Last week the SYL Exec co-opted 4 new members. Here you can find out about them and why we chose them to serve the remainder of this term. It was a tough choice, as everyone who applied was more than capable of taking on these roles, but we are confident we made the right choices, and we can't wait to get to work.
Chair: Andrew Reynolds
Andrew served as Co-Chair with Christopher Wilson from last year's SYL Elections. He stood to be co-opted for this term, and his application, which noted his achievements on this executive, and how much he was committed to seeing out this term, meant that he was the clear choice for Chair. In his application, Andrew said
"my key goals if co-opted [are] for more regular meetings (twice a month), for SYL to finally utilise its bank account and for us to pass a new constitution". It was for these reasons that Andrew was the best choice to lead SYL for the remainder of this term.
Treasurer: Michael Craig
Michael joined the Lib Dems from the Conservatives last year, and has extensive experience in political activism. He was the President of Stirling University Debate Society, and was the Treasurer of Stirling University Conservative Association. When he presided over the Debating Society, he had to act as Treasurer, and as such was responsible for around £2,000 of funds. Michael has the experience, and the drive, to help manage and grow the finances of SYL. His priorities for the role are as follows:
Rectify any and all remaining issues with the bank account.
Seek to put safeguards in place to ensure issues don't occur again in the future to avoid serious legal issues.
Invest in merchandising that can be given out at freshers stalls around the country to any university societies that would want to get involved with that.
Attempt to find the most suitable ways to source additional income for the organisation. By reaching out to other members of the party for guidance and possible donation
Non-Portfolio/Diversity Officer: Meredith Fuller
Meredith has a lot of prior experience in advancing equality in society. She served for two years on the Executive Board for the Youth in Government program, as acting Secretary and Co-Founder of her school’s local chapter. Youth in Government is a U.S. initiative designed to encourage young adults to become involved in the processes of the political system. As Secretary, she presided over administration and communication with other chapters. As Co-Founder, she and her partner worked closely with the national office to ensure an inclusive environment in which to learn and engage, whether it was through annual conventions, mock court trials or elected positions within the national organization. By engaging both as a participant in annual conventions and at an executive capacity, this experience granted an insight to the necessity of hearing inclusive voices and working to involve individuals from all backgrounds.
In her role as Diversity Officer, Meredith will seek to:
- Cooperate with LGBTQ+ organizations to help further relations between the SYL and members of the LGBTQ+ community. She also plans to launch a platform that would allow their voices to be heard.
- Seek to launch an anti-racism campaign intended to educate and expand tolerance and inclusion. Included would be an awareness campaign that would allow individuals from marginalised communities to share their experience to kickstart essential conversation in local communities.
- An awareness campaign against the toxic environment found in Glasgow and across Scotland towards immigrants - especially asylum seekers. This would focus not only on personal experiences but also on the numerous recorded benefits that immigration brings, including diversity and talent to the NHS.
While an ambitious agenda, these campaigns are essential to increasing tolerance and building bridges with diverse populations across Scotland.
This commitment to equality and fundamental decency in society is exactly why we chose Meredith to serve on our executive.
Campaigns Officer: David Gregg
David is a junior doctor from the Highlands, and was the chair of Sheffield University Young Liberals during his time there. He has a keen knowledge of local campaigning, and knows how valuable local YL branches are to the success of the Scottish Lib Dems at local and national levels. His work as a junior doctor is also invaluable to SYL as it can help us reach out to people who have finished university, and help us understand their concerns and how we can help them.
As Campaigns Officer, David plans to
Work on ways for young members in Scotland to organise without being attached to a university, and to help local parties get more Young Liberals involved this way.
Start a SYL Candidate and Campaigner Mentoring scheme. Across Scotland in the 2021 and 2022 Holyrood and local elections we’ll see several SYL members standing for election, it would be valuable to pair them up with experienced councillors, parliamentarians and candidates to offer bespoke mentoring and advice. It would also be important to offer the same mentoring to SYL members acting as organisers and agents, as the party at all levels often fails to mentor and support people who want to take these kinds of backroom roles.
To make ‘campaign-in-a-box’ guides modelled on those offered by ALDC for the campaigns included in the Freshers Packs this year. Previously, Freshers Campaigns often consisted of leafleting during Freshers Week and little else, and no guidance was offered on how to take the campaign forward. This scheme would provide a guide for each of the issues in the Freshers Pack with concrete steps and campaign ideas so the campaigns can truly be all year round rather than just lasting one week. Packs would be unique to branches, so that individual members living in rural areas are just as able to campaign as part of SYL as members attached to university branches are.