President (Education and Wellbeing) Blog - Jordan Howard

Jordan & Krum's Blog

Hey everyone, hope you have not had stressful exam weeks and are ready to absolutely smash it this term!!!

This week is #LoveSUs Week, so we decided to write this blog to tell you how YOUR Union impacts YOUR University experience.  We will look at five areas of your university life (Academia, Housing, Representation, Union Development and Mental Health) and tell you what we have been doing.

Academic Representation

  • Krum reacted on your feedback that Student Finance England had incorrectly charged some students £250 more than they should have, so he worked with the University and they adjusted down the fees.  That way we saved students nearly £1 million.

  • Jordan worked with the University and created a brand new training programme for Course Reps.  This term Krum and Jordan will be working with the University to further develop the training for 2018 as well as develop a new online support system for Course and Faculty Reps.

  • Both Krum and Jordan sit on the University’s ‘Learning Spaces’ group, which is currently working with the Library to allocate resource for more learning pods and group learning spaces.

  • Jordan sits on the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Working Groups which has worked this year to troubleshoot any problems with the semesterisation and contributed to new policies such as the new Extenuating Circumstances forms.

  • The 24 hour library in Canterbury has been a great success again and will be expanded further for the final exams later in the semester.

Housing

  • The University has agreed to accept non-UK based Housing Guarantors for directly managed accommodation.  Krum is currently working with the University to extend this scheme for non-University accommodation on a limited trial basis.

  • The University approved Krum’s proposal for the creation of an ‘Accommodation Committee’ which will channel the student voice and experience into the University’s accommodation department.  This will improve the service that they provide to students and will better the communication between the accommodation department, the rest of the University and the Students’ Union.

  • Jordan has done a fantastic job in working with the accommodation department, improving the student experience by turning some flats into social spaces in different halls of residence.

  • Krum has been working on the affordability of University accommodation, with the hope that something will be announced shortly.

  • David Hannaway inputted into the project to change Wi-Fi provider for accommodation to Eduroam to improve service.  This was handed over to Krum, who has secured assurance that the University do not do scan or monitor Eduroam for the purposes of PREVENT.

Representation

  • We organised Q&A sessions with the Vice-Chancellor and with the local MP Rosie Duffield.

  • Krum created two committees to give a platform to students who have been traditionally disengaged in the Union - the Diversity, Equality, and Liberation Committee and the Postgraduate Committee.

  • Krum, in his capacity as Student Governor, raised the issue at Governing Body that there is no student representative on the Remuneration Committee.  After that the Chairs’ Committee appointed an external individual to oversee the Remuneration Board.  Krum will meet with them shortly.

  • Jordan has been representing the views of Broadstairs students to the University as they make the transition between the Broadstairs and Canterbury campuses.

  • Canterbury Community Champions have been appointed to represent students and mediate with residents on a wide variety of issues.  Jordan sat on the interview panel when they were selected.

Mental Health

  • The Mental Health Committee has been appointed to assist both the Union and University on mental health campaigns

  • Time to Change

  • #StressLess and Puppy days

  • For World Mental Health Day we organised a panel discussion with Rachel O’Brian (Disabled Students officer, NUS) on the topic of student mental health in UK Universities.

  • Jordan and Krum sit on many committees surrounding mental health, one of the main ones is the new Suicide Safer Communities group which is formulating and implementing suicide prevention initiatives at CCCU and the University of Kent.

  • The launch of Canterbury Nightline is nearly upon us as, pioneered by the Christ Church Student Minds a student-led partnership between the Union, CCCU, the University of Kent and Kent Union.  This is a free, peer-to-peer, overnight listening service for students.

  • Psychosexual, sexual health, and relationship advice drop ins have been established in order to enable students to gain advice about a wide variety of subjects.

You Said, We Did

  • You told us that you want Halal food in University and Union catering outlets.  We worked with the University and now all chicken on Campus is Halal and ethical.

  • You told us that you want a multifaith prayer room in Augustine House.  Krum worked with the Chaplaincy and Library Services and this is now available adjacent to Augustine Hall.

  • You told us that you want additional student spaces on the Canterbury Campus, and we are currently working with the University to create an informal study space over the Summer.

  • You asked us to work with the University to create Gender Neutral Toilets.  We wrote a research paper comparing GNT provision at 30 students’ unions and university’s, and recommended to the University a range of options for more GNT provision on all CCCU campuses.  Krum is working with the University on implementing this.

  • Union Council passed a motion mandating the Union to act as a Hate Crime Reporting Centre, and the Union is working on how this can be established.

 

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