Social Officers, Head to Head
By Annemiek Dols
Nick Pagonis from ‘Electrify ANUSA’ and Sophie Jaggar from ‘Turn Over a New Leaf’ are competing for the position of Social Officer in this year’s ANUSA election. Pagonis has promised to improve the social climate by hosting “more parties”, while Jaggar advocates for improved accessibility at ANUSA events.
The Social Officer basically does what the name suggests: organises ANUSA’s social events. They are responsible for O-Week and Bush Week, managing a large team of volunteers and co-ordinators to put together dozens of events for thousands of students. They also run other social activities throughout the year, often with the help of the Social Committee. The Social Officer also sits on the Clubs Council Executive.
Jaggar is in her third year of Arts/Law. She is currently an Arts Representative on the Wamburun Hall Residents’ Committee, and is the President of the Interhall Arts Committee. She is also a Senior Resident at Wamburun, and on the Executive of the Debating Society.
Pagonis is a 2nd year Arts/Policy Studies student, and is the president of the Greek Students Society. He is also on the National Executive of the National Union of Students, and is the Treasurer of TABOO ANU.
Pagonis is advocating to expand the social calendar. For example, he plans to throw three Friday Night Parties. Pagonis has stated that he will finance these extra parties by finding “every single inefficiency” of ANUSA spending, and redirecting it to the social events.
Jaggar plans to “enhance and expand” Department events in order to reach “a greater audience of undergraduate students”. She also plans to hold a “multicultural/international festival with the International Students Department”, and run more Universal Lunch Hours. Jagger would like to have performers and artists take part in these to “energise the space around Kambri”.
Accessibility is a priority for Jaggar. She says she is aware that “not every event can be fully accessible to everyone”, but that she will do her best to communicate with students as well as possible. Jaggar plans to organise coordinators during O-Week, Bush Week and Friday Night Party to ensure that accessibility is optimal. She has committed to “publishing maps of disabled toilets and parking for our events, and being upfront and clear with the advertising of accessibility of our events”. Jagger said she has consulted with the Disabilities Officer in formulating her policies.
Pagonis proposes to “create a training program for students who act as Sober Reps both at ANUSA events and also events at residential halls and colleges”. This training will involve learning “first aid, mental health first aid, and preventing sexual assault and harassment”. He plans to start events earlier so that students who have a long commute can get home at a reasonable hour. Pagonis also wants to lower ticket prices at events, and does not want events to be run for profit. At Wednesday’s Election Debate event, Pagonis said he had not yet consulted with the Disabilities Officer about making events accessible.
Feedback and consultation
Pagonis says he will consult with “representatives from various groups on campus” to make sure events “are run in a way that every student can be excited about”. He also plans to seek students’ views on which performers should feature at events such as Friday Night Party.
Jaggar promises to have “more student engagement when it comes to what events the undergraduate population want to see in their O-Week, Bush Week, and throughout the calendar year”. She wants to make use of surveys to gauge the opinion of students, and get General Representatives and other students more involved in running events through the Social Committee.
Polls open at 9am on Monday 19 August, and will close at 12pm Thursday 22 August.
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