Members of Lancaster University’s student media have elected their new SCAN editor during the paper’s Annual General Meeting in Week Two.
Following a successful ‘hust’ and a grilling by members of SCAN, Bailrigg FM and LA1:TV, second-year History undergraduate Rachel Quin was duly elected to take over the reins next year. Quin will head the editorial committee as it makes the transition to an executive without a LUSU Full Time Officer (FTO) as editor. Quin is set to take over from current Vice President (Media and Communications) Rachel Harvey, whose officer remit under the new Full Time Officer (FTO) structure will no longer include the SCAN editorship.
Standing against two other candidates (including RON), Quin made a passionate speech in which she outlined her vision for the future of SCAN, as well as detailing how she would address issues such as potential cuts to the paper’s budget and the shortage of writers that has plagues sections and their editors this year. Quin’s specific strategies for recruiting new writers and enhancing the skills of new and existing writers alike demonstrated how much thought she had put into her bid for SCAN’s editorship, and how she would make a success of her tenure. She would like to introduce training days, similar to those currently practiced by Bailrigg FM, during which writers and section editors could benefit from guest speakers’ seminars and generally get to know one another before embarking on a year of working together.
Voters were keen to challenge both candidates’ credentials for heading up the newspaper executive. Having only been actively involved with SCAN over this current academic year, Quin faced questions about whether the step up from deputy section editor (Quin currently assists Features Editor Annie Gouk) to editor would be too great a challenge. In response, Quin candidly expressed her passion for the paper and her academic scruples as motivating factors in her decision to run for the position as and evidence for her capability to manage the role on top of her studies. Her self-belief was plainly stated: Quin, though dormant within student media in her first year due to shyness, has worked hard to immerse herself in the SCAN culture, alongside a role as a presenter on Bailrigg FM, and is now well-placed to appreciate the processes behind the press.
Speaking afterwards to SCAN, Quin said that her decision to run for the position was “a bit of a pushing myself thing.” She explained, “I didn’t get involved in my first year; I was much too nervous. [This year] I thought, well…why not? If I lose at least I’ve had a go. And it seemed like an exciting opportunity, to be editor of the paper and do everything that Rachel [Harvey] has been doing.”
Quin is keen to continue writing for the paper in addition to carrying on the editorial work of her predecessor next year, as she states, “That’s the bit I enjoy the most.” She is vehemently opposed to any reduction in the publication frequency of the paper, and instead would look to trim the size of each fortnightly issue and utilise more online content for that which is unable to appear in print, rather than to revert to a monthly print edition.
Areas which Quin would like to see placed under the SCAN spotlight next year include the college bars’ situations following this year’s controversial management restructuring, and the ever-contentious issue of rent inflation both on- and off-campus.
Achieving this peer-elected position is part of the wider career path Quin has planned for her time after Lancaster: “I’m looking into journalism postgrad[uate courses]…it’s something that I’ve always loved, and working for SCAN has made it clear to me that it’s something I want to carry on doing.”
From next year, SCAN’s editorial committee will be augmented with the addition of a Head of Production as well as with deputy section editors – roles which will henceforth be compulsory rather than at each section editor’s discretion. As editor, Quin will also sit on the Students’ Union (LUSU) Council, and the Student Media Board. She will be supported by the Vice President (Campaigns and Communications) Rachel Harvey, who will retain a position of editor-in-chief of the paper and to whom the editor will remain accountable.