Gin Masiulyté is a final year Economics and Politics student from Lithuania, who currently holds the post of Charities, Clubs and Societies Officer, as well as having been an SRC member since first year and a Freshers’ Week helper for the past three years. Asked to describe her campaign in three words, Gin went for “experience” “passion” and “dedication.”
Guardian: How would your SRC experience help you in this role?
Masiulyté: One of the things to understand about the SRC is that sometimes things are a bit slow. It takes you a bit of time to know how University works, how structures work and what people you have to get in touch with for each issue. That’s why I think my experience and involvement would help me, because I wouldn’t need a month or so to get into my role. I’m in the office almost every day so I know people already, like Freshers’ Week coordinators and the staff, so I believe this would be helpful and I wouldn’t need such a long transition period. I would immediately have more time to do things.
Guardian: Dealing with student media will likely take up a good chunk of your time. What is your experience with them?
Masiulyté: Well, before coming of Glasgow University, I had a goal to become a journalist. So I was writing for various student media and trying to get into local media. I attended a School of Journalism, so I actually know a lot about media and know how much experience is necessary to get into it. At Glasgow University, we have these award-winning media teams and I believe it’s very important to show them to students.
I think one of the things that came up from my discussions with the members of the student media is that having a student coordinator of Media Week would be a very beneficial position. I’m not a professional in student media, although I have a lot of awareness of it, but these people in student media would actually be able to focus Media Week on more useful and resourceful activities. I believe we should provide interesting speakers that can actually engage with the community. I think early planning would also be a key thing. Having some meetings with student media quite often would be good. I enjoy Media Work myself and believe there would be a mutual relationship by getting more involved with student media representatives.
Guardian: What could you do to increase participation in Freshers’ Week?
Masiulyté: In my manifesto, I address some particular issues on this. I think the University needs to engage home students a bit more. Home students are less likely to attend night events like the club nights that are happening, but are more likely to attend the daytime events. So I believe providing them with this sense of community that they can be a part of is very important.
Another issue with Freshers’ Week is that some people have reported that they wanted better value for money, so introducing other events and some events especially for international students would increase attendance. I believe Glasgow University is quite lucky to have four student bodies and we have such great cooperation between them that most of the needs are provided. The SRC are providing a lot of good services, like the night buses to take people home, but we probably need to increase the visibility of the brand and of the Freshers’ helpers. We always say that we need to increase sales of the Freshers’ pass, but at the same time I think we need to provide a bit more for that. I would be keen to use all my resources, because I believe I’m quite a resourceful and inventive person, to come up with some events that are different and provide an inclusion of the whole community.
Guardian: What could you be doing to make sure Freshers’ Week is as safe as possible?
Masiulyté: All the SRC Freshers’ helpers have training from campus security people, so I believe introducing this training and asking for representatives for all of the unions to also have this training would be good. They would be aware of all the important issues that could come up. I would also want to promote the SRC night bus service because it’s a good service and actually gets people home safe.
I believe I could encourage people to use the SRC Advice Centre as well, not even just in Freshers’ Week. If you have to walk home from the city centre, you can get a personal attack alarm. And I’d also want to encourage Freshers to be responsible for their own safety as well – so suggest walking in groups for example.