What does it take to be a part time officer in the Students' Union?
It's election time at UOS SU! At Suffolk SU we firmly believe that our structures should be as open to ALL students as possible, so we're going to bust some common myths about becoming an officer below. The myth-busting below mainly deals with becoming a part-time, voluntary officer.
You don't need lots of time
You don't need bags of time to be a part-time officer - there are a small number of meetings you need to go to a month, and you need to work with course reps or your liberation group to make sure they're supported, but no one is expecting your studies or other commitments to suffer as a result of being a part-time officer. We understand that you have other commitments and as a Union we have a staff team and full-time officers here to support you in your work as an officer.
There are lots of students at Suffolk that have families, jobs and placements - we need to make sure we're representing and supporting them. The best way we can do that is by having some of them in officer roles in the Union and us learning as an organisation how we can support them.
You don't need to have all the answers
No one is expected to come into their role and fix all the problems overnight. Doing some research into the problems in your school or for your liberation group is useful, but we'll also give you training and support in identifying and tackling problems as an officer. What is key is not that you have all the answers, but that you're passionate about listening to other students and acting on their concerns.
You don't need to be really outgoing
For some, campaigning and representing other students can seem a little daunting, but it doesn't need to be. We'll give you support and guidance on running in the elections, and training if you've been elected into your role. Some officers are really extroverted, but not all have to be - as a union we need all sorts of personalities and talents in our officer team. What matters is being able to have conversations with other students about their problems, and relaying these to the university and the SU.
You don't need to be a 'typical' student
At Suffolk we have a really diverse student body, and our officer team should reflect that. If you feel, for whatever reason, like you're not a 'typical' student, then there's a good chance that there are lots of others at Suffolk in a similar situation that could benefit from representation.
So what do you need?
Ultimately, the key to succeeding as a part-time officer is being passionate about representing students, in securing positive change for them and engaging them in what's going on with the SU and university. If you want to make a positive impact on campus, this is the role for you.
Still not sure? Drop email@example.com with any questions!