Societies Chair

Michael Bolton - Societies ChairSocieties Chair - Michael Bolton

I chair Bristol SU's Societies Exec who are responsbile for approving new society afflitiations, allocating society grants and working with the Union Affairs Officers and other reps to set priorities for the year.

Giving Societies the voice they deserve

I believe that Societies and Clubs should be at the heart of a Students’ Union. 

Societies can create the most memorable University experiences, or they can be hidden away in the SU building, and I want to help all Societies become the best they can be. 

Democracy:
Many of you will know that the Union is undergoing a major refurb of its democratic systems, moving towards a ‘Networks’ model.  What you might not know is that the plan involves abolishing the current Societies’ Executive, which supports and represents Societies, and putting its functions partly into ‘Union Affairs’, and the rest scattered across various ‘Networks’. This will result in a less effective, less coordinated focus on Societies.

I promise that, if elected, I will continue to push for a clear, understandable and effective support and representation system for Societies and their Committees, that reflects the massive contribution they make to our student experience.   (If you’d like to know more about the Democracy Review, details are on page two of this survey

Future: 
My goal is twofold:
1) Give Student Leaders the digital platform, training and ongoing support they need to start, further develop or just carry on running their Societies.
2) Give Societies a proper way to communicate with students by creating a customisable On Our Campus newsletter for all students, and lobbying the University to integrate this into MyBristol via a widget, through which you can find out about the amazing variety of events put on by Societies and the Union each week and get involved!

Experience:
I am currently the Business & Enterprise Rep on the Society Executive and the outgoing President of Bright Futures, one of the largest societies in the University (840+ members).  This combination means that I have personally experienced many of the challenges that Societies face, and can combine this with an insight into the needs of all groups, gained through serving on the Exec. 
If you’ve tried to even book a room in the Union, you’ll know that getting things done can be somewhat difficult, but with this understanding of what is possible, and working within the system, I can deliver the progress and changes needed to help societies deliver the very best SU experience there is to offer.