The end of Term 2 sees all the societies at Warwick gearing up to hand over the reins to the next exec team. Every society does this differently – some hold their elections (or exections, as they are fondly known) in person, with candidates standing up at the front with their speech; others hold them online, where candidates post their manifestos so that members can then vote. Anyone can stand to be on the exec of any society – you just have to be a member (which usually costs around £3), although it helps if you can prove that it’s a society you’re committed to! It doesn’t matter if you’re first or second year (or even third if your course is more than three years), so long as you will still be studying at the university the following year.
This year, I’ve been on the exec for the Writing Society in the role of Secretary. This has meant that I’ve been responsible for booking any rooms we’ve needed, sending out the weekly email to members and sharing responsibility for social media – as well as other responsibilities that I’ve taken on but aren’t specific to the Secretary, such as health and safety and equal opportunities. It’s been really great fun, and has made sure that I’ve stayed involved with the society and got out and about a bit more than I otherwise might. I’m also naturally a bit of a bossy boots, so it’s been good in that aspect too…
A little while ago, I made the decision that I wanted to run to be on the exec again this year, but this time as President! Every society has varying exec roles, but always has to have a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer as the bare minimum. Our society also has a Sessions Coordinator who runs our weekly writing sessions, a Social Secretary, a Publicity Officer, and three Dodo editors who run our creative writing publication.
Our exections are quite relaxed, so all I had to do was to turn up on the day at the designated time and place with my speech prepared (which only has to be about a minute long) detailing why I thought I would make a good President. Anyone running against me had to be out of the room while I made my speech, and vice versa, and then we both left the room while the voting took place. Voting is anonymous – it can be done in varying ways such as by ballot or simply by closing your eyes – so that no one feels pressured or pushed in their decision in any way. Then the votes are counted up by someone who has no interest in the result – so it has to be someone who is not running for a position, obviously! We chose our current President to do this. It’s up to the society if they want to reveal the results there and then, at the end, or later such as by email or Facebook. We kept things nice and simple by revealing the results there and then – and I can happily say that I was voted in to be the President for 2017/18!
I’m really excited to see where this new role will lead me once I officially start in Term 3, and I have a great team working with me so I’m looking forward to seeing what we will do! My main message in this post though was just to give you an idea of how exections and run and hopefully help you to see that they’re not as scary as you might first think!