Any of you who were there on Friday night or who listened in on CSR’s coverage must have caught a sense of the surprise that reverberated about the Venue after the results for Education were called. I still can’t believe how the vote went. On the ground I was far outnumbered, I refused to compromise my stance on printed campaign material and chose not to emphasise the incentivised voting scheme.
From the very beginning I had low expectations up against two other candidates who showed superb dedication – I have the utmost respect for Vid and Lisa for the work they did.
I am, however, ecstatic that the result reflected the work that me and others have put in throughout the past two years and will now be fortunate enough to continue.
While I will not be assuming the role until July, I wish to set out some priorities for the next three months that I wish to work upon. Many are things that I was already carrying out as a part-time officer, and some are new and influenced by the focused period of campaigning.
- Post-Graduate Students
I emphasised PG representation at several points during my campaign and am hoping to work with Kent Union, the Graduate School and the Graduate School Association to have a computer room open in the evenings for PG students and for them to have access every night to their new games facilities.
- Concessional Standards
Course Reps have not appeared to be contacted on the issue of Concessional Standards.This needs to be chased up and we need to start to really examine the problems that the different departments offer students.
I have begun work within the department of Politics discussing the matter with a senior staff member with direct responsibilities on the matter and will attempt to work with staff and students to work out a system that recognises the welfare of students as well as a fair and practical system for staff to employ
- The Role of Universities in Local Schools
The pilot modules Politics in the Classroom and Languages in the Classroom are nearly complete for the year. We need to make sure that they get the recognition they deserve and examine which other Schools other than SECL and Politics might be willing to have their students work with sixth form and secondary school students as a form of assessment.
I will be attempting to bring policy on the subject to both Kent Union through the Zones and to NUS at Aprils Conference.
I also will be trying to work closer with Lauren on the subject of Widening Participation and will continue to monitor the progress of the project in the two primary schools.
- Varieties of Teaching and Learning Methods
This relates largely to the innovative modules mentioned above but also to the work I am attempting to do with course reps and staff within UELT (Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching) and across departments.
I will ask for a space at the next Education Forum to discuss this and continue to work on the report.
I am also working on the role of social media and will be presenting to UELT on the subject mid-way through the month and am meeting with a student to discuss a new project being initiated on Wednesday.
- Increased Transparency and Accountability in the Democratic Structures
I’ve been harking on about this all year, but now that elections are over, the review into the zones is nearly complete and there is a new staff member becoming settled we should be able to get a proper social media presence up and running. I will also try to continue to write regular updates on the progress of the Zones, but this is more degree dependent.
I will discuss with Inquire the possibility of having a position next year to cover Kent Union Democracy
- UKC Umbrella – please have a look at this
Stephanie Robinson has put an unbelievable amount of work into the Umbrella and it is reflected in its popularity from societies for sharing events and provoking discussions. I’ll be trying to help her get the board in the library and to have it incorporated on the Kent Union website.
I will also be trying to get the Sustainable Society booklet approved and implemented with an incentivised opt in structure for societies to help them finally move from their dependence on paper promotion to more innovative methods of awareness.
I also wish to meet with the current UMSA (Universities of Medway Student Association) officers to discuss ways to hit the ground running in Medway when I take office.
To make sure that the Part-time elections get the attention and variety of candidates that they deserve.
To work with the course reps and Lauren in the next week (until the 11th March) to ensure the Teaching Awards are taken as seriously as they should – NOMINATE TEACHERS AND STAFF TODAY!
Hope some of you made it through that long essay of a post. I really do have a lot to do and am so thankful to everyone who told a friend or who recognised me from badgering you with one campaign or another over the past two years. It was the efforts of all those that supported me and told me to keep my chin up that won this election. The next year is dedicated to all of you.
A final note on the diversity, or rather lack of, for next years Sabbatical team. We are all white, and we are all male. There is therefore an imperitive that we work as closely with the liberation officers as possible to ensure we represent student issues as best as we can.
Thank you to all who voted, whichever way you did so. Here’s to a fantastic year ahead