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Leena Rivas – Candidate for Student Activities Officer


The Yorker’s candidate profile for Leena Rivas who is running for the position of Student Activities Officer in the YUSU Elections 2015.


Name: Leena Rivas

Candidate for: Student Activities Officer

College: Constantine

Year: 4th

Course: Masters in Mathematics

Why are you running? Activities have formed the best part of what I’ve done at university: the events I’ve run; the societies I’ve helped develop and I think they are what makes York so special. That said, there’s still so much more to be done: some things I’ve started with the societies committee, and some I want the chance to work on next year. I also ran because being Student Activities Officer is my dream job and it fits my skill sets perfectly.

What are your policies? Push For Building A Media Hub. This idea is in response to the crumbling facilities some of the campus media societies have at the moment. Both URY and Grimston house are due to be demolished in the near future. Creating a single building for them would encourage more interactions between different groups and will offer ways to save YUSU society costs in the long term by sharing equipment and facilities.

Boost financial support for societies. I want to build on our achievements as the societies committee in getting online finances, and bring everything finance into this century. I will also push for full transparency on the union website about what each society gets and where they get it from. There are a lot of other sources of income like alumni grants that societies miss just by not knowing about them. Finally I would give a £50 float to all societies allowing you to cover small costs so you don’t have to spend your own money.

Rag and volunteering support. Currently the support for students involved in RAG and volunteering is not the best it can be. I want more relevant training to the part-time officers, whose roles vary widely and who currently all get given the same activist style advice. I want to encourage more collaborations between societies, RAG and volunteering to get them to support each other to do more. Finally, I’d also want to allow more autonomy to college rag in order to put on a wider variety of events.

Why should students vote for you? I’ve got the experience, know how, passion and work ethic to make the changes we need. I have a track record of creating successful collaboration events, having co-created and co-written Sexposé for the last three years. I’ve been chair of both Academic and Special Interests society categories for the societies committee. I’ve been an active member, strongly representing my group and offering them the chance to talk to me whenever they need help. As part of this role I pushed to reform the way societies can access their finances online, change that is currently being implemented. I’ve fundraised for volunteering projects through YuCall, which I now supervise, and been immersed in so much of what activities have to offer. I’ve was involved in starting the Derwent drama group and chairing MathSoc. I’ve run performances in the Drama Barn and performed with various societies in Central Hall. I’ve done all sorts: I know where issues crop up for students working with YUSU and I have lots of ideas for making things work better.

Manifesto in a sentence: I want to bring YUSU finance into this century, boost activities sponsorship, build a new student media hub on Heslington East and give more power to RAG and volunteering by providing more relevant training and support to the students involved.