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‘The Union literally feels like my second home’: An interview with Cecilia Hudson-Molinaro

She’s running to be your SU Activities Officer

With the end of the campaigning in sight, the votes for next year's Students' Union Officers are stacking up.

We spoke to Cecilia Hudson-Molinaro about her campaign to be Activities Officer. Cece told us about her proposals for a #SpeakOut mental health campaign, getting more societies involved in Varsity and her coffee masterclass at Coffee Revolution.

Introduce yourself in a sentence.

Hey, I’m Cecilia, or "Cece", an energetic third year, who sometimes forgets she’s at uni to complete her Psychology degree since she’s always out and about, loving the student life of sports and societies.

What made you want to run for Students' Union Activities Officer?

The experience I’ve had at uni has been one of a kind and that has been down to all the people I’ve met through societies and clubs. Three years down the line I’ve managed to balance a hefty mix of sport, society, charity and volunteering activities. This is something I want to give back to future students.

After many of my friends and work colleagues encouraged me to run, I decided to launch a 24 hour campaign before the 5pm nomination deadline. The Union literally feels like my second home, I don’t want to leave just yet without making my contribution.

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Voting is now open for the elections, how have you found the campaign process?

It’s been a mix of emotions to be honest. I think the campaign process is a very tense time for all candidates, we’ve worked so incredibly hard for this opportunity, and it’s been a big step from my comfort zone. However, the support and positivity from friends and people I’ve had the chance to talk to has been amazing. These elections are won through collaboration, the kind words I’ve received have given me the motivation and confidence to keep up the hard work.

If you had to choose one big change you'd like to make as Activities Officer at Sheffield, what would it be?

I’d love to get societies more involved in our annual Varsity! Playing Korfball since first year and currently being part of sports committee has made me realise what a positive impact Varsity can have on students and I’d like to expand this across societies. Representing your university through something that you’re passionate about is a real confidence booster. I feel like this could be a positive change to how our SU involves students.

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Your manifesto includes a proposal for a #SpeakOut campaign to help address personal problems, how would you intend on delivering this to students?

Mental health is a hot topic currently, with more and more people seeking various types of help. Previous officers have pledged to improve the society training of mental health which I think is amazing. With my #SpeakOut campaign I’d like to make students more aware that it is good to voice their feelings on all personal issues instead of letting them take over.

Working with other officers I’d like to make sure students are fully aware of the services the university has on offer, whilst hosting events which promote inclusivity and support through societies.

Your campaign also pledges to promote 'Give it a Go' sessions, what's the best Give it a Go you've tried at Sheffield?

Signing up to hitch hike with Baby Bummit to Glasgow in my first year was probably the best thing I’ve tried. In terms of individual sessions though, doing a coffee master class with Coffee Revs was great fun! I got to drink endless amounts of coffee and learn how to make my favourite brews whilst being educated on different types of coffee beans and latte art.

The #SheShouldRun campaign has been quite prominent in the election process this year, do you think the campaign has been successful?

I think Celeste’s #SheShouldRun campaign has been incredibly successful this year! Especially for major roles like President and Development which have previously been male dominated. I feel like on a whole, females have been more prominent in all officer positions this year. I’ve shown support of the campaign, but the role of Activities Officer has had quite an even female to male ratio in the past.

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What's your favourite thing about Sheffield?

Sheffield is such a diverse city with a lot going on in terms of music, arts and sport. I love the open space, which gives it a sort of ‘village in a city’ type feel. If elected, I’d love to continue building up the local support we have with businesses and charities, encouraging students to give back.

If you won the campaign, how would you celebrate?

I’d have to ring my mum straight away, then would probably end up getting very drunk with my mates and all the other candidates. We’d end up at Bar One karaoke, then West Street and I’ve heard it’s Soul Jam this Thursday – so boogieing to soul and funk would definitely be on the cards!

Is there anything else you'd like to say?

I’d like to encourage everyone who hasn’t already voted to have the opportunity to shape their SU. There are some amazing candidates this year and the competition is high, so it’s all down to those final votes which will really make the difference.

For those thinking of doing it next year who are on the fence like I was – just do it. It’s an amazing opportunity where you learn a lot about yourself and develop so many new skills. I want to thank everyone who has helped give me my confidence throughout this campaign period.