Emily Rogers is running for the position of Director of Events and Services on the back of her experience as producer for Blind Mirth and director for On The Rocks.
However, she has never been part of the SSC or SRC and so may struggle to learn the ropes at the beginning. Though she says that she has good working relationships with staff in the Union “having worked in and around the Union for the past two years,” it is unclear what this work entailed.
Utilisation of new spaces
With the redeveloped Union offering new spaces for events and society use, Ms Rogers promises to utilise both the club space and performance space of Venue 1. She proposes to construct a “temporary stage” in the middle of the room if an act finds the stage too small. Yet it is unclear how this would work in practice or where the funds would come from.
Ms Rogers has promised to continue favourite events like Sinners and to bring back old favourites such as Rewind. Her manifesto lists many new events, however she does not say how all of these events will fit in to the schedule or how she will have the capability to organise them all. Ms Rogers says: “After speaking with the Building Manager, the Ents Crew and former holders of the DoES position, I am confident that we will be able to host more events using the same amount of manpower.” Though vague, if this is true, The Saint wonders why the policy to has not been implemented before this year.
Another of Ms Rogers promises is to “balance the small and large events to remain commercially responsible whilst not sacrificing an exceptional student experience.” Her experience as director of On The Rocks may mean she has experience in managing money, though how she will keep the balance between small and large events remains to be seen.
Additionally, a popular policy will be the implementation of budget nights at the Union on Fridays. Students will no doubt be happy to hear this – most other Student Unions already have budget club nights – but Ms Rogers has not made it clear how the Union will afford this. When Friday is the most popular night for going to the Union, The Saint feels it would make more sense to have these budget nights during the week or on a Saturday when the Union is less popular.
One of the biggest problems the Union faces is getting students to fill the events. Even if Ms Rogers runs great events, this will be for nothing if she does not ensure there is a stellar advertising campaign behind them. Hopefully her On The Rocks experience will help with this, though she makes no mention of advertising in her manifesto.
Big name acts
Ms Rogers promises to continue Mr O’Rourke’s attempts to bring in big name acts, keeping up the networks he has begun to create with other Students Associations. Though she is upfront in admitting she can’t make big promises on this front, her policy will be popular amongst students.
Student run events
Encouraging students to run their own events in the Union and come up with creative ideas is another of Ms Roger’s main policies. She promises to help any student wishing to put on an event and proposes creating a “how to plan an event” section on the Union’s website. Though the idea behind this is admirable, the logistics may prove too tricky in practice.
Ms Rogers promises to work closely with the Union’s commercial manager to provide more seating and a larger variety of healthy food options in Rectors Café. It is nice to note that Ms Rogers is not solely focused on club events but has taken the wider Union into consideration. Many students will be pleased to hear her proposals for Rectors.
Overall, Ms Rogers’ apparent lack of experience of how the Union works may set her back and many of her policies will need further clarification and evidence to prove that they are feasible – such as the cheap drinks on Friday nights. However, overall, she expresses good ideas about how to make full use of the new Union spaces.
The Saint’s Assessment
Overall, Ms Rogers’ manifesto has some good ideas but she will need to explain many of them further to convince students that she can make them work in practice. Her lack of experience with Union bureaucracy may also set her at a disadvantage.