Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Megan, and I’m delighted to say that I’ll be your Students’ Union President for the coming year. After studying BSc Geography for three years, and then spending a year as a JCR President, I’m very excited to start my fifth year in Durham. To tell you a bit about myself as an Officer, I’m still figuring out my exact priorities for the year, but I have a keen interest in reducing the cost of the Durham Experience, in supporting the Common Rooms to make sure they’re being the best they can be, and in making sure that the University hears the student voice on all issues, not just when it’s convenient for them! To tell you about myself as a person I’m just a very blunt 22-year-old from Leeds and if you see me out and about in Durham please just come say hi, I’m always up for a chat.
What motivated you to run to be President?
My motivation to run to be an officer was that I realised the potential the Students’ Union had to make change. That sounds really cringey but I spent a significant amount of time wondering what the SU did and not bothering to find out. Then I realised that the SU was the final piece of the puzzle that was necessary to make the University acknowledge the issues faced by Durham students. The Common Rooms are absolutely fantastic communities, but the Students’ Union is here to bring us all together as one, single, united body of over 17,000 students, and that really gives us the strength to make change.
Right now, at the start of your term, what do you want Durham students to know about you as the President?
What I’d like people to know about me as SU President is that I work for the students. I’m not a member of University staff, they don’t pay me, I’m here solely to make Durham a better place to work and live for our students. I want to hear what you have to say, I want you to constructively question why I’m doing things, or make suggestions. I want you to feel like you can come to me with a problem or an issue that you’re having so that we can fix it, because chances are that you’re not the only one.
What will you be working on between now and October when classes start?
So at the moment I’m keen to get stuck into everything surrounding the issue of accommodation fees. Basically, Durham is getting very expensive, and the accommodation fees we pay are a huge part of this because they’re very high in comparison other Unis. There’ll be a campaign with loads of info from freshers’ week onwards so please do look out for it and feel free to get involved, the more of us that get behind this campaign, the more likely it is that the University staff will do something about it! I’m also working on a couple of things that are ongoing issues within the student community such as tackling sexual violence and misconduct. So much progress was made on this last year but there’s still more we can do. As well as this the University strategy is really beginning to roll out now so I’m personally keeping an eye on this, at the moment this specifically means being really involved with the building of new colleges which is so interesting but also very important as it means I can steer projects in the direction that is the best for students.
If students are interested in your area of work and want to get involved or share and idea or problem, how can they do that?
The best way to communicate with me personally is by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. This said, the easiest way is probably to stalk the SU on facebook. Durham Students’ Union itself has a facebook page, but so do all of the officers individually so you can keep up with what we’re doing and interact with us easily. My facebook name is “Megan Croll SU” so please do add me, but just remember that I get a bunch of messages to that group so they get lost easily, so it’s usually better to email if you’ve got a burning question.