Read our interviews with the other sabbatical-elects:
- Chloe Hill, President-elect
- Teddy Woodhouse, DoRep-elect
- Dan Palmer, DoES-elect
- Jess Walker, AU President-elect
How did you find elections week, considering that you were running uncontested?
It was a strange week because I wasn’t sure how to find the right balance. The biggest priority for me was showing students that I have been preparing for this for a long time and that I’m really engaged. I still wanted to run a campaign so I went to all of the hecklings and the debate. I also had my website up so that if people were really interested in what I was planning on doing then they could go and check that out but I didn’t really want to spam people because there was so much going on. I think I struck the right balance and I’m really pleased with what we did.
What about results night? Was there any real fear that RON would beat you?
I think I was pretty confident at that point that I had done enough to beat RON, but I was really, really pleased that I got so few RON votes —I think I got 129, which I was really happy about. I think I was more nervous about the team, especially with the whole Jamie Ross factor. I wasn’t sure how that was going to play out. But I’m really, really happy with how it went and I think the five of us are going to work really well together.
What went through your mind when Jamie Ross won the first three rounds?
My first reaction was just “oh my gosh…what are we going to do?”. I was with Duncan, Alex, Chloe and Nate all week and they worked so hard. I saw them put everything into this week to show students that they care and I felt really bad for them. At the same time, Jamie doing so well shows that there’s an inherent flaw in the system that we need to address. The new team going forward need to see why he was so popular and how we can adjust to get students more interested in “real” candidates. It was definitely a heart-pounding moment but I was very pleased that Chloe was victorious in the end.
How happy are you with the elections of the other sabbatical officers?
I think we have a fantastic team. I know Daniel very, very well—we’ve worked together for years, so I was very pleased that he and I would be working really closely together. The chemistry between the DOSDA (Director of Student Development and Activities) and DOES (Director of Events and Services) is really important and Daniel and I have already started talking about our plans for next year. I also know Teddy very well; he’s my IR class rep and we’re in the same dissertation group. I know Chloe through her work at the SRC, and Jess and I have a class together so I actually really know the team very well and I think that’s going to translate into next year.
What are your immediate plans as DOSDA-elect?
My first priority is actually to find housing, because I currently don’t have anywhere to live next year. If anyone has a place that they want to give me to live in so that I’m not a homeless sabbatical, that would be great! My second priority is to finish my dissertation, so that I can actually graduate and be a sabbatical. But in terms of the actual job, I’m really excited to get started on sub-committee training. It’s been a priority for me throughout the week and I think we can get started on it pretty soon. I’m also excited to get going on the affiliation process: I think we need to establish a new process before the end of this semester. Lastly, but very importantly, is redevelopment. I’m looking forward to going to the meetings, so we that know exactly what’s going on and how it will impact our jobs and also the students who we are serving.
What work takes place for the sabbatical team between now and September?
We don’t officially start work until July 1st. That’s when the old sabbs leave us. We have two official training weeks in June which we have to be here for. Because of our current relationship with the sabbs, we are going to start working with them from this week really. We’re going to do everything that we can to start working on our jobs but it’s really important for us to stress that we are still full-time students for the next couple of months. I’m still the Charities Convener for the next few months as well. At the moment I’ve got three roles: DOSDA-elect, Charities Convener and student! It’s going to be about finding the right balance. I think we’re all going to try and learn as we can from the current sabbs, especially when it comes to redevelopment. We don’t want to jeopardise anything that they’ve done.
How will you work with Meg to ensure the takeover process runs smoothly?
Meg and I have a very close working relationship anyway. I’m probably in her office every other day, and I think that will only increase now that I have the job. I think it’ll be largely shadowing her for the next couple of months and seeing what she does everyday. Employability week is coming up, and although it’s one of my aims to get rid of employability week, I want to see what Meg’s doing with the week and trying to make some of the same connections. I think it’s just making sure that the handover between Meg and I is as smooth as possible especially with the union redevelopment.
What is your reaction to George Parker being elected as the next Charities Officer?
Either of the girls [Parker and Katie Yule] would have been fabulous. They’re both on the Charities Exec right now and I’m really proud of both of them for their campaigns. George has been in Charities with me for the past four years. She will be in fifth year next year and she’ll officially take over in April. It’s very exciting for me that she’s going to lead the Charities Campaign to a new future.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you to everyone who voted—I’m really impressed that we had a 50% turnout this year, especially considering one of the sabbatical positions was uncontested. It was a very strange year but students were still really enthusiastic and great all week, so thank you to the students!