Ex-Elected Officer Q&A: Anita Butler

Ever wondered what it’s like to work at the Union as an Elected Officer? We’ve talked to some of our ex-Elected Officers to see what they enjoyed most about the role and how it helped them through university and later in life!

  • Posted Fri, Feb 4, 2022 4:03 PM

Nominations to become an Elected Officer for the next academic year are NOW OPEN. You can nominate yourself for one of five roles being Welfare, Development, Learning Experience, Academic Representation and Democracy and Campaigns Officer roles!

Ever wondered what it’s like to work at the Union as an Elected Officer? We’ve talked to some of our ex-Elected Officers to see what they enjoyed most about the role and how it helped them through university and later in life!  

- Anita Butler, ex-Officer (VP Welfare)

Tell us about your time at the Union:

I was the Welfare Officer from 2017-18 and I learnt so much in the role. I secured funding to provide suicide prevention training, put on a bike safety and security event that offered free bike marking/registration on the police database as well as loads of freebies, ran a study aid campaign with my team to improve study skills and reduce exam stress. Sat on countless high-level meetings and was part of the team that brought the amazing Shred Party to UoP!! Everything I learnt allowed me to gain experience that meant I could step into a managerial role as soon as I graduated Uni!!  

What was your favourite part about being an Elected Officer?

Genuinely making a difference! Sometimes students don’t even realise the difference the officers make to improve their experience, but we really do listen and then go away and make change. Often things change and they assume it was a decision made by the Uni, but often it’s been influenced by the Officers and the Union, such as making Wednesday afternoons for sports or introducing a content capture policy!

What attracted you to the role?

I lost my Grandad in my first year of Uni and I wasn’t aware of all the services available to me at the Uni and I wanted to help make that easier for students in similar situations. I had helped campaign for Cat Redding (VP Sport/President) so I knew about the Officer roles and the impact they can have for students, so I went for the Welfare role

What was your favourite project to work on?

Probably my bike safety campaign. It was a real issue in the city at the time (still is) but it was great to put on an interactive bike fair that students could engage with and brought in different partners like the police and the council to support us with the issue. I also had great support from the women’s rugby club to run the event, so it was a real collaborative event and I loved that!

What is the most rewarding part about being an Elected Officer?

When you achieve something big for students that you know will have a positive impact for them even if they aren’t aware. I secured £10k in lottery funding in my year to train key University staff in suicide prevention and I was proud to have secured that, even though the impact is indirect, to know it could potentially save even one life is rewarding!

What is your favourite memory of being part of the Union?

The team. You end up being on a team with 4 people you probably would have never interacted with before, you all have your own goals and motivations, but you become this little family that are there for each other no matter what and achieve big things together. It’s nearly 5 years later and I still meet up with my old Officer team! There are not many jobs where you stay in contact with people like that after you leave (even though you say you will) 

If you could sum up the Union in a sentence, what would it be?

One for all and all for one. Is that too cheesy? But it’s the best way to describe that the Union is so many different things for so many different types of people but ultimately, it’s there to make your student experience the absolute best it can be, so you can get everything you can out of a university and get your £9k worth!

As you can see being an Elected Officer is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in a unique workplace, giving you a kickstart to your CV and real and useful skills to develop once you finish your time at UoP! You could be the next Anita!

All you need to do is Nominate yourself!

Nominations are OPEN NOW

Nominations close on 18th February at 4pm so act fast!

If you have any questions, please send them straight to our elections team at elections@upsu.net.

Contact Us

Portsmouth SU Footer Logo

The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union has a vision of creating a positive impact with every Portsmouth student during their time at University.

© 2024 UPSU. Registered charity number 1136115, a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales number 3934555.