Jess Bassett is running for Activities Officer, here are her views on how LUU can encourage and reward participation.
Being in a society at Uni shapes the person you will be for the rest of your life. You make lifelong friends, learn vital skills and your employability increases massively. The university drop out rate has increased for the first time in four years. In 2016, 6% of Freshers didn’t carry on studying after their first year and I strongly believe that would have been the case for me if I hadn’t found my place in a society.
Uni is the perfect time for trying new things and I want to make it as easy as possible for people to find their families away from home. I want to bring Freshers events and GIAG’s right into first year halls. Sometimes getting into the union is difficult in Freshers week, maybe you’re nervous or maybe one too many VKs has taken its toll for the fourth night running, but being able to participate in activities a few feet away from your bedroom could make all the difference. In my first year I was president of my halls and we ran our own events and the participation rates were high! But after first year this sense of community can get lost and I want to make sure that everyone is in a society by their second year.
I think students should be actively rewarded for being in a society. Having Union loyalty cards where you receive points and discounts would encourage people to join clubs and societies. Whether your society has 5 people or 500 you can get a loyalty card get rewarded for everything you do for the union, participation is everything. The points you receive on the cards would amount to money that could be spent all across the union; including Terrace and Fruity, the perfect place for a society social! It shouldn’t stop at Freshers either, I want to promote mass give it a go’s for societies throughout the whole year so no one should ever feel like they’ve missed their chance to get involved. These mass give it a go’s would be like taster sessions where people can find their perfect fit and work out which is the best society for them. University is so much more than the degree you walk out with at the end, it’s about unforgettable experiences and being a part of something that you’ll never want to leave.
(Image courtesy of Sage Development)