Meet your Physical Sciences & Engineering Officer!
Do you ever wonder what all the different positions are in SUSU? We want to make things clearer for you so you’re aware of the different officials who work or volunteer here. We have 7 Sabbatical Officers, 33 Student Leaders, 4 Student Trustees and 41 Councillors, who all play a massive part in the running and improving of SUSU so that students have a better time at the University of Southampton. We’ll be releasing Q&A’s of individual Student Leaders, Councillors and Student Trustee, so you can find out more about them and their role!
Giles Howard – Physical Sciences & Engineering Officer
Tell us a bit about yourself Giles!
Well, I’m 21, I’ve been at University of Southampton since September 2011, and I suppose one of the interesting things about me is that I spent two years living in the US before I came to Uni!
What made you interested to join SUSU & how did you first get involved?
I’d been a course rep since my foundation year (back when course reps weren’t even elected!) and I’d worked on a few small projects for Oliver Bills who was the Faculty Officer at the time, and when he stepped down, he suggested I ran. I was interested in fixing some of the problems that I saw as being very contentious with students in the faculty, and this position gave me the perfect opportunity to do that. That pretty much brings me to here!
How would you describe your role?
It’s a challenging but very rewarding role – I really enjoy helping to ensure that students and their views are factored into major decisions that the Faculty is making, especially since the introduction of the new higher tuition fees and the high standards that students expect here at University of Southampton. It takes up a lot of my time, but it’s always worth it to see things improve for students!
If you could give all Fresher’s a piece of advice, what would it be?
Go nominate yourself to be a course rep! Nominations will be open from the first day of Freshers’ week until early October, and it’s a really rewarding experience!
Does any of your work as Physical Sciences & Engineering Officer overlap with the Engineering & Environment officer?
Not as much as you might think! Since they restructured the faculties from 2009 onwards (we used to have 3, now we have 8!) – The two Engineering faculties have operated independently, and the only thing they really share is the Engineering Foundation Year. I enjoy working with Shruti in Education Zone, where all the faculty officers work with the VP Education to ensure our volunteers are all on the same page and that we work in line with an overarching strategy to make things better!
What would you like to accomplish this year?
I’d really like to get involved with the postgraduate side of my faculty – they operate on their own and given how many meetings I have with people, it’d be very helpful to know what they want and what I can improve for them! I’d also like to address some of the major concerns that Physics students have about being in the faculty.
What would you say to someone who wants to run for Faculty Officer?
I’d say that they should go for it! If they message any of the Faculty Officers, we’ll definitely be up for explaining the role and the time commitment in more detail. It’s honestly one of the best things I’ve ever volunteered for and it’s always good to have elections with multiple candidates.
What’s your favourite thing from the SUSU shop?
I’m quite partial to the chicken, bacon and mayo wraps! YUM!
Finally, do you have any media streams we can follow?
I have a Facebook page for my role where I post a lot of what I’m doing and also I use it to pass along information from SUSU or the University to students. This can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/fpsefo I can also be found ranting and raving on twitter here: https://twitter.com/cs_giles