I have finally secured enough signatures to trigger a referendum on whether the SU should set up a Union Council. I am in conversations with other Sabbs and permanent members of staff about how this will look in the future. Despite a lot of conflicting views about what the Union Council will look like, I am confident that this thorough conversation will help to produce a really comprehensive model that will radically reform our current democratic structures.
As another one of my manifesto promises, I am also happy to announce that I took place in both a workshop and committee to help in developing what extenuating circumstances will look like in the future. This included the presentation of the upcoming webpage where I worked with others in making sure that it will be as easy to understand for students as well as making sure the University becomes fairer and clearer with the decisions being made from them.
On the 23rd January I attended a briefing event for the Teaching Excellence Framework in Leeds. This helped my understanding of the whole procedure and I now feel prepared to help support their submission this year. I hope that if we manage to keep our TEF Gold status then it’ll help to increase the value of our students’ degrees which will help to improve their job prospects in the long run.
On the 24th of January I took part in the Universities’ senate. Although there was less in this meeting that impacted students than there normally is, I felt proud of the performance of all SU members that attended. One thing of note that came up was that there is scheduled strike action in the University that we have been told will likely affect lectures. Hopefully, an agreement can be reached before long and a minimum impact will be felt by students.
I made my first trip as VP Education to Southend Campus on the 18th January. Our Southend President Ernst showed me around the whole campus and really helped to build my understanding of what our university as a whole looks like. Whilst there, I spoke to several members of the SU at Southend about my plans for a Union Council to make sure that any future democratic plans for the SU took our whole population into consideration. I think this is especially important given that current democratic forums prove to be a real struggle for Southend officers to attend and for Southend students to engage with.
New University Staff
I met Ilaria Boncori, the new Deputy Dean (Humanities) and Madeline Eacott (Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education)) properly for the first time. These are two individuals that I will be working with very closely throughout my time as VP Education so I made sure that I made a good impression with both. Hopefully, this strong, working relationship will help me implement all of things that I want to do for the rest of the year.
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