The Students' Union Sabbatical Officers, the 'Sabbs', for 2011-2012 took up their new roles on 1 August and are now making preparations for the year ahead. Earlier in 2011 they were elected by the student body to run and develop the University of Warwick Students' Union and associated activities. Here, we introduce them to the University community...
Leo Bøe : Students' Union President
Leo Bøe is the President of Warwick's Students' Union. He graduated in July 2010 with a degree in Politics and International Studies, after which he served as the Union’s Welfare Sabbatical Officer for one year. Although originally Swiss and Norwegian, Leo has grown up in Switzerland, the USA, and South Africa.
Whilst at Warwick Leo engaged in a range of activities and experiences, having spent two terms in Hong Kong as an exchange student, and having founded and presided over the interfaith Coexist Society which received personal commendation from Tony Blair. Beyond these, Leo was awarded the Global Gold Award from the Student Careers and Skills team for international and intercultural focused activities, having spent three months working as a full-time consultant at an NGO in Mongolia in 2009, and having undertaken a research project in Malawi, investigating the 'Brain Drain' phenomenon in their health sector in 2008. Over the last year, Leo has also been on the board of the interfaith Young Leadership Council, a subsidiary organisation within the International Council for Christians and Jews, and was the programming director for the last conference in Krakow, in early July 2011.
The President's job is to stand up for students and make sure that their voice is heard in everything the University does. The President works to encourage student involvement in all aspects of the Union. This year Leo will be focusing continuing the work on improving the global experience at Warwick (including ensuring the SU has a proactive role at International Orientation), finding new ways to engage with the membership (specifically non-traditional, postgraduate, and international students), and will be working with the University on improving the student experience.
Sean Ruston: Education Officer
Sean is the Union's Education Officer. This is his second year in the role after being re-elected in April. He graduated in summer 2010 from the Department of Politics and International Studies.
The Education Officer is responsible for coordinating the Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) System and represents students by sitting on approximately 43 University committees and working groups. This allows him to put forward the student view on any decisions being made and any projects taken forward that may have an effect on students.
Sean's big projects for the year include working with the University to improve the personal tutoring and feedback system, improving the Student Union’s engagement with postgraduate students, an expansion of the Union's work on widening participation through the school-outreach programme Inspire and reforming the SSLC and academic representation system through innovations like student-led teaching awards.
Chris Luck: Democracy Officer
This year's re-elected Democracy Officer, Chris, graduated last year with a degree in History and Politics. Always heavily involved in Union and University activities, in the past Chris has been Chair of the St John Ambulance Society, a Freshers Helper and Supervisor and Chair of the Union's Elections Group whilst working at SUHQ Reception and as a Copper Rooms steward. He has also worked as a Warwick Welcome Service Senior Ambassador at various University events and Open Days.
As Democracy Officer, Chris is responsible for overseeing all of the Union's democratic processes whilst encouraging involvement and turnout. From Union Council and General Meetings to elections and referenda, democracy is one of the core functions of Warwick SU.
His main aims for the year ahead range from increasing democratic involvement and accountability to finding out what students think of their Union and changing it for the better.
George Whitworth: Union Development Officer
George Whitworth is the Union Development Officer, and was the Sports Officer last year.
Having studied Maths for three years he just about managed to juggle a degree with his commitment to sports. Having been a first team lacrosse player for the past two years, and going on every ski tour whilst at Warwick, George has made the most of everything that Sport at Warwick can offer – from being a part of an excellent team who achieved promotion to the first BUCS Men's Lacrosse Premiership, to nights (not) to remember in the Alps with Warwick Snow.
Having enjoyed his year as sports officer so much, he ran for re-election to a different position, and will now be responsible for the commercial services the Union provides for all students, as well as providing financial and event planning support for clubs and societies.
Over the next year, George is hoping to deliver noticeable improvements to the Atrium, the Copper Rooms and a few tweaks to most of the outlets. Keep an eye out for changes!
Izzy John: Welfare Officer
Izzy John is this year’s Welfare Officer for the Students’ Union. She graduated in 2010 with a degree in English & American literature, and will finish her MA in English by September. She spent a year abroad in California (2009-10); campaigning against proposition 8 was her first foray into activism. She has worked in the Arts Centre since starting at Warwick, and was also LGBTUA+ officer and freshers’ supervisor for the Union in 2010-11. She has also attended NUS National, Women’s and LGBT conferences, and is bi rep on NUS LGBT committee.
As Welfare Officer, Izzy is responsible for running awareness campaigns – around anything from safe sex to responsible drinking; organising blood and bone marrow drives and Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinics on campus; dealing with issues around accommodation, mental health and personal safety. Her central focus this year will be on issues affecting minority groups and students who tend to be underrepresented, such as mature and part-time students. Her aim is to engage these groups with the Students' Union and make information pertinent to their student experience more accessible.
Matthew Rogers: Societies Officer
Matthew Rogers is the Societies Officer. As a student, Matthew read History, with a year abroad in France, but ended up devoting pretty much all of his time to kayaking and Big Band. He has played with 3 music societies, volunteered at One World Week and was Vice President of the Canoe Club.
As Societies Officer, he's responsible for the 200+ societies we have here at Warwick. He organises events such as the Societies Fair and awards ceremony and is the first point of call for any society executive or member if they have a problem, need support or are unsure of where to go. He oversees student initiatives such as One World Week and the student Arts Festival. Personal development for society members is also a major part of his role.
His main initiatives for the year are to help societies make better use of Students’ Union facilities and encourage as many students as possible to get involved with the fantastic range of societies the Union supports. He looks forward to a vibrant Societies Fair and aims to increase society membership. He also hopes to have difficult decisions to make when awarding prizes at the Societies Awards.
Chris Sury: Sports Officer
Chris Sury is the Sports Officer. Having studied History for 3 years Chris has juggled his academic career with commitment to sports. Chris has been involved in many clubs such as swimming, lacrosse, judo and rugby. As well as this Chris has coordinated One World Week Sports in 2009, a series of tournaments in which there are over 5000 participants. The aim of this week is to show how everyone can speak and understand the language of sport! The year after Chris enjoyed being one of the coordinators for One World Week too, an experience he will never forget. Chris is particularly keen to promote sport for everyone, club collaboration and charitable projects for Right To Play. Chris did the London Triathlon for Right To Play and has fallen in love with the sport charity's work ever since.
In Chris' job he provides a link between the students and Warwick Sport, making sure the big projects of the year such as Varsity and Sports Week all go according to plan.
There are over 70 sports clubs at Warwick which means there really is something for everyone to get involved in no matter what their ability level or taste. Added to this there are some fantastic facilities at Warwick including an indoor tennis centre, swimming pool, gym, 3G pitch and new outdoor netball courts to name just a few.