Laurence Pullan – VP (Union Development)

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2013.02.22 - FTO Candidates - Photo Jay Theis and Nick Lound-6Laurence Pullan told SCAN that it was “an easy decision” for him to run for Vice President (Union Development). He listed his experience; he has held two JCR positions including President of Pendle College and two cross-campus officer positions – media and socials. “As a result,” he said, “I am well practised in chairing meetings, organising popular college and cross-campus events and I’ve sat on many meetings, providing a voice for the students I represent.”

The role of Union Development is a new one, and Pullan feels it is “great… trying to get more people involved in the union, which is obviously a positive step forward.”

A key part of the new role’s remit is relations between LUSU, the JCR executives, and the Postgraduate (PG) Board. In general, Pullan feels that JCRs and the PG Board already have strong support from Full Time Officers, as well as an amount of autonomy. However, one area he feels he can contribute positively to is JCR finances.

He said: “It’s always a case that JCRs under-spend. Over spending is not so much of an issue, but at the end of every year you will have JCRs that have money left, and sometimes quite significant amounts of money – I’ve been guilty of that with being Pendle president, I know what it’s like when you have money left in the pot and you don’t know what to spend it on. There needs to be some more guidance from full time officers to encourage the wise spending of money.”

Alumni relations is also an important port of the role. Pullan is keen to invite alumni back for networking events: “We should roll out to all the colleges the chance for alumni from different colleges to come and be able to network with current students from the college. Even in societies and things like that, alumni from different big societies can always come impart some knowledge to try and encourage as many people to get involved in the union as possible.”

One of the key issues for Pullan, were he to get elected, would be building on the social activities the Union offers. He is also particularly keen to alter the democratic structures of the Union “to make it easier for the average student to get involved in meetings and contribute.” He added: “I know the byelaws, I know the constitution, I know what might need changing and what works.”

Pullan was also keen to emphasise developing on the training provided to officers. In addition to the existing Winter Officer Conference and Big Officer Conversation, he described a desire for “things like summits and conferences where JCRs and societies can contribute more, they can share best practice, they can have summits where societies show other societies what’s worked and what hasn’t and same with JCRs and officers”

What is his unique selling point? “My passion. I have vast experience and knowledge in the Union, I know how it operates on a day-to-day basis and I have firm belief in my capabilities. However, my passion for the Union and for any role and position I have held is what drives me to do better. You can never underestimate enthusiasm.”

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