I don't mean to be over-critical of the current officers in this post, but simply mention how I would have handled the situation. I believe the officers have done a great job this year and I can only hope to carry on their good work.
Big-Up Student Forums
Now, as it transpired there wasn't any Student Forums this year. I very much understand that the union was going through a transition period after the new governance structures were approved by the Board of Governors in November. My preferred scenario would've been for Student Forums to start after Christmas. This might have avoided the situation with the "protests" outside the union by the Viva MMU group over those very same governance structures.
Clearly the way forward is to set the first date for a student forum, say in the second week of term, and push it like crazy. I'd still like 100 students at every student forum, and preferably double that at the first one.
Ensure Effective Communication
This has always been, and will continue to be, one of my major qualms with union officers; not just at MMUnion, but all over the country. It's been ... better! The new website is now live, but there still isn't any blogs from the sabbatical officers (clearly this will change on my part at least).
In the last year I've discovered twitter. This micro-blogging medium will only get bigger in the future after a number of major publicity coups, such as it being the No. 1 way of getting information out of Iran during the current problems there after the presidential election. Many unions have set up their own twitter accounts to announce campaigns, and keep people up to date with meetings and so on. I intend to set up such an account for MMUnion as it is perfect for small announcements which don't require a full story. The feed can be put on the front page of the union website for those that don't have twitter accounts.
PULP. Is it working?
I've been pleasantly surprised with PULP this year. Holly has done a pretty good job with the magazine, but there are some big changes around the corner.
PULP will now be part of a new media sub-group (likely to also include MMU Radio)
I'm still in favour of joining up with Student Direct in the long term, but I'm keen to see what will happen under the new sub-group structure before pressing the matter.
Re-branded as NUS Reform, this was certainly the best result of the year. Over 90% of delegates to the second extraordinary conference voted for the proposals, including all delegates from MMU. As a union, we must continue to involve ourselves in NUS and encourage our members to get involved also.
Achieve 10% Turnout in Elections
Well there was a number of reasons why the turnout wasn't great. The highest number of votes for any single position was 685, with the total turnout being around 1100 (or just above 3%). I'm certain the problems with registration accounted for a few hundred voters, and there are a number of operational issues which need to be addressed; however this is not a time to look back.
Yet again I'm challenging ourselves to get a 10% turnout. We can and should be reaching this number.
And finally ...
This year, I will always try to do my best. Only if I do will I feel that I have done my job well.
Do come in and see me. My door is always open.