As the President, Vice-President and HGS, our responsibilities include maintaining good external relations with other stakeholders, tackling internal issues and ensuring that our 31 sports clubs have all they need to contribute to the vibrant sporting culture in SMU.
Each of our roles are very different but it goes without saying that our common goal is to better the lives of our sportsmen here in SMU! So take a look below to find out more about how and why we do that!
What’s one part of your role that you find really fulfilling?
Ethan: Representing SSU in the Student’s Association Council and to the SMU Administration is something I really do enjoy! Ensuring that the voices and interests of the sporting community in SMU are heard in the various committees and offices along with maintaining relations with the other CBds and offices makes my role a fulfilling one.
Nigel: Bringing the MC together and seeing us grow closer together through simple activities like having a meal together, to more complex ones like working on initiatives and projects. Its something that I still am not very good at, but its really heartening to see everyone coming together as a union to make the best out of our term with the unexpected circumstances.
Sophia: Working with my MC members to successfully turn ideas into reality and seeing them impact the clubs in a positive light. Regardless of whether you get thanks for it, it feels great to know that you played a part in making clubs’ lives and procedures easier.
What’s something you do in your position that most people wouldn’t know?
Ethan: Besides giving a strategic direction to the union and representing them for various occasions, I help with the operational aspect when I can and try to be of assistance to my directors to help alleviate some of their workload.
Nigel: Apart from spearheading the Club Classification System, I also have to plan for Sports Leaders Camp (SLC). Its a 2 day get-together kind of camp where the Club Exco Representatives come together and exchange their knowledge and experiences, gaining new connections between diverse clubs! I wanted to upscale SLC to make it more enjoyable and interactive this year, but given the extraordinary circumstances, looks like it can only happen the next term onwards :")
Sophia: The HGS role covers many “behind the scenes” kind of jobs, so it’s not surprising that many people in our SSU community may not know exactly what I do. Besides managing the clubs’ database and penalty system, I also oversee the clubs’ constitutions, guidelines and elections.
Over your term, what do you think is the most important trait to have in your position?
Ethan: As a President you must always be empathetic towards your members and hear them out. No concern is too small and no request is stupid. You must have the correct mindset to serve the community that had voted you into office and ensure that you will do your best to help them!
Nigel: Having the heart to want to serve the sporting community is the most important trait to me. To be willing to go out of your way to ensure certain initiatives can be executed well. Things that one individual in the MC does is considered the union's effort, and it is our responsibility to make everything as error-free and successful as possible. Having the heart to serve should also translate to having initiative, not just in executing his/her own responsibilities, but stepping up and filling in whenever you have the capacity to. From helping out in another department's initiative, to being open to receiving help from others in the MC, the role of Vice-Pres isn't something that is rigid, but it requires active involvement in the initiatives of other departments, but at the same time ensuring that your own responsibilities are being fulfilled well!
Sophia: As a HGS, I believe you have to be meticulous. This role consists of a lot of consolidating, editing and disseminating of important information to important people and it is key that you have considered all possibilities before making any changes to guidelines or sending out essential emails.
Why did you run for SSU?
Ethan: As a freshman I attended sports camp and since then I had fallen in love with the sporting scene in SMU! As I moved along in my SMU journey and joined various SSU events as an Organising Committee member I grew a passion to serve the sporting community in SMU and bring sports back to the forefront of SMU. So I decided to run to put myself in a position where I will be able to do that.
Nigel: To be very honest, after being part of the organising committee for all 3 SSU signature events in Y1, I was not very keen on being part of SSU. I chose to run in the end for 2 reasons:
1) To improve myself even further
I learnt a whole lot from my org com experience, but i didn't want to stop there! Being part of SSU has already taught me a whole lot of skills, from being methodological to being more empathetic; It's something that I would honestly say defined the bulk of my SMU experience.
2) To contribute to the sporting community to ensure that the 15th MC's efforts are not put to waste
Interacting with the 15th MC during my org com experience was very eye-opening, but through it all, I didn't fully understand the extent of their efforts and contributions to the sporting community until I was running for a spot in SSU, and I asked around about the things they do. Its really incredible to me how much they've gone through and still managed to remain so bonded at the end of everything, which is something I wanted to gain from this experience too!
Sophia: Sports has always been something I've been passionate about and in my first year, I was glad to contribute to the sporting scene through my club itself, but I soon realised that by joining SSU I would be able to impact our sporting scene on a larger scale. This drive along with encouragement by my current directors pushed me to give SSU a shot.
What's one thing you’ve gained from your experience in SSU so far?
Ethan: I have gained insights into how decision making in the school happens and i learned the ropes on how to give direction to a team of very capable people and manage relationships with various stakeholders. However, my biggest takeaway is the managing committee who have really become an integral part of my life!
Nigel: The friendships and experiences from a very unique 6 months into our term. The 13 of us had big plans for this year, when we presented out plans to each other during our Strategic Retreat at the start of the year, but due to COVID-19, we had to forego many of them and adapt to the situation. The lines between the departments were blurred, in a sense that Finance was doing website design, and Operations was helping out with a Mental Health Initiative. Even though the Circuit-Breaker period meant having to only see each other over our computer screens, I feel that we have become closer as a unit! Encouraging each other to push on through workout sessions, weekly meetings on updates, to our bonding sessions we have before the Circuit-Breaker period. I'm glad that we always have each others' backs 😄
Sophia: Besides the friends that I talk to almost every single day, I actually got to understand the workings and culture of the 31 clubs that we have. As I interacted more with the club HGSs while designing certain guidelines, I got to understand their concerns and ideas that I did not consider or think about before, and that helped to deepen my understanding of the clubs which in turn helps a lot in my role now.