What’s student life like for a Union part time officer?
What is the role you do?
Sports Officer. I am the highest-ranking representative for sports in the university. This means that I have to make a lot of decisions, like the club sports committee head, and the role comes with responsibility. I look over the proposed financial budget, decide the annual sports awards theme and how we run the event, organise the merger cup, and check fixture sessions. We have recently launched ‘Tackle and Talk’, a campaign to raise awareness for the positive effect sporting activity can have on mental health and preserving mental wellbeing, which will hopefully get more people involved in sports.
When did you know you wanted this role?
I am currently in my 4th year of studying Chemistry, and I hadn’t really thought much about being Sports Officer until 3 or 4 weeks before nominations opened. During my first year I ran the university boxing club, which was without a committee. This gave me the necessary experience for the Sports Officer role. Most of it involves making connections, such as with committee members of other clubs, union staff, the head of sport and the student engagement officer. I have been able to meet and work with a lot of new people. I wanted to be in a position where I could have more of an influence on club sports as a whole and make a positive impact on more than one single club in the university.
How do you manage balancing the role with your degree and social life?
Fortunately, half of my year is a research project, which is practical and very flexible. I am doing something for the majority of the working day. I wake up in the morning and go to sleep in the night. I am always working. There are small tasks which you can do between breaks, like posting something on Facebook or sending emails to book meetings.
What has been your proudest moments in your role?
I am going to feel very happy over the next 4 weeks because that is when many of the things we’ve been working on will come to a head. A lot of this year has been working on sports strategy, Merger Cup, and the ‘Tackle and Talk’ campaign, all of which are happening over the next 4 weeks. It was really great when we got all of the items for the ‘Tackle and Talk’ campaign. I was like, ‘this is actually happening, cool’.
Any advice to the next officer?
You are going to work with a lot of people. You need to make slow progress towards your manifesto points. Try to make progress for the next officer to work with. When you have any influence you are always going to disagree with people, you cannot please everyone and you should accept it. Try and do the best job you can with what you have.
Image: Clayton Bevas