My year as VP Societies and Communication has been extremely formative and has allowed me to develop in more ways than I can count. From the moment I was elected to my final few weeks in post, I feel every day has been an invaluable opportunity filled with new interactions, exciting challenges and learning.
My biggest initial challenge was grasping the function of the organisation in its entirety, as I had only known the union through running my society. Following this, I had the honour of being a part of the steering group for Black History Months: Global Majority Campaign (winning the NUS Black Students Campaign of the Year Award), and helped remodel the Western Eye into the HUB Voice with its new magazine and website.
I was quite amazed to see the breadth of activity our societies facilitated, such as Robot Wars, Diwali Night, and Video Game LAN’s- all of which I found to be organised to an amazing standard entirely by students. To help facilitate stronger partnership with student ambition and The Students’ Union priorities I created the Society Sponsored Event competition, which provided funding for events like ISOC: Feed the Homeless Bristol, and the Video Game Soc: Tri-Hard Varsity LAN.
During my time in post, I was admittedly taken off guard by how so much of my role did not directly involve direct administration of the society program. I found myself speaking to huge student audiences about university, filming and editing awareness/promotional videos and hosting events like Hallslife: Speed Dating!
I can’t even name the number of different things I have been involved in, but the experience of being a student elected officer is one which I will never forget. The most important thing I have learned is that the potential of UWE Bristol students is truly limitless. You will be challenged to find such a diverse collective of young people both in background and passions. The most rewarding thing about being an elected officer is not the instant flood of gratification you feel when finding out you’ve won, or seeing your face all over campus, but observing a student enjoying their experience at university as a result of your work - no matter how indirect or marginal your involvement is. I encourage any and all students to consider being a student leader, as we all have the capacity to make a difference in our own unique way.