“Run in an election? Ask hundreds of people to vote? For me? No chance” – less than a week later, my nomination was in.
Not many people know that I had absolutely zero plans to run as a Sabbatical Officer; not until my then Students' Union President, Matt Gilbert, sat me down in the smoking area after a Bucks FC takeover and told me he thought I had the minerals to be a Sabb and really make a change.
Despite it now being less than 48 hours until nominations closed, my mind started to spin about how much Bucks Students' Union had done for me as a student but also my development as a human being. It really started to hit home that I wanted to give back to the Students' Union in the same way it gave to me.
When I first arrived at Bucks, it’s fair to say I was quite shy and only started to ‘put myself out there’ thanks to my teammates within Bucks Men’s Rugby. Over time I developed more confidence but even then, being Vice President Student Involvement helped my interpersonal skills explode and become more applicable. Whether it be working with different departments in the SU, in the Senior Leadership team, dealing with Heads of Faculty or even being on interview panels – these are skills I am extremely grateful to have built upon to this day.
Socially, it’s no secret how fun VPSI can be. Being a rugby playing VPSI comes with some positives but also some stereotypes that I had to overcome. But that’s the great thing about being VPSI, you have the opportunity and the platform to show people that you won the election on merit, you’re capable of leading the SU as part of a great team and most importantly – that you care. The more you do that, the quieter the “so what does he actually do” shouts get.
You can have all the ideas, all the Facebook & Instagram posts and all the campaigns in the world but really and truly? Sabb roles are transparent. Students can truly see who cares about them and that’s how they buy into your activities, your campaigns but above all – your word.
All Sabb roles are challenging but the job is much easier when you really care about what you’re doing, really care about the development of the student experience.
Spider-Man’s uncle once said, “with great power, comes great responsibility”. It’s a big task being responsible for the non-academic experience of thousands of students – but even the nomination alone means you’re brave enough to do it.
Being VPSI is a challenge but also an amazing experience. Anyone who knows me can tell you I would have run a third time if I could have; so if you have the chance to take this once in a lifetime opportunity?
-Ohio Orumen, Vice President Student Involvement 2015-17
Want to find out more about the roles or nominate yourself? Head over to our elections hub.