Director of Student Developments and Activities candidate James Hall presents a manifesto aimed at helping societies reach their full potential and students getting the most out of the University during their time here.

He presents a long list of roles denoting his experience with societies, including Vice President and Box Office Manager for Mermaids, Treasurer for Comedy Society, and Glitterball Convener for Saints LGBT+. He has also worked for the Byre Theatre and as a University Ambassador across Scotland.

Connecting students

Mr Hall wishes to improve two-way communication with students by holding office hours, in the Union and other University buildings, at times throughout the day, ensuring all students who have queries will be able to attend.

He will also work to make all Sabbatical Officers more transparent by organising visits to every University hall each semester and expanding “Free Fruit Friday” to informally interact with students.

Mr Hall wants to reconstruct the online events calendar for societies, making it more prominent to benefit them.

He wishes to move away from Facebook and email as main methods of communication and utilise other platforms. One proposal for transparency was to use Instagram Stories to show days in the life of a Sabb.

Supporting societies

Mr Hall would offer to meet with every society at the beginning of the academic year to learn who they are and what they do, and to offer them resources and guidance.

He vows to create a database of society positions and share this information with committee members to streamline communication.

On training, Mr Hall proposes overhauling society training and moving sessions to the end of second semester, so officers will be prepared for the start of the next academic year. He also wishes to make training more comprehensive, including workshops with the Design Team and with the DoEs on event organisation.

Though he has good intentions on meeting with each society, and specifies he would likely not meet with all societies given that they would not be obligated to take him up on his offer, this would still be an arduous task considering the University has over 160 societies.

Recognising students

Mr Hall proposes introducing a “Union Transcript” as a certificate of student involvement with the Union, which could be obtained at graduation. He would also collaborate with the Athletic Union President to improve the Volunteer Recognition Scheme and simplifying logging volunteer hours.

Mr Hall proposes more rewards for volunteers who work extended hours during busy periods, including free Bop tickets or complementary food during shifts.

He vows to work with the University to create proper archives for subcommittees and societies so current students could learn from previous practises.

For the future

To prepare students for “life outside the Bubble,” Mr Hall would collaborate with the DoWell to expand personal development and training available to societies, including first aid and mental health training.

He would also work to better represent non-traditional careers and expand the range of subject-specific career fairs.

He vows to create a fund for societies to bring in speakers specific to their interests and collaborating with the Careers Centre to introduce society-specific CV-writing workshops.

Final assessment

With his extensive leadership experience and tenures on society committees, Mr Hall demonstrates knowledge on what societies need to improve and how he can best benefit students. However, some of his ideas, including offering to meet with all societies, and the number of new endeavours he has planned, mean his manifesto may be too ambitious for a one-year term.

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