Aimée’s July Update!
Aimée’s July Update!
Introducing your President of Education 2021-2022!
I’ve been in the SU building since the 21st of June in my new role, where myself and the other sabbatical officers had a handover/induction week, learning about how we can best represent students over the next academic year. It was great to meet with SU & university staff to discuss our plans moving forward & it’s also been brilliant to be back in a physical working environment, in a working routine especially alongside the enthusiasm & energy of Chris & Jamie! It is a little odd though with no students being on campus, so I can’t wait for students to return and be welcomed onto campus in late September!
Work around exceptional circumstances moving forward
After various discussions with members of staff at the university on Academic Board and Learning & Teaching Committee, I have become a member of the Exceptional Circumstances Task & Finish Group. This group is tasked with looking at the policies that we currently have in place to support students who fall into exceptional circumstances criteria and how we can develop these support measures moving forward post-Covid. This work aligns with my manifesto point to review & develop the ‘safety net’ policy to support all students – we may not be using the term ‘safety net’ in the future, but I am working alongside the uni to make sure that students are supported in attaining their degrees, even in situations of adversity.
Plans with the library surrounding decolonisation/diversity within the curriculum
I met with staff members from the library to discuss plans for building on the current IAMPlify project, which strives to raise diverse authors onto elevated platforms through a reading list section on our website, showcasing the work of diverse authors. We discussed my manifesto point of a monthly ‘Author Spotlight’ every month into the library & I would be really interested in working with students & our liberation officers in gaining author recommendations for this project. It’s really important for me to work with students from diverse/liberation group backgrounds in developing this project, so that students feel represented & included in decisions surrounding a project on diversity. If any students are interested in getting involved with this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Pilot scheme for Lecture Capture systems to be introduced on campus
I am a huge advocate for the need to take forward methods of learning & teaching that we have gained during the pandemic into the post-Covid learning environment – one of the ways in which I am working with the uni to do this, is a pilot scheme of Lecture Capture being introduced in late September. Lectures would be recorded for students to be able to refer back to, meaning that students can be present & engaged during lectures, with the reassurance that they can refer back to anything they missed at a later stage.
I have become a member of the Lecture Capture Task Group, where I am advocating on behalf of students to get this pilot scheme implemented ready for a Semester 1 start. We have discussed accessibility issues which has led to a Captioning policy being produced, consent issues raised around students/staff feeling comfortable being recorded and also discussed when/if the recording of certain lectures dealing with sensitive topics is appropriate. This is an ongoing task group & I am bringing forward student perspectives on the benefits that Lecture Capture could offer but also areas that we need to take into more consideration. But fingers crossed, this system should be rolled out very soon!
Meeting with Part Time Officers
I have met with some of the PTOs to discuss how I can support these student volunteers during their terms of office over the next academic year. Myself and a few of the Chairs of Schools are really keen on working with their respective schools to set up school-specific welcome/social events, as feedback has suggested that students still feel isolated from one another & we really want to work to combat this feeling amongst students. Also, we discussed how it’s important for freshers to be given a warm welcome onto campus but that we need to remember that returning students will have hardly experienced on-campus life before, so we need to work really hard to make them feel included and welcomed back into our community too.
Keep an eye out for your PTOs’ Facebook accounts going live soon – these accounts will be the place where you can contact them to give feedback & to keep up to date with the work that they are doing to represent you!
A little bit of fun this month!
It’s not all been meetings for me this month – I’ve been up to some really interesting things that are very unique to the job of a sabbatical officer! The other week I was up at Haxby Road planting some Tansy plants to help with the conservation of the local Tansy beetle, then myself, Chris & Jamie had a lot of fun doing various Instagram takeovers. We’ve also taken part in some team building exercises such as a murder mystery hunt around York, been planning Freshers events and making exciting content for SU projects. I have also been personally involved in a brilliant project – OurLOTE- with the Languages & Linguistics department, promoting confidence speaking in languages other than English regardless of your ability – this was great to get involved with!
Looking forward to a busy August ahead, which means that we’re one step closer to welcoming students back onto campus in late September! In the meantime, keep safe & have a lovely summer break!