What have we been up to? 31 July 2020

What have we been up to? 31 July 2020

Find out what The SU Officers have been working on over the past few weeks.

The new officer team have been in place for just over one month now, and if we’re honest, the start our terms have been tough as we come to terms with the loss of our teammate and friend, Rob. We’ve been thinking about different ways to remember Rob as a community, and we hope to share plans with you soon. Obviously, another big focus of the team has been corona-proofing The SU and we’ll share more information with you about that once we have more details. But what have we all been up to individually?  

Francesco – SU President  

My first month as President has been a busy one, but there have been some stand-out things I’ve been working on.  

  1. One key thing I’ve been working on in my first few weeks as SU President has been Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I). I had a meeting with staff members across the University, including the Vice Chancellor, about this and have submitted a paper at University Council to ensure that ED&I issues are discussed and represented consistently and formally at the top level of the uni. This was well received and I’m excited to work on the outcomes of this throughout the year.  
  2. I’ve also been making headway on gathering student views on their experiences of being furloughed by the University. The application of the rules has been extremely inconsistent and we’re investigating why this has been the case and what can be done to remedy this. If you have anything you want to share, drop me an email.

  3. I’ve also been working on the Climate Action Framework. Before I moved from Activities Officer to Pres, The SU and University declared a climate emergency. One campaign I want to develop is around the topic of divestment and ethical investment practices, and I’ve started the ball rolling with these conversations over the past few weeks.  

Tom – Sport Officer  

I’m baaaack! So excited to be Sport Officer for another year. My time has been pretty dominated with working out how we can make Sport as safe as possible when we come back to campus, and working closely with staff across the University to make sure there are safety procedures and facilities in place for this.  

  1. I’ve been having discussions with committee members about the return to SU Sport, discussing their ideas to shape our offer for next year. This has also given me a chance to feed back any concerns to the SU Sport staff team so that we ensure all opinions are heard. Keep sending in any ideas you have.  

  2. There’s been a lot of university-wide discussion about a strategy for sport. These initial meetings were looking at Research and the Profile, Engagement and Reputation of Sport at the University. If you have any big ideas about what we should be pushing for from the SU side, let me know. 
  3. Last week, I delivered a lightning talk for the Centre for Learning and Teaching on the virtual and blended offers within The SU. This was an opportunity to highlight some of the awesome work that has been done by students and staff to keep our communities engaged during a very tough time. It also included some of the lessons we’d learned throughout this period, and our plans for taking the virtual forward!  

Annie – Education Officer  

This past few weeks have been spent getting to grips with new faces, meetings, committees and forums. Last Friday, myself and the officers released a statement outlining our views on the University’s plans for next year. Please give that a read. The other things I’ve been working on are: 

  1. On Monday 27 July I held a Q&A session with the Student Academic Advisory Panel and invited Peter Lambert (Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching) and Professor Tim Ibell (Leading the Resilient Curriculum Project). It was great to see so many students engage with this event and ask challenging questions to Peter and Tim about the next academic year.   

  2. I attended a QAA webinar on Covid-19 Guidance Breakdown for Students’ Unions and spoke about the brilliant work we have been doing with the Student Academic Advisory Panel ensuring that students voices are represented in the decision-making process for the next academic year. The Student Academic Advisory Panel is a group of awesome student volunteers that are holding us and the University accountable and ensuring that student views are heard whilst we plan for next year.  
  3. I also went to my first Council meeting as a Governor of the University with Francesco! We were discussing issue related to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Degree Outcomes, Fire Safety and the Climate Action Framework. This is an opportunity for us to ensure students voices are represented at the highest level.  

Fritz – Postgraduate Officer 

Hi everyone I’m Fritz, the new Postgraduate Officer. I’m here to ensure that all postgraduate voices are heard at all levels of the University. Find out what I’ve been up to over the past couple of weeks! 

  1. I organised the Doctoral Council and Doctoral Forum. This provides a platform for all Postgraduate Research students to discuss their recent issues and concerns. I’m currently working with The SU and Doctoral College on the follow-up to this  

  2. I’m also currently monitoring the teaching plans for next year to secure the Postgraduate’s who Teach are given ample support, skills and information to fulfil their job to the best of their ability. 
  3. I’m aware that some PG’s are really struggling to work from home and that their set-up does not adequately support the research they’re doing. I’m currently preparing a survey on this so that we can try and ensure that your research isn’t adversely affected by this. 

Freya – Community Officer 

I’ve had such a busy few weeks! It’s been so great to get stuck into all the work going on next year and I can’t wait to see how these projects are going to be implemented.  

  1. Cassie Wilson (Vice-President of Student Experience) and I have been setting up an anti-racist Action Group to ensure the delivery of the anti-racist campus report by the University. This group will include University Senior Management, SU Staff, and most importantly, students!

  2. I also attended a meeting around attendance monitoring that provided a lot of clarity about what this is going to look like next year. Previously, attendance-monitoring for Tier 4 students was based on their physical attendance however for obvious reasons this is no longer appropriate so instead, they’re looking at engagement-based monitoring. The SU are part of a small group looking at how best to monitor online engagement for the next academic year, so please do get in touch with anything you’d like to discuss with me.  
  3. I had the pleasure of marking applicants for the Sanctuary Scholarships which we offer to postgraduate asylum seekers. This gave me a wider insight of how important it is that we offer these scholarships, and how important it is that we continue to lobby to extend bursaries to undergraduate applicants.