Mr Orellana hopes to expand the Bop’s theme to encompass the entire week, with the Bop itself being the climax. As part of this initiative, he would create a cocktail and discount drinks that relate to the theme. Decorations would also be placed in the Main Bar on a weekly basis, allowing students to “view Mondays with the excitement of discovering a new Union.”
During an interview with The Saint, Mr Orellana explained, “If we tie in the BOP with our social culture, basically anything, we can offer an ingredient with that, obviously drinks, alcoholic or not, and promote that ingredient. For example, if it’s an American election BOP, we can associate that with beer or vodka.”
To further encourage student interaction with the Union, Mr Orellana would institute a weekly costume contest with the prize going to the best dressed student at the Friday Bop.
He would also incorporate themed events at Beacon Bar, potentially by hosting live music nights with groups such as Music Soc.
“We’ve already got really clubby music like house in the Bop in 601, so in Beacon it would be more jazz, blues, country, classical,” Mr Orellana said. “If we can link it to the theme of the week, even better to create an atmosphere that is more chilled and provides a different choice for students.”
With the help of the PR team and decoration budget, the Bop’s presence has increased over the past school year. Extending the themes to include the entire week is an ambitious but logical step, assuming Mr Orellana can acquire the necessary funding.
Your Union App
To further attract students to the Union, Mr Orellana intends to revamp the existing Union app. Students could receive notifications when an event that matches their interests is added, purchase tables in Club 601 via the app, and sell tickets through the app on behalf of affiliated societies. Finally, the app would provide students with the option of leaving feedback after an event.
Mr Orellana’s manifesto contains two notable instances of past experience: concertmaster for a youth orchestra and “a stint” engaged in a nightclub in Valencia, both of which he says taught him the intricacies of booking acts and managing bars.
Mr Orellana describes his booking strategy as creating a list with “big names and up-and-coming artists” and moving down from the former to the latter. He also intends to reach out to artists performing in Scotland and Northern England, operating under the assumption that they would perform at the Union for a cheaper price due to the proximity. That said, it is unlikely that even a slight discount on a big name artist (such as Calvin Harris or the Weeknd) would match our Union’s budget.
During Freshers’ Week, Mr Orellana intends to establish supporting acts in the evening, tangibly related to the headliner and serving to draw students to the Union earlier in the night.
Mr Orellana also discussed the importance of daytime events, which might include singing or acting classes and other initiatives designed to “offer a range of options.”
Mr Orellana is, for the most part, able to detail how he intends to implement his policies. He appears passionate about attracting students to the Union, despite not yet having worked within the Union himself. His ideas regarding theme weeks and other revitalisation efforts appear poised to build on Ms O’Connor’s numerous achievements.