'Taylor-ing the Guild to your needs'
I am a maths student and have been actively involved with a number of societies here at Exeter. I play the flute and have also recently taken up saxophone. I enjoy playing intramural netball on Sundays. I was the Music Rep on Societies Executive (now Societies Council) last year, as well as being on ExTunes and Concert Band committees.
- Make Societies Council democratic
- Increase transparency
- Improve society committee training
- Review the affiliations and grants process
- More recognition for society committees
What Will I Do?
1. Make Societies Council democratic
I will ensure Societies Council is used as an effective democratic arm for societies and student groups. This will allow better communication between Societies and the Societies Council, allow Council to better understand what is working well for societies and where they are struggling and to get better feedback regarding any changes to process, etc.
- Increase awareness of Societies Council, by ensuring their presence in committee training, and engaging strongly with committees in term 3.
- Have fortnightly meetings with incentivised attendance between Forum Reps and Society Committees with support from Guild staff available. This is a tried and tested model used in ExTunes, which I would like to implement for all societies.
- Have drop in sessions in weeks where there are no meetings to give societies one-on-one time with their Offer, and ensure there is always an open line of communication between them.
2. Increase transparency
There have been many decision made that affect societies with little student consultation. This has often negatively impacted the experience of society members and committees.
- Ensure all Societies Council minutes are posted on the Guild Website
- Ensure all changes to Activities process are taken to Societies Council to vote on before they are enforced, with proper consultation from Societies Council and Society Committees.
- Have a ‘you said, we did’ on the website.
3. Improve society committee training
The current committee training focuses on how to jump through loopholes rather than teaching event planning, developing leadership skills and ensuring an effectively run society.
- Use Societies Council as a tool to work with the Activities team to move the focus of training to effective event planning and developing skills of student leaders.
- Include sections on ‘how to run a committee meeting’, ‘how to write minutes and action logs’, and on teaching skills such as creating event planning timelines in training.
- Encourage more student leaders to complete the Exeter Award and Exeter Leaders Award, as these focus very strongly on personal development of leaders to improve their skills.
4. Review the affiliations and grants process
I want to review the grants system for societies, to make it more transparent, relevant to societies’ needs, and accessible to all.
- Review the requirements to apply for a Guild grant
- Provide more comprehensive guidelines on how to fill out the application form and what Societies Council are looking for from an application.
- Use an online platform to gauge interest in new societies. This will allow new societies to reach a wider audience in their first year, as people who say they would join can be contacted after affiliation.
5. More recognition for society committees
Committees put in so much hard work over the year. I want you to be recognised for your dedication.
- Improve Societies’ Ball to ensure it includes a wide range of guests from the University and the student community.
- Ensure it recognises those who go above and beyond for their members.