Alex: Hi I’m Alex and I am the new President of Education.
Meg: Hi I’m Meg and I’m the new President of Activities and Wellbeing.
Why did you choose to run for President?
Meg: Throughout my 3 years at the University of Suffolk I have been heavily involved with the Students’ Union, through sports and society committee roles and as a Suffolk Student Wellbeing Ambassador (SSWA). All these experiences and opportunities I was given made me want to run for President of Activities and Wellbeing. Now in the position I’m very eager to work towards my manifesto points of enhancing wellbeing services, creating green space on campus, obtaining secure bike storage and sports facilities and collaboration with more local businesses; all of which I am very passionate about.
Alex: I chose to run for President of Education as in this role I will be working closely with Course Reps which is how I became involved in the Students' Union. As well as being a Course Rep, I really enjoyed going to council and became Chair, and took on the role of Student Trustee on the Board of the Students’ Union. I am also really passionate about working towards my manifesto points where I will be implementing a program to help students feel ready for life after they leave university; making a greener, more sustainable campus; and making mental health training for academic staff and Personal Tutors and signposting better. Me and Meg will also be working together on creating Course Networks for better community feel and communication between students within their schools and courses.
What was your experience of planning your campaign?
Alex: Meg and I were both really excited when whilst planning our election week and understanding how we could work together. Spending time designing posters as well as planning and creating the music video took time, but it was time I was able to enjoy that served to distract me from my dissertation!
Meg: Similarly, to Alex, I was very excited to get going with the campaign as we were both so passionate about our ideas and visions. It was great to talk through these all with Alex and come up with a plan of action to get our ideas out there!
What was the best part of campaign week?
Meg: It was very stressful, but it was worth it to see the support and interactions from the students who liked our campaign and for the great feedback we got; it was so lovely!
Alex: Seeing all the support from the students that were enjoying our content and wanted to see the changes we want to bring with our manifestos was my favourite part definitely! Close second would be spending every hour of that week on a call with Meg… Kinda!
What was the strangest part of campaign week?
Alex: For me it was really strange to have left all embarrassment at the door whilst creating our music video and then getting to see people’s reactions. But maybe more so than that, it was very strange to be running in an election from my desk due to the pandemic, I really wish we were able to spend it with each other and be able to speak to students on campus.
Meg: It was definitely strange to be running in the election from home and having all interactions virtual! But with what Alex just said I’m not so sure I left my embarrassment at the door, let's just say it took a lot of retakes on my part because of laughing all the time and it is important to mention a career in singing and dancing is not on the cards!
Alex: Haha! The filming day was very fun. I think you would do great as a singer!
What was the teamwork like?
Meg: Me and Alex work so well as a team because we counterbalance each other, which is great.
Alex: Exactly! The exact areas that I’m weaker on, Meg is great, super experienced, and vice versa. I’m really confident our areas of experience will complement each other well over the next year in post.
Did you learn any new skills or develop previous ones?
Alex: I spent too much time on the posters where my creativity has never been perfect so definitely developed here. I would like to think my sound and video editing skills also improved.
Meg: I’ve certainly learnt a lot of new IT skills which is very handy! Confidence is also a big one for me, campaigns week certainly got me out of my comfort zone and my confidence is starting to improve!
How did you feel when you found out you had won?
Meg: I felt so excited and grateful, I honestly couldn’t believe I had won, everyone had run such great campaigns and I was truly honoured! When Alex’s win was announced, I was so happy that I would be working alongside such a passionate and caring individual, who I know is going to do an amazing job!
Alex: I was in disbelief! I felt huge excitement for Meg’s win but mine never sank in until I started the role! Now that I’m here I am super proud of both of us and grateful for all the support we have had from the SU, our friends and family throughout my degree as I never would have anticipated being here based on who I thought I was prior coming to the University of Suffolk.
What part of your manifesto are you the most excited to get started on?
Alex: I am excited for all of them! Sustainability is particularly close to my heart and I’m really excited to try and get second hand clothes fairs and eco refills happening as soon as possible but know that I will be working away at all of them whenever I am available to!
Meg: Like Alex I’m really excited for all of them, however I would say I was most excited to see more green space on campus as I think this will be a great thing for students to enjoy!
What advice would you give to someone running for an SU position?
Meg: Even if you're nervous or worried (which I was!) give it a go because even if you don’t win, the experience of it all is something that you will remember forever, and you develop and gain so many skills along the way. Also, getting involved in the SU during your studies is something I would highly recommend, whether that be through a society, sport or an officer position, the experiences and opportunities that these all open you up to are such an important and great part of your uni experience. They certainly helped to shape the person I am today.
Alex: YOU would be great! If there is a small part of you telling you to run, then you should! Also, the experience and confidence I gained from becoming a course rep and attending meetings has been invaluable and changed who I am for the better, so run for a course rep or officer position and get involved! If you ever have any questions you can reach out to me or Meg in our office or on social media and we would be happy to help as much as we can.
Instagram - @megpres.uos and @alexpres.uos