The end of the year is fast approaching, and the current Impact team will soon be flying from the nest to explore post-university pastures of freedom, independence, and Jobseeker’s Allowance. But before they go, they need some people to replace them. That’s where you come in.
The Impact Elections are going to be held on Wednesday, May 13th, at 3pm. They’re taking place in The Atrium, Portland Building. To see the available positions, scroll down to the bottom of the page. To download a nomination form, click here.
We are also going for a meal at Piccolinos at 9pm, we have booked for 50 people, so do come along. Please RSVP on the event page: http://tinyurl.com/impactelections. If you don’t RSVP there should still be room for you, but it would be nice to know the numbers.
Directions: Piccolinos is near the Pitcher and Piano, next to a phallic monument on Weekday Cross MAP
Why would I want to join Impact?
By joining Impact, you get to contribute to one of the biggest and most successful student-run services at the university. You get to shape what goes in a magazine that gets printed every month, and which a few thousand students will read and be influenced by. Some people get a buzz out of that. If you’re not one of them, the following might motivate you:
- CV-polishing. As you should know by now, having a 2:1 degree isn’t enough these days. And if you’ve been president of some obscure society, that doesn’t say much either. By being part of a big, nationally-recognised student publication, you get to really boost your employment credentials. And you can bring in a few issues to a job interview to show something concrete that you’ve done. Lots of Impact alumni go on to work in marketing, PR, publishing, and of course journalism, but for whatever you want to do having worked at Impact is a valuable asset.
- Free stuff. Impact gets sent far more free stuff than it can possibly use, and as a member of the team you get to help yourself to some of this. Sometimes this is just CDs, DVDs, cinema tickets and the like. But it’s often a lot better than that. To give you an idea, this year alone we sent three team members to Barcelona, and one editor on an all-expenses-paid, flights included trip to Australia. Another editor was able to get sponsored, again flights (and ship) included, to go on a trip to Antarctica. If you want in on some of the action, it’s time to get involved.
- Back-stage passes. Working for Impact, you get to report on much of what goes on in Nottingham and beyond. If you’ve ever wanted to interview the acts at the Summer Party, you can do that. Or you can get a press pass to Glastonbury, and thrust a dictaphone into the face of hippies at your leisure. One editor last year managed to get back-stage to a press conference with the Dalai Lama, who was apparently a surprisingly funny guy.
- Interview minor celebrities. We get a constant stream of minor celebrities knocking at the door to be interviewed by us. Sometimes we even get more well-known names. In the past couple of years, Impact has interviewed Gordon Brown, Eddie Izzard, Richard Bacon, Tony Benn, Toady from Neighbours, and Jeremy Paxman. You could be doing this too.
- Good looking girls/boys. In opinion polls, Impact has consistently scored higher than any other SRS for its members’ good looks and general sense of fashion. Tony Cascarino was recently quoted as saying, “those people in Impact are so good looking, it makes my bunions swell up a right palava. If I was still a student, I’d be signing up for these elections right away.” That’s a fact.
Am I good enough?
The best thing about the Impact is that you don’t need experience to apply for a position. You’re a student, and nobody expects you to have a column in The Guardian already. Although if you have, that would of course be nice.
The main things you need are enthusiasm and a willingness to learn as you go along. We arrange handovers, so you should know what you’re doing when you start in September. Every year, the majority of people elected are completely new to Impact, so not having been on the committee is certainly no reason to rule yourself out.
We also have over forty elected positions, so there’s plenty of scope to get involved in whichever area of the magazine interests you most.
What positions are there then?
Impact has a range of positions for budding editors, designers, photographers, promoters, and everything in-between. To see a more in-depth list of what the different jobs entail, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Ok, I’m sold. How do I put myself forward?
Putting yourself forward for elections is easy. You can download a nomination form here, and you can also pick up forms from outside our office. You need to specify what position you’re going for. And you also need to get someone to nominate you, although this needn’t be someone from Impact and can be any student at the university – even your housemate.
Once you’ve done that, drop off your form in the drop-box (which may in fact be an envelope) outside our office. The Impact office is on the top floor of the West wing of the Portland Building, and should be fairly well signposted. You can also give your form to the Impact team directly, if you want.
The deadline for applications is 5pm, Monday, 11th May.
What do I actually need to do at the elections?
At the elections, you’ll be asked to give a 2-3 minute speech, talking about why you’d be good for the job, what changes (if any) you’d like to make, and generally why you’d make a fantastic member of the team. After that you might be asked one or two questions by the audience, and then that’s it. It’s a lot more laid-back than most people expect, and many people have been elected having never made a speech before in their lives.
If you fail to get the position you went for, it’s also possible to drop down and go for a different job, so it’s not necessarily the end of the road if you don’t get your first choice.
You should run for a position in the Impact elections. It’s good. Fact.
Here’s a handy list of what all the roles at Impact involve. If you want a more technical description, you can download our constitution here. Note that the positions of Editor-in-Chief, Editor, and Design Editor usually require you to be available for a week in the summer, so bear that in mind if you’ve got holiday plans already. For most other positions, you just need to be around when term starts, which we assume you will be.
Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that any job is what you make of it. You could potentially expand one of these roles to encompass other areas if that’s what you wanted to do, and generally the way things work is quite flexible. Anyway, here’s the list:
The Editor-in-Chief is, ultimately, the most important person in the magazine. As Editor-in-Chief, you’d have responsibility for a wide range of tasks, including coordinating the work of all the other editors; liasing with the Students’ Union, our printers, and other external bodies; writing the monthly editorial; making sure Impact stays within the bounds of libel law; and generally being around to help out with whatever problems arise. You also have a large degree of control over what goes in the magazine, and what articles are featured each month. It can be a time-consuming job, and does involves a high degree of responsibility, but it also gives you a chance to make a real difference to the magazine and to take it in the direction you think it should go.
The post of Editor differs from Editor-in-Chief in that it is primarily a content-oriented role. As Editor, you wouldn’t be responsible for much in the way of management, but you’d be very much responsible for the articles that go in the magazine. So you’d be the first port of call for section editors unsure what articles to use in a particular month, you’d sit in on editorial meetings to evaluate and suggest ideas, and you would, well, edit much of what goes to print. The Editor also compiles the ‘Gratis’ section of the magazine, organises socials, and in general acts as the Social Sec of Impact.
The Managing Editor, as you can guess, is primarily responsible for the management side of the magazine. This is a very important role. It involves procuring equipment for the magazine, maintaining our mailing list with other university publications, keeping our archive safe and up-to-date, and organising our presence at Freshers’ Fayre. In addition to this, the Managing Editor acts as the de facto treasurer for Impact, and is responsible for our finances throughout the year.
Associate Editors (x3)
The Associate Editors put together the ‘Features’ section of Impact, which comprises a large chunk of the magazine. They also put together ‘Spare Parts’, and ‘Famous Last Words’, where Impact tries to interview some kind of notable person every month. Finally, the Associates oversee the other sections, and are the first people to edit their content every month.
PR and Distribution Manager
There’s no point putting together a magazine if no one’s able to read it, which is why PR and Distribution are essential areas of the magazine. The ‘bare bones’ of the job is distribution, and here your role is to ensure that the magazines are properly distributed around University Park, Jubilee, Lenton, and elsewhere every month. This mainly involves driving (or being driven) around with the magazines, but could involve other methods. The more creative side of the job is PR and publicity. It’d be your job to promote the magazine in whichever way you can. Previous ideas have included stalls, posters, events, and a mascot. It’s really up to you. You would also have the opportunity to recruit a team of publicity officers to help you with all this. This is a new role, so you really have a chance to define it for yourself.
Design is sometimes overlooked, but is in many ways as important as content. As Design Editor, you’d be responsible for putting together the page layout, style, front cover, and overall ‘look’ of the magazine. You’d need to be competent in graphic design software; Impact uses Adobe Indesign.
Associate Design Editors (x2)
The Associate Design Editors help the Design Editor throughout the year, and generally perform a similar (if less involved) function. You don’t necessarily need to be familiar with graphic design software to take on this role, so long as you’re happy to be trained to use it.
Image Editors (x2)
The Image Editors are responsible for getting images for the magazine. This could involve taking photographs, scouring the Internet, or even doing hand-drawn sketches. Being able to use PhotoShop is also very handy, since we often need to play around with our images before print.
The Web Editor has the job of maintaining our website and ensuring it works properly and generally looks nice. The Web Editor is essentially responsible for the technical side of the website
Associate Web Editor
As Associate Web Editor, you’d be responsible for the content of the website. This is a much less technical role than Web Editor, and in fact it can be done without any prior IT or web experience whatsoever. Mainly, you’d be uploading articles from the print version to the web, selecting images, and sometimes uploading breaking news which has not been in the print version at all.
News Editors (x3)
News is a really important part of Impact, and is essential for informing students of what’s happening on campus and in the city. News editors will be in touch with external bodies – the University, the Students’ Union, the police, and the Council, among others – and will always try to find out what’s going on in the area. As well as doing this work yourself, you’ll hold weekly meetings and have a team of contributors reporting on news for you.
Sport Editors (x2)
The Sports Editors report about sport on campus, in Nottingham, and sometimes nationally. You’re responsible for ensuring the sport that matters to students is reported, but also for providing an outlet for people who have something to say about anything sport-related more broadly.
Fashion Editors (x2)
Fashion are a bit different to other sections, in that they not only have articles every month but also do a fashion shoot. This is a lot of fun, and means you get to work with aspiring models, photographers, make-up artists and all sorts of other people.
Music Editors (x2)
The Music Editors cover local music, review albums, and have the best opportunity to get into gigs free at Rock City. This is one of our biggest and most important sections, and if you’re enthusiastic about music it’s obviously the job to go for. You will also get sent more free CDs than you could possibly listen to.
Film Editors (x2)
Film has proved to be a really popular section this year, and is a forum for students to review, critique, and generally chat about about films locally and nationally. The film editors have historically had close links with Nottingham’s cinemas, and also national and even international entertainment companies.
Travel Editors (x2)
If you like travelling, this is obviously the section to go for. And yes, you can get free holidays (sometimes).
Arts Editors (x2)
Arts is a diverse section, and encompasses books, theatre, and, well, art. If you’re artistically-minded, this is a great section to edit.
Science Editors (x2)
Science is (slightly) less geeky than you might imagine. It’s still a relatively new section to Impact, but has done really well in the two years that we’ve had it. It covers a very broad range of topics, from the Large Hadron Collider to the latest videogames. And you don’t even need to be doing a science degree to edit it.
Nights Editors (x3)
If you like going out, and wouldn’t mind doing this professionally, then you should consider putting yourself forward for the role of Nights Editor. This is actually a really important part of the magazine, since for a lot of students going out is their most important pastime.
Publicity Officers (x3)
Publicity officers help the PR and Distribution Manager promote and, well, distribute the magazine. It’s a good job if you only have a couple of hours every month to spare, but still want to get involved.
Pending a decision from this year’s editorial team and the Students’ Union, there may be elections for the new ‘Impact Weekly’ format at this election as well. We’ll let you know if this happens, but it’s probably more likely that they’ll be held on a separate date.