by Amy Jiao
March 27, 2018
Can you briefly outline the responsibilities of the VPSO?
The Vice President of Student Organizations, or VPSO, is responsible for being VUSAC’s first point of contact for clubs and levies at Vic; whenever club or levy heads require funding or support from VUSAC, or need to implement any changes on internal structure, then the VPSO is their go-to contact. In this way, the VPSO isn’t directly representative of the clubs/levies, rather a liaison between them and VUSAC.
Why do you want to be the VPSO, and why should we elect you?
I decided to run for VPSO because I’m very involved in student life and various levies at Vic; I’ve worked in the Cat’s Eye, I’ve written for The Strand, and I was the first-year rep for VicXposure, among other participation with teams and clubs. Because of my interactions, clubs and levies have really become an important part of my first year at Vic, and I want to keep this involvement moving forward.
You referenced your campaign content available on Facebook. In addition to that information, what additional skills would contribute to your position?
I’ve developed skills through my high school experiences, where I’ve been both a club head and student council president, thus I’m familiar with leadership positions in student government as well in student clubs. I have skills in communication between student groups and working as a liaison that would contribute to the VPSO position.
Do you think the current relationship between VUSAC and clubs/levies is effective? Should any changes occur in your opinion?
I’d start off by saying that the current system isn’t blatantly ineffective. However, I do think there’s a lot of room for improvement. I think clubs and levies could always use more advertising on campus for ways to get involved, and a problem I’ve learned of, being part of the VCU, is that the VCU tends to have issues with gathering enough interest for certain executive positions, not only for VUSAC but also for some clubs and levies. If the VPSO were to help clubs and levies get more students involved in their group, that would contribute toward a broader and more diverse student experience.
What challenging or positive aspects do you anticipate in this role, especially given the fact that you’ve never served on VUSAC?
The initial challenges that would come up are becoming familiar with VUSAC’s internal structure, as well as making those initial connections with clubs and levies, because taking that first step is usually the hardest one. One of the positive aspects will be improving upon that relationship between the VPSO and clubs and levies. Making communication and processes easier and more streamlined is what I’m looking forward to pursuing.
Are there any specific plans or initiatives that you’d like to undertake in this position?
Having spoken with some clubs and levies before, I believe steps should be taken toward giving them more autonomy, providing better communication between them and VUSAC, and making processes easier with less paperwork for situations like getting funding. For example, with something like transition reports, having an optional template could make it easier for out-going executives to pass on the appropriate information.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.