PG Officer Blog - After Secret Santa, where are the reindeer?


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PG Officer Blog

After Secret Santa, where are the reindeer?

It’s 23 December and it’s the last working day for me in 2019.

 

I am hotdesking in Activities and Sport Office, and giving a snapshot of my semester one for you lot.

 

After Freshers Week, what have I been up to?

  • Boosted collaboration with societies and sport clubs – Fine Art Society held three postgraduate-only events. Backstage offered technical support for the PGA Open Mic event. Wine Soc has been in touch and asked about the possibility of a collaboration or a PG-only event. Several societies and sport clubs have been in touch and asked for advice on how to engage postgraduates.
  • Held a GTA Forum to hear feedback from postgraduates who teach – The GTA Forum took place and we had a lot of valuable feedback from doctoral students in various departments.
  • Planned and to launch the #HelloBeginners Initiative for postgraduates, working on inclusivity – I had my first planning meeting and have support from the Societies and Sport areas. Watch out for the launch in semester two!
  • Promoted and worked on the Elections especially in my area, including academic/faculty/senate rep elections and the PGA Exec Elections – This year we didn’t have a candidate for Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Rep on the PGA and traditionally it was not the most effective role, so we decided to remove this role, considering we are undergoing a restructure of the PGA and there will be a Doctoral Exec full of passionate doctoral champions. We are going to trial the elections in March 2020.
  • Worked with the University on the two doctoral specific issues on this year’s Top 10 – I wrote two papers on these two issues to CSSU and presented them to university Council and Senate members. There were useful discussions taking place and we will continue to push the University for actions.
  • PGA Exec organized well-attended events – the PGA Exec has been amazing in delivering events, such as PGT Late Lunch, Christmas Stocking Filler, “Not So Silent Night” PG Open Night, Secret Santa (I played Santa), etc.

 

 

 

What happened to the reindeer?

If you paid attention to my election campaign, you might have been expecting reindeer on campus. But I am sorry to tell you that they won’t come.

 

I brought this idea to our Operations Meeting, and a decision was made there due to consideration of the welfare of the reindeer.

 

There are a lot of media coverage regarding the matter of reindeer being used for display or entertainment: For instance, animal charity, the RSPCA, says it is “very concerned” about reindeer being used for entertainment purposes as it is difficult to “achieve good welfare in a performance environment”.

 

If you are interested, you can read more here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30127377

https://www.animalaid.org.uk/unhappy-christmas-for-reindeer/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/reindeer-santa-grotto-uk-christmas-lights-switch-on-sleigh-abuse-kent-blithbury-lodge-a8603751.html

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-46108203

 

Let’s hope that we all have a lovely holiday period, and the reindeer too. They were not on campus, but we wish they are happy where they are!

 

Remember, if you are feeling lonely or needing someone to speak to, call 116 123, the Samaritans will always listen.

 

Best wishes,

 

Jiani x

 

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