What You Can Do to Grab That Exec Position
Society elections for most (if not all) societies and sports clubs are pretty much done for this year here at Warwick. But if you were a bit late and you’re wondering how people get on execs of societies, or if you’re about to join uni and want to know how you can secure one IN or after your first year, I thought I’d give some tips!
For myself, I’ve been on the exec of Warwick STAR (Student Action for Refugees) for 2 years now, as coordinator for our volunteering sessions both years as well as a second position of Treasurer in my second year – and I’ll be continuing to be on it for next year as the newly elected President! I cannot express how grateful and excited I am to be part of such an amazing society that has truly made up my experience here and I’ve met the most amazing of people through it. Here is some advice from my own experience that I can tell you will work and why…
- For all you incoming first years, look out for those fresher rep positions! Most societies will have one or two positions solely for freshers (some even have postgrad reps) that you can run for in the beginning of the year. This means that you’d be actively involved with the running of a society right from the beginning and get to really know how a society is run. It’s a great way to get into those ranks with the exec and get to know them well, and potentially, what position you may be interested in running for at the end of year if you wish to continue to be a part of that exec.
- If you’re coming to Warwick, there’s all types and sizes of societies out there for you! Don’t join societies just for the sake of joining because everyone else you know is – that society might not be right for you. Really try and join societies that you have a genuine interest in and would enjoy getting involved with throughout the whole year, and your whole time at Warwick even.
Freshers fair is crazy stressful and you get bombarded by a lot of societies – it’s great in that you might end up going to a taster session for something you never considered and love it, but it can also be overwhelming and quite exhausting. You go home with all these flyers and you don’t remember all the people you’ve talked to and might not join a society until later on in the year and wish you had joined earlier (this happened to me in that I only joined Unicef in my second year). What I’d suggest, is before going to Freshers fair (same for Sports Fair), go on the SU website and look through the whole list, and note down the ones that most interest you, then make it a goal to approach those stalls on the day and talk to those running the stall to get a sense if the society is right for you.
- During election time, you always get people running for positions who you’ve maybe seen once, or never seen or heard of before. While it’s great to run anyway and I’d always encourage people to run for a position, the way to really ensure people are voting for you and not someone else, is if people actually know who you are and what you look like. Try and get involved as much as you can. If it’s hard for you to show up every single week to events because of stress and other commitments, at least get to know other members of the society and/or the exec well, so you’re a friendly face they recognise. People will vote for those who they think actually care about the society and will do what they can to put aside time for it, so it is so so important to get involved as much as you can, even if you join late!
- A lot of people want to run for positions for those big societies, like most of the subject ones (Law is a particularly big one). Many people think those exec positions are far more impressive. While I’m not saying don’t get involved with big societies (and you might love it so much and get to know a lot of people and have a good chance if you run), don’t get put off running for smaller societies. Being a part of a smaller society, means you’re not only more involved in how the society is run, but the exec and other active society members become like a family to you. You get to know each other so well, and roles tend to overlap so you’ll always have people helping you. I think the experiences is invaluable and you might be able to learn a lot more because you’d be so heavily involved with the running of the whole society. It also means you’d be able to have a much greater impact. It could be so much more impressive to make a smaller society more successful and a bit bigger if you’re on the exec that year, than if an already successful, big society is holding the same amount of success each year.
(Again, a lot of great big societies and still get involved with those! I just think people downplay smaller ones a lot).
- I think when I first joined, the exec of a society really made a difference on whether I got involved or not (a few I went to, the exec were a bit cliquey and kept to themselves), but in most societies, the exec are so friendly and like to talk and get to know everyone. So more likely or not, they’d be so happy to talk about their positions and how they got it, in fact if you show any hint of wanting to run, they will continue to encourage you and erase any doubts to convince you to run! Ask them about their experiences and what advice they’d give you on running for a position, how to become a more ideal candidate for the position and how to make sure people vote for you.
- While Warwick has a huge number of societies, if you have an idea for one that Warwick does not offer and know others who would like that type of society as well, then just start one of your own! Not exactly sure how many exactly, you can check on the SU website or email one of the SU officers about it, but all you need to do is get a certain number of people to sign a petition that they’d be interested in joining your society, and you’d be able to start a whole new one from scratch the next academic year!
And that’s it! Society execs may seem intimidating and out of reach when you first join uni (that’s how it kind of felt like for me), but trust me, if you just showed your face to every event and gathering, or just showed a great load of enthusiasm for a period of time (even a small one such as a few weeks!) that can be simply enough for you to run for a position.
– Rana xx