Candidate interview: James Davies

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James Davies
Cartmel

Build on success of current events with more promotion
Concentrate more time on promoting democracy
Let students set the tone of cross campus events

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James Davies aims to improve the relations between the Full Time Officers (FTOs) and the student body in order to get more students involved in elections and events.

Having been part of events such as Cartmel’s Comedy Night, Winter Fest and the Indian society’s Diwali Night, Davies wants to get students involved in events that are already happening. “We’ve had a lot of success recently with the CSSA New Year (Chinese Society) in that a lot of people came to that who wouldn’t normally.”

He also mentions that the Ballroom Dancing society struggles with publicity for events such as the Charity Showcase and believes that help with advertising through SCAN and SQUEAK more people can get involved. “We don’t want to take over the events; we want to help others develop their events.”

With this new role removing societies from the remit, Davies was asked how he would be able to use the extra time to benefit students. “I could spend it making better events.”

He believes that as the role is less demanding, more time needs to be spent on democracy. “Democracy has always taken a back seat because it’s the one that’s seen as the more boring and dull side of things. That needs to come to the forefront and we need to get more people involved with that in the Union.” Davies was then asked how he would be able to make democracy fun and interesting to which he said: “I don’t know initially how to do it.”

He continued: “The way I intend to look into it is speak to other officers and find out what made them want to get involved and also speak to people that aren’t getting involved and finding out ways in which they would.”
Davies had previously said that: “I am not known for coming up with new ideas.”

As the role of Vice President (Events & Democracy) calls upon some levels of innovation especially in regards to events, Davies was asked how his lack of originality could benefit students. “I actually think it’s a beneficiary not being particularly great with ideas. I’ve sat on the JCR for two years and it was quite often that social secretaries would back from Social and Events Group (SEG) to ask our opinions. I think if we’re getting SEG to come back with more suggestions, they’re going to feed back into the Union with better ideas so we get ideas that the students have come up with.”

As is central to his campaign, Davies wants to get more people involved in different aspects of the University. When asked how he would do this he admitted “getting people involved is the issue that has flummoxed years and years of officers. I’ve not got the golden answer for it but if you can make it more fun and interesting to get involved then people will do.”

Further to getting more students involved with the University, the question then was how he would be able to get more students involved in becoming candidates for future JCR and FTO positions. “I think if you look at the FTO candidates at the moment all of them are ex-JCR members, so it proves to get people into the higher positions in Unions it is key to get them at the grass roots at JCR levels and also Cross Campus Officer level. If I was coming to this not having sat on the JCR I wouldn’t have a clue how any of the Union side of things work. I certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone that wants to go straight into a high role to go for it.”