As Activities Officer, I look after our 200+ societies, student media, volunteering projects and RAG ('Raising and Giving'). It's my job to enable our student leaders to make campus life as vibrant and inclusive as possible.
I helped run York's student newspaper, Nouse, in a variety of roles. What motivated me wasn't necessarily the journalism: it was enabling a community of like-minded individuals to be creative. Being Activities Officer, I get to do this on a much larger scale.
I just thought I'd be really good at it! Having been a lower-income student, I've tried to apply that experience to help others. Further to that, I had a really clear vision of the initiatives I thought would make YUSU work better.
Surprising! I never considered myself to be the 'front-runner' and was emotionally prepared to lose. Campaigning so hard was a risk, but I had some amazing friends to help me sustain my confidence. It was definitely a team effort, so we celebrated as a team.
Introducing Activities Access Grants for first years. So far, roughly 100 lower-income students have received free membership to our clubs and societies. This is a figure I'm looking to double for 2019 - by extending the grants to disabled students!
The excitement of watching my ideas come to life! It sounds cheesy, but for someone in their 20s, it's an incredible amount of influence and responsibility. Staff within YUSU are really supportive, too, so they help you make the most of it.
Be yourself: everyone brings something new to the role, which is the beauty of having yearly elections. No matter how 'out there' your ideas might seem, there should always be ways to make them happen - you just have to decide what your priorities are.