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Loussin-Torah Pilikian – Candidate for Student Activities Officer

©YUSU

The Yorker’s candidate profile for Loussin-Torah Pilikian who is running for the position of Student Activities Officer in the YUSU Elections 2015. 

©YUSU

Name: Loussin-Torah Pilikian

Candidate for: Student Activities Officer

College: Halifax

Year: 3rd

Course: Philosophy

Why are you running? I really value the last three years of my university experience and over the course of them I’ve grown so passionate about students making the most of their time at The University of York and really getting involved with the activities that they care about. University is a time in your life where you can really take control of your life and take interest in projects that are meaningful to you. I want to extend this to other students.

What are your policies?

  1. ‘Fro Clarity: I want to bring clarity to YUSU. I want to be an enabler and mentor for students to be involved with the projects that they care about – whether that’s independently, through a society or through JCRCS/CSAs. RAG parade, “You’re Hired” Scheme, Housing Fair; need to be set in stone early on so that societies and colleges are able to undergo adequate preparation and get help and advice where needed. These are a few of the events by which students feel they do not receive enough notice on and where committee members are informed far too late about last minute changes! If EMF forms cannot be officially handed in without twenty-one days notice, yet the event has been organized a week in advance, event prep becomes a shambles. This requires full network consultation and deadlines set early on for YUSU led events – a calendar for all committees so that they’re aware of YUSU events before they are elected into a position.
  2. ‘Fro Employability: I want to work closely with Careers Centre and York Alum, to bring careers advice and help from fields relevant to students. This has worked extremely well with the “You’re Hired” Scheme and by the Careers service alone. The problems that I’ve understood from talking to students is that if future careers are not their main focus during their period of study or there are no relevant fields then they feel disinterested. There is a general nervousness with students thinking about their future. I think skills based workshops to work on “transferable skills” for applications, CVs, interviews and public speaking might be more relevant and knowing when these workshops are taking place would be even better!
  3. ‘Fro RAG & Volunteering: YUSU has had much improved involvement with RAG this year, in terms of visibility and social media coverage. Next year RAG training will be provided for these officers. However problems still remain largely for college RAG officers and Vice Chairs/Presidents of Activities, where communication and guidance greatly falls apart. Although the colleges are competing for the RAG cup, there needs to be a greater body of students working together to co-ordinate the larger events such as RAG Parade, Mr and Mrs York and RAG Week which has not seen a massive increase in attendance over the years. These need advance deadlines, better events co-ordination and better YUSU publicity which I hope to provide! We need to look at Student Union models such as Sheffield and Warwick who get better coverage and higher turnouts. Volunteering and RAG are closely linked especially in projects involving the wider York community. We need to make the volunteering list accessible on the YUSU website and notice board so that people can see what opportunities are available. This list then needs to be extended to all colleges. Since the university model tailors colleges to “personalities” then this can be worked in, e.g. Vanbrugh volunteers getting opportunities to volunteer with music related activities etc. Community projects should be advertised to the community: throughout Heslington village – just like we do for our college festivals!
  4. ‘Fro Members Hub and “Just’FRORag”: When you log into the YUSU website you should be able to access the Socs/College you’re a part of. In this way you can see updated information on committees and their contact details. I want to develop the website in bringing access to an events calendar where socs/colleges can add their events in too! Just’Fro’RAG is an idea I had for independent fundraising. Students often want to fundraise for causes personal to them or their societies. Whilst some have massive networks and a great social media presence, others don’t and I want to make networking and event planning a skill that can be learnt! By creating a “Just-Giving” style webpage for RAG we can allow students to select personal causes and set monetary goals and targets. I want this to be followed up with mentoring and advice workshops in how to set up events, who to talk to and how to use and build networks in order to fundraise.
  5. ‘Fro Rewards& Recognition:
Finally, JCRCS/CSA’s and Society committees work incredibly hard all year. YUSU Awards is a great deal of fun and very exciting, but to commend a few people who have stuck out isn’t quite enough. At first I thought a weekly reward scheme whereby a different group of societies receive discounts on activities in town would be a fun. For example, Week 1 – performance societies, discounts and drinks deals on a YUSU clubnight, Week 2 – media socs, Week 3 Fitness socs etc. However this can be developed and tailored to what YOU the student body wants to see! Certificates? References? A thank you dinner/Societies ball? The York Award provides recognition, but if you haven’t accredited enough points then it’s ineffective to those who work hard in one or two main aspects of university.

Why should students vote for you? My policies are achievable, my passion is genuine. I have been elected Ents Officer and President and achieved in both these roles – bigger and better events for Halifax with high turnout, bringing puppies to campus (something that students have wanted for years), inspired and motivated students like myself to get involved. By extending Halifax election deadlines, with advertising and block running we saw a surge in nominations from three to thirty-two! I joined G&S society, DramaSoc and PantSoc between second and third year. Being a student ambassador I see what the university looks like to the prospective students. I have worked in YuCall which gave me great insight into the funding processes and the hard work that committees undergo. I am relatable and approachable and want to be a vehicle in uniting student, YUSU and university interests! Get in the know Vote the ‘FRO!

Manifesto in a sentence: Get in the Know, Elect the Fro! Activities at university serve SO many purposes, ultimately that of personal development and that is what I stand for. Vote Loussin ‘Fro Activities Officer: ‘Fro Clarity, ‘Fro Employability, ‘Fro Rewards and Recognition.