By Oliver Price – News Manager
Hertfordshire Students’ Union has confirmed a new policy to radically overhaul the full-time elected officer positions, as well as scrapping ‘slates’, the groups that like-minded candidates run in.
When asked why the roles were being reformed, Vice-President Communications and Media Shelby Loasby said: “The workload is not evenly split, and we find… the job descriptions… are not clear enough.
“It’s not fair that the split is not even.”
For several of the roles, their duties have only slightly changed and their positions have been more clearly defined.
Under the new system, the President of Hertfordshire Students’ Union will be doing “essentially” the same job, which encompasses leading the other officers and getting the best deal for students
VP Student Activities will become VP Activities, and will now also encompass Trident Media into their oversight, however, with the exception of this change, the role will be very similar.
The VP Education and Welfare will now just be, according to Loasby, “more focused on education”, and will not focus on welfare.
When asked the reason for cutting welfare responsibilities from the role, the Vice-President Communications and Media stated: “We are not trained to be counsellors, so we can only signpost or put on awareness campaigns.”
VP Democracy and Services will be replaced with VP Services, as the ‘Democracy’ part is the role of all of the elected officers, not just one, and the handling of elections has been passed onto the staff at the Students’ Union. Other than this, the role will remain the same, being responsible for HSU services and engaging with University Services.
VP Community is a brand new role for Hertfordshire SU. The description of the role says that they will support student liberation groups, such as LGBT+ and BAME, as well as sections such as International and Disabled Students.
They will also take charge of non-academic welfare and support provision, including working with local government and community organisations.
Loasby said, “The Community Officer will be looking at a lot of liberation stuff; campus life; things that are important to our student body that we have been working on but not been focusing on.”
Furthermore, VP Communications and Media will be completely removed as a role. When asked where the duties for her current position, providing oversight into the running of Trident Media and communicating with those outside the Union, will be distributed, Loasby said: “Vice President Activities will be looking after Trident Media because it is an activity, it’s essentially a society as well, so it doesn’t make sense that the 150 plus societies only have one person.
“Communications is something that all officers should be doing anyway, we’re all talking to students, we’re all talking to the marketing department anyway.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be one person.”
When asked why the slates were being scrapped, Loasby said: “It puts some people at unfair advantages.”
Loasby left with final comments saying she was “ending a legacy of Comms and Media”.