WHAT IS A CAMPUS EXECUTIVE OFFICER THEN?
Let’s start from the beginning. Last year, UCASU was led by two student councils which were elected to make decisions for students. The student councils were poorly attended, full of bureaucracy, and ultimately you, UCA students, decided in a big referendum that you wanted them gone. So, this year is the first year that we will be electing Campus Executive Officers. Along with the new campus forums, academic forums, and liberation groups, the Campus Executive Officers will make your campus a more exciting, more collaborative, more student-focused space.
Their job is to work with you, the students, to make your campus better – to make change quicker and more openly than the student council meetings once did. There will be two Campus Executive Officers per campus. They will be the bridge between the Campus President and the wider student body, making sure that students’ ideas are an intrinsic part of everything the Students’ Union does.
These are a few things the Campus Executive Officers might get up to this year:
Running the Campus Forums
The Campus Forums are new this year! These are regular gatherings open to all students, where you can chat about any positives or negatives in your campus life. We held the first Campus Forum for each campus earlier this month – students came up with a range of ideas, from providing free cash machines on campus, to offering cheaper food in the canteen, and lobbying the university to let students put posters up around campus. Campus Executive Officers will, with the help of the Students’ Union, run the Campus Forums on their own campus, where they will be able to speak directly to students about these issues and work together to change them. The forums are a direct way for students to tell us what kind of campaigns, events, and practical issues they want the Campus Presidents (and soon, Campus Exec Officers too!) to work on.
Campaigns suggested by students – such as mental health awareness, or repaving the car park – can be created and run with the support of Campus Executive Officers, and the Students’ Union staff. Campus Exec Officers will also (in discussion with their Campus President) be able to make decisions about which causes or events UCASU should support. For example, we are currently deciding whether UCASU should attend the National Union of Students’ United for Education Demonstration on November 19. You will be able to vote on this at the same time as voting for the Campus Executive Officers (Tuesday 25-Friday 28 October). In future, Campus Exec Officers could go out and speak to students and then make decisions based on these open conversations, rather than always having to hold a big referendum for similar decisions in future.
It’s actually possible for any student to organise events on their campus (or in their campus bar, for Farnham & Canterbury students), but we know that you don’t always have the time or resources to organise events independently. Campus Executive Officers will collaborate with you to set up events that you want to see. Want more club nights? Want more quiet events, like a campus sleepover, or movie nights, or a Great UCASU Bakeoff? Campus Exec Officers will team up with students to make these events happen, with the help and resources of the Students’ Union alongside you.
Representing students’ interests
While the Campus Presidents represent you, and work every day to make your campus and academic life better, it is essential that the Students’ Union is informed and led by students’ opinions. That’s why we need Campus Executive Officers; these officers will still be students themselves, so can tell us their ideas, chat to their fellow students about what they want from the SU, and make sure UCASU is always student-focused, above all else.
Got any more questions? Feel free to pop into your SU office, tweet @UCASU, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember to vote – nominations are open now and close on Friday 21 October. You can vote from Tuesday 25 – Friday 28 of October.