Matty Robinson is running for VP Union Development. He says that one of the things that made him first think about putting himself forward for election was when he went to last years hustings, describing as “inspiring. It was at that moment I thought that’s something I want to do as well.”
Throughout his time at university he says he has spent lots of time involved with the Union, working as a JCR social officers and gaining the experience of organising an extrav. He says that his third year work in the Sugarhouse has helped him build on his experience of teamwork.
His unique selling point? “I think my passion… I really am passionate about this role and helping students – its what I’ve done throughout university and its what I want to do afterwards too. Whether its students or just helping those who need help. That’s what I’m passionate about.”
Matty describes one of his key issues as “diversifying`the events at the Sugarhouse,” to counteract the “very poor Saturday turnout.” He sees the same audience at the club and wants to do more to get different crowds in, saying that he wants to do something to celebrate LGBT History month in collaboration with the VP Welfare.” Describing the role as “really fun,” he says he looks forward to gaining experience and getting some enjoyment out of it as well.
On the role of the VP Union Development in coordinating elections on campus, he pointed to his experience of running elections in societies, saying that “I know its not on the same scale, but I think the process is very similar – it just needs to be scaled up to a bigger size.” He also said he had relevant JCR experience, as they had had to work on publicising college-level elections.
The Union scrutiny panel had faced criticism as a mechanism of accountability this year, and Matty called for the Union to look at the underlying issue of why people aren’t engaged with it. “Speaking to students in general, to get more involved people need to know more about it.” He called for more publicisation of the good things that the Union achieves.
Do students engage with the JCR system? He says not, and pointed out the numbers of uncontested elections and co-options as evidence of this. “I think the college system and the JCR work really well, but not all students know how effective it can be.”
On seeking student opinion, Matty wants to see a mixture of the “classic method” of Alex Square engagement and online technology with questionnaires to get different views from differing sections of the student population.
Finally on his plans to increase the budget for the end of year Extravs, Matty says that is hard to say how it can be done until he took over as office, but he said that he would work with the people with the responsibility of the budget in the Union. “As I organised Extrav last year it would have made the event so much better to have had an extra couple of hundred pounds.”