Management School student Matt Jones has worked “inside, outside and alongside the Students’ Union.” He served on the Pendle JCR Executive organising Extrav, served as a society president and as Cross Campus Officer for societies.
Unusually, Jones feels that his “year out” from LUSU is “most relevent”, as it allowed him to view LUSU from the perspective of “your everyday student who is here for a degree” and gain insight into how officers engage students.
“During my year out I wasn’t involved in the union… I’ve not forgotten what it’s like to be a regular student first and foremost.”
Jones explained that this experience helped to develop his view on LUSU democracy, which he describes as being “not just elections”, but about “everyday representation.” Jones wishes to champion this idea as LUSU President.
Jones feels that, over the past year, LUSU has worked on its external image and “improved its perception to students.” If elected, he intends to “focus on the internal operation, to make it easier for students to be involved and for officers to do their jobs well.”
For example, he intends to make LUSU’s democracy “much more transparent.” When asked for elaboration, Jones explained that LUSU has 45 byelaws, “some quite long in length”, and described knowing what’s included as a “mammoth task.” He also referred to “five years of accumulated LUSU Council policies”, and expressed concern that they “aren’t publicly available for students to see.”
Jones also expressed concern that LUSU has “a system of finance reserves here and there” that “make it difficult for students to know exactly where their money being spent.” He believes that this “needs to be sorted.”
As President, Jones intends to champion the notion that students should not wait for LUSU to announce “important issues”, but rather that LUSU should be approached by students; “If we were doing that, we’d have a lot more weight as a union in what we do.”
Jones’ management background, he feels, will allow him to have a more positive influence than most over the business side of LUSU, which he believes “sometimes lacks focus.” While acknowledging that LUSU’s services will now have greater inclusion in the Full Time Officer remits, he intends to give students more of a say over the offerings of the Sugarhouse, the LUSU shops and LUSU living; areas in which he sees no reason why students “can’t be consulted and more involved.”
His philosophy, as an officer, is; “I am elected, therefore I respresent. For me it’s very very simple. It’s an idea I was to espouse amongst all student officers.”