We are soon coming to the time of year where we need to start thinking about our next committee elections, and although this sadly means that our time as your committee is coming to an end, it does mean that we get to elect a whole shiny new committee! If you have thought about running for something – great! If not then please do read the role descriptions below and have a think about it, as being on the Amnesty committee is such a brilliant experience.
The manifesto deadline is WEDNESDAY 13 MARCH, so there is still time to consider it. Even if you haven’t been involved much so far this year then there is loads of time to get stuck in this term if you would like to run for a position. All the committee members would be happy to talk to you more about their roles, so have a read and see you at one of our meetings soon!
Human Rights Update Editor
I’m the current Editor of our society magazine, the Human Rights Update. This is a termly print magazine as well as an online blog, and as Editor I am responsible for gathering articles from people, editing them, and uploading them onto the blog or formatting them into the print magazine. This role requires you to have good writing skills and the ability to work to deadlines – and most importantly, to get other people to work to your deadlines! You can be really creative in this role, and you have free rein to make the Human Rights Update whatever you want.
I have found being Editor incredibly fulfilling, as I have a solid final product to look back on and have received articles about all sorts of things I had never heard of before. I had no editing experience at all before taking up the position, and have only worked out how to run a blog this year – so no previous experience is necessary. Plus, this role really does look great on your CV, whether you are interested in going into journalism or not!
No prizes for guessing that the Campaigns Manager is responsible for managing our campaigns. You’ll be in charge of researching material and presenting it to the Society in the form of briefs or videos, organising discussions for meetings, planning demonstrations and making sure they run smoothly on the day. You’ll also have the opportunity to coordinate campaigns with other activist societies through the ExeChange campaigns hub and with help from the Guild Campaigns Officer. You need to be organised and be confident in coordinating a relatively large group of people, but it’s a lot of fun!
As secretary you would be responsible for the admin, such as room bookings and health & safety forms as well as organising the stash order. The role isn’t massively demanding on time and has a fairly consistent workload through the year. You would need to be an organised person and committed to the regular committee meetings, but it’s really not that difficult and definitely a great role to go for if you’ve never been on committee before.
Fundraising Officers x 2
I have thoroughly enjoyed being fundraiser for the last two years, especially as Amie has joined me in the role this year, as it means we can do it all together, she’s been a huge help! Having done it both alone and with another person, I would recommend going for it as a joint role, as it does involve quite a lot of work. The role typically involves making LOTS of cake (and selling it!), booking and organising music events, the annual Give a Damn Dance and encouraging sponsored events. Though you can make the role whatever you want it to be, as there is no set way to fundraise, so it’s definitely a role suited to anyone who wants to get creative. It’s been one of the highlights of my time at university, being on this committee. I’ve made some amazing friends and had fun whilst raising money for Amnesty – win win situation!
Jess and Amie
Publicity Officers x 2
As Publicity Officer you’d be responsible for making sure all Amnesty’s fundraising events, campaigns and socials are well-advertised across campus. Being creative is a big plus for this role (there’s lots of poster-making!) but much of the promotion is done through Facebook and Twitter so this isn’t an absolute necessity. Rachel and I have taken this on as a joint position but one person could definitely manage it; you need to be committed and organised but, on the whole, the position isn’t overly demanding so it’s a good one to go for if you haven’t been on a committee before!
Rachel and I have loved our involvement in Amnesty; it’s a great way to meet new people and get involved with some really fun events, demonstrations and meetings. We’d both strongly encourage anyone thinking about getting involved to apply!
Hannah and Rachel A
The Presidential role is one of the most fulfilling positions I have ever had the privilege of being in. Organisation is a key skill. The basic role requires you to set the agenda for and chair Committee Meetings, plan Wednesday’s General Meeting and type up the weekly society e-mail.The President should ensure that the society is running smoothly and is represented well on campus, in town and keeps Amnesty UK updated with the latest news and events. You will soon find that the basic margins of your role expand majorly once you start mingling with other societies to collaborate on campaigns and set up joint events, but this only serves to make the role richer.I recommend the role to anyone who fancies a challenge, is interested in liaising with other societies and the Student’s Guild and has ambition to maintain the group’s strength, reputation and popularity.
Vice President is a fantastic role if you want to be involved in both the University Society and the Community. Primarily, the role involves liaising with Exeter’s Amnesty International community group and arranging other events for the local community, from school visits to guest speakers. You will also need to provide support to other committee members, particularly the President, if they are ill or otherwise unable to fulfil their duties. I would definitely recommend applying for this rewarding position. Being Vice President will give you the opportunity to develop key skills such as confidence, organisation and good communication, whilst allowing you to see the impact Amnesty has beyond our University group. Perhaps best of all, being part of a committee is great fun and enables you to make a really strong group of friends. You definitely won’t regret being part of Amnesty’s committee – it has been one of the highlights of my time at Uni.
Letter Writing Officer
Letter Writing Officer is a lovely, and not particularly challenging role. It involves finding/ adapting/ writing a letter fairly regularly, and there are plenty to choose from on the Amnesty website. It isn’t particularly time consuming, but is still a great way to be involved on the committee, and in the society. It is also a nice opportunity to do a bit of independent research on the range of campaigns Amnesty are promoting.
You will get strange looks at the post office when sending off stacks of petitions to Russia, and letters to the Phillipines and the House of Commons all in one go, so be prepared for this! You will also be in charge of buying biscuits for the meetings, so an ability to walk proudly through the Forum whilst carrying 5 packets of chocolate chip cookies would be helpful.
I have loved being a part of the Amnesty committee; making friends, learning about and campaigning for human rights – what more could you want?!
Social Sec is a really fun role which involves planning social events and making sure everyone is having a good time! The role isn’t too time consuming so good for anyone worried about having too big a work load, but it is a great way to be part of committee. To anyone thinking of being social sec, it is a great role if you love being social and are comfortable calling up nightclub reps and talking to all the members of the society!
The role of treasurer is largely a behind-the-scenes one, but it is very important nonetheless. Your job will be to manage the society’s finances. In practice, this will require liaising with the Student Guild, filing paperwork to get petty cash or cheques for receipts or invoices, paying in cash from fundraising efforts, budgeting large events like the Give A Damn Dance and keeping up with the rest of the committee. You will keep records of money going in and out of the society’s account and submit a comprehensive annual budget in October. You will also be responsible for what money is sent to the annual Student Raise-Off with Amnesty International UK.
So there you have it! Please do feel free to come and talk to any of us about our roles, we are a very friendly bunch 🙂