Sunday, 23 March 2014

ISC AGM & Elections - Position Descriptions

ISC AGM & Elections

The term is almost at its close, and this means the current committee will pass on its duties to a new committee! If you have enjoyed the ISC and would like to contribute more to what we do, please stand for a position to support the ISC. And don't be shy thinking someone else can do the job better than  you - because, can they really? You won't know until you have tried!

If you have decided you want to run, you need to do two things until March 28th, 7pm:
1. Register with the ISC - you NEED a membership to run and vote!
It's quick and easy to register:

2. Send your statement of intent for up two 2 positions whilst indicating which is your preferred position! If you are a bit clueless about what to write, look at what the current committee has written.
The statements will be op online from March 28th on. Based on your statement, you should also come up with a speech that you are going to give on the day of the elections. It should not be longer than 5 minutes, so just introduce yourself and make sure people know what you are on about and what you want to do for the upcoming year.
Please send your statements to:

All positions described below (credits to Rasmus, who wrote them up while he was president) will be voted upon. I have also added bits that some corecom members wanted to add to their description. Updates might happen so check back. Also, in case of doubt: Talk to the people who currently hold the positions. Come on the 25th to the ISC Coffee Evening, where most of the core committee, if not all, will be in the lounge. Also, don't be afraid to ask corecom members about someone else's duties, we don't bite.

Job Description:
  • As President you are responsible for the overall running of the ISC. You'll be heading committee meetings, deal with the IO, EUSA and other outside bodies. It is your responsibility that things happen, and happen properly and in time. You must take the initiative to get things done if they aren't and make decisions when others cannot. That includes making sure everybody in the committee is doing their job, but also to ensure that things which nobody in particular are responsible for (Pub dealings, Garments, etc.) are done.
  • Despite not having any greater formal power than other committee members, you will have the opportunity and position to shape the ISC much the way you wish. You set the general agenda and can enforce it within the ISC but also towards other bodies such as the IO, EUSA and the University in general.
  • Therefore you must have good leadership skills, be reliable, ready to work at any time and a drive and vision for the ISC.

Essential qualities:
  • General Leadership skills
  • Organised
  • Driven
  • Reliable
  • Ability to make decisions and be decisive when appropriate
  • Be friendly and diplomatic

Job Description:
  • This position is often misunderstood as one which ranks highly but comes with little work. In reality, however, at the ISC, this role is varied in that the VP functions as a second-help not only to the President, but also to the Trips Co-ordinator for weekly trips and to the Events Co-ordinator for the larger events. 
  • To the President, the VP helps liaise with EUSA, attending the monthly International Society Round Table meetings and actively trying to engage with cultural societies and other large international-based societies such as Exchange 360 to create larger events or to recruit them for ISC events. 
  • Given the volume of work undertaken by the Trips Co-ordinator, the VP must ensure to attend the Trips Sub-Com weekly meetings (NOT as co-chair) and help with administration work. 
  • To the Events' Co-ordinator, the VP must help with the larger events of the year, such as International Desserts Night and International Evening, by helping recruit cultural societies from EUSA for setting up stalls.
  • Although all core committee members are liable to providing help and support to Trips and Events Co-ordinators, the VP acts as their constant support throughout the year, providing some relief to the two most administration-wise demanding roles. 

Essential qualities:
  • Hard-working
  • Leadership and Teamwork skills 
  • Reliable (there'll be a lot of meetings to attend!) 
  • Initiative and drive as the job of the VP is very dynamic and changes as per the needs of the three aforementioned positions that it supports

"ISC Vice President
General role description:
- General role of overseeing basic runnings of the ISC
 ensuring roles are being followed correctly etc…
- First point of contact if the president is not presently available
 answering questions and concerns or resolving minor issues etc…
- Assisting the Events and Trips Coordinators when extra hands are needed
 normally this involves contacting societies to participate in IDN or IE, but if required more can be taken on by the VP
- Hoody orders
Current roles and future prospects for the VP:
- Sitting in the Gather Festival committee organised by EUSA
 voice ISC’s concerns/opinions/ideas
- Started the ISC + EUSA Global monthly newsletters
 Newsletter has been designed etc… but due to multiple difficulties the newsletter has never been published – if the new VP could reignite this idea, our outreach to students may be more effective then posters and facebook alone.
- Global roundtable hasn’t been successful for the last 2 years in the ISC, would like the next VP to think of innovative ideas to engage more societies to participate
 This would be beneficial for IDN and IE as societies already involved will be more willing to participate
 Encouraging engagement from other societies promotes different cultures present at the university
- Would like to encourage the VP to represent the ISC in various focus groups/councils organised by EUSA
 eg International Students Action Group, Welfare Council etc…
 topics  brought up in these meetings are useful to the ISC and can help us improve our outreach to international students and allow us to engage students more effectively
I am open to discussing with candidates for this position any new suggestions or how current ideas can be improved upon etc…
Candidates for this position must have a good knowledge of the ISC and are genuinely interested in improving the running of the committee and our events as well as motivated to go the extra mile to achieve goals."

Job Description:
  • Look after the money that goes in and out of the ISC.  The Treasurer is the only person besides the President who has a counterpart at the IO--in this case, the IO Accountant, who helps us with invoices, cash flows, payments and audits the accounts.  
  • Monitor the funds for each of the ISC sub-committees and subunits (Trips and Events as well as the Lounge itself, Volunteers Parties and the like).
  • Responsible for all of the money at the ISC, which is considerable.
  • Is a signatory for major purchases.
  • Produces the ISC budget.
  • Maintains the internal Balance Sheet.
  • Forecasts for the rest of the semester/year.

Essential qualities:
  • Organised
  • Basic numeracy
  • Has some knowledge of Microsoft Excel

 Job Description: 
  • Write meeting minutes. Minutes have to be typed up and sent around to the rest of the Core Committee. At the end of each meeting, points to be discussed at the next meeting and tasks each Core Committee member has to accomplish should be included.
  • Responsible for all correspondence sent to the ISC Gmail account. This includes replying emails, forwarding emails to the relevant Core Committee member, and informing the rest of the Committee/The ISC regarding offers that are sent to the email.
  • If any letters need to be written, this should be your responsibility.

Essential qualities:
  • Good command of English (the grammar/spelling in your minutes should not have to be checked)
  • Organised
  • Diplomatic in dealing with external correspondence.

"The general secretary is responsible for several things. The work includes managing the International Student Centre’s email, answering queries when the question is within the secretary’s knowledge or forwarding the message to the relevant trips/events coordinators so that they can give firsthand information. The general secretary is also responsible for writing the minutes during core-committee meetings and then making them available to the other core-committee members. This year the general secretary was also responsible for managing and updating the International Student Centre’s website. Usually, when the trips or events coordinator creates an event on facebook, the general secretary follows up on this by putting it up on the website. This part of the job can be really creative and fun.

This year I have tried to keep the website updates as relevant as possible to what has been happening in the International Student Centre. I have tried to be creative in how I approach the web pages and how the ISC is presented in the website descriptions. Thus, as a general secretary I was up to date to what trips and events are going on at the ISC and I was able to resolve many queries from students and help the coordinators pass the message about their events and advertise them.

For the future, I would say that the new general secretary can try to improve more on how the website is kept up. Perhaps think of more creative ideas and a new organization of the pages as some of the information now is redundant. Also, the website can be made more interactive and give more external links and information to the students who have questions or want to explore more opportunities for sightseeing, travel and entertainment. It will be a good idea for the ISC to be able to give independent reviews to students about different opportunities that they can take advantage of during their (usually short) stay in Edinburgh. I am suggesting this because as a secretary I have received a lot of emails which ask for information and advice on where to travel and what to see in Edinburgh. It is understandable that the ISC can’t cater for everyone in term of events and trips but it can try to provide the best possible advice tailored to students’ needs."

Publicity Secretary
 Job Description:
  • Essentially: to promote the ISC and anything that is happening at the ISC
  • This would usually entail writing newsletters on facebook and the blog on a weekly basis and using twitter if necessary.
  • Other things that may need to be done: advertise weekly events on facebook by occasionally making 'events' on these weekly things to remind people. Also: assist with editing the main uni website regarding the ISC (if necessary), making flyers for advertising the ISC, making new signs in the lounge if needed. And basically any other advertising the trips or events committee require.

Essential qualities:
  • Organised, with eye for detail
  • Perceptive (knowing what people will want know about happenings at the ISC)
  • Creative (when advertising and the way you word things)
  • Diplomatic (to deal with questions that people may have regarding events or happenings at the ISC).

"The role of the publicity secretary is a very steady one and it includes work on a weekly basis. This involves being in touch with both the trips and the events coordinator in order to know when trips/events or their ticket sales happen and preparing a weekly schedule which is then posted on both the facebook group and the facebook page, and the ISC blog. From this, as it was done this year, the general secretary picks out highlights to put on the ISC homepage, although this might be subject to change. Then, this schedule is also sent out via mail to everyone on the ISC mailing list and to the contact person in the IO. The publicity secretary is also responsible for advertising the coffee evenings, the pub nights and any other regular events like the language exchange on Wednesdays. Also, the publicity secretary keeps the facebook group tidy by pushing up relevant events and deleting spam.
Additionally to this role, in order to facilitate committee work, every core committee member should try to help out when help is necessary, like helping out at trips ticket sales and also by attending and helping out at events, but also just being helpful to people who come to the ISC.

What I have been doing this year is keeping up the regular updates on events. I also tried pointing to the website more than to facebook, as facebook can become increasingly annoying when it comes to advertising things, but due to the website experiencing some issues, this was quite difficult. But looking forward, this should become easier when the mailing list we set up for this year becomes more established and then events and trips can be advertised via this website.

So what the aim would be for the future would be going away from facebook more and more and establishing advertisement of ISC events on the website and via mail. It would be great if the regular events like coffee evening, pub night and language exchange Wednesdays could just be advertised on the ISC website and all the weekly trips and events could be grouped around this every week and then all the information could then go out via mail. Another thing that might be worth considering is, especially at the beginning, pushing the mailing list. Right now we have around 400 people on the list and this could be improved. The mailing list was established in the middle of this academic year and perhaps going big at the beginning with a mass email to the whole university would lead to more people signing up and therefore raising awareness of the ISC’s existence. Still, there are still students who don't know there is the ISC as an organisation that supports than and that should definitely be changed."

Trips Coordinator
Job Description:  
  • Responsible for the organization and running of the weekly trips
  • organize the schedule of trips for each semester
  • Make sure that each trip has buses, volunteers, schedule, flyers, posters, and proper pricing
  • Job is not to organize all the trips themselves but manage the committee to make sure all jobs are done fairly and on time

Essential qualities:
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to delegate and run a committee,
  • Good people/public skills
  • Good time management
  • Good problem solving skills

"ISC Trips Coordinator
General role description:
Main responsibility: managing a team of volunteers in all of the steps of planning, organising and leading trips throughout Scotland and Northern England for international students of our university
Meeting with the team weekly to discuss all of the details of the coming trips and to assign roles for the organisation (schedule, booking attractions), paperwork (poster and flyer) preparation and leading (as guides) of these trips
Every few weeks, deciding together with the team the schedule and destination of future trips, depending on the season and student availability for that time
Acting as the main point of contact for the team, and replying to any enquiries that students have about trips on Facebook or by email.
Duties for organising each trip:
deciding on the ticket price and provisional number of attendees
making an attractive announcement for the trip on Facebook
setting up the Eventbrite online registration for the trip
following how quickly students are registering to estimate the demand and know the  requirements for coaches and attractions
booking the correct number of coaches for the trip
checking the progress of the of the volunteers with each step of the planning and organisation process
making sure everything is ready for the guides on the day of the trip
offering the guides advice and support on the day of the trip in case of any problems
keeping a record of expenses, which will inform the pricing of future trips
Progress this year and prospects for the future Trips Coordinator
Thought this academic year, together with my team I brought about some important changes to the way we manage trips:
Diversity in destinations and themes: we have organised, apart from historical and scenic trips, also fun-related (Go Ape, white water rafting) and sportsy (skiing/snowboarding, hiking) trips, and a weekend trip to London, which were very well received by the students. Even for the more classical trips, we made our best to include more stops at important locations and options for additional activities, to cater for more tastes and budgets. Moreover, apart from the trips outside of Edinburgh, we have also organised visits to attractions in the city (e.g. Holyrood Palace, Roslin Chapel, St. Giles’ Cathedral), either as benefiting from group discounts or as part of their open days,  and outings to free events (e.g. Light Night), all of which were hugely popular.
-> I would urge the next Trips Coordinator to also consider offering diversity, and to bring innovative ideas of interesting trips. What would be useful as different from this year’s trip would be to also decide on a schedule, frequency and role allocation for visits around Edinburgh rather than organising them as one-off. To this end, an efficient system of coordinating the volunteers such that they are more in control of their responsibilities and how they relate to each other would be desirable.
Catering for requirements and passions: By democratically deciding together on all of the aspects of organising each trip, as well as by consulting with other students where possible, together with my team I did my best to cater for their requirements and passions.
Manageable sign up system: we implemented a combination of Eventbrite main list and waiting list sign up, with different times for selling tickets for each, which worked well throughout the year, especially for the more popular trips and weekend trips
-> An even more efficient  ticket sale procedure, preferably involving on-line payments, would be desirable to reduce the burden on the volunteers, but this has proven very tricky in previous years. It is left to the Trips Coordinator to investigate how this could be achieved.
Useful feedback collection: Every week, I collected feedback from both volunteers and students, which helped with the management of future trips and will inform the organisation of the same trip again. Moreover, on the first semester we asked students for their feedback by filling in an online survey.
-> It would be very useful if the future Trips Coordinator could devise a formal system for collecting feedback and suggestions, which could be used throughout each semester
Collaboration with schools, clubs and societies: Some of our trips were related to events organised by other groups, but we found that such groups would need to be contacted well in advance for being open to collaborations. I have successfully set up a collaboration with the School of Education, with advantages on both sides.
-> I would advise the future Trips Coordinator to get actively involved into engaging schools, clubs and societies into long-term. Innovative ideas would be needed as to types of collaboration and the ways of attracting potential collaborators.
The ideal candidate for the position of Trips Coordinator should, first of all, be passionate about travelling and curious about visiting amazing places in Scotland and the UK. Secondly, he/she should possess good leadership skills and be able to coordinate and motivate a team of volunteers. Thirdly, the Trips Coordinator should be friendly, approachable and proactive, to be able to deal with any issues raised by students. Most importantly, the Trips Coordinator should have a real desire to contribute to the development of the ISC.
I would be happy to meet with candidates for this position to discuss ideas for improving the management of the Trips Committee and the way that trips are to be organised."

Events Coordinator
  • As the events coordinator your main duty is to organise and chair the events subcommittee, ensuring the weekly events take place ; these can be anything from cultural nights to film nights to potlucks. In organising these events it is your responsibility to speak to the relevant individuals regarding hosting, room bookings and any other organising outwith the ISC. It is also your responsibility to ensure that those within your committee are contributing to the workings of the committee. It has recently become the events coordinator’s responsibility to organise the trips to Edinburgh Castle, as well as multiple other large events throughout the year, including the International Desserts Night and the International Evening. In organising these events, it is the responsibility of the events coordinator to maintain an overview of these events, ensuring all pieces fit together as required.
  • As a member of the core committee, the events coordinator must also attend and contribute to the internal workings of the ISC, assisting in such aspects as event organising in conjunction with other EUSA societies, fresher’s week, and other projects taken on the by the core committee.

Essential qualities:
  • Motivated
  • Organised
  • Able to communicate and work with others
  • Good time management

Lounge Coordinator / Social Coordinator 
Job Description:
  • Responsible for running of the ISC Lounge.
  • Work closely with the House Manger to ensure the Lounge runs smoothly.
  • Help recruit enough volunteers for the semester and co-ordinate the lounge volunteers throughout the semester.
  • Create a roster showing the weekly volunteers and continually check the sign in book to make sure volunteers are showing up.
  • Replace or kick off volunteers who aren't showing up to their times.
  • Find replacements for where people are unable to show up and find replacements for those who have dropped out.
  • Arrange events/ socials to help foster closer ties within the three voluntary sections of the ISC
  • As a member of the core committee, you must also attend and contribute to the internal workings of the ISC, assisting in such aspects as event organising in conjunction with other EUSA societies, fresher’s week, and other projects taken on the by the core committee 

Essential qualities:
  • SOCIABLE - This is an absolute must!
  • Motivated 
  • Confident 
  • Outgoing 
  • Organised 

"The social coordinator is responsible for the smooth running of the ISC Lounge. The duties of this position include recruitment of enough volunteers for each semester and coordination of the lounge volunteers throughout the semester by preparing a weekly schedule with the shifts and checking the sign in book to make sure volunteers show up regularly.  In case the volunteers stop showing up, the social coordinator has to find replacements. Since the activity of the social coordinator is mainly based in the Lounge, he or she has to work closely with the house manager to ensure that the place is well maintained. In addition, to managing lounge volunteers, the social coordinator arranges social events to promote interaction between the three committees of ISC volunteers. The major of these events is the Volunteers Party at the end of every semester. As a member of the core committee, the social coordinator must also attend and contribute to the internal workings of the ISC, assisting in such aspects as event organising in conjunction with other EUSA societies, fresher’s week, and other projects taken on the by the core committee.

My role is such that I am very busy at the beginning and at the end of the semester (volunteer recruitment, figuring out the shift schedule and organizing the Volunteer Party), but throughout the semester, as long as people attend their shifts, I do not have much to worry about. Therefore, I spent a lot of time in the ISC to make my face familiar to both volunteers and regular visitors and tried to help other members of the CoreCom, escpecially the trips and events coordinators, as much as possible. In the second semester I created a Facebook group for all the volunteers, so that they have a medium to communicate regardless of which committee they belong to. It would be nice to see that idea fully developed, be it through Facebook or other means. I also organized a potluck dinner for all the volunteers, and the attendance was quite good. More events of this kind should be organized to create a sense of belonging to a community among all the volunteers. Since the three committees work apart from each other, the next social coordinator should make a serious effort to unite them and make them mingle as much as possible. "

House Manger
Job Description:
  • Makes sure that the ISC always has everything it requires to run smoothly: Coffee Evening supplies, milk/coffee/tea for the Lounge, stationery for the Office, etc..
  • Keeps the ISC in a presentable state: tidy the place when you're around, fix or get replacements for broken furniture...
  • Takes care of recycling things.
  • As a member of the core committee, you must also attend and  contribute to the internal workings of the ISC, assisting in such  aspects as event organising in conjunction with other EUSA societies,  fresher’s week, and other projects taken on the by the core committee.

Essential qualities:
  • Organised
  • Reliable

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