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What is the Leadership Race? 

We’re going to be talking a lot about the Leadership Race over the coming weeks, but what’s it all about? The Leadership Race is your opportunity to take on a leadership role at UCL for the next academic year. You could become the next Education Officer, the next Disabled Students’ Officer or the next President of the Lacrosse club - or take on literally 1,000’s of other positions.

Sabbatical Officers and other Student Officers are a busy bunch (massive understatement) who make sure that campus runs smoothly and fairly and most importantly, in the best interests of students. And really who can be a better voice of students than students themselves?). There’s quite a few roles up for grabs (6 full-time Sabbatical Officers and 15 Part-Time Officers). Describing these positions isn’t exactly an easy feat but we’re going to try and tell you a bit more about the Sabbatical Officers here.

Let’s start off by talking about pay for a Sabbatical Officer role - Sabbs work full-time (taking a year out of Uni) and get paid about £25,000. A decent starting salary, comparable to a grad-scheme. But of course, in a role like this it’s not about the pay. It’s about the difference you’ll be making in the place you’ve been living and breathing for the last few months or years. And while you’re making change, you’ll have the chance to follow your ideas and make the role what you want it to be - to build the skills for a future career. Just like a grad-scheme, you’ll get a huge amount of training, development opportunities and support, but unlike a grad-scheme once you start, (depending on the role) you’ll become a Trustee of Students’ Union UCL. We’re a registered charity with a budget of around £10m, hundreds of staff and lot to do - being a Sabb is a big responsibility, but something you’ll be plugging on your CV for years.

Because the role is what you make it, it can be difficult to explain. Every day is a different experience. Over the next few days we’ll be sharing videos of our current Sabbs so you can get an idea of what they do on a ‘normal’ day. Things like attending meetings with the Provost and senior officials at UCL or running a Postgraduate Wine and Cheese Nights- there’s so many different things you can do with these roles.

Each Sabb role has a specific area of responsibility, so you'll be clear about your remit. You can be the Activities Officer, Education Officer, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Postgraduate Officer, Union Affairs Officer and Welcome and Community Officer. You'll work within these fields to make them better - whether that's by going to all the big meetings to make our education better, or by campaigning to get more gender-neutral toilets as the Equity and Inclusion Officer.

Then there's also your campaign promises. Throughout your term as an officer, you'll be working to make your promises a reality. You'll be speaking to the relevant people to make it happen. It can take some time though as UCL is big and ideas have to go through lots of different departments before they become something tangible but by the end of it, it's always rewarding to see your ideas come into fruition.

Hopefully that’s given you a bit of an intro to the Sabb roles. We’ll be sharing more information about the roles in the coming weeks but these are the bare bones of what each Sabb is here to do. However, like we previously said, this job is what you make it. Your campaign promises will play a big part in making the role your own as you will spend the year working on things you’ve promised during the election. We’re not gonna lie, this is a tough but very rewarding role. Change is hard won, but it starts with an idea, with passionate people and with lots of effort.