Hello! I'm Jack Karimi and I'm the Union Development & Democracy Officer. I am the chief representative of students to the university, communicating with students as to what the university is doing, and representing students on top University leadership committees. As well as that, I lead on policies that affect student experience, the union's development, as well as our democratic processes as a union.
While the national lockdown in November and the quickfire setting of national policy has made Covid-19 a more difficult area for the SU to have an effect on, I have been working with the university to ensure that students remain informed and receive regular communication.
I have also been working internally within the SU to respond to the previous UGM’s policy on continuing services that were introduced during lockdown. The SU expects delivery and click and collect services to continue post-Covid, with social space in K2 and the Ballroom, particularly tables and chairs, maintained. I had already been in contact regarding this social space becoming study space towards the end of the year and will continue with that policy.
The Full-Time Officer Review has been completed and published for consideration by this AGM. While I initially took the lead on this process, all Full-Time Officers were consulted for their experience in the role and had a significant input. The final proposal for consideration is a team of four officers, with clarified portfolios and responsibilities.
The Part-Time Officer Review has additionally been completed and published for consideration by this AGM. This has been entirely my process, and I have consulted with students engaged in the democratic process as well as incumbent Part-Time Officers. The final proposal is a larger, more democratic Union Council, with a clear mission statement and the ability to have a wider role in policy-making, scrutiny and representation.
On 9th November I held an online Q&A with the Vice Chancellor and other members of the University’s senior leadership, consisting of questions submitted by the student community. The Q&A was a great success in terms of student engagement, and despite organisational difficulties I hope for this to continue as a semi-permanent part of the student calendar.
I have also been in conversation with SU leadership about how best to make myself accountable to students during Covid-19, as I am unable to meet students at physical events. I hope to improve on this accountability in the New Year.
My next priority after democracy policy will be off-campus students. I want to fulfil my manifesto pledges to improve StudentPad, protect students from landlords and letting agents known to have bad reputations, and seek to improve off-campus student inclusion post-Covid.
I will continue to work on my main policies of ensuring that central services, such as buses, parking, and laundrettes, are working for students. However, I am mindful that with Covid-19 these policies will be largely on maintaining the services we have.