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The JCR and CCO election period, for me, is one of the most exciting and intriguing fortnights of the academic year. It’s a time when the clear favourite faces the dark-horse; where the naïve, enthusiastic optimist is pitted against the knowledgeable but perhaps complacent expert. It is, in essence, the perfect opportunity for anybody to get involved in their colleges and with the Union as a whole.
So why run? What sort of influence could you possibly have?
Well, actually, any student officer is elected into a position of responsibility for a reason. Every college JCR will need a media and communications officer or a social sec as much as a President. To use a cheesy and over-used metaphor, a JCR is much like a well oiled machine, that only works at the optimum rate if all the cogs (the officers in a JCR) work effectively and most importantly, together. It’s same for CCOs (cross campus officers); LUSU president Ste Smith has managed to pass a new CCO Bye-law which means that there are fewer officers, but that hopefully they will work better as a team and to help support the Union. Don’t forget, too, that six positions are now available for anyone to sit on Union Council, a major decision making body, for anyone that wants to be more involved in Union politics.
Okay, enough of the boring info. Here’s why you should run to be a student officer. In fact, if you don’t, you’re really missing out on a great opportunity.
Being a student officer is one of the most fun and rewarding things you can do. Yes, it looks good on a CV, but it’s worth so much more than that. How many people can say they have made a college magazine that more than 500 people can read? How many people can say they have organised socials to big cities for more than 100 people? How many people can say they have influenced the decisions and directions of their college?
You could have the chance to be part of a group of dedicated volunteers that want to make a difference. Challenge yourself; you’ll soon find that if you are on a JCR or hold a position as CCO, it will become a way of life, not a “job”. Challenge yourself and push your self-confidence to the limit.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be JCR College President of Pendle as well as a cross campus officer for Media. I can safely say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s so rewarding, fulfilling, exciting and absolutely knackering. But it’s the best way to take a “hands on” approach to student politics.
For the cynics out there that love to complain about the Union, or don’t like the way it works in certain ways, now is YOUR chance to make a stand and make the difference you’ve been longing for. Don’t let someone else who you don’t think could do a better job than you take your position just because you “can’t be bothered” or “because it’s a waste of time”. Student Officership is inevitably the driving force behind our Union. JCRs and CCOs are what make things happen. Be a part of it.