Kelsie Taylor, Student Communication Ambassador, recently caught up with the incumbent Student President, Brad, to discuss what his role involves. If you think Student President is a role that you can picture yourself in, student elections are coming very soon! You can put yourself forward to stand for election from the 21st of February. For full details click here.
Kelsie Taylor: What does the role involve on a day to day basis?
Brad Woolridge: Each day is different, so it's hard to specify what you might be doing each day. My days consist largely around representing the student voice in a variety of meetings, whether that be the health and safety committee, meetings with the Vice Chancellor, or out meeting other local sabbatical officers within Cardiff. Other days include visiting the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, trips to overseas partner universities (I've been to Bulgaria and Oman in the last two years) or a trip to Twickenham to watch the BUCS Rugby final! The variety of the role makes it an enjoyable one, but be prepared to attend multiple meetings representing the student voice!
KT: What benefits do you feel the roles given you?
BW: The role gives you the opportunity to take many benefits from, it's how you use the opportunities presented. I feel it's helped me with my public speaking, and confidence to talk in front of the university's most senior people. The benefit of meeting with such influential people is something in itself too, creating a great network of people.
KT: What is your favourite part about the role?
BW: The variety of the role is probably my favourite part. Each day is different, and it keeps you interested coming in to work each day! Although you may have a plan scheduled for the day, priorities can quickly change if there is a student that has a more urgent issue they'd like to raise with you. This spontaneous nature keeps things interesting!
KT: What is your least favourite part of the role?
BW: At times, there can be too many meetings that just the President and Vice President are asked to cover. The university wants student representation on most boards and committees, which is great that they value the student voice.
KT: If you could go back would you do it again?
BW: Definitely! I've been fortunate enough to have a year as President and Vice President, and the opportunities that come your way are invaluable at such a young age. I would recommend either position to any student!
KT: What advice would you give to the future SU President?
BW: Take the opportunities that come your way, but don't spread yourself too thin! Although you want to be able to represent the student voice, there are some areas that will interest you more than others so try to prioritise them. Also, for anyone considering running for the post, feel free to book in for a chat if you would like to know anymore about the role.
KT: What is the key to a successful elections campaign?
BW: Be creative, assemble a team of people, and manage your time well! The campaign process is all about timing and visibility, deciding when to contact people, when to post on social media, knowing when cohorts of students will be on campus etc. It is a tough process, but such a worthwhile experience to run in an election!