WHAT DOES A CAMPUS PRESIDENT DO?
As we’re coming up to a referendum about the Campus President structure, students have asked us what exactly the Campus Presidents do now. Here’s a rundown from each of the current Presidents about what a day in their work life might look like.
Becky, Farnham Campus President
- Get into the office, straight away check and respond to some emails
- Go to a course board
- Back to the office where I start sending out emails to companies about getting certain things within the union, for example free printing and free condoms
- Also send emails to charities to see if they'd visit the university for certain awareness weeks I want to put on
- Go to a meeting with the University such as Equality and Diversity or Campus Operational Group where I can feed back information from students and try to make some changes
- Speak to university staff members and get to know them as you'll probably be working with them at some point
- More planning for future events/changes that need to be made in the University/Union
- Then sometimes at the end of the day we'd hold a Campus/Academic forum or a Disabled students’ liberation group
Ellie, Canterbury Campus President
- Begin the day by checking and responding to emails, make sure your calendar is up to date and you’re not missing any meetings.
- Go to a campus operational meeting where I will give a union update and will be able to discuss other things that are going on around campus, making changes on campus and tell campus staff what students want.
- Promote an upcoming event around the campus with posters and leaflets and on social media.
- Email charities and companies to plan new events.
- Plan new events to add to the student experience around campus.
- Work on projects to improve the community in Canterbury.
- When in the office be ready to talk to students and sign post them to different union and student services.
- Be in contact with other members of the union throughout the day who will be arranging on campus.
- Prepare for the evenings event/meeting/forum by checking rooms are booked and equipment are ready.
- Some evenings the president might have to work late at an event such as an open mic night or a Board of Governors meeting.
And here’s a more general overview from Tasmin:
Tasmin, Rochester Campus President
The life of a President is such a whirlwind. Sometimes I'm crazy busy and have no time to think at all and then other days I float a little, doing bits and pieces here and there. There are the things that students see me doing most like coming to talk to them about referendums, getting their opinion on their social spaces and giving them information on protests we're attending, but also lots of things you may not see.
- I work on my main campaign - creating and improving social spaces on campus by doing research and putting together a business proposal to give to the University.
- I also support two of our liberation groups across all four campuses (8 groups in total) to get them together and help them organise events and fundraisers, such as the LGBTQ+ Fayres (to fundraise for having a walking float in London Pride) and Black History Month.
- I lead the Campus and Academic forums where we discuss things that could be improved on campus and things that are working well/need improving within courses.
- There are often a lot of things I do behind the scenes that you wouldn't realise, like sitting on all the Course Boards on campus, School Boards, Committees with the University (such as Academic Quality Committee and University Health, Safety & Wellbeing Committee) and various other meetings such as the Campus Operational Group and meetings with the Leadership Team (the big cheeses who run the University).
- Within all of these my main purpose is to put across the student opinion to make sure decisions aren't made that could negatively affect students; and also to make sure if any students are present at these committees/meetings, to ensure they get a fair chance to put across their opinion.
- We also have a scary bit of our job that involves us being Trustees; this means we get a decision in how the Union's money is spent and making sure the decisions we make are sustainable; even after our term is up we are financially liable for 7 years after!
Our roles as Presidents are so important and clearly do make a difference as seen with gaining more social space on the Rochester campus and the pause in tuition fees for 2017/18 for continuing students. We help channel what we believe is important to you as students and make sure we're directing our staff within the Union to be focusing on your needs.
Silv, Epsom Campus President (stood down late 2016)
How would this change if the referendum result is in favour of three?
As these roles will be brand new - President, Vice President Kent, and Vice President Surrey - we can’t tell you exactly what a day in one of these roles will look like. As it is, all four Presidents travel to all four campuses on a regular basis because they work on cross-campus campaigns and events. This would remain about the same with the three new roles, only the positions would be representing multiple campuses, so may be inclined to travel slightly more often.
One thing that would change is that each of the two VPs would specialise in an area of student interest, such as welfare or activities. They would represent their region first, and then represent a particular interest across all four campuses. This ensures that all students are being listened to and that there is a strong relationship between all the campuses and elected President/VPs. The current Presidents do informally specialise in different areas, e.g Ellie does the academic committees. The biggest change from four Presidents to three would be that with one less President, the Union would be hiring more student staff to support the work of the President and VPs, and to make sure there is always someone on your campus you can talk to.
REMEMBER to vote in the Presidents Referendum 20th-24th February! You can vote by following the individual link you will recieve in your academic emails, or vote in person in your campus canteen any lunch time that week.