This is the second year in a row that Fay Pennington has run for QMU VP Membership, Clubs and Societies and the experience listed on her manifesto is much the same as last year. When questioned on why she’s better suited to the position now she told us she’s since taken a step back from the QM’s politics, re-engaging as a student with its events and culture which have allowed her to rediscover why she became involved with the union in the first place. Her enthusiasm for QMU and what it can offer students is infectious, and it’s clear she isn’t just in this for the politics.
Fay is also insistent that her manifesto isn’t just a copy and paste from last year. Whilst she has retained some key points, she now places more of her focus on Freshers' Week and working across student bodies towards improving the current Freshers' pass system. One questions the amount of success she can really have with a policy like this, with the difficulty of cross-campus collaboration on the issue having already been a problem for the current QM executive. However, the fact that she acknowledges that there is a problem and knows the barriers she faces shows that she isn’t naïve about what she can realistically achieve in this position.
This realism carries over into the issue of incentivising people to engage more with the QMU. Fay admits that she doesn’t really know how to rally people who aren’t already interested in the union and its events. She is only one person, and this is an issue that the union’s new executive will have to try and tackle as a team in the future. Yet, her push for an online system for memberships and more targeted advertising of events to members can only be a step in the right direction.
Read Fay's manifesto here.