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Tai talks about activities

No Such Thing As A ‘Typical’ Week!

Every week as a member of the Student Exec brings something different. In my role as Activities Officer, I’m involved in loads of exciting things.

Last week I attended the Board of Trustees meeting. We discussed important things such as the 'inspire students to succeed' strand of our Strategic Plan. We reviewed our current plans to improve employability support for our key volunteers, such as committee members of clubs and societies. We pushed for greater student consultation in our Union nightlife. We also looked at the quarterly accounts and discussed our performance with the Finance and Commercial directors.

Sometimes, all six of the Exec have meetings together. Recently, we all had lunch with the team from the Student Counselling Centre. It was a real eye opener – we learned about the incredible support available to our students. I have so much respect for the counsellors. We discussed how we can establish a more effective system for the counselling team to support students, particularly at stressful times in the academic calendar, such as exams.

The six of us also had a meeting with the Vice Chancellor of the University. We caught up on matters such as the Union Upgrade (our huge building project) and the cost of sport at Leeds. We also have a formal Exec meeting – last time, we reviewed the legal and financial aspects of upcoming forum ideas, plus the promo plan for this year’s General Election.

Speaking of the General Election, we held a fantastic debate in the foyer called ‘Should We Even Bother Voting?’ We talked through the pros and cons of the national voting system and the importance of registering to vote and having your voice heard.

I attended the Sports Strategy Meeting, where we were updated on the recruitment for student consultation groups, strategy communications and also the cost of sport at Leeds. I also met up with our democracy intern to review the Union policy I oversee and update progress on matters such as advertising for our societies.

Being on the Exec means I get to hear a lot of the incredible ideas students suggest at our forums. I attended the latest Better Leeds Forum which had some really exciting ideas for the Leeds community. The Better University Forum had loads of school reps discussing great suggestions like more bike racks in certain areas of campus.

It’s not all meetings, debates and forums though. Myself and Gemma (Equality & Diversity officer) went along to the Leeds RAG Fashion Show's Fashion Night Out fundraiser at the Faversham, which was loads of fun. Gem, Bradley, George and I also went to see Opera Socs’ fantastic performance of Carmen in the Riley Smith!

With the Leadership Race fast approaching, I was delighted to be involved with LSTV’s Women in Leadership video. This is particularly important to me as my position is typically very male dominated – only 2 out of 9 candidates for Activities Officer in 2013 were women! In the video I discussed barriers to being a woman in a leadership position, how I've tried to overcome the barriers, what I've learnt and enjoyed and how I define leadership. I also ran a session with Welfare Officer Freya to support women wanting to run in the Leadership Race, helping to break down the barriers to running.

At another Leadership Race candidate meeting I met with a student who was looking to run for Activities Officer. I gave her an idea of what the election process is like, how I’ve found the role, what I've learned and why it's the best decision I've ever made! If anyone else is thinking of running for Activities Officer, feel free to drop in to see me for a chat.

Finally, I typically spend a few hours per week answering emails from clubs, societies and key stakeholders. It can be quite demanding, but it’s always satisfying building relationships with people and helping them in any way I can.


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