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October: lots of little things

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Hi everyone – hope you're all having a pleasant Halloween! Another month complete and I'd like to tell you what I've been up to. 

Printing 

I feel like my initiatives for improving the library service became stagnant after the summer and a lot students were raising the need for free printing this month. So to contribute my campaign for printing credit being available every year I've made a petition on the SU website where students need to sign in to the website to give the petition a thumbs up/comment. (A lot of students don’t realize you need to sign in to do this!) I am planning to present this the next time I meet with the vice chancellor team, so they can provide the library service enough money (which comes from tuition fees already!) to help cover the cost of printing. To reduce extra course costs! 

Link to petition: https://hertfordshire.su/your-say/hertsempowerment/?idea=53#idea53 

Free Speech 

Debate club is full swing with three debates in October and I’ve scheduled three for November. See you there :) 

Timetables 

I have been pushing for timetables to begin at 10am rather than 9am since it is the early starts that can be difficult for commuting students, and the university said they will investigate whether they can do that. The SU is yet to release our survey on timetables and I am waiting on that data, so I can call for a survey-informed action on how the university could design timetables more accommodating to commuting students. So far, my lobbing has been to reduce timetable gaps, allow students to choose the seminar/tutorial slot that is more convenient them, and no 9am lectures. 

Trans inclusive education  

I've been meeting with the School of Health and Social Work department on trying to get education on the experience of being transgender and what support they require from health/social work services embedded into the Nursing and Social work degree curriculum. I believe it is critical for graduates of these degrees to understand the needs of trans-identifying people. This is since everyone should be able to be open about their sex/gender identity and be able to live in a society which accommodates trans-persons accordingly. Consequently, they are likely to need NHS/social service assistance during their transition and our graduates should be equipped in knowing how to respond to them. I plan to open this up to specific program leads to see how we can blend this into their modules on equality and inclusivity.   

Philosophy society 

I was contacted by members of the philosophy society who raised the issue of them not being able to attend the extra-curricular philosophy talks that happen on most Mondays and scheduled by Philosophy department staff - due to the talks clashing with their classes. I raised this up to their Dean of School who then raised it up with the Philosophy department, which led to discussions between philosophy society members and the philosophy staff. Following from that they toke the recommendation from the philosophy society of rescheduling the talks to an earlier time so the talks are scheduled at a more convenient time for the students. I was really pleased with this as it showed me how united student voices can make a change. If you don’t like something – let us know (SU) and we will try to guide you towards positive change. 

 

2018-19 Rep Conference 

I also hosted a rep conference where I spoke to our reps about resuming Competence and we also included a Q&A panel for reps to question and challenge senior staff members of the university. We had some very good questions and honest responses from the panel members and I was really upset we didn't have the time to cover all the questions on that night. The SU are working on pulling together another similar type of Q&A opportunity for students to question and challenge our university's senior level staff.  I highlighted the main themes of the students' questions so that the officer team and I can address them:

Mental health issues  

Irregular Shuttle bus  

Printing costs 

Applying for a SAC form is inconvenient  and stressful 

 

This month largely consisted on turning up to things the university was getting upto such as the PGR conference, Flare awards, recruiting the newly appointed BAME Advocates, co-running the #HellowYellow campaign with Anis (President Community), and the list goes on. This slightly distracted me away from my main goals, but I hope to return to getting progress on my manifesto in November. (I realize I am making this deferral promise too often!).   

 

Feel free to email me on z.hakim@herts.ac.uk

Have a nice Autumn, 

Zaina 

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