A run-down of all the key moments and discussions from the first Student Council of the year.
The first Student Council of the year took place on the 28th October.
We know that not everyone has the time to read through full reports, so here you can read about all the key moments from the meeting.
Electing the Chair of Student Council
Six students put themselves forward as candidates to become the Chair of Student Council before the meeting. Submitting answers to the following questions, thus providing Student Leaders with a supporting statement from each, to assess their suitability when voting:
- “What do you consider the role of Student Council’s Chairperson to be?”
- “Why you’re interested in taking on the role, and what relevant skills/experience you’d bring to it.”
In the meeting itself, all candidates were also invited to give a 2-minute speech highlighting why they should be voted in, before voting was opened for the majority of the meeting.
Once voting was closed, the results were counted and Jackson Cyprian was announced as the new Chair of Student Council for 2021-22, with Abhijeet Atul Kale as the Deputy.
Updates from the Students’ Union
Rebecca Hobbs (Chief Executive) gave an update on the SU’s #NeverOK campaign, including how it feeds in to the Girls Night In campaign, and the safety measures being taken in the Forum.
Updates from your Elected Officers
Rhiannon Ellis (President) spoke about her main manifesto pledges (below) heading into the year, as well as the progress that’s been made on each of them since taking up the position in the summer.
- Preventing Harassment and Discrimination on campus.
- Improving the disabled student experience.
- Improving the mental health and wellbeing of students.
- International Student Experience.
^^please refer to the central Student Council webpage for more detailed information on these and all of the points that follow.
Zara Haram Syeda (Vice-President Education) spoke about her priorities (below) too, before taking students’ questions on topics related to the academic experience of University.
- BAME awarding gap.
- Personal Tutoring.
- International students Professional Development.
- Students’ rights.
Prosasti Ganguly (Vice-President Community) followed suit by giving an update on the key focuses from her side of the Elected Officer team.
- Safety on Campus.
- Help us to help you.
- Period Poverty.
Junaid Ahmed (Vice-President Activities) closed things off from an Officer perspective, by talking about the following areas of interest.
- Reducing student loneliness.
- More sports for disabled and abled students.
- Helping societies progress and win.
Student Rep Recruitment
This was submitted as an agenda point from one of our Society Committee Members (Gavriel Solomons), who expressed concerns over the way the process of Student Rep Recruitment was being handled this year; specifically, the fact that there was no central Elections portal for students to put themselves forward as per last year, and that it was instead more of an application-based approach.
Student Leaders (including Student Reps and School Community Organisers, who have been involved in the process) were invited to give their feedback on this new approach, where the feeling was generally mixed, but with an understanding of the reasons (below) for why something new is being tried.
- Low engagement (nominations and voting numbers) when Student Rep Elections are run.
- Low understanding of the Student Rep role and its responsibilities (when just volunteering).
- Difference in approach across Programmes and Schools resulting in very little consistency.
^^the point was made that all feedback on this is welcomed and will be incorporated into the thinking and approach for next year’s process of Student Rep Recruitment. In the meantime, students are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any further comments or questions.
Start of Term & Welcome 2021-22
The meeting closed off with a short discussion on how the start of term had been for students, from both a University (onboarding) perspective, and a Students’ Union (Welcome Activity) perspective. As above, students are invited to provide any additional thoughts on this to the Elected Officers, who will be able to lobby and make changes to the areas you’d like to see movement on.
You can find the Elected Officers contact details here.
Finally, a full summary of what was discussed will be posted on our Student Council webpage in due course, so watch this space!