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July - Football may not be coming home but the STAG is

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Hi guys! Just finished month two as your VP and I would like to tell you how it has been.  

First of all, let me clarify the post title – I was so proud of our Football team for making into the semifinals – we were all rooting for them in the SU office! Yet the semis are all we got to. I do however have another award which will be introduced into our University in March 2019 – the STAG Awards!!!!!!!!! Which is our teaching awards standing for Student-led Teaching Achievement Gold Awards. With STAG you get the opportunity to voice your appreciation to any teacher/lecturer who has gone the extra mile in supporting your studies. We have some amazing lecturers at UH and they deserve recognition :)  

Let's look back at my manifesto promises to check the progress on them so far: 

 

Library-related: 

-Improvements on Studynet Room booking  

-Raise in printing credits  

I'm presenting these ideas to library staff next week and will update you on the progress in the next post! 

 

PhD social networks: 

I have seen a number of other universities develop successful postgraduate societies and PhD students' facebook groups which could be great for UH postgrads – so I am working towards getting a postgrads focus group to ask them what kind of social gatherings they would like the SU to do for them. 

 

Timetables: 

By the time I got in office timetablers (staff specifically employed to develop staff and student timetables) had already been working on designing timetables for the 2018-19 year so it was impossible for me to get a 'maximum limit of gaps on timetables' policy in place before they did. You guys will be getting your timetables within the next two weeks anyway. This was frustrating news for me to be honest, however please do get in touch if your timetable is a nightmare. I'll be working on having this policy in place for the near future – but until then I'm currently working on a short-term solution to nightmare student timetables which is to enable students to have contact details of their school's timetabler so they can discuss a potential class shift if the same class is happening at a more convenient time - for a more personalized timetable.   

 

Transparency:  

Originally the idea was to develop a flow chart for you to see what percentage of your degree grade is affected by individual assignments – and I worked really hard in trying to develop examples for this. However, I realized this is not possible since your overall degree grade can only be calculated once you have completed all your assignments and the best ones get counted. So what percentage your assignment is to your degree grade will depend on what grade you get on it. Therefore, I've developed simpler flowcharts as to how your modules are "credits" and how they develop into an overall grade – I hope that once I present these examples to UH staff they will add them to module guides/handbooks for you to see. 

As for attendance, it has come to my attention that most courses don’t have a minimum attendance policy - I will be telling staff that students need to be aware if there is one and what it is in terms of how many classes they must be present in.  

 

Autism Awareness:  

Pleased to tell you many UH staff are super passionate about autism awareness! With their help I already have a preliminary Autism Awareness campaign rolling out during National Autism Awareness week at the end of March 2019 where we have information stands, movies, speaker etc. – going to be a cool week! And I'm working on fulfilling the promise that staff would receive training specifically on autistic students by integrating it into the campaign :)

 

Revision Sessions: 

I plan to talk to school Deans soon and discuss with them the potential that lecturers deliver revision sessions for classes with a considerable number of students re-taking a particular exam – 4 or more students per class for example. That way support is channeled where it is most necessary.  

 

Any questions or anything you want to talk to me about my email is z.hakim@herts.ac.uk so please send me a message!  

 

Alternatively, feel free to comment on this blog :)  

Until next time, thank you and enjoy your studies,  

Zaina Hakim

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