As the nomination deadline for the Student Union Elections draw near Maria Freitas gives an insight into his time as a Student Officer (International Students) and what inspired her to run in the elections last year.
Nominations close this Friday at 2pm, so hurry if you want to be the voice of 8,000 students. Click here to find out more.
What Inspired/Encouraged you to run to be a Student Officer?
I had worked with the Student Union on a project during my first year and then again in the beginning of my second year as a member of Freshers Crew. These experiences lead me to get to know the Student Union team as well as witness first-hand the hard work they put in everyday to enhance the student experience. After this, and upon knowing they would be having bye-elections, I knew I wanted to be part of his team and help improve the academic life of the many International Students in Winchester.
What has been your bigggest achievement/success as an Officer this year?
I have only been an Officer for a few weeks, so it is a bit too soon to see impact from my work just yet. However, I think the whole experience of running a campaign back in November, talking to different students to see what problems they want solved, fast forwarding to now working towards solving those problems is quite rewarding.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as an Officer this year?
Sometimes it can be quite dauting to know you are the person that is meant to represent the voices of all the other students. I would say it is challenging to decide what you want to focus on, of course we want the best for all students, but it is impossible to work on all the problems students are facing at the saem time, therefore we have to choose carefully what projects we will work on and which ones we leave for later.
What would be your top three tips for running in a Student Union election?
1) Stay true to yourself. You want people to like you and believe in what you're running for but don't let that change who you are.
2) Write down everything you're doing in the weeks of election, so you can find a balance between lectures, campaigns and your social life.
3) Have fun! Although a bit nerve breaking the whole experience of nominating yourself and campaigning is incredible, you should not let anything take that fun away from you.
If you have any questions regarding the election please do get in touch with your Student Union president Tali Atvars (firstname.lastname@example.org)