Woroni’s Comprehensive Guide to the 2020 ANUSA Executive Candidates: Social Officer

Juliette was a Deputy Women's Officer in 2018

Who are the candidates?

Sophie Jaggar: Running independently on the ticket ‘Sophie for Social’, current Social Officer 

Bella Hewitt: ‘Brighter Together’, 

 

Primary policies: 

Jaggar plans to build on her work in 2020, implement accessibility training, support clubs and departments, and future-proof the role of Social Officer.

Hewitt aims to reinvigorate campus life with bold, collaborative events, focusing on wellbeing, safety and accessibility. 

 

On the importance of Social Officer during COVID-19: 

Jaggar explains that the role as it was known before has become less important, but that now more than ever we need to socialise, and events still need to be put on. She sees the role as being vital to adapting how we and ensuring that we connect. She is interested in engaging people at home. 

Hewitt argues that Social Officer is more important now than ever before. In her experience as Community Coordinator at UniLodge, the transfer of events to an online format has tapped into more students and shown which were missing. She stresses the importance of a hybrid calendar to attract more students.

 

On ensuring that Friday Night Party (FNP) can still go ahead, but as an event accessible to mature aged students, international students, and students with disabilities: 

Jaggar wants to investigate online and live streaming alternatives and other COVID safe options. She has consulted with current Disabilities Officer Zoe Ranganathan about accessibility and is considering adding ramps at ticket entrances, free tickets and a fast lane for DSA members, and a reworked quiet space. She organised an online music event during Bush Week this year with watch parties at colleges.

Hewitt sees FNP as vital and would do everything in her power to hold it in person, potentially with a live performance and separate dance spaces. Otherwise potentially artists could perform at home. To increase accessibility she would livestream the event and offer equity tickets.

 

On adapting to potential major cuts to the ANUSA events budget: 

Jaggar hopes to maintain current levels of funding and would work with other members of the ANUSA executive to achieve this. She says ANU’s social culture is important to attracting students. She argues that through earlier planning of FNP, she could save tens of thousands of dollars, therefore fitting within a smaller budget.

Hewitt plans to reduce costs of FNP and O-Week through conducting an inventory of ANUSA’s existing supplies and would push for more collaboration and sharing of resources among ANUSA’s clubs and departments. For FNP, she advocates promoting a local Canberra line-up who need support during this time. 

 

Sophie Jaggar on why she is running again and what policies she could not achieve: 

Jaggar explains that she could not achieve all of her promised policies from 2019, due to COVID-19. With her experience in the role, she has gained perspective and could do the role more effectively next year. She states she has prioritised clubs and departments during her time as 2020 Social Officer.

 

On which events would be well suited to an online format:

Hewitt proposes running online events and live-streamed events. Within her proposed Wellbeing committee, she would run smaller, more intimate events, including online coffee catch up and board game events.

Jaggar has run events online during Bush Week and Less Stresstival. She brings up the example of the BKSS’s ongoing online events, stating she would use the BKSS team next year as well. 

 

On giving the ‘first year experience’ to those who missed out this year: 

Hewitt acknowledges that first years have been ‘deprived’ of social experiences and hopes to engage them as much as possible. She wants to improve safety through improved training for volunteers and ANU Security in preparation for incidents. 

Jaggar would run events directed at first and second year students and is considering a buddy system. She hopes to collaborate with colleges, as well as Griffin. 

 

On how to engage more international students:

Jaggar had intended to run a large, collaborative event for international students this year, but was prevented by COVID-19, and would hope to do something similar next year. She has worked with the International Students’ Department (ISD) this year and has also met with all the other departments. She wants to promote events on ANU’s WeChat account. 

Hewitt has also consulted with LC Yip, former International Officer, and has plans to try to engage remote international students next year, potentially through posting O-Week tote bags. She intends to better promote ISD events through ANUSA social media channels.