Elected Officers

Officer Blogs

Find out your Officers plans for this year and what progress they are making

Union Development & Democracy Officer Blog

Hey! I’m Jade and I’m your Union Development and Democracy Officer for this year. It’s my job to help develop Keele SU to make sure it’s responding to the needs of students. I also make sure students feel represented, while acting as a voice for Keele students on issues and campaigns they care about in the University, local community and nationally. 

At Keele I have studied a BA in Politics with Sociology and an MA in Human Rights. As a student, I held a part-time officer role and attended many clubs and society events. Outside of University, I love game nights with my friends, going shopping, listening to JLS and laughing at my own jokes. 

Talk to me about:

  • Making KeeleSU a more welcoming place for everyone
  • The facilities and services that students need
  • Empowering the student voice

 

Email me at su.uddofficer@keele.ac.uk or contact me on social media below: 

Facebook logo: Click here to be directed to Tom's Facebook profile

My UDD Report for UGM!

Hi guys, thank you all for coming. So, I’m sure you’re all wondering: what have I been up to so far this year?

Officer Aims

So, every year, your elected officer team chooses 5 key strategic aims. I’ll briefly go other each one and explain them. This year, we have chosen:

Student Safety & Wellbeing

This means working with the university and students to ensure our campus is a safe place and continue to acknowledge the student mental health crisis and put measures in place to help students.

Access and Inclusivity

Students may face discrimination for many reasons- we will work to make all students feel included and increase the diversity of voices in our democratic systems.

This will be discussed a little later, but we have increased the number of students on our Union Assembly, (formerly union council) to increase representation for different liberation groups, as well as types of students in the Keele community.

One thing I feel passionately about this year is making sure that we consult, discuss and work with students from a particular demographic when hosting events, working on policy, or even doing a campaign.

Quality Education

We will work in partnership with the University to create a high-quality, de-colonised education which is value for money. We will also ensure students are involved in co-creating their education, and that assessments prepare students for post-university life.

Cost of Living

As we are all aware, the current cost-of-living crisis is massively impacting students. We will lobby for affordability, help students find suitable part time work and will engage in national campaigns to fight for additional financial support for students.

I myself, attended campaign days with the NUS which helped me see what other universities were doing to help students, how we can help in the locally community and how we can lobby people nationally. Currently, I am trying to work with departments within the SU on how we do more to save students money, as well as organise a meeting with Co-Op about how we can let students know when food is being reduced.

A fair and sustainable world

Students came to university looking to enhance their future, but the future can seem uncertain. We’ll work to safeguard this future by engaging students in sustainable initiatives and campaigns working to combat environmental, social, and economic injustices.

I am also trying to work to combat food waste within the SU, which is already low, as well as in Co-Op. Simply, whilst students are struggling, we should try and reduce our prices as much as possible and we should minimise the amount of produce being thrown away.

Interviews

I have been fortunate to sit on interviews for both university staff as well as SU staff. We have been blessed to have appointed 2 new student trustees, as well as two Networks’ coordinators, who are here at this meeting! Their job is to help run our Networks, as well as help facilitate democracy.

Launderettes

One of my manifestos aims surrounded Launderettes. Dan and I met with Keele’s circuit rep in August, you may have met him at the Welcome Fair! We raised to him all the complaints I collated from students, including wash times, clothes still being dirty, and clothes being wet after a cycle. The university are working on putting out communications on how to rectify these issues and are streamlining the complaints process.

I am working with estates on a project I started which uses launderettes and common rooms as a hub for vending machines which will give students 24/7 access to items such as laundry pods (obviously) hygiene products, even phones chargers. This ensures that students who work late, have demanding courses or even just forgot to pick something up at shopping, have constant access to the things they need.

Accessible Democracy

Another thing I mentioned in my manifesto was making democracy more accessible. With the changes to our Union assembly, by adding extra delegates allowed groups such as commuter students and local students to get more involved as these are two groups who often feel detached from the ‘Keele bubble’.

This increase in delegate roles gave more opportunities to students with protected characteristics such as gender, race, sexuality, and disability. There is now multiple delegates from each of the groups to diversify the voices heard.

Moving from a part time officer structure to delegates means that there is a lower workload per student and therefore more accessible to those with demanding courses, jobs, or external commitments.

The delegate elections were really successful, and I ran specific campaigns for roles which students are less likely to run for. Despite increasing our amount of delegate roles, all positions were filled except international and commuter student! If anyone is interested in these roles.

Union Assembly

We had our first union assembly meeting last week! This is where your delgates meet to discuss issues that have been raised and vote on whether or not policies should pass, and whether something should be discussed at a UGM!

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