How much experience have you had to prepare for this role?
I’ve sat on numerous committees for the past 10 years of my life. Particularly, I did marketing and PR for one of largest free music festivals in Europe. This has given me quite a lot of experience when it comes to relating to the public.
I am currently a college student and have been since I was 19 – that is 4 years. I’ve been at the college through further education and higher education. I’ve done in-house learning, blended learning and distance learning – so I‘m experienced in all three of the different learning platforms.
How will you aim to boost the low intake of college students within societies?
I’d like to do so through workshops such as letting students know how advantageous societies can be for their CVs. I know students who have joined in with fever (circus society) as it helps relax them and I know some who join in with other societies to boost their CV. The college has several music students so they would be very good at joining the music societies such LSU Sing and the band societies. It would be great for them to get involved to get further experience.
In general, how do you hope to make the college students more engaged with the university?
I’d like them to have access to the university library, as it is far superior to the one at the college. It should be automatically assigned on student cards upon joining. Unfortunately, we currently have to go through a convoluting process, which is unnecessary. Also, I’d like to involve rag and action. Particularly, I would like to have RAG weeks as opposed to RAG days. I’d like to use ‘the student support weeks’ to have workshops where students can drop in and join in – it will not be compulsory but rather recommended. It will be an opportunity for them to engage with RAG, as opposed to finding breaks in their timetable to come over to the union and get involved with people they do not know. We would have university students come over to the college and help them with this workshop.
What has inspired your wish to get a 48hr response time to emails?
As a college student myself, I’ve had many frustrated times when I’ve emailed a lecturer or tutor and not had a response. Some are fantastic and others I have waited weeks for replies, and by that time, my deadline has passed and the question is no longer relevant.
How will you implement this 48-hour response?
To implement this, it will be difficult and a gradual process. It will begin with a 4-day response, then 72-hour response and then 48-hour response. It will be a work in progress to do this. The teachers and tutors will have to get used to the idea. It will be something I will have to consult with the board of governors and the tutors/lecturers themselves. Most of them are aware it is an issue as it is raised on every feedback – especially during the 4 years I have been there.
If the College removed their counselling service, they must have had their reasons. It’s only been a few months, so what’s changed since then to make it necessary again?
When the college removed it, there was a lot of opposition from the current College Exec and other members of the board of governors, students and myself included. It is a vital service for people – particularly those who are 16 years and above. This is the time of their lives when you’re going through your adolescence, have exams and coursework, have relationship issues and everything is very stressful. That is why this service is needed. The college does offer a listening service but the counselling is that extra step for those who need it.
– Interview conducted and written up by Asli Jensen, Label Comment Editor