If you're reading this, you're either really bored and checking out the GUGS issuu page or you've just been elected president 2013-14.
So. GUGS president. You might wonder what that entails. Well, like Niamh's handy-dandy document says, you're the voice and the face of the society. If that's not clear, I've taken some time out from my schedule of asking people to not bring food into the QMU and drinking more gin than most can handle to bombard you with more information. Anyway, to give you a better idea, here's the stuff I've had to deal with as president: Communication Not rocket science. In short, keep the society informed. The more mediums you use to do it, the less likely it is that someone will miss something. We've worked hard this year to reintroduce emails, keep our social media ticking over and also to make sure announcements are done in person. The latter, while mostly ignored, at least makes you visible and shows you're putting the effort in and is appreciated by some members. Similarly, we've had open committee meetings- same time, same place every week unless otherwise advertised. You may not get everyone clamouring to join in, but keeping things visible and transparent goes a long way. You get to chair those, by the way, and I'd suggest memorising the phrase “any RELEVANT business?” Overall, making sure everyone knows what's going on makes life easier and everyone happier. Unless you're announcing you're about cancel Magic, ban roleplaying and turn the society into a stamp-collecting society. In which case, dude, nice knowing you... Contacts Although it's traditionally been the secretary's role to chat to outside folk, I've taken on a lot of it this year. Partly because I had the time and I also happened to have spent most of my undergrad making pals who later got elected to the QMU exec and board, or the SRC president. Having contacts within the building you want to hold meetings in, or within the organisation who can give you grant money obviously makes life easier. If you know folk great. If not, go introduce yourself. It takes very little time and it does unruffle feathers when it's the president taking the time to do it. I'd also particularly advise seeing the gaming stores and also the QMU staff. These people are providing you with discounts, services and often giving up their free time for you and the society. If another committee member is already on ace terms with them, great. But if you can, go say hi. It really does help. Complaints and other not-so-fun-things As president, you also have an invisible badge that says “Hi, give me the unpleasant stuff please!”. If, in the unfortunate event, something doesn't go to plan or someone makes a complaint, you're the first port of call. More often than not, this will be coupled with the expectant faces of your committee looking at you, waiting for you to make the decision or cast the deciding vote. It can be a bit stressful and sometimes there's no right answer, but all I can say is do your best, use your common sense, work with the committee and follow the constitution.
That's probably everything, but there's also some stuff I'd probably suggest you learn from that we did this year: Work with your committee I've been super lucky this year and got handed some of the best people ever to work with, and we all became great friends. Don't just only meet at GUGS for meetings and be boring and sterile- spend time with each other doing social things too. TALK to each other if nothing else. You're only as good as your weakest member, and if you can support each other, life gets easier and so much better. This really helps when you know one of you has a deadline or is having a shitty time at work, as it means you can delegate or take on more things accordingly. You'll also end the year with some cracking mates. Just sayin'. Don't use personal email accounts/Facebook/Twitter/etc for GUGS business We have the GUGS accounts for a reason. It makes life infinitely easier if you're organised and you have a record of GUGS stuff (particularly things like complaints or room bookings/invoices!) that's not hidden beneath photos of your weekend away to Amsterdam and emails from your parents. Similarly, it's less impressive when you send an email requesting a meeting with a finance committee from “sexygeek_101” or whatever your handle may be. Try and get the GUGS website updated We had all the plans in the world...but unfortunately none of us knew how to “do” websites, and the people we had hoped to work with were unfortunately unavailable due to their own schedules/life getting in the way for them. Alas, shit happens. If you can get it up and running, I'd recommend it. If nothing else, wahey, another way to bombard the membership with information and keep 'em updated! Just do your best basically... You're human and sadly, you can't please everyone...But you can please a lot of people and so long as you're doing your best, that's all that matters. Probably. I dunno, I think I had a fortune cookie that said that once. If all else fails? Gin. But not that gin, that's mine. Get your own.
Secretary The core of the Secretary’s role is pretty simple. The busiest point in the secretary’s year at the turn of the academic year, when you sort out room bookings for the upcoming year, take the bulk of memberships, affiliate with the QMU and go out with a bang at the AGM or, if you’re taking over, dive in head first with SRC affiliation. Before that it’s really just a matter of keeping things ticking over, taking minutes, and submitting the occasional funding application. The bulk of the secretary’s job through the year is acting as point of contact with the university. This mainly involves sorting affiliations with the QMU and SRC, applying for SRC grants, booking rooms with the QMU, and doing the bookings and special arrangements (catering etc) for bigger events. If the committee decides to keep GUGS running over the holidays, you will also be the one who sorts out external bookings. Coopers was our destination of choice for the summer this year because it was free, near the university, large enough that up to twenty or thirty GUGs members would not significantly disrupt their everyday running, and they were happy for us to make multiple bookings. However there are other options, for example now that Geek Retreat is a bit more established it may be nice to discuss sorting something with them. SRC grants are FUN. We tend to get one every year for help towards nationals, however this year they have stopped funding trips – including travel, accommodation or entry fees, so you may need to think outside the box a little if you would still like to try and get funding. However, it may be worth getting funding for other things such as Gugacons, hoodies etc. Try and make your application ask for an amount over £250, as that way they will meet with you and are more likely to approve the grant. The application form can be downloaded from the SRC website and it is pretty straightforward to apply. The secretary is also the keeper of the paperwork, taking minutes for all Committee and General Meetings and keeping an up-to-date version of the constitution. You’re responsible for putting together and maintaining an up-to-date members list, ensuring that everyone is fully paid-up and in possession of a membership card. You’ll also want to take down whether or not someone is a QMU member because that makes the next secretary’s life easier when it’s their turn to affiliate with the QMU. You are responsible for overseeing the GUGS website. Other responsibilities will depend on the kind of committee you are in, for example the constitution specifies the secretary as a main point of contact with non-university bodies as well, but over the year that has not turned out to be very relevant to me. You may end up volunteering to sort out other things, or delegating certain responsibilities to others, but the bulk of the job is as above.
Treasurer The treasurer is responsible for all things money. They must have the accounts audited every year, look after the cash box and bank account, and are generally a lynchpin of the committee, dealing with any financial query or issue regarding the society. I'm writing this under the premise that whoever inherits this position has no knowledge of accounting at all, so apologies if this sounds patronising at all.
1) Don't write money in until you have it in your hands/box. 2) Don't feel bad for asking for reciepts and justification for everything, it's your job. 3) Do not give the cash box/book to another member of the committee unless absolutely necessary. They will almost certainly input something in a way that's either wrong or doesn't make sense to you and will just make your life more stressful. 4) If ever the cost efficiency of the draft is questioned (and it will be), come and speak to myself if you don't feel comfortable working it out yourself. 5) "Nationals" will drain the GUGS account significantly. Unless we inherit a lot of money, don't let anyone convince you that we should subsidise more than ÂŁ10 per person. 6) If you ever need to write a cheque or withdraw money form the bank account, request a statement first.
Best of luck, Ross
Socials Convenor Main duties 1. To organise a variety of social events throughout the year 2. to support other committee members in organising events outwith the usual Tuesday/Saturday remit 3. To promote good relationships with other societies on campus 4. Publicity 1. Social Event Variety It is important that the social events throughout the year appeal to the society's various demographics. Factors such as cost, distance to travel, age-range (many Freshers will be 17) and non-alcoholic drinkers need to be kept in mind. Successful socials that have been held in the past include: - Themed pubcrawls There are some existing GUGS pubcrawls that can be used, or new ones can be written. Be aware of how long you wish to spend in each pub, and what the travel time between locations will be like. Some pubs can be particularly noisy and crowded on a Friday night, and this can make conversation between participants difficult. Make sure there are plenty of options for non-alcoholic drinkers (there are some good examples in the existing pubcrawls). The best way to get people interested in a pubcrawl is to pick something that has a good 'flavour' to it; our most successful pubcrawls have been the Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter pubcrawls, probably down to the world-building that each franchise resides in. You may find as you try to write a pubcrawl that you struggle to translate the existing material into silly drinks and competitions - don't panic! The 'flavour' is what's needed, not an exact translation. For example, the 'Care of Magical Creatures' class in the Harry Potter pubcrawl calls for the participants to look after a gummie bear during a stay in a pub. If the participant doesn't eat it, they gain House Points! Though using props can be fun, if the pubcrawl gets too complicated then people will start to lose interest (especially if they've been drinking!). Having a clear set of rules and a few obvious people in charge will make for a fun pubcrawl! - Christmas/End of term parties The Christmas party in particular is always a favourite, and is relatively quick to pull off. You will need to extend the booking on the Food Factory on a Saturday until late in the evening, and get permission to bring in snack food (this may be slightly more complicated now that Cafe 22 is on the premises. However, it can't hurt to ask!). A good way to do the food is to use some money from GUGS to buy staples (crisps, dip, sausage rolls, fizzy drink, cups and plates etc), and then ask people to bring donations of food (or, you could spend slightly more GUGS money and then ask for donations. I found that most people were willing to donate a pound or two). Home baked food always goes down well! It's nice to organise one or two things that are different for the evening, or the most part people are usually happy to bring their own amusements. In the past we've had Rock Band (a great favourite!), Bring A Board Game, pub quizzes and costume contests. The Christmas Party has turned into an annual event, usually held on the last Saturday of term.
- Laser Quest This can take a bit more organisation, as there a number of laser quest venues in Glasgow (but none of them in the city centre or West End, unfortunately!). Most places will give you a deal for doing three games over 1 1/2 hours. You may need to ask for a deposit from people who are attending, as most laser quest venues will ask you to book before you go. If you're planning on going at a weekend, definitely book in advance! You will need to let people know that depending on how many of you go, you will probably be sharing the space with other groups, so you may get split up into more than one team. Make sure to plan travel in advance so that you get there on time! - Cinema trips The simplest way to organise a cinema trip is to decide on the time/place/film, and then let everyone know via Facebook, email and announcements, and let people sort out their own tickets. The only exceptions to this would be a premier or IMAX visit - in this case get everyone to give you money before you buy tickets, in case people drop out. - GUGS on Ice This perennial favourite is another easy one to organise - St George Square has an ice rink set up every year. There are certain times that are cheaper, you can also get a group discount AND students get reduced prices! Photographs are a must. Other ideas: - Keep an eye out for festivals and exhibitions that are on. In the past we've attended science lectures (well, Zombie Science lectures!), conventions, firework celebrations, all sorts! - It's also worth keeping in touch with the gaming-related shops around the city, as they often host small events that GUGS members may be interested in. - Talk to the other societies on campus/in nearby universities, to see if they're interested in organising joint events, or if they're running anything that GUGS might be interested in attending. 2. Supporting other committee members Other committee members will often organise special events outside of the usual Tuesday/Saturday GUGS norm. These are normally a great time to get members of the society involved with something a little bit different. As Social Convener, it's good to think about these things: - Can we get extra members of the society involved in the event? - Can we publicise this outside of the society? - Is this a stand-alone event, or are there other events that could run with it? A good example of this was the 2013 GUGS RAG Week event. It started as an idea to run a charity board game day, where you could buy rerolls for 50p. We decided to hold it on a Saturday so that GUGS members would already be there, and publicised it on the Facebook page, encouraging people to talk about what games they were bringing. We also put up posters around the QMU, to encourage non-GUGS members to come along. Then we
decided to also ask people to bring Magic the Gathering EDH decks with them, also offering the 50p reroll (in this case, a 50p free mulligan), opening up the number of people who might attend. We ended up with over 30 people coming, and raised a fair amount of money for the RAG Week charities. Another example would be Nationals - though it was the Conventions Convener who organised the trip, it was the Socials Convener who organised people into costumes for the Saturday night. The GUGacon is a really good time to get the whole committee together to organise a whole-Society event (there is a separate document for suggestions on how to organise one!). There's room for everyone to get involved, and it plays to the strengths of the committee as a whole. It's also a great chance to try out new things, and to get other geeky societies along and hang out with us! As Social Convener, it can be your role to support the rest of the committee in their efforts (if you look at it, everything's a social event anyway :P) 3. Promoting good relationships with other societies on campus (and beyond!) Having a good relationship with other societies on campus (i.e. iO, GUMAF, Pause Gaming, GUHAS, GU Cosplayers, GUGNACS) is really important, especially as there is usually a big crossover between our memberships. It can often help with room bookings, and also with organising events such as the GUGacon. It's worth chatting to the people in charge whenever you get a spare moment, often ideas can grow out of small conversations! A few things we've done this year - creating the 'Geek Menu' for Fresher's Fair (a list of all the geeky societies, with their table numbers, usual meeting places and contact details on. Every geeky society was given a bundle!) - inviting GUHAS and GU Cosplayers to the GUGacon. GUHAS gave a historical swordfighting talk/demonstration, and GU Cosplayers hosted a seminar on cosplaying/making characters. Beyond the geeky societies, we've also started making ties with GU Student Television, who came to the October GUGacon to film a short slot about GUGS and our convention. Outside of Glasgow Uni, GUGS has strong ties with Nearly Enough Dice podcasters, and is beginning to make connections with the Strathclyde Board Gaming Society. Last but not least, having good communication with the local shops is a must. The RPG/NonRPG Conveners will probably have Static, Spellbound, and Dragon and George covered, but the newly opened Geek Retreat are eager to get some events hosted by GUGS. 4. Publicity Publicising events needs to be a high priority for a Socials Convener. Luckily there are a number of ways to do this! The easiest is of course the regular Tuesday night
announcements, but these can be reinforced using email-mailouts, Twitter, and Facebook (FB Events are a godsend!). Then of course there's the poster-and-leaflets route, which does help with certain events, like RAG Week. Basically, keep everyone well-informed, and you'll have great turnouts for your social events!
RPG Convenor The RPG convenor is responsible for ensuring that everyone who wants to play an RPG, can. You are the first port of call for these enquiries. RPG Convenor's tips 1) Keep detailed notes on what's on: who is GMing, how many spaces free and what game â€“ a termly RPG census is recommended for this. 2) a good group makes a great game but a poor one can spoil a year so think about who you match up, try and get comptible personalities while looking out for potential problem players 3) There will be times when you need to fill in for another committee member so stay flexible 4) Always bring a game with you, just in case 5) Entertaining others is your first priority, you may need to put off your own plans if others need it
Non-RPG Convenor The non-RPG convenor is responsible for anything that is non an RPG â€“ chiefly, trading card games, board games and wargames, and making sure anyone who wants to play these is able to do so. You are also responsible for the storage cupboard key, and it is your job to ensure that is available to the membership at every meeting. Trading Card Games The main game played at GUGS is Magic: the Gathering. You will be in charge of making sure the bi-weekly draft runs at every meeting. This will involve: purchasing booster boxes of the current set (currently from Spellbound Games); advertising the draft to encourage enough people to attend; organising drafters and taking money from them, and keeping the draft logbook up-to-date; running the draft and determining scoring for each round, and final scores at the end. The running of the draft itself can be delegated to other experienced Magic players. Interest has also been displayed in other games, such as Versus, L5R, and PokĂŠmon. It is important to accommodate any game other than Magic that people wish to play. An attempt to start a constructed tournament at the end of every month was made, but did not take off. If interest still remains, another attempt may be made to start this. Board Games GUGS has a number of society-owned board games, and it is your job to ensure people have access to these. You should try and make sure anyone who wishes to play board games can find other people to play with. Wargames These mainly run on Saturdays. Most games are of Warhammer Fantasy or Warhammer 40k, although Bolt Action is also played and there are a number of other systems which have been played in the past, such as Warmachine. Terrain and boards are kept in the storage cupboards upstairs, and it is vital that wargamers have access to this. Events During GUGacons, you are expected to organise events for these categories of games. Tournaments for card games, board games and wargames should be organised, depending on interest. These may also include appropriate prizes. Yearly events that have run in the past include a Chaos Draft at the end of the year, and a Super Bowl Draft during the NFL Super Bowl. The Chaos Draft is a Magic draft randomly using the spares of all the sets during the year, possibly with other, more obscure boosters thrown in. The Super Bowl Draft is a draft that takes place before the Super Bowl, and typically uses an older, more expensive set.
Ordinary Committee Member
As OCM, your responsibilities are by definition vague: you are to assist the committee in the smooth running of GUGS. At its most basic reading, that means you have to show up to committee meetings, you have to join in discussion of decisions the committee needs to make, and you have to represent the committee in the society through acting professional and helping answer members’ questions. Any other responsibilities are what you make them.
If you want to get more experience out of being an OCM, you can get it by asking the committee if there are any tasks they would like to delegate to you or offering to do specific tasks. For example, in my time on the committee I volunteered to handle the order of society hoodies due to having the photoshop knowledge to edit our current logo into a form that would be valid for printing, and volunteered to run and judge the Iron GM event at the October GugaCON as well as being an assistant on matters pertaining to last year’s Saturday Run Club. I was also delegated some responsibilities like distributing GugaCON posters, going into the city centre to talk to some of the gaming shops and handling the keys to the wargame cupboard on Saturdays when the other key holders couldn’t make it. You will likely have completely different responsibilities, either through being given them or taking them on yourself.
Why You Want To Run For It:
I personally ran for OCM because I had been at the society for a long time and felt like I wanted to help out and give back, but I didn’t feel I had the experience to do any of the other roles. It also helped that some of my friends were going for other positions.
You might want to run for it for similar reasons. You may also be a current student looking to gain experience for a shot at an executive position later in your university career. You may just be looking to do something for your CV. You may want to represent a particular voice at committee meetings, which I would note for any prospective first-year OCMs is exactly why we have the position – it’s important for us to have the voice of someone fresh to the society who will say “hey, that’s not good” about something that more experienced members have become hardened to or “we could try this” about something we hadn’t realised we needed.
The main qualities a good OCM needs are enthusiasm, reliability and professionalism. You will need to be willing to volunteer for or be delegated tasks, you will need to follow through on those tasks, and you will need to be able to communicate in a professional capacity with members and fellow committee members whether you like them or not.
Though you can volunteer for big tasks, you will mostly be doing assisting, so you donâ€™t need to be an expert, or a leader, or an organiser, though if you are you will be able to make use of that in the role through offering particular skills or offering to lead or organise particular projects. Any specialist abilities you bring to the role, for example artistic skills or web design, you are welcome to highlight in your speech and use in your role, but as long as you are enthusiastic and willing to help any special skills you have are just a bonus.