Hi everyone! This is my first ugm report of this academic year, it’s been quite a shock coming back to the building after the lockdowns and it’s been so refreshing being able to talk to students (non-virtually). Here’s a little update on the sort of things I've been up to after a busy welcome week.
Changes to policy/ Strategic plan
Keele SU has updated its policy documents to replace binary gender terms to gender neutral terms. We will also be implementing the same changes for Keele SU’s constitution at the point of mandatory review in July 2022 as we strive for a more inclusive future for our students.
Keele SU has also updated its strategic plan to incorporate the elected officer aims which can be found here. This year, our officer aims include:
One of my manifesto aims for this year is to be more of a front facing UDD officer. So far, I have been working on being far more present using social media to convey messages from the University and the SU to our students. This included an ‘Instagram Takeover’ where I answered questions from incumbent and prospective students.
We had a few concerns raised by students following the announcement about plans for graduation for 2020/21 cohorts. I was involved with comms to reassure students that the graduation team are working very hard to make it a special and memorable day for all of those who attend.
Changes to Union General Meetings
Last year, our UGMs/AGMs were held online, and we saw a surprising number of students who attended including an increase in commuter and off-campus students (given the circumstances of the pandemic). The feedback we had from students was to keep these meetings held online, so as a trail run, we’re keeping these changes. We are also having our table discussions to be held a week before so that the online meeting can be kept as short as possible and for students who can’t attend to have their say on smaller discussion topics. I hope that these accessibility changes mean that more students get engaged with SU democracy!
For this UGM, I'm pleased to say that we had a total of 17 submissions from a range of diverse students. This is a higher number of submissions than we get normally, and the majority came after my TikTok video, I guess nothing gets people more in the mood for some democracy than a sexy squirrel...
Team strategic aims
The officer team is working on the official launch of our anti-racism campaign, Be Better, Do Better. If you’d like to give us suggestions on what you’d like to see from this campaign, please submit them here
Fighting against the marketisation of higher education
Nothing major to report here, myself and Jack will be kicking of this campaign around February
Amplifying voices from marginalized groups at university
Currently researching on how we can change the Part-time officer structure so that we can get more students from liberation groups to feed into our democracy.
I’ve been involved in discussions with students around spiking at Keele Students’ Union and what we can do more so that students feel safer coming into our building.
Again, nothing major to report, I will be launching my Veganuary campaign in January and myself and Tom are organising Veganuary market.
I was involved with the launch of the Co-op where I gave a speech on the VIP launch night, ‘cut’ the ribbon with Trevor and did some promotion over social media channels. Hopefully most of you will have visited the store by now, if you have any feedback, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me!
Interviews Interviews Interviews!
A good chunk of my time since taking the role has been spent interviewing for our trustees of the SU. We now have a full trustee board with two new student and two new external trustees. I am also involved with appointing our new chancellor for Keele.