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Rachel Harvey is currently working as VP Media and Communications, and has had prior experience working with the student media as SCAN Editor this year and also previously acting as Assistant Manager and Station Manager at Bailrigg FM.
She described the experience she has gained this year as “invaluable”, telling SCAN that “it has given me experience with LUSU, the University, JCRs, Department Reps, Student Media and a broad range of students and student groups” allowing her to gain “a very clear understanding of how to work with each group.”
A concern for Harvey was that the role of an FTO as a political officer had previously been sidelined. She feels that this year, however, the officers have “focused on bringing back the role of an FTO to that of a political representative of the students”, which she feels is an important attribute she would bring to the role next year.
Harvey told SCAN that through her experience within LUSU and the student media she has learnt how better to communicate with students, and suggested that things such as constructing Facebook polls and the forum YourVoice have been successful tools used this year.
Regarding the role’s joint responsibility for elections with VP Union Development, Harvey suggested that she would work on increasing the student understanding of elections and what the different roles actually entail in order to improve voter turnouts, as well as helping students to understand what LUSU is a whole.
Harvey stated that during her time in office “I wish I had more time to work in campaigns”, for which she views her main skill as her creativity. Harvey suggested that this was displayed through the counselling service campaign, “where I made a massive piece of cardboard into a petition and got students to sign it”, adding that she obtained over 700 signatures by making “something really big and visible that students could see.”
She also told SCAN that in her year in office “I started a lot of things that need seeing through another year”, such as continuing her work with LUCinema and assisting the transition of SCAN Editor becoming independent from the role of an FTO.
Harvey would also like to build upon ‘Make it in the Media’ and “would like to spend the next year securing it into the fabric of the role of VP Communications and Campaigns.”
She would also like to continue building upon joint student media, “allowing them to keep their own individuality and identity but also help them to use each other’s resources, and let them get to know each other.”
Harvey also told SCAN that she “would love to be a part of Roses 50” and has “big ideas for coverage and build up.”
Regarding the changes in the role of VP Media and Communications to VP Campaigns and Communications, Harvey told SCAN that she has already been adapting and trying to bring in aspects of the role next year, and is “being held back by my current remit, that’s not allowing me to work within those parts.”