Students Union President Interview

The new President has arrived….No not that one! Harry Hodges has recently been named as the new Student’s Union President after months of campaigning and subsequent elections. Sat now, opposite me, he is cool and collected; comfortably positioned in his chair and a far different Harry to the one that had to deal with elections only a month ago.

Starting from the beginning I decided that we needed to get to know Harry before he talks us through his Presidential ambitions. Harry hails from Devon, in the South of England, and came to Greenwich University to study Psychology, always having been a member of the Student’s Union he decided, in his final year, to actually become a volunteer officer and this is where the interview begins.

When asking Harry why he chose to join the Student’s Union as an officer a couple of years ago, he explained his love for working to help the students. His role then was Equality, Diversity and Disability Officer (President is a breath of fresh air compared to that lengthy title). Harry believed this role “opened his eyes to the students union and really showed him what little was being done”. Even now he sits up straight and speaks with heightened emotion.

“We constantly challenged the sabbatical officers when myself and Ed Oakes were Equality officers; we pushed them to do more. At the end of the year we felt we’d be some of the best people to lead the Union.”

Harry has had a large involvement with activities and societies before his role as Vice President of Student Activities, and soon to be President. As a student he was a member of Greenwich’s Hockey and Cricket Teams as well as being a member of the Psychology Society. Having such a firm standing within the student body Harry had a clear idea of what he wanted to do and achieve within the Students Union.

When asked about his role as Vice President of Student Activities and what he’s achieved this past year a smile crossed Harry’s face as he leaned forward and excitedly told me the numbers.

“We wanted to at least have a thousand new members join societies this year, and we’ve had two thousand and fifty! Sports are constantly growing as well!” A number to be proud of, surpassing targets set at the beginning of the year, not only this but the number of societies available to students has also doubled.

After talking to him about background work we discussed what he wants to do as President, his role commencing June 1st.

Quoting his manifesto from the election process he spoke passionately about “Greenwich apathy”. Harry firmly believes that there is a lack of feeling when it comes to students and the SU and even the University.

“I want to ensure that I bridge the gap between the University and Students. A lot of the staff for the University, especially those in high positions, have no time for the students and really don’t understand them.” Shaking his head Harry rolls his eyes at the idea of this unseeing higher board of educators.

The role of President can become heavily administrative; you sit on a lot of boards and talk to a lot of staff. I want to achieve communication between all three parties; the Students Union, University Staff, and Students. I have the ability to and I want to make sure I use it.”

The elections process is a long and arduous task that takes months of preparation and a lot of decisions have had to be made. Harry was part of “Team Red”, a group of students who all had the same objectives and motives that allowed them to group together and run as a kind of political party. (All members of Team Red were elected in the campaign).

Having run in multiple elections now Harry spoke of how this was an “interesting year” as there were no “large groups or slates running against us, it was mainly independents”. When asked how this made him feel and if he found this to be an easier election campaign than previous years he quickly responded with “No, it was still difficult and hard work. This was the first year of really positive campaigning and there were a strong group of candidates who all had the best intentions.” Asked if running as a group made a difference he replied, “When people run as a group though they bring with them a large group of people with various backings, however, independents don’t have this they tend to only have a few or themselves. This doesn’t mean the campaign was easy though, anyone could’ve won.” If he had lost Harry fondly maintains the knowledge that “the other candidates would’ve done a really good job too.”

When asked what the first thing he thought of when winning he replied “Thank God!”.

Speaking of his future Harry simply laughs, a lot! “I don’t know, I think I would like to enter the volunteering sector, specialise in crisis. But all I know is I need to take a break from the higher education sector.”

When the interview was over Harry smiled and asked if he could relax, laughing I told him he’d been relaxed throughout. Clearly he’s going to be good SU president.

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Where is Home?

Sitting on my bed now, looking out at the trees blowing in the wind and a blue sky that allows the sun to filter in through my ancient windows, I can’t help but wonder; is this home?

The answer is usually ‘home is where the heart is’, however, where is my heart?

I have no answer to my sudden question. Sometimes I feel like a little nomadic camel moving from place to place. Having lived in Dorset as a young girl some may say this is my home, however, I know that it is not. I don’t feel euphoric when I visit Dorset. There is no rush of excitement or one perfect exhale that allows all of the muscles in my body to relax. So no; this is not home.

My next stop was Scotland. Having spent many years in this Northern country I could almost say that this is home. I refer to it as that, with its rolling hills, curving rivers and emerald green landscape. Scotland was where I did all of my growing up; I made friends here, created a life and had a staple place in the community. I finished school here and learnt valuable life lessons, however, now that’s neither I or nor my parents reside here is this home? After my parents returned to Dorset after are many years in the ‘barren wilderness’ can I refer to Scotland as my home with no house on its beautiful land?

Then I moved to London; the large sprawling urban jungle that is alive throughout the day and night. University was calling and London answered. Here I’ve met life long friends, had dream internships and found my feet. Here my ambition has only grown. My dreams getting bigger at every passing moment and I feel that life is there for the taking. London is thrilling; one large adrenaline rush of people and work. I somewhat get that relaxing exhale I have always dreamed of; but not quite, not completely. I may call London home to those who ask. Alas in my heart I know that it’s not quite the truth.

I wonder, as I walk around this amazing city; have I found home yet? Is it possible that I don’t have the place to call home, as I haven’t yet located it? I know where I want to call home; an even bigger city with much taller buildings. You know? That city on an island beginning with man? But even if this dream home doesn’t exist there, I suppose I will find it eventually. A girl just has to be patient and wait. Much like you have to wait for love, I’ve decided to wait for my home.

So what I’m saying is that it’s possible to never fit in or feel safe where your family calls home, or where your friends call home. These can simply places that you’re visiting on your journey to the place that you want to call home. I know that while I’m close I’m not quite there yet. Home is calling me, but I won’t be able to settle in for a few years.

Does ‘the one’ exist?

I have always been a dreamer; I have always wanted to have ‘the one’.

While we question our choices on a daily basis can the loss of attraction be fixed? When a wedge of distance begins to grow amongst a couple is there a way to fix it? Endless hours of getting to know one another and gazing into each other’s eyes doesn’t really exist. I suppose I always thought that couples would last forever, that when I finally chose someone that that would be me set.

Forever, I am beginning to realise is an extremely long time and filling this time with a relationship is becoming ever harder. When someone does one thing to put a dent in that relationship it’s fixable, when they carry on to have minor blips, those too, are fixable, however, what can you do when you begin to lose sight of the person you fell in love with.

I ask myself this question now more than ever. I look at him and think are you changing or am I?

Entering into a relationship in your early twenties is hard. We both still have so much growing up to do, we haven’t formed into the people of our future, perhaps we are simply growing apart or perhaps we’re becoming different people. This doesn’t make me feel any less guilty though. It doesn’t stop me from hating myself for not seeing the man I fell in love with. Can we though, fall in love with our first love? This is yet another question I pose to myself.

I watch my friend’s parents; they’ve been together since they were fifteen and they’ve made it work, so how come now I can’t seem to? I know that I love him but is he my boyfriend or simply friend?

I don’t know what to do and I don’t know how I feel. One minute I see a future with him, I see our forever; and then another minute I can’t see anything.

Boys, I have decided are extremely confusing individuals and ones I can’t read.

Should I have to bring all of the happiness to the relationship? Should I bring the money or should we be equal? Tiring is the word. Relationships are far too overrated (sometimes). I love him and I know he loves me but sometimes looking past the blips and the growing, looking past the changing is hard. But is it worth it? This question is soon to be answered.

I am still a dreamer; I still believe that there is one special person for everyone. I want to believe in fairy tales, however, now I know that life is a little more complicated than happily ever afters. Life has problems and mountains to climb and I suppose that now, now I have begun to enter a world filled with adult questions and choices.

While I believe that ‘the one’ exists I now realise that it’s not all about roses and hearts. It’s about growing together and learning how each other work and move. ‘The One’ can’t be discovered after a first date, it takes months and years of decisions and arguments to decide. So I suppose what I’m trying to say is that we can find or soulmate but we have to work for it. Life isn’t a fairytale it wasn’t meant to be easy.

I am still a dreamer; I still believe that there is one special person for everyone. I want to believe in fairy tales, however, now I know that life is a little more complicated than happily ever afters. Life has problems and mountains to climb and I suppose that now, now I have begun to enter a world filled with adult questions and choices.