Interview with Tom Porter: Activities Candidate – Elections 2024 


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

Tom is a 2nd year Criminology student. He is the current Media and Communications officer for County College JCR.

  1. How do you plan on providing in person neurodiversity + inclusion into training sessions for exec members of all societies and sport teams?

Tom told me that basic premise is to have in person dedicated training sessions, he continued:

“Having at least 2 people in societies and sports teams] trained is really important. The training was short when I had it but we got to have the LUSU Advice Team. It’d be good if the Advice Team provided in person but also online sessions to make it more accessible. If we have a good budget, get in external professionals to give structured courses. The in person workshops would focus on employability through society skills.”

  1. What about the reaffiliation process is complex to you?

Tom outlined the things he finds frustrating about the process.

“My general basic understanding of it is that all societies have to go through it. It’s mostly online and it’s not easy to navigate. Some information isn’t up to date and it’s thrown on students at the end of term and in summer. It’s confusing.”

  1. How would you streamline this process?

He continued talking about the reaffiliation process:

“Training is important. It could be hosted throughout the academic year. Opening it up to have multiple periods in the year where people can undergo training. Overall, I want to look at the whole process and simplify it. This goes hand in hand with my first point on my manifesto but that’s mostly about inclusion and neurodiversity.”

  1. Can you tell me more about how you want to provide a platform for alumni donations funds?

One of Tom’s main manifesto points is related to creating a platform for alumni donations.

“This would be beneficial across sports, media groups, and societies. Having a section on LUSU’s website for alumni to donate to their past societies, sports teams, and media groups would help students massively..”

He continued, stating that:

“The Sport Access Fund is amazing but some students can’t qualify for that. This will be able to help students and their societies during the cost of living crisis. One off donations or memberships from alumni will help bring in a bit of income.”

  1. How would you increase LUSU supported society taster sessions and fun events? Would it be through promotion and advertisements? 

Tom’s main priority is to host more events like taster sessions and society spotlights to get people joining new societies and sports teams.

“Overall, I want to be holding more events, more taster sessions, and more spotlights. More turn up and play sessions will help get students into sports without the sudden commitment that happens when you join some sports teams. It’s a nice transition. Focusing on smaller societies and sports teams is something important I would ensure happens.”

Tom continued, stating how advertisements play into increasing engagement at events:

“Keeping people updated is a priority. Some societies and students don’t have an Instagram so find out about events through LUSU’s website. Providing a spotlight for these societies will help get people going to them. Having an easier way to advertise events through the [Students’ Union] website and the Student Portal will help engage with students who may not have seen events by those sports teams or societies previously.”

  1. There’s been a lot of talks from students about inclusivity and accessibility in sports. How will you ensure that students feel included?

Tom spoke about engaging with the forums and getting students in to discuss their concerns.

“The forums are great and I want to increase the use of those in societies, sports, and media. We can work with them to expand their involvement in societies and sports teams and help students express their concerns. Also, I want wider engagement with students through the use of flyers and using the TVs more on campus to promote events.”

  1. You talk a lot about societies and sports but there’s no mention of media groups. What is your plan to tackle their unique needs?

Tom delve into the media side of the activities officer role and told me:

“Everytime I mention societies, in my mind, I’m including everything, sports, and media. Outside of uni, I have a passion for creative media, editing, graphic design, and martial arts. I want to promote media groups more. We have TVs everywhere on campus. Why can’t we use those to prompte LA1TV’s coverage? Why aren’t there areas on campus where you can hear BailriggFM? We can do so much more to promote them.”

To vote for Tom Porter, you can head over to the LUSU website.

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