Sitting down to write this proved an unexpected opportunity for reflection on my role as Students’ Guild President so far this year…what I’ve done, what I haven’t done, what I love about this role, what I can’t stand about this role, but most importantly how the future of the role, and by extension the Guild, sits with the person reading this introduction right now.
The genuine importance of this role often passes us by as we jump from project to project and run from meeting to meeting; but, sitting down and reflecting for a minute reveals the true opportunity and brilliance, but also challenge, of the role.
Not only do you run a weeks long and hugely impressive election campaign, but being successful you then go on to represent over 20,000 students here on the St. Luke’s and Streatham campuses locally and nationally. You’ll learn to command the attention of a room full of University Senior Management as you tell them what your fellow students need. You’ll spend a year working with some of the most dedicated and passionate staff you’re likely to ever meet, including a Guild senior management team who work closely with you to support and empower you. You’ll be the leader of an organisation with over 20,000 members, 10,000 student volunteers and a multi-million yearly income.
You’ll lead an organisation dedicated to change. So far this year we’ve made changes to late submission penalisation; challenged the university to develop a new sexual misconduct policy; created our Guild Equality Panels to better represent marginalised communities; introduced a volunteer hours logging system; worked successfully as a team to push the university towards fossil fuel divestment and yet I’m only writing this in December – there’s so much more I could put here, and so much more to come before our year is over.
Being an Officer is transformative in ways I never imagined. But first you have an election campaign to run. Make sure to read this pack and check the website for any updates. If you ever have any questions don't hesitate to ask someone, we are all here to help you. I wish you the best of luck in your election, I am excited to see banners, t-shirts and social media pages going live in the coming weeks. Top tip before I end this introduction, make sure you know your manifesto inside and out, speak to the Officer in the position you’re running for and most importantly, look after yourself and have fun.