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For our 50th Anniversary Special, SCAN had the privilege in talking to the last paid editor of our student-led newspaper, Rachel Harvey. It was interesting to learn that Rachel’s passions, attributed to her involvement in various media outlets whilst at Lancaster, still lie in communications, broadcasting and PR. Since graduation, Rachel has been the Communications Assistant for Lancaster University Students’ Union.
In the interview, Rachel offers some exciting insights and advice about her university life as well as talking about her role in SCAN.
What was your role in SCAN?
I was the last paid Scan Editor as (Full Time Officer) Vice President Media and Communications. What is now Vice President Campaigns and Communications.
What did you enjoy the most about working for SCAN?
Live Tweeting University Senate. I got to sit on University Senate as Student Media Representative. I couldn’t vote or ask questions but I could live tweet it. It went down well.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Get as involved in extra activities as possible and worry less about what others think.
Did any big changes happen whilst you were at university/writing for SCAN?
Yes. During my year as VP Media and Communications, there was a Full-Time Officer review which changed a few things. It included changes to several FTO roles and removing the role of SCAN editor from the position of Full-Time Officer, which was one of the big changes.
Tell us briefly about your time after SCAN and graduation
I was re-elected Vice President, with the new title of Campaigns and Communications, which I did for a year. Then I got a job at Lancaster University Students Union as Communications assistant.
Where was your favourite place to study at university and why?
I studied Fine Art at Lancaster, and we therefore had our art studios to work in. I found it hard to work in the library and Learning Zones, so I wrote my dissertation, essays and my practical work in the there.
Do you have any funny stories about your time at Lancaster?
My flatmate and I use to try to out prank each other a lot. He put a fake CCTV camera outside my bedroom and got the rest of the flat to play along. It was very convincing. The porter came up to have a look at it and by the time myself and the porter had got back, my housemate had replaced it with a post-it-note that said ‘smile’ on it. So, for my revenge, in the subsequent year, every time I went to town, I picked up two Argos catalogues and on the last day of term, I made a wall of them outside of his door.
What is your favourite memory about being a Lancaster University student?
Roses 2014 – all of it.
What was your most memorable article?
As is tradition, I wrote a fake article for the last SCAN of the year. Mine was about Lancaster merging with York, that detailed how Roses would become a Hunger Games style event with two tributes from each college battling to the death. I got a few people emailing me asking when the merge would be happening.
After the interview, it became clear that Rachel thoroughly enjoyed her time as a student here at Lancaster. Lancaster remains a place where Roses is still the most popular event and exciting time of each academic year, that stays with students long after they leave university. It is also good to know that Lancaster’s whacky and fun ways never grow old and with passionate, committed writers such as Rachel, an advocate for positive change to Higher Education, SCAN will continue to provide and uphold Lancaster University’s strong outlet for student voice, comment and news.