SRC 2014 interviews Student Activities: James Yates

Published

Sanah Idrees

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James Yates is a final year English Language student and sits on the GUU Board of Management. Whilst he has no direct SRC experience, he believes he will provide a new perspective coming into the the SRC from the outside. He describes his focus as “great student experiences”.

Guardian: What is your motivation for running for this position?

Yates: I’m in my last year at Glasgow and one thing I’m going to take away from University is the clubs and societies I’ve been involved with. I’ve personally had a great student experience and want to improve on the great clubs and societies and facilities Glasgow already has. The role means a lot to me because I definitely would like to be in a position to help other students to have a great university experience like me, outside of seminars and lectures.

Guardian: You mention working with all four student bodies to make Freshers’ Week more successful than previous years in your manifesto. How would you do this?

Yates: Firstly, I think improved marketing on social media, with stronger branding, is  needed during the summer for when applicants look for information about their Freshers’ Week on Facebook, to deter them from any unofficial events. I think it’s vital for the student bodies to work together seeing as we have a unique student body structure and it’s the aim of each one to make new students feel welcome and to get them involved.

In addition, student halls are a great place for the student bodies to promote themselves in order to make their events successful and it’s important for Freshers to be aware of all the opportunities available to them. Obviously this must be done sensibly and I wouldn’t condone student bodies intruding on students in their homes.

Guardian: A big part of your role is assisting the four student media outlets. What is your experience with this?

Yates: I originally got involved in GUU through the GUUi magazine and being on the Libraries Committees. Although I’m not formal with student media outlets, I understand how magazines work and the facilities and resources they need. This is knowledge that I can take to the role on the SRC.

Although I feel student media at Glasgow is very successful independently, I would be more than willing to provide any support needed, especially  concerning advertising opportunities and increasing student contribution. In addition, I would take on any input from them when organising Media Week, as it will be beneficial for them and their experience.

Guardian: You mention being part of the RAG (Raising and Giving) Committee this year. How will you help promote the aspect of the role if elected?

Yates: I think a lot of people see [the SRC] as the boring admin side of University, but it has great aspects – like volunteering and RAG. I want to raise awareness for students, especially those involved in just the student unions and bring them to the SRC. Some of the most successful events this year have been organised by two student bodies collaborating, such as the GUU and SRC’s Red Ribbon Open Mic. Not only does it provide more resources for the event, but it also gets promoted to a wider range of students on campus. The promotion of volunteering at these events will in turn raise the awareness of these opportunities.

Guardian: Is your lack of SRC experience a concern?

Yates: Not at all. I actually think that my lack of SRC experience is an advantage as it means I can provide a set of fresh eyes and fresh ideas to the role. In addition, with the experience I have gained on the GUU board, in what has been a tough year for the Union without the Hive, I feel I’m equipped to tackle any issues that might arise and be successful at the role.