Twenty-one year old Antony is the Union Affairs Officer on the Student Exec representing all Leeds university students. He campaigned hard last year under the slogan ‘The Best You’ve Ever Hadd’ and successfully beat five other candidates to the job. He graduated from Leeds with an impressive 2.1 in Music and is a huge Liverpool fan. Her Campus caught up with him for a quick chat about his role, what he’s achieved so far and his plans for the future.
What does being Union Affairs Officer at Leeds University mean you do?
Essentially it means that I make sure the union works the way that students want it to. I represent our students for the university and make sure that it’s governed the way we want it to be. I also chair the board of trustees which basically means that I make sure staff are held to account and that they’re doing a good job for students. I ensure that money is being spent in the best interests of the students so any big expenditure that the union wants to make I have to approve to make sure that the requirement is met. As well as that I am the spokesperson in the media so if the union has to comment on anything in the news or the press I am usually the person that gives them the quote. Combining all of that I also support the other members of the exec in their roles and if students want to make a change within the union I can help them achieve that.
What would you say your biggest achievement has been so far?
It would definitely have to be the meal and drinks offers in the Terrace and Old Bar and the loyalty card! I think I got a lot of criticism from certain people when I was running in the election because they thought I only had these ideas to get the popular vote. This wasn’t true at all as the reason I want cheap offers is because students want value for money and there’s the perception that the union is too expensive. I understand where they’re coming from as before we had these offers, such as the 2-dine-out-for-£10 and drinks for £2 between 5-9pm, people could just go over the road to The Packhorse and save themselves a few bob on the way. I don’t think that’s good enough because students run this union and it’s got to be as competitive as it can be in offering value for money.
The other reason why I wanted these deals is because they get people through the doors and as long as people are coming through the union you can get other messages across about the Summer Ball or the Leadership Race, for example. Also if I want students to drink anywhere after their lectures, or a hard day’s work in the library, or during the football match at the weekend it would be here at the union as all the money goes right back into the charity.
Why did you want to run for Union Affairs Officer and not for any of the other roles?
I sat down and looked at all the roles but what really appealed to me was the kind of overseeing part of the Union Affairs role. In comparison to the education and welfare roles I get to do a bit of everything which I really like. I also get excited by working with the commercial side of the union such as The Terrace and Old Bar and making sure the Summer Ball is what students want it to be. I love working with the media as well and a really exciting part of the job for me was when we went on BBC Look North in Yorkshire to talk about the student protest happening in London, which was really exciting. We did all the prep during the day and then went on the programme and I feel very lucky to be able to do things like that on behalf of Leeds students. Of course the pressure’s on a little bit as you’re speaking on behalf of everyone on this campus but it’s a great privilege.
The role is exactly what I thought it would be and I’m grateful for that!
Antony on BBC Look North taking about the Student Demonstration that happened in London last November
What will you miss the most when you leave?
Working for the students, all 30,000 of them on campus who are all technically my boss! I’ll miss that when I go into my next job (hopefully in a big organisation!) as I’ll have a line manager, and they’ll have a line manager, which is going to be really boring compared to the fact that I get to work for the best students in the country bar none! I’ll also miss the union as I’ve loved it since being in first year and it’s a really special place to work and to be a student. The societies are amazing and thanks to them I got to volunteer all over the world when I was a student and be a part of some amazing events like presenting Take Me Out, something I thought I’d never do while at uni! I’ll miss being at Leeds and seeing the campus, I think I’ll be pretty heartbroken when it comes to the end of it! I hope I can look back at it all and say I did a good job.
What are your plans for when this job ends?
I’d really like to work in the music industry doing marketing and PR either for a label or an artist. I love all the marketing aspects of this role and I love music, which I graduated in, so if I could combine the two that would be the dream job. If that didn’t work out then any kind of marketing or communications role. One of the best things about this job is that it’s always changing; something could come on the news tomorrow about Leeds or the union and we’d have to manage that and make sure the voice of the students is being fed into it. Having to think fast and the high intensity of the job is something I love and if I can get that in my next job I’ll be made up! But it is tough out there so you never know…
Most of the students know you as Antony Haddley the Union Affairs Officer so what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I’m just like a normal student! I play a lot of footie and I’m in three five-a-side leagues so we play three times a week. Also love a cheeky bit of Fruity! I feel that when you’re in your last year in Leeds you always try and see more than you’ve ever seen before so I do try and do more cultural stuff. When it’s summer I’ll definitely be going back down to Ilkley making sure we get to all the nice pubs down there! It’s nothing more ‘out there’ than any other student; I like going out, playing Fifa and playing footie, but that’s only when I manage to get home at a reasonable time, which isn’t very often, but I do and try and make the effort!
Successfully making it to a football match after a night out at Fruity and won a trophy to prove it!
To find out more about Antony’s role and the other members on the Student Exec visit http://www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/yourreps/studentexec/
To see who’s running this year in the Leadership Race visit – http://www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/elections/candidates/205/
Find out more about the meal and drinks deals at The Terrace and Old Bar here:
1 – http://www.hercampus.com/schoo…
2 – http://www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/barsandclubs/terrace/
3 – Antony’s own
4 – Antony’s own