Interview with Jack Watson: Activities Candidate – Elections 2024 


Caitlyn Taft (she/her) from SCAN interviewed Jack Watson(he/him) on why he is running for Activities Officer for the Students’ Union.

Jack is the current VP Sport for the Students’ Union. He is rerunning for the Activities Officer position.

  1. Can you discuss more about the Student Volunteer Recognition Programme? Is that aimed at volunteers in certain societies?

Jack told me that would benefit all students that need to be rewarded.

“It’s a programme for all student leaders like execs, sports committees, student media, societies committees, and any student leader. It’s giving a little back. The work that leaders of societies and sports needs to be rewarded.”

He continued, explaining possible options for the programme:

“Option one: we log hours and have winning leagues. Option two: credit bearing awards, you get credits for being a student leader. The second option would be longer though, and ideally students would get credits like how students get credits for modules.”

  1. How has the Societies Committee and Leagues been beneficial for societies, and what do you plan on developing on?

Jack told me about the Societies Committee and Leagues this year.

“It’s been a really good start. There’s a great structure. It gets everyone talking about issues. The conversations and engagement isn’t as high as it should be. I want to make it more fit for purpose. We need a separate media committee. There needs to be equal attention to societies, sports and media.I want to figure out the barriers for people not attending. It needs more support from LUSU also.”

  1. Can you talk more about the Student Leader training offer? What does expanding that look like for you?

Jack explained that the training offer needs standardising.

“I want sessions and programmes at the start of the year. Having a structure in place for sport means there’s a  great opportunity to expand that. Talking with students to know when they want to have their elections. Offering training in person but having it online and delivering it before first year is important.”

  1. What will the Sport Review look like when it is implemented?

Jack explained what the Sport Review plan is.

“I ran [for the election] with it last year. It’s a legacy project that has gone through 4-5 staff teams in LUSU. It’s about how we will reshape sport to work better and have it be more streamlined.”

He explained that there are tiers to it.

“There are six tiers. First 3 are turn up and play, not high demand or really competitive. The higher tiers (four to six) are for sports that compete regularly and are of higher commitment with fees to cover training.”

  1. You mention a lot about sports and societies in your manifesto but what about Media groups? They are too unique to fit into either category, do you have any plans on how you would be supporting them as Activities Officer?

In my interview with Jack, he had mentioned media groups previously.

“The separation between media groups and society committees is apparent and needed. It’s like saying that JCRs are the same as societies, they’re not. I want to consult them and better support the media groups in re-Covid times. Leaders of media groups need space to hold an activities officer accountable.”

  1. How has the Student Sport Access fund benefitted societies? Do you plan on expanding on it?

Jack explained how the Sport Access fund came to be.

“I looked at the current access fund and it wasn’t fit for use. I went away and looked at other institutes and noticed that we were profoundly undersupporting our students. It’s a pilot fund for everyone. It can cover gym memberships, club memberships, equipment, kit, merch that you need. You can apply for £200 and we’ve had over 250 applicants. We’re reviewing it and prioritising students who haven’t received it yet. I’m going to the university and saying there’s a clear demand for more support and funding in sport.”

  1. What were your main reasons behind going for activities officer (where the focus is not only on sport but societies), as you are currently VP Sport? 

Jack reflected on his time as VP Sport and told me about his experience.

“I want to see things through. For me,  excitement is the overwhelming emotion for all this. With the work I’ve done for sports, I thought, why can’t I do the same work for more people? There’s a lot of overlap between activities and just sports. I’ve helped out with society leagues and it’s been fantastic working with sports to work in inclusivity. I’ve worked with LCOs and Womens+ Sport Forum. It’s been really rewarding.”

To vote for Jack Watson, check out the Students’ Union website.

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