VP (Union Development) candidate: Natalie Collins

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Natalie Collins has a wealth of experience in the Union, which she believes has informed the array of ideas she can bring to the role of Union Development. “My main experience has been in my roles as a student officer, Grizedale Social Secretary, Grizedale President and Cross Campus Socials officer, where I have led and worked in teams of JCR officers and Fresher reps. In these roles I have also had the opportunity to sit on both LUSU Council and LUSU Executive, and have had experience in the democratic and financial workings of the union which are key to the Union Development role.”
For Collins, the colleges are the most important aspect of the Union and Lancaster life in general, and she would like to “reinvigorate the college system, and bring back the identity.” She has a range of ideas in order to achieve this, including supporting college-specific events and schemes. “Fylde was sold to me as a sporty college, and I would like to see more of a push for a massive Fylde college sports day, or something like that,” Natalie says. “I feel college-specific activities will give the colleges identity and bring the community feel, and that’s how I would go about it first of all.”
Much of Collins’ experience is in events coordination, and this is reflected in her idea for a Freshers’ carnival, in order to commemorate the University’s 50th Anniversary. “There is potential there that we could bring it in in Freshers’ Week as a massive 50th [Anniversary] thing, and then… hopefully there’ll be more financial input from the University and the Union…”
“[I would also like to] get someone big in, because I know there is a lot of feedback from freshers every year saying ‘we want a big act, we want a name to tell our friends,’ which would be lovely to be able to do.”
Collins is also keen to improve other aspects of LUSU’s commercial services, not least LUSU Living. “One of the main issues appears to be promptness fixing issues and communication. I would like to look into these issues and see why there seems to be a lack of communication and work out how to improve on that, because it’s unfair.”
Indeed, being receptive to student feedback is something which Collins appears to take seriously. This is particularly the case regarding the Sugarhouse, where Collins aims to diversify the music played in the nightclub to appeal to “make the nights a lot more unique.” “I still get a lot of feedback from people saying, “it’s the same music every single night”, and I would like to just look into what people want and diversify it to please everyone’s tastes.” Collins also wants to introduce new ways of getting feedback from students, one of her ideas being “to offer incentives to get feedback, because a lot of the time people just complain, but they’re not giving feedback properly. So, if you want feedback on the Sugarhouse, say ‘if you answer this survey it will be put into a draw and you can win free Sugarhouse entry for a year’ – I think that would get quite a bit of feedback!”

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