George Johnson is one of the candidates running for the position of Furness President. In our interview, George talked about many of the previous experiences that would benefit him in this role including working as a Welcome Week Representative and responsibilities during his current work as VP Socials Officer. During his time as VP Socials Officer, he worked closely with the President and was involved in several senior college meetings. One of George’s key strengths is this familiarity with the current JCR and ability to quickly adapt to new situations that arise in the course of an academic year.
George is committed to increasing inclusivity in Furness and boosting participation in the college’s socials while forwarding the visibility of the college. To maximise the college’s visibility George would push for more publicity of Furness social and sporting events with more posters to increase awareness in order to target more students. George identified that there is sometimes a lack of participation from international and BAME students and wishes to rectify that if he becomes President. George would work closely with the International Officer to find out which socials would be best to increase participation as well as working with key societies which will know from their members the best courses of action. George also mentioned wanting fellow members of the JCR to feel valued and to be praised for the hard work they put in. The familiarity with the way the JCR has been run and with the current members are what George thinks makes him the best fit for President. In the past year the Furness JCR has been running with diminished members and George is confident he is capable of working around difficulties like that if he becomes President.
In George’s manifesto, there is a clear focus on the issue of JCR office hours and the need to reform them into an online service instead of an hour walk-in a session. George mentioned that by becoming an online service the information that could be given to queries could be more detailed and if there was a need for a face to face meeting then that could also be arranged easily. George sympathised with the nerves of potential attendees that didn’t turn up to hours and pointed out that in the current format it didn’t benefit anyone as JCR members had to spend an hour a week waiting for nobody to turn up. Throughout the interview and manifesto, George focuses on making Furness not only a more visible and prominent presence on campus but finding innovative new ways to cater to different needs as they arise.
As we all know the next academic year is going to be during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and so a lot of things are still unclear. George addressed this uncertainty with the conviction that events can be done online with movie nights, games evenings and live music concerts to provide an experience as close to going out as is safely possible. George pointed out the email service as the best way to engage with freshers who may not have social media as they could be international students or for other reasons. George pointed out the successful Pendle Extrav as a potential template to emulate going forward. George has already been quick to get to grips with the software needed for online Furness quizzes during the lockdown.
George’s primary commitment is to boost inclusivity and participation to make Furness an even happier college with events to look forward to together.