Jenny’s April Update
Jenny’s April Update
Things have been manic recently, but I’m really pleased to be so actively involved in helping to get the University to give the best outcomes for students.
As a Students’ Union, we have been working exceptionally hard to ensure we hear what the students are saying and communicate this appropriately to the University. With the situation being very fluid, it’s difficult to give clarity on how the University is moving forward and what academic outcomes will look like. The University are actively trying to be confident in the details of their plans before releasing information in order to make the process smooth for students.
This an update of what I’ve been working hard on. I’m aware these may not answer every question you have, but please be reassured I am doing the best I can, and I want to thank you for your patience.
In this current climate, I am trying to utilise academic representation to get the best feedback from students. Academic Representatives are there to voice student opinion and now is the time that we need to ensure we are gaining the maximum benefit from their input.
I’ve recently sent the Reps a list of tasks to complete, this includes them finding out information from their course leads and understanding what students are saying about the current climate. Once they have found out as much as they can, I’ve created a survey for them to feed this information back to us.
This will help create a representative and accurate feedback mechanism of courses at York St John.
I understand your concerns and anxieties about how your course is moving forward, so I’ve compiled a list of your questions and the things you want to know and sent it to the University Secretary. She has agreed that the University will respond with answers shortly.
These answers will be released on the Students’ Union website as soon as possible.
Registry and Exceptional Circumstances
I’ve been in regular contact with the Registry Team at the University about assessment modes, ways to access exceptional circumstances and more. I’ve been working with the Team to take into consideration the current scenario and what sort of new exceptional circumstances could potentially be created. I’ve given my feedback and suggestions on this.
In relation to the petition titled “York St John University: introduce a ‘safety net’ mitigation system for May assessments”, the Students’ Union has raised the petition to the University’s Executive Board.
We are in support of the principles set and will continue to work tirelessly to get the best outcome for our students.
We are confident that the University are taking this extremely seriously and they have been working on possible solutions. The Executive Board have a meeting to discuss the plans going forward and the University want to be confident about all details of the plan before its release in order to make the process as smooth as possible.
We will continue to communicate updates to you as we find out more information.
When I heard that the Library facilities were closing, I worked with Tim and Kirsten to make a list of recommendations for what they needed to still make possible/accessible for students.
I am also meeting with the Head of ILE at the University to see what the current situation is for students.
Tim, Kirsten and I met with the Executive Board of the University last week. The main thing I addressed was access to resources for students and how changes to students’ working environments will affect their studies.
I queried what their approach will be in response to this situation. Prior to the meeting, I asked my Chairs of School to raise any concerns they had from their departments and addressed their responses with the Executive Board too.
Research into other Unions/Universities
I have been keeping a close eye on how other Universities have approached the current circumstances. This has been to understand how the measures they are implementing will affect their students’ assessments and exams.
We recently met remotely with University of York’s sabbatical officers and I have contacted fellow education officers at other unions. I have spotted some procedures that I support and sent these to the appropriate teams at the University to view.
Heads of School
Last week, I met with four of the Heads of School to have a catch-up and talk about how their departments are getting on. Moving forward, I hope to make these meetings more regular to ensure I’m updated on what each department is working on for students and equally voice student feedback in their department.
So that is a brief rundown of some of the things I’ve been getting up to regarding your education, as well as plenty of other tasks. If you have any queries, please get in touch via email.