Interview and analysis: Courtney Hughes – QMU VP Membership, Clubs and Societies candidate

Published

Holly Sloey
News Editor

One of this year’s two candidates for VP Membership, Clubs and Societies, Courtney Hughes’ manifesto is written from a place of some experience on the QMU, as she has been Current Student Representative for the past year, and is also involved with the Social Committee and the Publications Committee. The achievement she seems proudest of during her time as Current Student Representative has been introducing regular film screenings into the union, and she hopes to be able to transfer the experience she has gained in these roles over to the role of VP Membership, Clubs and Societies.

She mentions in her manifesto that she intends to use her organisational skills to improve on the QMU’s Freshers Week, particularly highlighting the need to include more events that appeal to mature and postgraduate students. One idea that she has to do this would be to run a cheese and wine mixer as the QMU has in the past, which she believes was popular with older students, and ensure that daytime events are well-publicised. She also wants to make it easier for new students to become members of the QMU by supplying Freshers Helpers with membership forms that they can hand out on the job. Both of these ideas seem sensible and achievable.

Hughes also wants to improve the QMU’s advertising in order to increase engagement with the Union. Her idea to advertise more on the screen outside the Porter’s Box is maybe a little weak as it relies on footfall in order to be successful, but her intention to work with Cross Campus to have more advertising across the University highlighting the benefits of QMU membership, as well as that students can be members of both unions, is promising. She mentions that she wants to send weekly notifications to existing members on social media to remind them what events are on in the Union, which shows a commitment to improving attendance at events and maintaining relations with those who have already shown an interest in the QMU.

She wants to have a mixer for life members once a semester in either Jim’s Bar or Scran so as to encourage them to utilise the QMU’s facilities more regularly. It’s not clear how successful this would be, but if she were able to pull it off it could be a good way of both increasing footfall and financial donations.

Given the QMU’s troubled history with its affiliated clubs and societies, it’s encouraging that Hughes demonstrates a willingness to continue to improve its relationship with them. She is particularly concerned about ensuring that they are aware who to speak to regarding room bookings, and wants to clear up what she feels has been confusion in this regard by explaining how rooms can be booked in an introductory email to any societies choosing to affiliate with the Union.

Hughes comes across as a positive and enthusiastic candidate overall. Although not all of her ideas have guaranteed success, it is clear that she is committed to the QMU and would try her best in the role. There is no reason why she would not be a good VP Membership, Clubs and Societies for the Union if she were to be elected.