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September: Freshers and that

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Hi guys! September is start of term aka freshers and it was mad! Its been amazing meeting so many of you. Having the students back on campus really reminded me why I went for this role and want to do my best in it – the students at UH are all so cool and smart and you guys inspire me every day. Anyway! Besides fresher tea parties and movie nights, here is what I’ve been up to: 

 

Timetables:  

In my June blog post I mentioned “I'm currently working on (…) enabling 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” - the head of library responded positively to this and now on every timetable page if you click on the “ Student Timetable for 2018/19 Frequently Asked Questions" link one of the answers is “Please contact your School to discuss any issues regarding your personal timetable” which links to a list of email addresses you can contact to get assistance if your timetable does not work for you. This is a step in the right direction and I was really grateful the university responded to my recommendation.  

But this is not the end of the road - I am on a mission for the next few weeks to gather your thoughts on what you want your timetable to look like, then present it back to the university so their timetable allocations work in your interest. Truly I feel like I could just tell them myself, but evidence helps.    

 

Debate Club:  

I hosted our first debate, Spiderman vs the Hulk, and the students that debated did so well and enjoyed it - I am more prepared for the debates to come now having had that practice. I’ve developed an October line-up with intense topics – two of which are themed around Black 

History Month: 

Do we need religion to be moral? 

Should we decolonize the curriculum at UH? 

Should we have a Black History Month?  

No sign-up, just turn up :) 

(Spiderman won btw) 

 

Autism awareness:  

Many of you are just as excited as I am for the autism awareness campaign coming in April 2019 - contact me if you want to get involved <3  

 

PhD students:  

I plan to deliver a Q&A event between PhD students and students interested in academia, hopefully by working in partnership with Associate Deans since many of them were keen on my idea. If the research office would respond to my emails I would be a lot more efficient in reaching my goals on postgraduate engagement and networking opportunities. I may need to start considering opening dialogue with the students directly rather than wait on staff help. We will see which path I take in the October post!   

 

Transparency on degree grading:  

I have sent a diagram to every School’s Associate Dean showing a foolproof diagram on how modules get translated into an overall degree grade – many of them have responded that they will be using it to show students how their degree gets calculated – so I hope the confusion reduces! You are here to achieve your best, so you shouldn’t be confused as to how you can do that! I’ve attached an example diagram here:   

 

Library: 

My ideas on Library services were parked due to fresher madness, but I will get back to lobbying for printing credit increases and improving Studynet room booking soon.  

 

Enjoy your studies guys,  

Zaina Hakim 

z.hakim@herts.ac.uk

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