Luke Townsend – VP (Union Development)

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Finance is the key issue for Luke Townsend, who has been the treasurer of Furness JCR. “There’s not enough communication [on the] finance side of things at all. I don’t think I ever had a meeting with any of the other treasurers, I don’t think I ever spoke to a LUSU officer while I was a treasurer.”

In particular, he said, the information from the systems that are currently used would be an area of focus for him. “The system is fine, but the information you get is always so far behind. So, to just keep a record of everything and be up to date and be able to say to a JCR: you’ve got this much money, have you though about what you’re going to spend it on, do you some ideas, do you want some help, do you want to look at what deals we can do with you?”

While Townsend was very keen to discuss his financial ideas, he points out that he has plenty of other ideas and experience; he has also held three exec positions within the Squash society. “Everything I did wasn’t [just] about money, it was about helping out with events, helping out with whatever. Almost 70-80% of the role was being a JCR officer, it wasn’t about the treasury side. I believe that anyone who has spent time on the JCR – it equips you massively for the future, whether it’s as a LUSU officer, or going into a job and being able to work as part of a team.”

In terms of the Alumni component of the Union Development role, he discussed holding events: “I think it’s very important to incorporate alumni with the union. They are a massive part of the University and seeing as they’ve spent a lot of time here there’s a lot we can get back from them as well, so it can be a very two way kind of relationship. Specifically, addressing specific events for alumni is definitely worth looking into.”

As for JCR and Postgraduate Board relations, another key area of the role, Townsend doesn’t “think the support from LUSU is as much as it could be.” In particular, he feels communication can be improved. “I know there’s meetings and subcommittees and so on that happen, but the communication between LUSU and the JCRs could be a lot stronger. For example the student union puts on events, large events, when the colleges might be putting on other stuff. We found, when I was on the JCR, we found that LUSU would give us stuff at the last minute and try and make us sell stuff at the last minute, which is not good for the JCRs.”

Townsend wants to “see the true potential of Lancaster University exposed.” He continued: “I believe this is, and still will be one of the best universities around; for this we need a Students’ Union that is ready to engage in progress and development. I believe I am the person to make a difference.”

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