Posted on Mon 14 Aug 2017 at 16:02 by David;David Hannaway
We got it started...
It's been 6 weeks since I started in the SU. First of all thank you for giving me your trust and re-electing me as Union President of your Students’ Union, so I've put together a little update of what I have done so far. They are 4 more projects that I am working on (Gender neutral toilets, Housing Guarantor scheme, Democracy review and Our funding formula) and you will get more updates on those on my September blog (GNTs), October blog (Housing guarantor) and November (Democracy review outcome and a Referendum announcement).
What have I been up to?
Diversity, Equality and Liberation (DEL)
- I am extremely happy to announce that I created the first ever “Diversity, Equality and Liberation” committee. This is the first ever committee in our Union of its nature. We have already started to organise Black history month and some other events for the first term. (I will introduce you the committee in a blog in the next two weeks)
- After conversation with the University, we agreed the Union to have an extra seat at the Equality and Diversity university board. The second Union place is reserved for a liberation officer, which will be elected at Union Council.
Post Grad Committee
- Another big positive change is that I am working in partnership with the Postgraduate Research Association and together we are creating the first ever Postgraduate Committee in CCSU. This will give a platform to Postgraduate students to raise any issues that they may face, but also will give the Union an opportunity to represent group of students which may not have been as engaged in the past.
- Long Story short... I received more than 60 emails from students to say that fees for returning students were being charged at £9,250. Dont't worry if you are 2nd or 3rd year, most likely your fees havent gone up. I contacted the University in July about this and worked in partnership with them to resolve the issue, which was an unexpected notification from the Student Loans Company. The University informed us that they started to adjust the fees back to £9,000 from March onwards, adjusting over 3,200 student fees so far, with 2,900 having been adjested since July. This amounts to £800,000! Since then the University wrote a blog about this that you can find here.
Student social space, Prayer room in the library and PGRS room in the Library
I am continuing conversations with the University estates for a student lounge on the Canterbury campus. Furthermore, there are are two other projects that I am working on - Prayer room and PGRS Space in the library. This week The Union GM and I will got to the Library, to have a look for a suitable room that can be converted to a prayer room.
Lead by example
- Nick Beard and I are volunteering to a day of work to local charities, aiming to encourage more students to volunteer locally. We will share our experience and hopefully more people will join us in the future. The first two charities are “Catching lives” (in September) and “Kent Refugee Action Network” (In October).
Community based Union (UCU and SUs)
I promised that I will try to build a community faced Union. “Lead by example” is part of this wider campaign, however I believe that working with other Unions is the key to achieving this. I already met with one of the Staff governors Connie Nolan, I also plan to meet with UCU next month and I have meeting this week with the Presidents of Kent Union, UCS SU and Canterbury College SU.
- Responding to your concerns around privacy, I will have meeting with IT about PREVENT, especially around the fact that the University made the accommodation wi-fi “eduroam”. Also I have requested to attend the next University PREVENT board so I can raise my concerns.
VC Q and A
- You said, we did! The Students Union will hold a Q and A with the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Rama Thirunamachandran on 31st of October in Og46 between 13:00 and 14:30. Come along meet your VC and ask him a question.