With it being the summer, branches are quiet, so we’ve decided to replace our usual spotlight feature with a spotlight on the committee that run UKSEDS – Exec member James Telfer tells us a little more about how UKSEDS works, and how you can get involved.
It’s only July, but it’s already been a big year for the UKSEDS management team. At the Sheffield NSSC in March the membership discussed a huge change to the way we structure and run UKSEDS.
Previously, UKSEDS has had four Executives (Chair, Secretary etc.) and a number of Officers (Membership, Events, Outreach etc.), one for each area. This worked well for the officers, with each person having a very set role and tasks, but we found that as we expanded the amount of things we did, it became more than one person was capable of managing – especially in Careers and Outreach. People were getting overworked, and things were falling through the cracks.
We’ve now changed all that – scrapping the officer system in favour of a slighlty larger Executive and a big group of incredible people we call the Staff. There are now six Exec members, each responsible for one of our core teams – Careers, Marketing, Membership, Operations, Outreach, and Systems. The teams are composed of five or so staff members, who handle the day-to-day activities.
The Staff make everything we do possible. They organise events, design our marketing materials, make outreach resources and much more. The crucial change under the new system is that we have a lot more Staff, which means there are more people to share the load, and people can focus on areas they’re most interested in. If someone doesn’t have enough time to contribute, or runs into trouble, there’s a support net to pass things up to rather than things just getting ignored or reprioritised.
Being on Exec is now much more about management, support, and strategy. The Exec are the final port of call if anything goes wrong, and have responsibility for the actions of our teams (making sure regular meetings and tasks are ticking over as they should be), as well as some other higher level things (finances, record keeping etc.). This means that we’ve got to commit a bit more time, but we get a lot of useful experience.
There’s a never-ending list of things to do, and new projects we want to start, so we’re always looking for more volunteers. If you’ve got a little bit of time and expertise to contribute, we’d love to have you on a Staff team, no experience necessary. If you’re keen to make your mark on the space industry and have a bit more time to spare, we have a position open on the Executive Committee. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.
If you liked what you heard here and want to give it a go, find out more at ukseds.org/apply.