Sam Rippon Drama Society President
Societies are the lifeblood of this University, and they need to be able to function efficiently, effectively and for the benefit of their members. For that reason, Activities Resource Centre (ARC) reform is at the top of the Drama Society’s wish-list.
Currently, the structure of financial processes mean that society expenditure is often determined by the financial position of its committee members and not the society itself. Invoices can often face delays, reimbursements can be held on a waiting list of an indeterminate length, and Expense365 can be a complicated barrier to members reclaiming money spent out of their own pocket to benefit other members. A good candidate would pledge to sort out these problems which would make it substantially easier to run functional societies and events.
For the Drama Society in particular, we are looking for candidates who recognise the specific needs of specialist societies, such as ours and other creative, performance-based groups. Rehearsal rooms are, in many cases, not fit for purpose – it is immensely difficult to rehearse dance numbers and large cast plays in small classrooms in the basement of Clements House.
Not only that, performance venues are often challenging to book because they are booked so far in advance by external groups and private companies who host events largely unrelated to the university itself. Spaces like The Venue should be student spaces first, and students should not have to work around other events that may leave furniture there or overrun their bookings. A successful candidate should recognise these systematic failures and pledge to sort them out.
Moreover, we want candidates from the elections to be contactable and approachable. SU officers bridge the gap between the students and staffing structures, and we need representatives we can approach with issues and concerns. We also want representatives who are visibly supportive of events and causes on campus.
The Drama Society is endorsing candidates for these elections, but we have made the decision to not endorse any one candidate for General Secretary. We are impressed with the calibre of candidates and are incredibly happy to be in a position where we could endorse any of 3 candidates who have all addressed the need to increase the profile of the creative arts on campus. We cannot wait to work with whoever is elected, but we hope that they stay true to their promise to support us and what we do. LSESU does have a strong creative base, it just needs a stage on which to express itself.