Posted 24 August 2009
The Harper Adams Students’ Union has a new president - and he’s got plenty of big plans for the year ahead.
Chris Manley, 24, hails from Cullompton, Devon, where his family operates a mixed dairy and beef farm. After four years as a student at the Shropshire University College, Chris is set to graduate next month, with an honours degree in Agriculture. Prior to taking up his SU role, Chris completed a beef trial on the Harper Adams farm, for his honours dissertation.
But now, he can put all that behind him and set about managing the 101-year-old union’s 15-strong student executive. “I’m really enthusiastic about being president and the year ahead. I’ve got a really good team on the SU and they’ve planned an excellent calendar of events,” Chris explains, in his first interview since taking on the role.
“We are aiming to pack out the social calendar. First we want to have a really successful Freshers’ Week, so they can all get to know each other and fell integrated within the college.
“Moving on, I can guarantee that on Wednesday nights the main bar at Harper Adams, the SU bar, will be where it’s at. We’ll have good bands, promotions and fancy dress themes. Al so, we are re-launching our acoustic night and calling it the Harper Livestock Lounge and we’re going to have a new comedy network with up-and-coming comedians.
"We’ll be reintroducing Hob Goblins; with all the old boys and old girls coming back for a whole weekend with current students, with some sports and some RAG-style events, and an evening event in the bar. There will be a battle of the ex DJs, one of the former bands and we’re trying to get all the old RAG teams back to show us how they did it in their day.
“We’ll have the annual block fixture, when we get all the agric colleges from around country to Harper for one big weekend of fun. We’ll have the Bavarian stompers in and it’s just going to be fantastic.
“This is all building up to one of the real key point this term: we’ve just booked Radio 1’s Chappers and Dave and they are going to be here for our RAG (Raising and Giving) weekend when we’re aiming to raise thousands of pounds for various charities.”
But the events won’t stop at what the SU has already planned. “Yes, we’ve got the set calendar, but we’d also like to hear if anyone has any ideas. We’d like to help them implement that and help everyone to enjoy as many different events as they can.”
Details of student events can be found on the SU website.
“There’s an amazing sense of pride in Harper, and always a smile and a ‘hello’ as you go by. I loved the feel of the place. Everybody talks about the Harper spirit. I don’t think you can ‘can’ it – I don’t think you can grab hold of it an explain what it is – but it’s about everybody getting involved, no matter how good or not they might be at something – and feeling they have a part to play. Also, the standard of teaching is very good. I can’t thank Harper enough for the time that I have spent here. I now have the potential to have a very good career.”
On being President:
“On a personal level being the SU President will do me a lot of good in terms of improving my communications skills - and in managing a team. I don’t think many recent graduates get to manage a 15-man team with a sizeable budget and responsibility to the whole student body. I also think I’ll make great contacts within the industry. I think the whole experience as students union president will be tough, but it will be extremely valuable and will help me out greatly in the future.”
Chris can be contacted on 01952 815356 or at email@example.com