Last night – Monday, February 24th– RUSU hosted the Full-Time Officer Question Time in Monterey Lounge which The Spark attended. The event ran from 6pm and 9pm and saw each of the candidates give a one-minute speech in which they outlined their manifesto before having to answer three sets of questions.
For the position of Activities Officer there is only one candidate, his name is Alex Rose and during his speech he described himself as having a “wealth of experience on campus”.
He told the audience that he has been at the University for four years having completed his undergraduate here, and is now studying for a masters degree. Having had every position (except Treasurer) in a society during his time at UoR he feels that he has a great amount of experience that he can bring to the job.
When it comes to his manifesto, Alex told everyone how he wished to increase postgraduate integration and build on current RUSU Activities Officer Daisy O’Connor’s ‘Buddy Scheme’ already in place.
He was then given three rounds of questions; for each round he was given one minute to answer three questions of which some had been written by RUSU and some had been submitted by students through social media or from the audience.
He was first asked how he would support the media streams and encourage interaction and involvement to which he replied he would continue using the systems of Facebook and Twitter already in place, and ensure that the RUSU page is kept up to date at all times.
The question ‘what are the biggest issues with community relations?’ was also asked, to which he responded to by saying there is a stigma surrounding students that they drink too much and cause problems which needs to be addressed.
He believes there needs to be links made between sports and activities societies when he was asked: ‘how would you widen participation in sports and societies?’.
In response to the fourth question he was asked about how he would build on the strengths of participation in RUSU volunteering he spoke about how when people participated in societies they would be encouraged to participate in fundraising and how this needed to be pushed.
He was asked then ‘how would you increase BAME participation in sports?’ to which he replied that he would increase dialogue with sports societies and BAME groups to make people feel more comfortable about trying new things.
In answer to question six and seven he spoke from personal experience; he was asked what his motivations for being activities officer was and why he felt it was important for students to participate in extra-curricular activities. These questions had similar answers; he highlighted how societies have helped him grow in confidence and how university can be a sterile environment before joining societies. Alex added: “I want people to have the same experience that I have at Reading”.
For question eight, he expressed that he wanted to introduce more meetings and set goals for each term, in order to increase support for committees.
Finally, he was asked ‘how would you tackle issues with the lad culture and initiations?’ to which he responded that he would need to understand where these things come from so they can be properly addressed and he wants to maintain policies on initiations and keep an eye on those societies that are known to hold them.
Overall, he answered the questions confidently and had many great ideas that will really benefit the University community.
Following Question Time, all candidates for next year’s Full-Time Officer roles will campaign both online and on campus until Friday, February 28th at 3pm, with voting open from Tuesday, February 25th at 7am until Friday, February 28th at 3pm. Throughout the voting period all University of Reading students can vote for their favourite candidates for each role at www.rusu.co.uk/representation/elections/rusu-main-elections/, with the results announced at the Results Party on Friday, February 28th from 7pm until 9pm which all students are invited to attend.
This week’s elections schedule also includes campaigning, quiz times and all-important voting for next year’s Part-Time Officers, School Reps and Student trustees. You also can cast your votes for these roles at rusu.co.uk.
Alex Rose’s manifesto is as follows:
- I am aiming to improve the Inclusivity of the Freshers and Re-Freshers Fayre by finding the perfect quiet hour times so that those who find the crush of the crowd daunting can still meet the societies both sports and activities on campus.
- I am aiming to also include Postgraduate students (e.g. Masters and Phd students) increasingly with activities at RUSU by making events more accessible to those with families, those who commute and those who might have difficulties reaching events by holding more evening based events and more quiet sociable nights aimed at mature students.
- I am further aiming to follow the work of previous RUSU officers by reducing the stigma associated with joining societies and that increasing the work of the Buddy System and the joint society events between sports and activities in order to promote better relationships between the societies.