Jamie Minns

Manifesto - Jamie Minns

Director of Student Development & Activities (DoSDA)

Check out Jamie's social media here.

My name is Jamie Minns and I want to be your next Director of Student Development and Activities. In our little town, there are over 160 student-run societies, and many Students’ Association subcommittees. The vast array of extracurricular activities makes St Andrews special.

My experience of extracurricular activities has increased my confidence, built lifelong friendships, and made my time in St Andrews unforgettable. Everyone at this university deserves to have a memorable time outside of seminars and lectures. I want to make sure that nothing holds you back in enjoying, thriving, and learning from your activities.

During my time at St Andrews, I have been heavily involved with a variety of different societies and committees inside and outside of the Students’ Association. As Convenor of the Charities Campaign, I have helped fundraise tens of thousands of pounds, whilst overseeing 75 committee members organise Race2, RAG Week, CATWALK, and other charitable activities. In recognition of my efforts, I was a runner-up for the National Student Fundraiser of the Year Award 2017.

For the last two years, I have also been a member of the Student Association’s Student Services Council (SSC). I have been involved in deciding society funding and affiliation by sitting on the Societies Committee. As well as this, I sat on my hall’s committee in first year. I believe that my experience, skills, and ideas put me in the best position to be your next DoSDA.

Support

“From my Students’ Association experience, I have relied upon the guidance and advice of sabbaticals and students. I want to give back and ensure that students consistently receive similar support. I am here to be your go-between, and help you perform, not penalise.”

  • Schedule office hours from the beginning of the year, so students know for certain when and where they can find answers for any queries.

    • I will maintain an open door policy when I’m in the office. I will also have scheduled office hours during the week, so that anyone can walk in and be certain to find me. Some of these hours will be in the Main Bar or Rectors’ Cafe. I will be available for advice, an informal discussion, or even a chat.
  • Help new societies get off the ground.

    • I will liaise with the Students Association Marketing staff to create an easy to follow, step-by-step guide detailing how to create a society, making the process simpler and easier.
  • Endeavour to promote the funding that is available to students through the Students’ Association.

    • The types of funding available for activities to individual students, societies, and other student groups are buried under too much information. I will create a concise guide to breakdown who is eligible, how much funding is available, and tips on how to improve your application. I will help societies with funding applications so they are fully aware of financial support from the Students’ Association.
  • Ensure that postgraduate students have access to activities in the summer.

    • I will reach out to and liaise with postgraduate students and outline the facilities and resources that are available to them from the Students’ Association. Postgraduate students should not be prohibited from exploring their interests because undergraduate students are on summer break.

Careers

“After spending time exploring new interests, students’ career aspirations can change. I want to facilitate and improve access to alternative careers by liaising between societies and the Careers Centre to bring in a wider range of careers events.”

  • Maintain the progress on alternative career opportunities.

    • I will extend careers events for subcommittees and societies’ extracurricular activities, using the expertise of the Charities Campaign, On the Rocks, and the Creative Careers Panel.
  • Expand Careers Week.

    • This year the Careers Centre organised the first Careers Week. I am passionate about helping the week improve and expand, embedding it into the Students’ Association’s calendar. Our vast alumni network was successfully utilised this year, and should continue to be fostered and maintained in future years.
  • Promoting feedback between the Student Association and the Careers Centre.

    • The DoSDA acts as a liaison between the Careers Centre and the Students’ Association. I will actively engage with student feedback to ensure that the Careers Centre improves upon the advice and suggestions given by students.

Training

“When I was a fresher, I ran for a role on the Charities Campaign committee because it looked fun. However, by getting involved with activities in the Students’ Association, I learnt invaluable skills, such as how to chair a meeting, delegate responsibility within a committee, and work to strict deadlines. The Students’ Association should have an active role in the personal and professional development of all students, and I will facilitate that.”

  • Heads of societies need to receive efficient and interactive training at the beginning of the academic year.

    • The DoSDA, Students’ Association staff, and Societies Officer and Committee will hold interactive and practical workshops to make societies and their leaders better equipped for the academic year. I will work closely with the Societies Officer to prepare productive and useful sessions. The AU runs interactive workshops for sports club committees, and I will collaborate with the AU president to recreate the same effectiveness.
  • Encourage collaboration between societies to share and learn from their successes.

    • I will introduce society forums to share and pool the experiences of committees and their members. I see the potential of these societies to collaborate on joint events and facilitate their discussions.
  • Continue to expand training initiatives from outside the Students’ Association.

    • As well as peer learning, I will continue to expand existing collaborations between the Students’ Association and CAPOD, hosting workshops, and increasing access to the Professional Skills Curriculum.

Volunteer Recognition

“Students in St Andrews do incredible work outwith academia and in our community. The creation of the Volunteer Recognition Scheme is a step in the right direction, and I will build on this to make sure all students receive the recognition they deserve, and are rewarded for their efforts.”

  • Our students do incredible things – let’s tell people about it!

    • Students, staff, and the local community should see the impressive work of societies and subcommittees in St Andrews. I would like to increase the visibility of the Societies Awards, Gives Back Awards, Honorary Life Membership Awards, and other Students’ Association opportunities to recognise their achievements, and help other students find out ways to become involved.
  • Build on the pilot Volunteer Recognition Scheme.

    • The opportunity for students to be officially recognised for their volunteering on their Academic Transcript is meaningful. After its first year in operation, it is key for me to monitor and evaluate its success by gathering student feedback to make the system work better and seamlessly fit in with the day-to-day running of student activities.

 

Everyone Wins with DoSDA Minns

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