By Rebecca Zhong

ANUSA Social Officer Sophie Jaggar has launched her bid to be re-elected to the role for 2021. Jaggar told Observer that she has “enjoyed [her] year”, but felt that she had not been able to “achieve everything that [she] wanted to”.

Speaking to her experiences as Social Officer, Jaggar emphasised that her policy for next year will include “prioritising clubs”. This comes in response to criticism about O-Week’s Market Day this year. Furthermore, Jaggar asserts that she possesses the experience required to “maximise in-person and online events” next year. This includes “big” projects like the Friday Night Party, which would usually see the newly-elected Officer being “thrown in the deep end”.

Jagger hopes to continue the push made by previous Social Officers for pill-testing at the Friday Night Party. In addition, Jaggar said that she intends to “better brief security on the quiet and Women’s spaces”. She also intends to work with the Women’s Department and the Disabilities Student Association to “create documents on how best to run these spaces”.

On the issue of accessibility, Jaggar told Observer that she has discussed the topic of ongoing virtual events with current Disabilities Officer Zoe Ranganathan. She said that, although she is looking forward to running in-person events, she believes there will be “great benefit in running online events”, even after COVID restrictions are lifted. Jaggar suggests that virtual events may look like “online versions of the same events” run through livestream, or running “ different online events” each day during O-Week. In 2019, Jaggar ran on a platform focused on “accessibility” at events.

Like other candidates, Jaggar acknowledged that ANUSA will likely be faced with SSAF reductions next year due to financial losses from COVID-19, claiming that “a second-term Social Officer is best placed to carry on and future-proof the Association” given  the “volatile state of the world”. She argued that there is a “compelling case” for retaining current funding levels for ANUSA’s Social Portfolio, “given that student engagement really unites the ANU community”. However, she flags the possibility of “reassigning” the budget of the Social Committee, as well as working alongside the Treasurer on alternative revenue streams to help mitigate the potential of decreased funding.

Jaggar, who has been endorsed by Go The Distance, will be contesting the position alongside Brighter Together’s Bella Hewitt and Proud!’s Maddy Watson. In 2019, Jaggar ran for Social Officer on the Turn Over a New Leaf ticket, and was elected alongside four other New Leaf candidates, who occupy five of the six 2020 Executive positions.


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