Officer Report

VP Education

Re-Arrivals Campaign

Some of you will have seen that in the first week of term, we spent a lot of time stood outside in the freezing cold, giving out free hot drinks to SU members. This is part of our Re-Arrivals campaign, to welcome you back to Essex and give you a little boost in what we know is the lowest point of the year.

While that part of the campaign is over, I want to stress that we are here to help with any academic but also emotional issues that students may have over the coming months. SU Advice is open from 9-5, and Student Support is able to offer emotional and wellbeing support to all students. #InThisTogether.

Teaching and Learning Conference

I was also fortunate enough to give a talk at the university’s annual Teaching and Learning Conference, as part of the Promise 1 Team. We spoke about how the SU currently represents students’ academic interests, and how we are building on this right now! The talk was really well received, and a lot of staff have got in touch after to do more collaborative work with us.

Teaching Excellence Framework

Once again, the TEF is taking up a great deal of my time. The university has to submit an institutional submission at the end of January; As an SU we are not entitled to any part of the submission, however through lobbying and the university’s recognition that we are a crucial part of student experience, we were allocated a part of the submission to talk about our work.

This has now been completed, and the submission will be submitted at the end of the month. This is a crucial way in which I have got the student voice through to the government, but also held the university to account to ensure they are submitting an honest and truthful report.

Student Voice

The university is doing some work at the moment about the ways in which it looks at student voice, and how the SU does, and looking at bringing the whole lot together. This has led to a working group being set up to deal with it, and we are lucky enough to have 3 members of SU staff (including myself) on this group, which is a huge proportion of the room! This shows the university truly sees our worth!

Other Duties and Non-SU Work
  • We had our first trustee meeting of 2017. This is where I use my role as Trustee to scrutinise the work of the SU, and make sure that as an organisation it is surviving financially.
  • We had our first All Student Meeting of this academic year. It was fantastic to see so many people passionate about changing our SU, and I hope to see more meetings like this in the future!
  • I was very happy to sit as the student representative on a PhD Appeal Panel. This is a crucial process for the university, ensuring that students are treated equally and fairly throughout their degree, and that any problems are dealt with as transparently as possible.
  • I have officially been accepted to become a Diversity Role Model, meaning over the coming years I will be going into secondary schools and giving lessons on LGBT*-Inclusivity. Those that know me personally know this is a huge personal passion, so I am very very proud to be doing this!

Josh gulrajani

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