Your involvement with a Students' Union can be somewhat strange. Once immersed in the world of Students' Unions, NUS and University meetings, it is easy to fall into buzz-words and a rather assumed attitude that all students must experience your Students' Union the way you do.
The best thing about Students' Unions – and especially here at RUSU – is that everyone experiences it in their own way. We are all introduced to it through various avenues; usually initially through a prospectus listing societies and sport teams or at the Sports and Societies Fayres in Freshers' Week.
The best thing about being a part of the Students' Union is leaving an impact – you can do this by participating in any aspect of it. When I look back at my University experience, it is RUSU that had a big impact on what made it fantastic. I didn't necessarily know it at the time. All the things that happen behind the scenes for events like the Summer Ball and Societies organising trips abroad, complete your university experience and I guarantee are the things you will remember the most.
Being able to lead and influence this organisation is therefore hugely fulfilling. It is tough, but so are many jobs and there are very few jobs for graduates that allow an undergrad to walk in and help lead and shape an organisation. The sense of accomplishment is huge and you have all the support and resources to help you achieve what you set out to achieve. The role in itself is hugely rewarding, but it is also a year (or potentially two) where you are experiencing university in a very different way. It won’t be like being a student again – however it has lots of benefits, and it is good working in an environment you are fairly used to and comfortable with.
My own role encourages a lot of creativity. It can be demanding at times with a lot of different aspects to juggle, but that is what makes it exciting. The role will include the commercial side of the union, sports teams, campaigning, societies and student media – it therefore welcomes students from all walks of life.
If you’re even considering running for Student Engagement Officer, or indeed any of the roles coming up in the elections, I recommend it. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask and drop by my office. Any of the Student Officers will happily help you. If you are considering running in the elections, then do. You won’t regret it. Elections week is a great learning experience and hugely fulfilling.
Student Engagement Officer 2013/14