Posted on Thu 07 Feb 2019 at 13:33 by Christopher Carter
In my opinion, of all the Student Officer positions, the Welfare and Campaigns Officer role gives you the most freedom to support students on campaigns and ideas they hope to pursue, as well as your own manifesto points!
As the Welfare Officer, you need to be happy to jump from one project to the next, and then back again for good measure. You oversee quite an array of areas of student life, such as: students’ general wellbeing, student mental health, student housing, students in the community, sexual health, sexual violence and harassment taskforce, drugs and alcohol, the welfare stand, Welfare Exec training opportunities, Locker 21… the list could go on! These topics don’t come about one at a time, and instead you need to be happy covering five or six of them a day, depending on how your calendar is looking.
In comparison to some of the other Student Officer roles, this position gives you the flexibility to spend equally as much (or in some cases even more) time on student-facing campaigns and initiatives than you would in University meetings. It also gives you the freedom to somehow wiggle your agenda item into a University Committee, where they may not have previously considered their focus from a Welfare-related perspective!
However, this freedom does come with a catch. You need to be self-motivated and driven. Some days I will have no students walk through the door looking for either advice or assistance on a campaign, whereas others I’ll have two or three! Self-motivation and flexibility are the keys to this role, as you need to be comfortable setting up your own meetings across the SU/University, as well as pursuing campaigns without anyone necessarily ‘pushing’ you to do so.
The most important attribute for a Welfare Officer, however, is an ability to show compassion and empathy for any student who enters your office with a concern - whether it’s personal or club/exec-related, you are there to help them resolve any issues they may be struggling with. But don’t worry, you’re not there to hold the answers to everything! Instead, your job is to signpost students to the correct services or help guide them through a process that can sometimes be difficult to navigate.
And finally - this should go without saying - but passion is a vital attribute to being a Student Officer. You’re going to have to pursue your agenda and campaigns for a full year. Whilst that may sound short now, I can guarantee that it will be one of the most full-on years of your life so far!
If you’re lucky enough to be elected, I promise that being a Student Officer will be a challenging but rewarding experience. You are surrounded by the most supportive and passionate set of colleagues, and an environment that ensures one day is never the same as the next! It’s an incredible opportunity, and one which I am still incredibly grateful for being granted.
So, what are you waiting for? Get thinking of a catchy slogan (I’m sure #DilemmaJemma won’t be too hard to beat) and pop into my office to discuss all things manifesto-related. I promise you won’t regret it!
Nominate yourself here before Noon on 12th February: www.warwicksu.com/elections