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Isla Symons

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What course are you studying?

MSc Offshore Renewable Energy

What stage of your course are you currently studying?

Stage 1 

What motivated you to run for a Sabbatical Officer role and why do you think you would be a good Sabbatical Officer?

Being the current chair of Netball and being on the committee for the past 3 years, I've been able to gain a full understanding of how a club or society is run. Being in these roles I have seen issues that arise as well as support that societies, volunteering and clubs need and would love to support the best way I can in this role. In this last year I've had a high amount of communication with the student union, liaising with relevant departments during the 'Here If You Need' campaign.

Why is the Sabbatical Officer role important?

The role of a sabbatical officer is important to advocate and represent the student voice. It's important to try and provide outcomes which are with the student's best interests in mind. I also think that the role should promote students' mental well-being, safety, and providing the tools and signposts to help students. I think building a community for all sports clubs, volunteering and societies would create a family feel around campus as well as showing good collaboration with relevant teams.

What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Motivated, Compassionate and Tenacious

If you could change one thing about the University, what would that be?

One thing that I would change about the university is the possibility of room access and different spaces around campus. There are some rooms and facilities that I believe some clubs and societies would benefit from using. The potential to improve these spaces or make them more accommodating to the activities and events that the SU offer. I think that the university could promote more successes from societies, sports and volunteering as these can be what draws people to certain universities.

If you could change one thing about the Students' Union, what would it be?

The main thing I've noticed in the student's union is that most spaces are shared spaces. I think a good idea would be to offer smaller private spaces where students can talk privately if they need to without other people around with the potential to listen in, making the student union a more diverse, safe space. Also having more events during the day so the SU is livelier and encourages mixing of different people around campus.

Who do you draw most inspiration from and why?

I draw a lot of inspiration from my parents. My parents have taught me a lot of life and people skills. They've taught me valuable lessons from experiences that they have encountered before and have always inspired me to push myself and do what makes me happy. They've always been hardworking people and have inspired me to do the same to make sure I achieve what I want in life, and I hope to help other people in the same way by promoting to do what makes you happy.

What is your proudest moment so far and why?

My proudest moment so far would be my graduation for my undergraduate degree. It was something that I had always wanted to achieve and when the graduation day came, it was almost like a relief that I had achieved my goal and knew that I had persevered even through the difficult parts of my degree.

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