Vice President Communications and Media: Interviews and Analysis

[Laura Slingo & Tom Boon | Elections Team]

The Elections Team offered interviews to candidates on a first-come first-served basis, as slots were limited.

The Role

The Vice President Communications and Media leads Trident Media and makes sure students know all about the SU’s services and events. In this role, VP will act as Editor-in-Chief of Trident Media and oversee the direction of Marketing and Communications. They will also work with the University to ensure their communications work for students.

The Candidates

A.S.M. Ariful Khan – Storm Herts

Steve Judd – OneUH

Alex Jungeling – FRESH Herts

Shelby Loasby – SHOW HERTS

Vicky Nhu Yen Pham – Storm Herts

A.S.M. Ariful Khan – Storm Herts

Storm Herts scheduled an interview with Trident Media, however, they failed to show up on the day, with the Presidential candidate saying he was unaware that his team had scheduled the interview.

A.S.M. Ariful Khan states in his manifesto that he is the President of the Bangladesh Society in addition to being the In-chair of the UH socialist society, proving that he has experience within the SU and in positions of authority.

He is standing for the position of VP Comms and Media because he wishes ‘to implement certain policies to improve the services of this sector’. It is questionable however what he means by ‘sector’ as the role of VP Comms and Media deals with communication on a student and university level rather than part of the nation’s economy. It is also worth noting that there is a minor spelling error with ‘VP Coms & Media’ in Khan’s manifesto, a worrying slip-up for a potential Editor-in-Chief.

Khan attempts to persuade students in his ‘why vote for me’ section, stating that he is ‘capable of multi-tasking consistently and effectively’ and ‘in touch with every day students regularly’ – it’s possible he actually means ‘in touch with students regularly, every day’. He also claims: ‘I know exactly what students want’. This is all very well, but Khan fails to provide any evidence for these claims, and does not link these attributes to the position of VP Comms and Media. It is strange that he does not mention whether he is a member of Trident Media or not.

His first manifesto point addresses an app for Trident Media. Within this point he discusses the aim to host ‘live telecasts of big events’ and then ‘be able to watch this live telecast from mobile or laptop through this app’. To begin with, it is no secret that apps cost thousands to produce and then maintain; something that is not feasible in the current Trident Media budget, especially when broadcasting live events. There is a tremendous amount of effort needed regarding video, crew, etc. for every event, then there is the logistics and legalities with live streaming and on top of this there is the price in developing app technology.

Khan also wishes to ‘increase awareness’ of Crush Radio and Crush Underground ‘as well as increasing student activities involved with these shows’. While it is an excellent idea to promote student radio shows, Khan seems to be unaware that Crush Underground is closing and being made into a producing studio – as mentioned in Trident Media’s official Media Forum and  Student Council.

In addition, his manifesto addresses ‘Love Shows’ where Khan intends to ‘arrange a blind date program’. This seems more like a project for a student within Trident Media rather than a responsibility for the VP.

Khan also talks of ‘Award Programs’ – yes there is a spelling error here, too. He states: ‘I would like to create an award program were all awarded students of various prizes and trophies would be undertake an interview of how they feel to be awarded of their specific prize or position’. After a little unpicking, it seems Khan wants to set-up an award programme for Trident Media members for their contribution. The Trident Media Awards already exist.

Steve Judd – OneUH

It is unfortunate the OneUH submitted a group manifesto with only three bullet points for each candidate. While it is impactful and easy to read, more detail is desired.

Judd’s first point is ‘Trident Media at the forefront of the SU’. As VP Comms and Media is the Editor-in-Chief of Trident Media, this seems like a fair and achievable aim. One can presume that Judd may wish to market Trident Media more effectively in order to achieve this aim, but the question is how?

Judd’s second manifesto point is ‘Paid correspondents’. Trident Media members dedicate a large number of voluntary hours and so having a paid role would be a just reward. The SU already offers rewards for ‘media recognition’, for example, publishing an article and presenting a radio show. There may be bursaries or scholarships available to pay members for their work, but this would be the only potential option as there is not enough money in the Trident Media budget to pay members. So far this year, Print has had to stop printing newspapers and magazines early and resort to placing them online because of budget cuts.

The final manifesto point is ‘Bringing the SU to you’. While this statement is vague, it suggests that Judd wishes to market Trident Media more effectively so that students are aware of the society. The only question, again, is how?

_DSC0082-44

Alex Jungeling – FRESH Herts

Alex Jungeling was interviewed with her slate, and as such had a shorter interview than other candidates.

Alex Jungeling claims that she is the ideal candidates for VP Comms and Media because ‘joining media was one of the first things [she] did at University’. As a result she has ‘grown and learnt with Trident’, suggesting that she would know how to guide the society, a key responsibility of the VP.

Jungeling’s first two manifesto points seem very similar: ‘Improving communication between the University, union and students’ and ‘Officer communication to Students’. She explained how these points are two separate aims in the interview. Jungeling comments:

“The first point is that a lot of people don’t realise that the elected officers are working for the Union, but their actual role is to be a representative of the students. So they are essentially still students, they are the ones who are talking to the University, to the Union, trying to get things done that students need to tell them about. And the communication with officers is more – I know coming from past VP Comms and Medias – is that their role involves helping the other officers get their things out there, helping them communicate with the students as well, using things that – like media – to get whatever they want to out there.”

Another point of Jungeling’s is ‘Increased promotion of Student and Athletic Union events and achievements’. Trident Media asked Jungleing what the priority is, as she wants to promote ‘societies, volunteers groups and sports teams’: “It links with the point of communication with elected officers, specifically focusing, say, on Student Activities. Being involved in so many volunteering things, societies, all of that stuff, I know that their achievements and work isn’t often put out there in any way. So, like the screens around campus, just as an example, there’s no reason, typically with the AU, fixtures could be up every week, results can be put up.”’

While obviously it is great news for students to have their achievements recognised and advertised, there is the issue of how this is going to happen. The SU only have access to four slots the TV screens about campus and the University own the rest. Trident Media asked how she intends to persuade the University and what is