Harry is running to be Activities Officer, here are his views on benefits for societies using the union.
Societies spend a huge amount of time and money in the Union with various socials and events. Most societies have the same night out every week in the Union, whether it is Fruity Friday, Wednesday 2-4-1- cocktails, or even just an Old Bar visit once a week. Currently there is no reward for investing time in societies or the time that students spend in the Union. I believe that with the amount of custom societies bring to the Union on a weekly basis, and the effort they put in to manage these societies, all members in societies deserve to have benefits in the areas of the Union they use most.
This is something that has to change, student experience is more valuable now than ever before, especially with the increasing rise in fees. I have already had discussions about this issue with Graeme Wood (LUU Commercial Director) and I have found a way to be able to provide benefits to societies. LUU currently has an app (Yo-Yo) which allows anyone who uses the app to gain points for the money they spend in the Union. I want to expand on the facilities we currently have to create society based discounts. Currently Yo-Yo records where you spend the most money and I think by using that information alongside society membership, we can see what benefits would suit you. I want to meet with every society and discuss the areas of the Union that you use the most so that I can develop a benefit that is suited to your needs. I feel that by enhancing the functions that Yo-Yo has, we can really encourage all members of the Union to start using it and receive the benefits they deserve. Since the Union launched Yo-Yo in November 2015, sales using this app have increased from 0.2% to 7% of all the payments. LUU currently only utilises 5% of the features that Yo-Yo is capable of, and I believe that as the system is already implemented in the Union we should try to capitalize on that system by introducing society benefits.
Not only do I feel that the extension of Yo-Yo is convenient and plausible, I know that it is achievable within the next year. For me, the app isn’t just about rewarding students, it’s also about giving back to them and encouraging them to be involved and engaged. As a member of MT, SMS, and as Performance Rep, I know too well how many hours these kind of societies put into activities within the Union. I also know they’re not the only societies who commit hours of their free time to do what they love, these activities can be expensive, even just for food in the Union. Sometimes it becomes difficult to stretch your budget to attend socials with your society, whether this is supporting friends in shows, going to gigs or watching your favourite team play. I want this app to bring down the cost of being in a society, and socialising in the Union, whilst delivering tailormade benefits to you. My manifesto is aimed at engagement for everyone, I know that to keep students satisfied we need to continue and build on great structures that are in place. A vote for me is a vote for equality within societies and a better student experience.
Harry McCagherty, running for Activities Officer
(Image courtesy of LUU)