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Image of Jack McDonald- Activities Officer 2022/23   JACK McDONALD- OFFICER Profile  Course:  Mathematics MMath    Hometown    A village just outside of Leicester called Stoney Stanton      How do you think your friends and family would best describe you?        Some people have said I am quite energetic, friendly and inquisitive.    What inspired you to become an Exec Officer?        After being directly involved in a number of societies, collaborating with a variety of other student groups and even creating my own. I then volunteered on the Student Union side with the societies council (who approve new student group requests) so I feel that I have a lot of insight into what student groups need. I realised that an Activities Officer is someone who can help to have an impact in these ways.


What can you offer students in your role?    A massive part of the university student experience for many are the societies and co-curricular activities that we can get involved with. I'm here to make sure that your experience is as great as it can be so that you can really have a great time while studying!       What is the most important change you want to make this year?          I really want to push for stronger communication of events and opportunities. The infrastructure is generally there for a lot of things, its simply an issue of students not knowing something exists or how it works. I'd also like to help to build a stronger student community at the university.        Hobbies and Interests: I discovered Rugby League at University, haven't looked back!    Radiohead is my favourite band.      A Song of Ice and Fire is the best book series.    I might have got back into building LEGO during the pandemic and my wallet has not forgiven me since.



June 2022



•It was my Handover month from Manoj, the previous activities officer. Where I was trained and had a lot of inductions into how the role works.


•I attended a conference with University staff to meet them all and see which campaigns and projects we can all work on collaboratively.


•I took part in a Trustee Board meeting for the SU where we went over the outgoing officers' final updates as well as budgets for the 2021/22 financial year.


•I attended the exhibit opening for the Bruce McLean Black Garden Paintings at the Attenborough Arts Centre which ends October 2nd (Please do have a look!)


July 2022



•I officially started as Activities Officer on July 1st! So I was able to jump into my main campaigns for the year: Engagement, Promotions, Societies Council, Room & Facility bookings etc.


•We as an Executive team planned our year with campaigns, projects and events that are coming soon or currently being worked on.


•It was graduation season! I graduated and also took part in and spoke at another graduation ceremony.


August 2022



•I attended the NUS 'Lead & Change' Conference in which officers from around the country come together to network and discuss common issues, projects and exchange ideas on how to combat those.


•I had some introduction meetings with a number of committee members from many of our societies. If anyone missed them, please contact me and we can arrange a separate meeting. The information discussed will be sent to you all via email later on.



•Initial conversations between myself and Attenborough Arts Centre were made to explore how we can best support our Arts, Performance and Common Interest societies through them.


•I had initial conversations about how to improve our Grant Funding offer to Student Groups.


•I wrote a proposal for a New Student Group Starter Fund that was approved! As well as another exciting proposal that will remain a secret for now. More info on these soon!


•Working with Ebony, our Liberation and Inclusion Ambassador and Matthew, our Activities Development Coordinator, we began conversations on how we can best support the democratic voice of students within student groups and societies.


•We met with other Midlands Student Union Officers to discuss similar issues we may have encountered and to have a presentation from WonkHE about the Cost of Living Crisis and other important issues affecting students today.


•I confirmed the action plan for my Room Bookings and Facilities Project with University Staff. The idea is that we approach it from 2 sides: • Work with relevant university staff towards creating a brief for IT services in where our online systems could use improvements or investments. • Work with relevant university staff on creating a checklist to allow for students and staff to see what is needed and who to contact when using a space on campus such as Centenary Square.


September 2022


•I helped Archie with his Sports Council Interviews, there were some incredibly promising and engaged students.


•We attended the Leicester Pride Parade through the city centre and towards Victoria Park.


•I had initial conversations with staff and students with regards to how we can build upon our support global conflicts from a fundraising perspective.


•We had our final training workshops for the summer.

• One with Steve from Coole Insight on how to be an effective Trustee of a charity.

• Another with Jim Dickinson from WonkHE on all major concerns that may arise throughout the year for students.


•Working with the Careers Team and our Activities and Volunteering Manager, Emma, we began talks into how we can map a students’ employability journey through their time at University when they engage with the Students’ Union such as through: student groups, being on committee, being course/academic reps, becoming a Part Time Officer and more.


•I worked with Megan, our Campaigns and Democracy Coordinator to work on a proposal for a new Sustainability Part Time Officer to pose to the October Student Council meeting.


•Working with Matthew, our Activities Development Coordinator, we worked a lot on Societies Council:

• I revamped the roles, responsibilities and how Societies Council works allowing for students from a wide range of interests to have their voice more easily heard and to facilitate any projects they want to work on further by increasing the time commitment to introduce a forum element to the council.

• We launched the application process and advertised that to our student leaders. (The recruitment was a success!)

• We finalised our new approach to how Grant Funding works for the year and launched it to all student groups. The process has been streamlined to make it easier for groups to work through. The uptake is far more than we could have expected!

• We began initial conversations on how to approach the formal creation of Associations (a collaborative group for multiple societies to come together) with support from our Accessibility Part Time Officer, Adam Morgan.


•I worked with Ebony, our Liberation and Inclusion Advisor, to allow student groups who had difficulties with getting tables for Freshers’ Fairs either through admin issues, late requests or being new student groups to have space. The Marquee was made available to us and we were able to locate them all there.


•We finalised the Get Involved at Leicester Leaflet to be given out at Freshers’ fairs to help students to navigate many of the opportunities available on campus as well as a list of societies that we had as of mid-September. We managed to give all of them out, they were a huge success!


•We co-hosted matriculation ceremonies for first year students with University staff to introduce them to the University and the Students’ Union and all the services we provide for them.


•Freshers’ Week! I took part in a wide variety of fairs, I met the committees in the Oadby Sports Fair as well as the Activities and Sports Fairs. A lot of roaming and speaking to students!


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