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Union President Blog

My first semester blog

Hello everyone, hope you had a good winter break and the happiest of new years. Just a blog to let you know about what i got up to over my first semester as your Union President.

Instead of boring you all with weekly or monthly accounts of what i was up to I'll try and pick out some highlights for you.

A quiet summer

The summer was quiet, other than attending NUS training in Leeds - blog post never released - will only circulate via special request.

The summer for me was mainly about settling into the new role and setting myself up for the coming term to ensure that i could achieve as much of my manifesto as possible.

A busy September

September is when the fun really started. Students started to come back to the summer ghost town that was Canterbury and the year really begun.The first major event was the graduation, mine included. Perhaps embarrassingly the first time i have ever stepped foot in the cathedral was for the first graduation, where I was lucky enough to be in the procession. Basically those people that walk really slowly around the cathedral before people get their certificates. If you saw me on the first graduation you would have seen a very nervous person solely concentrating on not tripping or stepping on the persons gown ahead of me.    

The main point of interest in September was obviously welcome week, I’ve already done another blog post on my welcome week experience so if you are interested please have a read here -https://ccsu.co.uk/blogs/president1819/2018/10/08/My-Freshers-Week-as-Union-President/  . However I can’t resist another opportunity to post this photo >>>

VC Q&A

Moving on, of course lots of work in between but the next highlight was the VC Q&A held on November 1st. This was an opportunity for students to ask any questions they may have to the Vice Chancellor, the person who oversees the running of the University. Many important issues came to light during the course of this Q&A, many of which the Union and the University are working on currently.

Student Rep Training

The next big event for me was all of the student rep trainings that took place early November, training over 100 newly elected student reps. All of this has been covered in my other blog - Reps! Reps! Reps! - https://ccsu.co.uk/blogs/president1819/2018/11/27/Reps-Reps-Reps/ 

So far i’m happy with how the student rep system has come along this year (from the point we were at) but i’m very excited for the work still to be done surrounding reps and what they can offer.

Union Council

Another key event was the first union council meeting, in December, which was great to meet the new council and find out their thoughts on what we (as sabbs) had been up to so far. As well as finding out their thoughts on how their academic years had gone so far. It was also very exciting to submit my first motion to council, regarding Digital Learning Capture, and have it accepted. 

Working together with Kent Union

Another major event was the joint Christ Church and Kent Union meeting with the head of the Canterbury City Council, Simon Cook. This meeting allowed both unions to voice concerns students have around canterbury and really showed a united front between all students within the city. The main topic of conversation was trying to eradicate this notion that students within the city are pests and are the source of all misdemeanors that take place, as we all know - this simply is not true. Definitely more work to do around this area but there were positives that came out of the meeting.

On top of all of these major events happening there has been a huge amount of work done stretching across loads of aspects of your student experience.

So what have i achieved over my first term?

Rejuvenated the student rep system

  • Created the new student rep training

  • Delivered the rep training. Eventually doing 4 training sessions, 1 of which being in Medway

  • Created the Student rep booklet, also creating one for Staff (the first time this has happened)

  • Brought the student rep system back to the union

  • Created the Student Academic Representation committee

Published sabb calendars

  • To ensure the transparency of all sabbatical time.  

Medical school

  • Worked on review of new medical school calendars and curriculum.

  • Will be chairing the Student Advisory panel - which aims to get student voice into the project

  • Worked with Kent Union to try ensure that the unions joint working is effective and allows the medical school students to freely use (and have access to) services we provide.

  • Fought to ensure current students experience isn't being affected by emphasis on students yet to arrive

Library

  • Maintained the library 24 hour period

  • Requested and managed to secure more computers and more dual screens

  • Reviewed and will be further reviewing the library silent/quiet zones

  • Not there please share campaign

  • Introduction of new quick access PC’s (introduced end of Jan)

  • Introduction of laptop loan scheme (introduced end of April)

Semesterisation

  • Reviewed the introduction of semesters

  • Apart of the group that have created the BOS survey surrounding semesters

Personal Academic Tutor

  • Jamie and I both requested that the PAT’s have a defined job role. Personal academic tutors now have a defined job role within a new policy. I shall be apart of what that looks like operationally.

Digital Learning Capture

  • Wrote a statement regarding the Students’ Union’s point of view regarding lecture capture

  • Took a motion to Union Council to try and gain student support

So how else have i spent my work time?

Well…

I’ve spent 273.5 hours in meetings (totalling 34.18 working days)

24.5 hours interviewing for several union and university job roles

32 hours at conferences (medical school and NUS conferences)

24 hours of training courses

Totalling 354 hours (equivalent of 44.25 working days)

It’s a busy job but i love it.

 

Apologies if I have forgotten any other significant events over the past term but so much has gone on I hope i can be forgiven!

Lots more work to do and plenty more to come over this next term.

Thanks for reading!

 

Email - phil@ccsu.co.uk

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