise those within the Sports and Societies communities who contribute largely to the positive representation of their club.
- Providing free First Aid training for every member of a Sports Club Committee.
- Creating a drop-in session every couple of days for Sports clubs to come with any queries or questions about the SU, fixtures or general enquiries.
- In-depth training sessions for those who are looking to take on committee positions the following year (information packs and guides).
“I understand that the future multi-purpose rehearsal space may not happen within the year if I become VP, however I am looking for long term solutions for this university, not short, quick fixes. I believe that if we focus on the future and we forward plan, we can further mould Royal Holloway into a campus that is suited to our needs and the students that come to follow.”
“Since the 2018/19 academic year there has been a massive improvement in the way in which Socs and Sports teams have been able to run effectively. From the changing of the email system to the introduction of “fresh desk” a lot of good things have come about. There is still a lot to do though. Now that the major issues blocking Societies and Sports teams have been resolved we need to focus on the experience of students when joining a society or a team. My policies have been created based off feedback from societies and clubs and the areas that they found needs more improvement. Then talking to students, I have come up with policies that will increase the chances of more involvement in societies and clubs within the budget of a student.”
Kofi’s policies would include:
- Cut red tape for the ratification of societies.
- Investigate if the student opportunity fee is necessary as it can put people off joining a society.
- Continue and build on Sophia’s (current VP Societies and Media) pledge for more functioning spaces.
- Build a forum where each team or society can send representatives and we thrash out what needs to change every term so we can always keep moving.
- Encourage all societies to contact Surrey to find socs like theirs and create a varsity match. I want there to be an eSports varsity or an inter-campus competition that will see FIFA, COD, Fortnight, and other games tournaments.
- Investigate if all sports kits must be provided by the same maker and allow sports teams to use a variation of the College colours to allow them to maximise their chance of sponsorship.
Lucy is a third year English Literature undergraduate. She has been a member of the Riding Club for all three years, serving as Social Secretary for two consecutively. Further, Lucy has been elected member of the SSO Executive, allowing the opportunity to work with, and be a voice for both Societies and Sports groups. Having worked with both groups, closely observing the current VPs in their roles and what is expected of them, Lucy is a strong candidate for the position as this experience sets her apart from those who exclusively have experience on committee.
Lucy’s manifesto has 5 key points:
- Committee Support:
- Introduce ‘Committee Support Days’ during reading week where the VP is on the helpdesk for drop-ins, facilitating instant assistance for any issues.
- Encourage peer-to-peer support, working to create a space for committees to drop in and collaborate.
- Increase Group Accessibility:
- Work on a ‘Joint Membership’ which student groups can trial/opt-in to, allowing students to more easily sign up to multiple groups.
- Work with the Commuting Students Collective to workshop how to make joining groups easier for the growing demographic of commuting students.
- Funding Support:
- Committee training to assist groups seeking sponsorship.
- Encourage groups fundraising for themselves, breaking down the stigma groups often face in doing this.
- Provide clarity of SU funding distribution.
- Welfare Development:
- Lobby for Active Lifestyle and Wellbeing Department to work together to provide free classes during periods of high stress
- Make these classes accessible to everyone, organising for them to be in alternative locations to the Sports Centre, which currently lacks an accessible route
- Fortnightly open meet-ups for the new Welfare Secretaries.
- Recognition Expansion:
- Ensure groups are being recognised and rewarded for their hard work
- Introduce a weekly #ShoutAboutIt that would name all the events/activities going on and highlight each group’s achievements.
- Allow recognition accommodating all groups at both Society and Colours Ball.
When asked for comment, Lucy said: “With the combining VP role, I think it is extremely important that students feel they can trust in and be supported by the person representing them. I would encourage everyone to read through the candidates’ manifestos and vote for who you believe will be the best for you. I am so excited by the potential to be your VP Societies and Sports, and hopefully you can see why my experience, as well as my enthusiasm to represent every student group, places me in a position to be the one you vote for in the RHSU Elections this year.”