Rachael Gillies

Students' Guild Staff

Leader able to effect change

Name Rachael Gillies
Email president@exeterguild.com
Position Guild President
Division The Students' Guild

Student-led change

As Guild President, Rachael Gillies has a variety of leadership roles and responsibilities able to effect change: “I’m very fortunate with the amount of influence that I do I have within the University [in order to] represent students. I sit on the highest governing board of the University, which is the University Council, and I’m a fully-fledged member on that and people listen to my voice”.

“Student-led change is important because that is the way students get their voice out there. That’s the way students can effect change for themselves… it's allowing students to shape their own experience... it’s a direct response, it's peer-to-peer and I think that’s really important. Yes, you can listen from the top, but actually if it comes from somebody who is alongside you, if you’re listening to each other, then I think that can be just as powerful and effective”.

As Rachael explains, there are lots of opportunities for student leadership at Exeter, such as leading committee meetings or becoming a Subject Chair: "You only have to go up to our Activities and Volunteering hub [to see] it’s just full of student leaders, people who are making changes about the things that they are passionate about. And actually if you put them all together, you have this amazingly powerful force for change, and that’s fantastic.”

Opportunities for student leadership

"Lots of different students are passionate about different things, and actually providing them with a diverse range of opportunities is really important."