Interviewee: Aidan Thatcher
Edited by: Holly Barr
We caught up with the newly elected VP Activities to see what his plans are for 2017/18…
1. Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi, my name’s Aidan and I’m finishing my final year studying Sport and Exercise Science. After growing up in the Netherlands, I found my passion for sport when I moved to England at the age of 8. I started playing hockey, cricket and rugby at school and have been playing them ever since. Coming to university, I carried on with hockey and cricket, so have been heavily involved in extracurricular activities. I got to know more about the Students Union when I joined the Student Events Assistants’ Team at the start of my second year. Through this I found out about the events that go on within the Students Union, as well as getting to know the staff and current Executive Officers. Throughout my time with the Students Union I got to know the officers a lot more, they were so friendly and very helpful in answering any questions I had, which inspired me to run for VP Activities.
2. How will you help the potential loss of discounted kit so it doesn’t have a damaging effect?
Hopefully the incentive of discounted kit will entice students to join a sports team, meaning more members. As well as this, a clamp down on students that don’t actually pay sports or AU membership, but participate within a sports team as I’ve known students to do this in the past.
3. Advertising events can already happen on the Students Union website, how do you think an app will be more beneficial?
A lot of students I spoke with throughout my campaign didn’t know much, if anything about the Students Union. They hadn’t looked through the website, and generally didn’t know what the Students Union did or what the Students Union could offer. I believe a societies app or a societies section within the current Leeds Beckett app, would greatly improve knowledge about societies and reach a lot more students. People find out about things through their phones now more than say searching on a computer. An app where students could pick and choose which societies to follow, receive notifications of events as well as have the information to sign up, would greatly improve participation.
4. BeMedia already does events such as varsity and matches, but it is student led, and can often at times of deadlines and exams not have as much coverage. How will you maintain this coverage throughout the year?
Being very eager to have coverage of sports events and the fact I enjoy going to watch sports games, I would gladly participate in this process. I would find it very interesting to learn how these events are filmed and the hard work that goes into covering such events.
5. What will you put in place to increase social media activity?
I want to increase the amount the Students Union posts on social media, as well as get more people to follow the Students Union on social media. I think a good way to do this is to utilise the large amount of footfall during Fresher’s and Refreshers Week, and have some sort of competition stall/free give away stall where you have to follow the Students Union before you get free items.
6. Describe the approach you are going to take for this role
I don’t think there will be one out right approach I will take for this role. I will deal with each situation as it comes, and will see what needs to be done and how it needs to be taken care of. Overall however I feel I am going to be quite direct in my approach in terms of my manifesto points. I want to know early on who I will need to be dealing with to get my ideas to become a reality so I can quickly create a good rapport with them. This as well as being overall very friendly and welcoming to any students who have any questions or suggestions
7. Have you set any short term and long term goals for the Students Union and University?
One long term goal I would like the Students Union and university strive for is creating less of a divide between the campuses. I feel like Students who are based in City or Headingley Campus rarely venture out to look around the campus they’re not based at. I didn’t know my way around City Campus at all until I started the Events Assistants Job. Also I feel that we need to strengthen the relationship between the University and the Athletic Union. They are separate at the moment and feel these can merge, much like other universities have done across the country to make sports participation a lot cheaper.
8. If you had to choose, what policy in your campaign, are you are going to do first?
I will start with introducing a societies app. Throughout my campaign, I found that this was a popular idea and I received great feedback about this idea from a lot of students. An app like this will take time to develop as well as promote. As well as creating the app itself, speaking with all the society leaders will take time. This is an achievable goal, however will take the course of the whole year to complete.
9. How are you going to make a difference to the Students Union and University?
I feel like I am a very energetic and friendly character. I want to inject some excitement into the Students Union. I want to try and get students excited about university events and the opportunities they have available to them. I want to meet as many new people as possible during my time and want to attend different society events to get to know the ins and outs of how all the different societies are run.