Hi Everyone! Hope you are doing great this summer. I am Anis, your VP Community of Students’ Union for the year 2018-19. The elected officer team started on 29th May and it’s been an overwhelming experience so far. I just wanted to update you on the projects that I am working on at the moment:
Projects that I am working on
- Campaign Officer Team
- The idea is basically to have a team who are going to work on the groups that are really under- represented in the university. They are going to launch one-campaign every year to raise awareness around university and bring more fun activities representing a serious issue.
At this point, it might be helpful to announce the roles that we are considering and based on students’ and staffs’ feedback, we are going to finalise them over the next couple of months. The Roles are:
- Equality and Diversity Officer
- Disabled Students’ Officer
- Post- Graduate Students’ Officer
- LGBT Officer
- Commuter Students’ officer
- RAG(Raise and Give) Officer
- Part-Time Students’ officer
- Mature Students’ officer
- International Students’ officer
It is worth mentioning that we are planning to do a by-election this October to elect our brand-new campaign officers. They are expected to be the face of their particular campaign, resulting in a more personalised student experience for many Herts students who are under-represented.
The campaign officers’ will have their own team and every student is welcome to join a team which they feel particularly interested in. As a result, we will have a more student-led SU and a better student engagement with UH students.
2) Commuters’ Connect
Nearly 50% of the total students at The University of Hertfordshire are commuters. The recent survey demonstrates that most commuter students feel commuting is affecting their experience at the university and they need to integrate more through extra-curricular for a better student experience.
- Committee set up: Right now, I am working to form a committee consists of Uliving, Commuter Students’ Society, Commuter students’ network/officer and the Students’ Union. Occasionally, senior member of staffs from the university will join as the vice-chancellor is an enthusiast of this program. This body will mainly focus on how to involve commuter students more to the university and provide them a better student experience creating a sense of belonging.
- Assigning to a hall: The initial idea was to assign students to a hall by the union. There will be one representative from each hall connecting these individuals on halls parties or any other hall activity (Huge room for ideas and discussion here), so that it helps to create that sense of belonging.
- Online Forum: An online platform for commuter students to meet other commuters and also having an event timetable and useful social media links including an active Facebook Group for commuting students to join.
- Commuter Lounge: Research shows that most commuters spend their free time in the LRC, therefore having a specific place for commuters to rest and spend their time potentially to meet with other students as well would be beneficial.
- Open and accessible lockers: Lockers on both campuses on entry points could be useful for commuting students. – Amy, 3rd year Law student.
– As our union website lacks interaction and engagement, this program has the potential to becoming a big platform for students’ expressing their voice.
One of the key objectives is to pick up the social media post as well if a student is using the hashtag. There will be separate tags for “IDEAS”, “ISSUES”, “CONGRATULATIONS” and when a student click on it, they will be directed to the relevant page and they will be able to up or down vote as well. If any thread gets 50+ votes, an officer from the team will engage with the thread and also provide a feedback to the individual posting the thread.
4) Notice Boards
- We are also planning to set up some SU noticeboards around the university where you can advertise your society events posters, halls parties or any sort of events that needs engagement from other students.
5) Mental Health
- Students’ mental health is an issue nationwide at the moment. Since 2007 there has been a 500% increase in the proportion of students that have disclosed a mental health problem to their institution according to NUS mental health step-change guide. Our university provides support for students’ with mental health issues but the big question here is, is it enough? In which stage, the university intervene and provide the support that is expected from a modern day university.
To understand university’s strategy and how we influence that to the outcome that we believe students’ need is a huge undertaking and I believe us as a team, need training for that. We’ve been to NUS and now it’s time to get some more training from the university and also a professional third-party provider.
This campaign isn’t about having a day or week to raise awareness on mental health. It’s about having a sustainable approach towards mental health and a structure to provide that outcome!
6) Activity Timetable
- I am in touch with the Library and Computing services team to have an “ACTIVITY TIMETABLE” on the Herts Mobile app which will be student-led for the students. Any student group wishing to set up an event will be able to share their event details in the app for student to have a real-time update of a range of events on campus which will also hugely benefit commuting students looking to kill time. In my opinion, this will be beneficial to both students and staff as awareness of events would increase hopefully resulting in greater levels of engagement .(Hopefully )
As you can already anticipate, these projects require a massive scale of enthusiasm and engagement from students and staff. We are currently getting feedback from our social media channels, in direct conversation with students as well as meetings with other university departments.
Please feel free to send your feedbacks and thoughts to me. If you are interested in getting involved in any of these projects, you are more than welcome to do so and I can personally endorse this if you want to put it in your CV!
Have a great summer and get in touch with us today!