STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL 25th March 2014 5.30pm – The Living Room (above Union Bar), Headingley Campus
Reports President’s Report
Hello and welcome to the 4th Student Council! Leeds Met Students’ Union, Making Students lives better. If you feel there is anything to enhance or improve your time at Leeds, we are here for you, so your ideas, as well as any others, are always welcome to our ears and hopefully we can work together to make them a reality! An update of my three priorities: 1.
To have clarity with physical and online presence – This meant that the Students’ Union would get a new website that would be user friendly, visually pleasing and truly reflect the great things the Students’ Union does. This also meant that the signage used around the building would be updated to be easily translatable, easy to follow and up to date with current services provided. PROGRESS The website is continuously growing and being updated, if there’s anything you feel could be different or needs changing, just let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org. New graphics have been put up in the box office area but we will be moving into new offices by the end of August so time may be better invested elsewhere from now on.
To have Students’ Union Presence in every University BuildingThe end of year goal is to have permanent Students’ Union presence in every University Building so you guys and other students can know the exciting opportunities and support your Students’ Union has to offer. PROGRESS A paper I wrote was submitted to our SU Liaison meeting last week with sample visuals and the university has AGREED to let us have allocated spaces in high footfall areas to display our calendar, the departments we cover and the elected Officers. I now just need to work with our marketing team and the Universities director of Estates and Finance to confirm it all and hopefully from Sept 2014 we will have SU Presence all around campus!
SU on a Sofa We’ve been out every week, sometimes with, sometimes without the sofa but we have covered the topics of and collected feedback on: Students’ Union Name Change, Alternative Prospectus (Ollie’s Priority) SU Elections (promoting before and then collecting feedback on if people voted or not and why)
To lobby the University in providing a material shop for the school of Art, Architecture and Design (AAD) This was a manifesto point formulated while campaigning and it was a pressing issue which was never resolved when I was the AAD school representative last year. PROGRESS I managed to collate a list of material needs from Architecture and Graphic Design but still waiting to hear from the other AAD courses. I’ve sent the lists over the the contact for the University campus shops who informed me that she is still working on redesigning/expanding the shop so will get back to me on progress.
Alongside my Priorities I have many other committees, meetings , groups and projects I am part of which actually take up all my time so here is what I’ve been upto!
Major Items Last time we all met was just before our Officer away day and Refreshers. Our Officer Away day was facilitated by Mike Day ‘head of nations’ for NUS. We spent the day reviewing how last term was with what we all thought went well and what could be improved for the future. What we should carry on doing, what we should stop and what we should change. We all SMARTed three priorities to continue and work towards for the rest of our term of office and just do some general team bonding as a few part time officers had resigned. It was a productive and positive day over all. During Refreshers the three VP’s and I went to as many lecture shout outs as we were able to fit in to promote Refreshers, the Elections, the VC Q&A and the SU as a whole. We also targeted a few lectures where the theme was feminism to promote women standing for election. Inbetween the shout outs I supported multiple Refreshers events, these included:
Leeds Varsity American Football Charity Match, Give it a Go Wagamama, Refreshers Fair, Name Change VC Question Time/AGM, Give it a Go Allotment, Give it a Go Cocktail Masterclass down at BRB, over 60 people turned up!! & Give it a Go Tetley Art Gallery
I also had ‘Inbox to Zero’ along with other staff members to help organization with emails and a Library Stakeholder Group Meeting where we looked at the new plans for the development of the Library, A massive part of the last month has obviously been Elections! My input towards these were working with CARES (the university) to supply designated poster areas around high footfall areas so candidates didn’t have to all squeeze
into the purple boxes like we did last year. Hopefully next year this can expand but it’s been a step in the right direction. I also had several meetings with Presidential Candidates to give a more personal peer to peer briefing on what the role is really like and advice on campaigning. I supported the candidate question times for VP Activities, EE Officer, NUS delegates, VP Welfare, E&D Officers. Unfortunately the date clashed for the President Question Time so I am sorry I wasn’t there for it. We took the sofa out to promote the elections, to encourage people to stand and others to vote. Then to round it all off we had the Election Results Night which was brilliant and such a step up form last year. Well done to everyone who took part and came, it’s exciting to see who will be taking over from us for next academic year!
Other items: University Name Change I am the main contact from the Students’ Union who has been involved with this. I’ve been at the University’s Name Change Migration Group but when we were out promoting the VC Question Time about the Name Change, the majority of students have the same questions which they feel have been unanswered so I met up with the Marketing department along with ours to explain how the message isn’t getting out and a lot more really needs to be done. Feel free to talk to me about any of this. On the topic of Name Change, the Students’ Union, after student consultation, has now changed from Leeds Met Students’ Union to Leeds Beckett Students’ Union.
2 x All Officer Meetings Buddy catch ups Weekly President/Chief Exec catch ups SABB/SMT Monthly Meeting Survey Season update Leeds SU’s working together ACS Meeting regarding an event Catch up with our NUS contact Ellie Russell Food Bank – we reviewed what happened with the food bank collections for Christmas and the decision was made to do collections for Easter as well as the end of term. Board of Governors – the SU always presents a paper but for the first time Chloe, Ollie and I did a full blown presentation of everything the SU achieved last year, events that had happened in the beginning of this term already and what the priorities were for the rest of our office. It went down like an absolute storm and we have been asked to do the same presentation to Academic Board. Articles Working Group – the articles for the SU have now been completed, after huge amounts of work, and now they just need to be presented and approved by several other groups. Critical Friends Meeting – this is more for the benefit of the University than us to make sure all their critical friends are in line with the universities strategic plan. SU/Library catch up – they showed us some pretty exciting new software to make life easier to find books on the recommended reading lists. Student Experience Steering Group SU Governance and Nominations Committee Chairs meeting President Elect/Chief Exec/Me meeting Unity Day planning meeting – went along with VP Activities to find out if we would be able to contribute to Unity Day in any way possible Academic Governance Sub-committee SU Board of Trustees Met with the author of the Recognition to Prior Learning document to make as student user friendly as possible.
Shortlisted for the Union Awards SU Liaison Group Student Charter – more info to follow
We have has two Applicant Days in both Headingley and City Campus where students who have applied for Leeds Met come to take a look around, we have an SU stand and it’s been brilliant to get potential Leeds Met students excited about the SU before they get here. We also got to meet students who have been heavily involved with their SU’s at college so…watch this space! Created a video with the University Comms team for Survey Season. Community Action Day at Rosebank, all organized by our EnviroMet worker. Absolutely brilliant day.
Even though the Elections have taken place and the new full time Officers will start on the 1st July we are all still here to represent you for the next 3 ½ months so please still come to us if there’s anything you feel needs changing or would make your time here at Leeds Met even better! Millie Cooper SU President
Vice President Education
Well the end of the term is fast approaching and our term of office finishes soon, but there is still plenty of time for us to finish up what we started and anything else that we want to achieve! Even though it seems like the last council wasn’t that long ago there has been a lot that has happened and it has been a little bit hectic. It has only been a month since the last council and in that time I have taken a week of leave to go off to sunny Spain (even the full time officers need a break :P). The main things that I am going to be going over in this report are the highlights that there have been between now and the last council, so let’s get started…… Course Rep Conference: Only two days after the last Council we held the third annual Course Rep Conference and the themes that we had for the day were around Assessment & Feedback and Student Engagement. We had Rachel Wenstone (the VP Higher Education for NUS) who attended as the guest speaker for the day and Rachel did her key note speech about the importance of student voice and course reps in universities. She then went on to run two workshops, one which explained national issues for students in Britain and then in the second workshop it put those national issues in the context of Leeds Met and how it affected our students. The day was concluded with a panel debate between myself, Rachel Wenstone, Ruth Pickford (Director of the Centre for Learning & Teaching) and Barbara College (Dean of Quality). This gave the course reps the opportunity to ask the staff the questions about how the university can improve Feedback. Overall the feedback about the event was very positive with the Course Reps really enjoying all of the workshops and speeches. The only negative comments that we got were around the amount of people that attended. We are currently reviewing this and we will seek to address this if we continue the event in future years. Golden Robes: Preparation for the golden robes is well under way and the nominations ARE OPEN!! Overall there are 9 categories, these are:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Personal Tutor of the year Innovative Tutor of the year The Full Circle award Hidden Hero Supervisor of the year (Undergraduate & Postgraduate) Motivator of the year Virtual Virtuoso Course Team of the year
The event is being held on the 13th of May and will take place in the Carriage Works (Millennium Square) and some students who nominate will be asked to attend the night. Please submit a nomination if you want to say thanks to the staff that we have at the university. Feedback Pack 10,000 copies of the Feedback pack have arrived and they are now being distributed with approximately 2,500 being given to each faculty. I am currently trying to get more funding secured so that I can order more copies to ensure that every student receives one. I will keep council updated on this and hopefully will have some good news to report back on very soon. Alternative Prospectus: The form for the alternative prospectus is finally online!!!! Here is the link for those of you that would like to fill it out in your spare time: http://www.leedsmetsu.co.uk/alternative-prospectus I have been able to utilise the SU on a Sofa in order to gain a lot of responses. So far myself and the other officers have been out three times for roughly 2 hours a time to talk about the Alternative Prospectus and we have received over 150 responses by asking students to fill out a paper form. This is something that I have been really pleased with and hopefully we can continue this until the end of the semester. So far I have gathered responses for approximately 50 courses which equate to just over 30% of the undergraduate courses that we have at Leeds Met. I think that we have more than enough time to collect the other responses and I am confident that I will be able to deliver this prospectus for the June open days. Google Table Scheme: I just wanted to give a really quick update about the progress about the Google Tablet Scheme. All of the tablets have now been distributed (over 300 to 10 different courses including levels and subject). So far all of the feedback that we have received from the students has been absolutely fantastic. In partnership with the Centre for Learning and Teaching we will be carrying out a full review of the second phase of the pilot at the end of the semester so that we can put together another successful bid to the university to either increase the pilot again or be able to start rolling these out to students all over the university. SU Elections! As many of you will know the SU elections took place in the month of February, I just want to take this opportunity to say well done to all the candidates and the every member of staff in the Union, it was one of the best results night I have ever seen and I am sure that it will continue.
Just so Council is aware what the officers contributed I just wanted to write a small section on it. I attended all of the candidate question times, and chaired the Question Time for President, VP Education and all of the faculty officers. In addition to this all the full and part time officers attended and participated in election results night which included reading out our results and being interviewed by Met Media, giving updates about what we have achieved already in the year. Course Rep Handbook: Something that has come out of a lot of meetings that I have had is the want for a handbook for course reps. This wouldn’t be a big booklet just about 10 A5/6 pages going over responsibilities, key contacts etc. It is something that I just wanted to make council aware that I might be doing this for the remainder of the year if there is enough time. However I do not want to add too much to my plate as I still have to achieve my priorities for the year. The content would have input from mostly the Students’ Union with additional material provided by the Quality team in the university and Services for Students. I have also been able to agree with Services for Students some incentives for becoming a Course Rep which will hopefully really enhance the value of the role. One of the main things this includes is how this role can help you to develop your CV and how to describe what you have done for the year; they have also agreed to facilitate Equality & Diversity training for all course reps which in my opinion is a huge step in the right direction. Making Graduate Attributes More Visible: I have been part of discussions with the university to make the Graduate attributes more visible there have been student focus groups that have been held and the outcome of them has been that they are not very visible and a lot of students don’t understand. The majority of the input that I have had has been around making sure that at the start of each semester of each year the students are able to see what they should be getting out of university, similar to that of learning outcomes for each module. The graduate attributes are:
being enterprising having a global outlook digital literacy
Review of RepNet/Student Representatives: Currently there is a joint review happening for the online Course Rep system between the Students’ Union and the University. The primary aspects that we are looking at are where we currently are with the system, what needs to be developed and what we want the system to achieve in the future. In addition to this, after several meetings with the Quality team in the university, we can successfully say that we can ensure effective student representation at the various faculty level committees. What has been agreed is that student business shall be tabled on the agenda as the first points of the discussion, and we are now working with timetabling to ensure that there are no conflicts in the students timetables, therefore, allowing them to be able to attend the meeting. Applicant Days: Along with the other full and part time officers we have been attending applicant days to speak about what the Students’ Union is and how useful it is for students to be involved from the day that they get here. This has been really positive and it is something that we are intending to carry on doing. We decided that although there is an opportunity to speak and interact with students at open days, it might not be as useful as there is no guarantee that the people attending the open days will become students at Leeds Met and members of the Students’ Union. Therefore the decision was made to instead attend the applicant days, the people attending this event have Leeds Met as either their firm or insurance choice so there is a strong chance that they will become our students and hopefully we would have more of an impact with them.
SU on a Sofa: Now that the dates were firmly put in our diaries by Millie (President) we have been out every Tuesday and Thursday to ensure we are getting out there and speaking to students. I have been able to utilise the Sofa sessions to talk to students about the Alternative Prospectus and other projects and priorities that the Union has. Meetings and Committees that I have sat on: Board of Trustees: This is the Board of Trustees for the Students’ Union; it is made up of all the full time officers, 2 part time, student trustees and external trustees. This board is here to run the Students’ Union and to make sure that the reputational, legal and financial aspects of the Union are in a strong stead. At the most recent board meeting we agreed the name of the Students’ Union when the University changes its name, this will be: Leeds Beckett Students Union. SU Liaison Meeting: This is a meeting held between the full time officers of the union, senior managers in the union and senior managers in the university. It is where we can reach agreements with the university to be able to achieve our priorities for the year and the universities senior managers can give us an update on what is happening in the university. Board of Governors: This is a board that both the President and I sit on to ensure that students are being represented in the big changes in the university. It consists of many external Governors from the University and all of the Vice Chancellors Group. Critical Friends Meeting: In this meeting the full time officers and senior managers in the Union spoke about the strategic plan and priorities for the Union for the year and got feedback from ‘Critical Friends’ (Staff from the university). Overall this was very positive and the main thing that came out of it was the union needs to celebrate its successes a lot more. Student Experience Steering Group: I sit on this meeting with the President and staff from all areas in the university. We speak about what the student experience is like and how we can further improve it. Most recent items that have come up were around Futures Fest, graduate attributes etc. Futures Fest Analysis: I attended this meeting with the VP Activities, we discussed with all of the staff involved in Futures Fest about how we felt it went. We raised our concerns about the timing of the event and the relevance it has to students. A further analysis is currently happening and we will update council when this is finished. Thanks for reading the report and I welcome any questions that you may have. Ollie Richardson VP Education
Vice President Student Activities
Since my last student council report there has been an incredible amount of exciting events and activities happening across the whole of the Students’ Union and through the Activities Department. I have tried to cover as much as possible but please feel free to ask me any questions on any of the points.
1. Union wide activities 1.1 Lecture Shout outs and Inductions – During refreshers week myself and the other full time officers presented a short presentation about all areas of the Students’ Union at quite a few lectures and inductions at both city campus and Headingley. 1.2 Refreshers Week – One of the biggest events of the week was the fair. This was a huge success with societies, volunteering, other departments of the SU, sports team, commercial businesses etc. showcasing what they have to offer to students. Met Media had a mini studio set up at the fair and interviewed students throughout the day. 1.3 AGM + VC Question Time – The Students Union held the annual AGM as part of the Refreshers schedule where all students were invited to attend. As part of this we also had a Vice Chancellor Question Time where the Vice Chancellor and the University Secretary and Registrar answered questions from students about the university name change. 1.4 Inbox to Zero training – Together with the full time officers and some staff from the Students’ Union I attended an ‘inbox to zero’ training where they show you techniques for organising and dealing with emails and trying to keep your inbox to zero. Easier said than done! 1.5 Women in leadership lecture – Together with our VP welfare officer I attended a lecture to encourage women to stand in the Students’ Union elections. 1.6 SU on a Sofa – Over the last few weeks the other full time officers and I have been out and about promoting various events such as Student Volunteering Week, Sexual Health and Guidance Week, elections and asking various questions to students such as what would you like the new name of the Students’ Union to be and did you vote in the Students’ Union elections. 1.7 Applicant days – The full time officers and I have had a stall promoting the Students’ Union at two applicant days for students who are applying to study at Leeds Met. These applicant days were at both Headingley and city campus, it was great to speak to prospective students and their families and inform them of all the fantastic things they can get involved in with the Students’ Union. 1.8 Students Union Elections 2014 – It has been that time of year again where the next full and part time officers of the Students’ Union have been elected! I attended every candidate question time to show support and find out more about the candidates and also chaired the first which was for VP Activities, Ethics and Environment, NUS delegates and the referendum. Elections Night 2014 was a fantastic event, I announced a few part time officer roles and of course my successor for VP Activities. I really enjoyed this event and it was great to see so many passionate students who put themselves forward to stand in the elections. 1.9 Students’ Union presentation – I was given the opportunity to present a presentation highlighting the successes in the Students’ Union so far this year alongside our President and VP Education in their Board of Governors meeting. This was a great opportunity to showcase the amazing achievements across the activities department this year and also show the Governors our new volunteering review which includes many of our fantastic Students’ Union volunteering projects and community events. 2. My priorities I have recently presented my three updated priorities in various meeting including the Board of Governors and the Students’ Union Board of Trustees. 2.1 Alternative society sign up methods - Since writing my previous report I have asked for feedback from the societies committee, I received mixed feedback including that it would be useful and easier for students to join a
society and pay a membership fee online but there were also concerns over students paying a merchant fee on top of paying a membership fee. The next stage will be to have a meeting with various departments in the Students’ Union to discuss how this process could work and we will hopefully set up a trial for students to be able to sign up to a society online but also by coming into the Students’ Union in person. 2.2 Community engagement/volunteering proposal - My second priority to produce and present a proposal to increase our staff capacity to continue to carry out and develop community engagement through our Students’ Union volunteering department is almost complete. The proposal was finalised and I produced a presentation which was to be used to support the proposal. This week I talked about the proposal at our Students’ Union Board of Trustees meeting and this was really well received. I then presented the proposal with the formal presentation in our SU liaison meeting which included the Director of Finance and Resources of the university. Everyone fully supported the proposal and we are now at the stage of discussing with the university which channel we should apply for the money through. 2.3 Activities and Employability – Due to the various projects, events and presenting the volunteering proposal occurring over the last few weeks, there are not any current significant updates for this priority at the moment. However one development in terms of employability is that I have been asked in a university employability sub group that I am part of to present to the group what the Students’ Union provides to develop student employability. This will be an opportunity to showcase all the different areas including societies, volunteering, Met Media, course reps, our student staff and more to the university including staff from faculties and central services. The next stage will be to make a plan for how I would like to raise awareness of the benefits to students of being involved in extracurricular activities. 3. Areas of portfolio updates 3.1 Volunteering Volunteering focus group – We are always looking for continued feedback from students about the different opportunities the Students’ Union has to offer. I held a focus group open to all students to gather feedback on their opinions and experiences of volunteering with the Students’ Union from the recruitment process; how the opportunities are marketed to what improvements could be made and how much time they thought they could commit to volunteering. Allotment – There have been several volunteering parties of students helping to clear the plot at the new Students’ Union allotment at Woodhouse Moor. This has been popular with different students helping on each day; it’s great to see the progress that is made after each session. Leeds Met landscape architecture students are also involved in the project by designing what the plot will look like once it has been finished. Volunteering catch up – I have regular catch up meetings with our volunteer co-ordinator to keep up to date with all activities and events which are happening across the department and how I can help. Let Leeds Read project – As part of the Let Leeds Read project where student volunteers are going into local primary schools to listen to children read. All the volunteers went to their designated schools to have a look round and meet the staff and children they would be working with. I took a few groups of students to some of the schools to make sure everything was OK. Our volunteer coordinator, the international Office and I who have been working on this project have agreed dates in April to begin information evenings for students interested in taking part in the next round of this volunteering project to start in September/October. Let Leeds Read committee meeting- A team of student volunteers’ part of the Let Leeds Read project have additional roles such as school co-ordinators and have regular meetings together throughout the project. This is to gather
feedback from student volunteers about the project so far, collect feedback from the schools, develop new ideas for the project and discuss the Let Leeds Read celebration event. Student Volunteering Week - Monday 24th Feb – Saturday 1st March As part of a national week of student volunteering, our volunteering department organised a full week of activities from workshops and student led events to training and community action days. Events I was involved with during the week… Good Deed Day – This was a national day designed for students to do something good in the community. Student volunteers helped to plan and deliver two tea dances for two of our community partners. Our volunteer coordinator looked after one event with ‘Caring Together’ whilst I looked after an event with STEP (Supporting the elderly people) at the same time. We had food, dancing and played rock and roll bingo; the older people loved the event and asked us to come back again. How to run a community event workshop – This workshop was open for any student to come along to and find out how they would go about running their own community event. This was a really successful workshop, students shared ideas for projects and we talked through what would need to be considered to organise a successful event. Volunteering committee launch – We would ideally like to have a student volunteer committee in the same way we have a societies and Met Media committee. However there has not currently been much interest for this amongst our registered volunteering. We thought it would be good to try and launch the committee during Student Volunteering Week and open the opportunities to all students. Unfortunately this was not successful so we are now looking to advertise the various roles we are looking for and show students the benefits for being part of the committee including the skills they can develop and the difference they could make. Love Food Hate Waste training – Both staff and officers from Leeds Met Students Union and Leeds Uni Union attended this interactive training which included tips and tricks for how to make the food you buy go further, save you money and reduce food waste including storage, planning and portion sizes. This training was carried out by an external company who shared training resources and promotional material which we can use to spread the word amongst students on how to save money when it comes to food! Rosebank Community Action Day - Undoubtedly the highlight of the week was the community action day coordinated by our EnviroMET project worker on the Saturday of Student Volunteering Week. Over 70 people took part in this fantastic community event including both local residents and students. The event was organised together with Hyde Park Source, Little Woodhouse Community Association, Leeds City Council and the Black Rose Project. Activities included stool making, graffiti removal, conservation work, litter picking and street art murals by local graffiti artists. 3.2 Societies How to set up new society events – Both myself and the societies co-ordinator ran two workshops during Refreshers Week at both city campus and Headingley for any student who was interested in setting up their own society. We also held a session where any students who were interested in joining the musician’s society could come along and find out more about the society. Since the last student council meeting I have had a number of meetings with different societies to help with any questions they have about running their society or to support the planning of their events. Society committee meetings – We have held several society committee meetings since the last student council. There have been many grant applications put forward from societies at these events and many societies have benefited from receiving some grant money from the society grant budget. I have been able to increase the society grant money budget by £1,250 which will help considerably for us to be able to support more society events
throughout the rest of the year. We have also had more new societies accepted at a number of meetings; these include Nutrition Society, Journalism Society and the Nigerian Society with more in the pipeline. Our Islamic Society held a very successful ‘Discover Islam Week’. From the dinner I attended on the Thursday night it was great to see so many students coming together from different backgrounds and everyone enjoying themselves at the event. We have recently introduced ‘society of the month’ where we recognise a society which we feel has stood out from the rest and celebrate events which they have organised by publicising this through the Students’ Union website. February saw the Islamic Society win ‘society of the month’ for Discover Islam Week and the March result will be coming soon. We have also introduced society event reviews to showcase the brilliant events continually organised by the many societies. The March review was for the Ethical Hacking Society’s ‘Capture the Flag’ event where teams took part in several challenges to try and hack into vulnerable computers. Throughout the last few weeks I have had regular meetings with our societies coordinator to catch up on all areas including new societies, plans for society events and much more. 3.3 Met Media Met Media have been incredible over the last few weeks. As many people will be aware, they have been heavily involved in the Students’ Union elections. Throughout the whole elections process the team of students helped at every stage from recording candidate manifesto videos, recording candidate question times and then were part of the fantastic finale of the elections results night. Met Media alongside the university video production team filmed and live streamed results night as well as hosted the event and interviewed the election winners throughout the night. A massive congratulations to everyone involved! Societies and Met Media – I had a meeting with our societies coordinator and media coordinator to see how we could promote and encourage societies to use Met Media as much as possible to showcase their society and events they hold. We would really like any society who wants to write an article to talk about their society and what they have been doing throughout the year to write for the Met Online therefore benefiting both sides – societies will be able to promote themselves and it gives varied content for the Met Online. As mentioned previously, for Refreshers Fair Met Media had a pop up studio which not only helped to showcase what Met Media is all about and encourage students to sign up with them but it also was an opportunity for other student groups to have an interview with Met TV, such as societies promoting what their societies are all about. The Met Media committee meetings continue to run on a regular basis led by our Editor in Chief of Met Media. The meetings keep everyone up to date with the latest plans and events as well as developing new ideas for what the various areas of Met Media could do next. 4. Other on-going projects 4.1 Joint activities meeting – Over the year I’ve held a number of ‘joint activities meetings’ designed for students who are involved in societies, media and volunteering to get together to share ideas and see how they can collaborate with each other. Only two students attended the last meeting which is disappointing as this is a great time for students to network and exchange contact details to support each other with events. I will be working to encourage more students to attend the next meeting. 4.2 Union Awards (Thurs 10th April) – In the last few weeks the nominations for Union Awards has been open, we decided it would be a good idea to have the nomination form on the homepage of the Students’ Union website to make sure it was available for all students to nominate people. We had a really good response and are now in the process of shortlisting the categories. As soon as the shortlisted nominees have been confirmed, an invitation will then be sent out to those who are invited to the event. All students or event which was nominated originally will
receive an email to let them know they had been nominated as we felt it was important that every student is aware they had been nominated even if they are not shortlisted to the final 3 for each category. 4.3 Interfaith Day – As part of Refreshers Week a meeting to discuss the idea of an Interfaith Day was held. The meeting was attended by a few students who were keen to share ideas about what could happen at this event and this feedback was then used as part of future discussions about the event. Since refreshers we have held another meeting for anyone interested in being part of an Interfaith Day, some more ideas were discussed but it became apparent that there wasn’t one idea that really stood out that students want to carry out. It has now been decided that we will ring fence Monday 7th April as Interfaith Day and anyone who wants to have an event included will be marketed under this title for the day. 5. Other committees/meetings/training I have attended since the last Student Council
All officer meetings Briefly attended Course Rep Conference to talk about my role for the elections Meeting about National Student Survey UNIPOL Board visit to properties All officer away day Attended Varsity American Football Charity Game Sabb/SMT meetings Catch up with NUS contact – Ellie Russell Food project meeting – With the Sustainability and Residences teams from the university Employability Sub Group meeting Full time exec meetings Students’ Union Board of Trustees meeting Critical Friends meeting Futures Fest debrief meeting SU/LLI leadership meeting Futures Fest focus group – with implementation group of Futures Fest Finance and Audit committee meeting Unity Day planning meeting – evening community meeting Meeting to enhance student enterprise support (University Business Start Up) – how we can promote the Enterprise Academy to students including workshops and competitions available to students Meeting with Disabilities Officer about developing some guidelines for how societies can make sure they are holding events that are accessible to all Meeting with students involved with Marrow Leeds Meeting with a student who would like to set up a Hula Hooping Society
Vice President Welfare
**Note** This report is brief as I have been on annual leave from 3rd – 17th March 2014 Updates
Students’ Union new name.
All full time officers spent a few days talking to student about the new name of the students’ union and asked the students what they would like their SU to be called the options were; - Leeds Becket Students’ Union - Leeds Becket Union - Leeds Becket University Students’ Union - Other The most popular choice from these names was Leeds Becket Students’ Union and so when the University changes their name to Leeds Becket University, the Students’ Union will follow suit according to what the majority of students responded with.
The officer elections were a very exciting time in the SU, well done to all candidates and special congratulations to Amy Waine who has been elected Vice President Welfare for 2014/15. My role in the elections was to write a summary of my role for the candidate packs to explain what a day in the life of VP welfare was like; I also got involved with workshops held during futures fest and hosted candidate question time for all of the equality and diversity candidates and the welfare candidates. In the absence of a women’s officer in the students’ union I took the lead on a project to encourage more women to get involved in the elections and women’s campaigns. I presented a short presentation about women in the leadership at Leeds Met, Leeds Met SU and NUS and explained the different ways that women could get involved i.e. NUS women’s conference, women’s officer role and a potential feminist society. I targeted this at courses which I knew would have a vested interest in women’s rights and feminism and had a good response from the students.
Leeds City Council Elections Department meeting
I recently had a meeting with Leeds City Council to talk about the general election in May 2015 and the role in which Leeds Met SU can play in helping to get the vote out and encouraging students to register. This year voting regulations changed so that Universities can no longer register students to vote when they enrol and it is now down to the individual to register themselves. The full time officers have decided to prioritise this as something which we need to talk to students about in coming months and so we will be going out and talking to students and encouraging them to register to vote for 2 hours every fortnight and hopefully we will see the number of registered students at Leeds Met grow. I have also been in touch with the politics society about potential voter registration campaigns.
The students’ union NUS contact visited us this month and offered to provide support with the student parent research being carried out by the SU this semester. She has sent through a lot of reading and research for me to use. I will be arranging meetings with student parents whose details I have already obtained to informally interview them and find out more about their individual experiences as student parents Leeds Met.
Stress Less Week
I am in the process of planning the next stress less week, this will happen from 28 th April – 2nd May. It will have the same concept as the last campaign with a different schedule of events and will hopefully reach even more students as more departments of the university have picked up on the campaign and are willing to get on board.
Ethics & Environment Officer
ETHICS AND ENVIRONMENT NETWORK This is probably my biggest most important piece of work that I will be spending time on from now until May. This will give students an opportunity to get directly involved with the students union’s Ethics and Environment Officer even before they have arrived. There will be information available on the website and I have recently been working with marketing to develop a new logo for this. You can find it here, let me know what you think: https://www.facebook.com/pages/LMU-SU-Ethics-and-Environment-Officer/514244535321944 . The network will hopefully be of use to the new officer, elected last month, as it will provide a network of contacts, both of students and university staff and outside partners. MEETING WITH NEW ELECTED OFFICER When I started last year I felt a little unsure about things like whether my priorities were realistic or how it really felt to be the Ethics and Environment Officer and what it involved. I wanted to meet with Ashleigh at this early stage to find out what her ideas for the role were and to see if there was anything I could do to assist her in starting in September. I still feel that it will be useful to put together a handover pack of information concerning everything I have gotten involved with so that Ashleigh has a better idea of different areas she can get involved with and of relationships it may be useful to keep. I ultimately want her to be able to accomplish her goals as an officer and make the biggest positive impact on student lives as possible. BOARD OF TRUSTEES Attended this meeting on 11th March 2014. UTRAVELACTIVE
This is a practitoners meeting between partners of UTravelActive, which includes Leeds City Council, Leeds Uni, Leeds Met, Leeds City College and Trinity University and their respective student unions. These meetings help to keep the union informed about local infrastructure, cycling related events and the Bike Hub. Cycling campaigns are discussed, these include Bike Belles which is a campaign to get more women into cycling, this was launched at the very successful talk by professional cyclist Lizzie Armitstead earlier this year; launched this week is the University and College Cycle Challenge which pits institutions all over West Yorkshire against each other to win prizes such as track pumps and vouchers, all participants have to do is log their miles cycled onto a handy app, this runs until 11th April. From the 31st of March you will be able to get your bike serviced at a maintenance workshop at Headingley campus. Its free to staff and students and can be found in room B07 (behind James Graham building) and is open every Monday 12.00-16.00 and every Tuesday 08.00-11.00. ELECTIONS Some of you may know that I took part in the recent Student Union Elections to become an NUS delegate. I would like to thank any of you who voted in the elections and I was lucky enough to receive enough votes to attend the NUS conference in April. I look forward to representing our union with the other amazing delegates. During elections however I was unable to work in the students union as it may have been seen as me having an advantage over other candidates. CITY CAMPUS GYM WATER FOUNTAIN I have been doing some more investigation around this and I have been told to expect a water fountain in the city campus gym within the next three weeks, success! I plan to work with the Carnegie Faculty Officer in the future to make sure we have enough water fountains placed around the university buildings as necessary. APPLICANT DAY On 22nd of February I attended the Students Union stand at the applicant day. This was a great opportunity to talk to potential students and let them know about all the great opportunities the union offers to its members. I have also been involved with Candidate tours on my course. This has involved showing potential students around various places on the city campus and I have been making a special effort to include the students union on these tours, including the bar and the offices. PEOPLE AND PLANET SOCIETY STAND/EVENT The People and Planet Society are hoping to hold an event in early April to promote themselves but also raise awareness of environmental issues and giving students information on how they can help or get involved. They are planning on having a clothes recycling facility available, selling food from local producers, and possibly raising money for a local charity through selling baked goods. I plan to have an Ethics and Environment Network banner produced for events like this to show the unions involvement and interest in issues like these. By helping out with this event I am covering three manifesto points, making local food more accessible, making it easier for students to recycle and raising money for a local charity. MANIFESTO UPDATE As far as my manifesto points go, as long as the Athletic Union do as they promised, install a water fountain in the city campus gym then I have achieved all of them. Grow own food â€“ students can now grow food in our allotment in Woodhouse Moor
Easier to access local food – Kirkgate Market vendors have given us fruit for various projects, will hopefully have more at People and Planets Stall/event next month Recycling – Students can recycle food via the food banks in the union, hopefully this will be expanded to clothes recycling in the future. Also through People and Planet stall/event. City Campus gym water fountain – hopefully will be installed very soon!
Faculty Officer (AET)
Faculty Forums Since the last meeting of SRC I have some updates from my Faculty Forum on February 11th Concerns were raised regarding issues with Industrial Action and issues surrounding picket lines and ‘harsh language’ used against students trying to enter university buildings. The Dean of AET will raised these concerns at the next meeting with Union Reps. Further to this the Faculty is going to review communication strategy surrounding strike action to ensure minimal disruption to students. Interior Architecture and Design student raised further concerns regarding printers and plotters on the 4th floor of Broadcasting Place A Building. Issues have been resolved, learning officers will leave additional materials, instructions on how to load ink and paper will be put up by the plotters. Course teams are also going to let learning officers know when hand-ins are due so that they can make sure materials are available at times of high use. A request was made to see if AutoCAD suite could be installed on the student computer clusters in Northern Terrace. Contact has been made to the Head of Built Environment and Engineering who is consulting with his staff to see whether this is a viable option Following issues with Laser Cutters for Architecture students’ last year progress has been made and a fourth laser cutter is being installed in the new Centre for Digital Management, alongside two 3D printers and one 3D scanner. Negative feedback was given regarding REPNet, I ensured students that problems are being looked at to make improvements for future use. Issues were raised regarding Dyslexia and Disability support within the university. I have arranged a meeting with the Head of School for Cultural Studies and Humanities to discuss this further and the student who raised concerns was a student in the School, and Ruth Robbins was keen to resolve issues. At this forum Jessica Barnes was elected School Representative for Cultural Studies and Humanities, I would like to congratulate her on this. I had arranged a forum for the 13th March but regretfully no course reps showed up. I have rearranged to have a joint forum with the Carnegie Faculty on April 2nd. Board Meetings and Committees Since my last report I have attended two meetings of Arts, Environment and Technology Faculty Board. I made useful contributions to discussions. Staff have expressed the value of having students on Faculty Committees. I contributed to discussions on plans for Futures Fest arguing that it would be valuable to provide employability workshops throughout the year. Leeds Met Student Union Photography Competition I have organised the SU’s Photo Competition running from the 10th-20th March. One of my manifesto aims was to display more student talent within the SU and University. I decided on this project as I felt it was the inclusive project
I could organise. Through meeting with members of Union staff I devised a brief so the competition could be marketed. I decided that the theme of the competition should be Leeds Student Life, which encompasses different things for different people. The prizes for the competition are £50, £20 and £10 Amazon Gift Cards and the top five Photographs will be hung in the Met Bar at City Campus. The Panel of Judges I have arranged to choose the winners are: Sarah Cooper, Head of Photo Journalism, Honey Salvadori, Senior Lecturer in Photo Journalism, Bukkie Dos Santos, Leeds Met Alumni and Owner of Portrait Studio, Amanda Phillips, Leeds Art Gallery. The competition at present is running well, I have put up posters across both campuses as well as using social media to promote the competition. Future Plans I am looking into whether opening hours could be extended from 9pm to Midnight on Broadcasting Place B building. I plan to take out the Golden Sofa soon to Broadcasting Place in order to talk to students to gage further opinions on whether this is something many students would benefit from. I wish to look into whether there is a possibility of creating an online system of electives as concerns have been raised by course reps who have found that students weren’t getting their first choice of module despite having replied to emails shortly after they had been sent.
Faculty Officer (Carnegie)
Hello council! This report will highlight the activities and work I have undertaken since the last meeting of the Student Representative Council. Please bear in mind that I have also been out of office for two weeks from February 14th till February 28th, due to running as an election candidate. In this period Officers cannot carry out duties.
Key Activities Third Faculty Forum Our third forum of the year was held on February 11th where several issues were discussed. Sadly, attendance had dipped from the previous forum which has prompted a meeting between myself, and the Faculty Rep Alex Jenkins to discuss how to gain better attendance at future forums. This has led to an online poll being utilised so course reps can inform us of when they can best attend with the highest time and date being chosen from the poll. This is a practice utilised by the previous Faculty Rep and is proven to boost numbers. A discussion has also taken place about catering at the forums and I am currently in talks with the Interim Dean of Carnegie to implement this incentive through university catering. Outcomes of the forum are as follows: The Schools Rep for ETH&L, Marc Twinberrow, was elected to take a vacant position on the Carnegie Faculty Board. A meeting with the library is to be arranged in conjunction with two course reps from the School of Sport to discuss more electronic versions of core text books as sporting courses have large numbers. The availability of such important books is deemed essential to the learning experience of our students and with further numbers expected this year, and the lifting of the student recruitment cap next year, it is imperative that such issues are tackled now to avoid student numbers becoming a problem. Further details of this meeting will be published in the next report to the Student Representative Council Feedback regarding the refreshers fortnight and Futures Fest was given by course reps with the following points raised:
Next year’s Future’s Fest: preferably after exam period in January or in September alongside Freshers’ First years unaware of content Not enough for first years and Career-based programme is off-putting Housing fair: great
The forum also covered library feedback which was mainly positive. And University feedback focused upon the lack of practical assessments with industry professionals to enhance the learning experience. The NSS/SSS was covered and the course reps agreed to help promote the completion of the surveys amongst their fellow students.
Water Fountains Update In regards to the previous FBL Officer working on the integration of water fountains on every floor of every building over both campuses, I have taken on this campaign in conjunction with the Ethics and Environment Officer.
Pavilion Library Drop Box Marketing Marketing posters are now on display on all floors of the pavilion. I wish to place my thanks to the Students’ Union marketing team for the creation and design of the posters, and to the Schools Rep for ETH&L with pushing forward to market the new service.
Education team Feedback Initiative After having an officer away day, the faculty officer and VP Education set a joint goal for working together on introducing new standards for feedback. Currently, objectives have been set to aid this goal with feedback currently being received from Heads of Schools in Carnegie as to how feedback is given in their area. An update on progress will be available in the next Student Council report.
Completed Tasks for the Year To reiterate so far on the progress I have made since taking office in September, I have achieved the following:
Implementation of the Pavilion Library Drop Box including marketing on site
Liaising with the university to ensure the Swimming Pool is on the agenda for renovation
Research from students and Heads of Schools in regards to how feedback of assessments is given, to form a larger report that is currently being worked on by the Education Team
Working with course reps and students who have had timetable issues to resolve these to ensure their education does not suffer
Full audit of the location and working condition of water fountains at Headingley, with a full campaign in conjunction with the Ethics & Environment Officer to be taken over from the departed FBL Officer
Promotion of the Course Rep System of which has led to Carnegie now engaging in over 200 reps
The council are welcome to contact the Faculty Officer at any time with any questions either regarding this report, or areas that concern with Carnegie.
Faculty Officer (Health & Social Sciences)
Since the last report we had our second faculty forum which was well attended by both course reps and university members of staff who could aid to answer any questions. Fiona Middleton attended to aid queries about the library services and associate dean Liz MacKay regarding practice within our faculty. This worked extremely well as many questions were immediately answered and issues averted or resolved. Both were thankful for being invited and appreciated the rapport of discussion and the opportunity to meet course reps and discuss in such a conducive environment the necessary agenda items.
I was able to encourage two course reps to volunteer to attend and be a part of the faculty board for HSS to ensure the quota for students was sufficient and they attended their first faculty board on the 10th of March 2014.
All officers were invited to attend an officer away day with a guest speaker, this allowed us to get together and truly work to understand and appreciate one another so as to create the optimum team atmosphere. The day was a success and all were able to create smart targets and re-evaluate our priorities. It allowed me to gain a greater vision of my next steps which was supported with a follow up meeting with my fulltime officer mentor, Ollie Richardson.
I attended the course rep day training which was extremely fascinating, the guest speaker VP Higher education Rachel Wenztone was brilliant and the atmosphere was great. It was such an amazing day, that I was inspired to wirte my first blog. This was posted on the union website and was a personal reflection of my experiences from the day. It was lovely to see so many course reps and to have the opportunity to discuss the different faculties and their experiences.
Previously I discussed how I had met with the SLO for HSS Andy Dimelow and the associate dean for HSS Liz MacKay and we had agreed to ensure monthly meetings together so as to create opportunity for greater levels of communication and appropriate dissemination of information. Our most recent meeting on the 11th of March 2014 was extremely interesting and allowed me to speak about one of my aims, I posed the idea of having free condoms available at the HSS help desk for students. After some discussion Liz seemed supportive but requested time to discuss this with the dean, which we will now wait upon.
I have received a reranged date for the end of March to meet with the associate dean and heads of school within the HSS faculty to gain a greater understanding of assessment provision within the faculty this will be further discussed once I have attended the meeting.
A fellow student peer informed me when browsing the officer profiles that my photo did not have a bio like the other officers, of questions and answers personal about me. I was proactive and in a similar format I created a personal bio which I emailed to be attached to the HSS officer profile, this is now on the union website.
I was extremely fortunate to be a part of the student elections results night and present three of the officer results. The atmosphere was electric and it made up for the fact that I missed it last year, as I had only become an officer later in the year at bi elections. This prompted me to right my second blog post which is currently just being completed.
Students’ with Disabilities Officer
Since the last meeting of council, I have worked on the following… I.
Improved Access at Headingley Campus
In November, I received a complaint from a student regarding access issues at Headingley campus, in particular at the zebra crossing between James Graham Building and the student hub. Upon receipt of this complaint, I immediately sought out the chairperson of the Leeds Met Disability Action Group (Christine Simpson) in order to explore this issue, as well as other issues highlighted during a mini-audit of Headingley campus conducted by myself and a number of disabled student volunteers. As a result of the issues being highlighted by students, estates have now begun work on installing a ramp for wheelchair access at that staircase outside the student hub. This represents a major win both for disabled students who require use of the ramp and the students union as a whole for being able to influence a long overdue change that goes a little way towards making students’ lives better. II.
NUS Disabled Students Conference
From 4-6 March I attended NUS Disabled Students Conference, a full summary of goings on at conference can be found in the conference report I have submitted alongside this report. III.
Priority Campaign – Accessible Societies
I have had meetings with VP Activities Chloe Coles concerning a disability friendly classification for societies. With a new system of compliance being discussed for societies in future, we agreed that a disability friendly classification can be incorporated into this. I will be holding a session of Disabled Students Network in the near future to give disabled students the opportunity to share what they would like to see as requirements to gain this classification, once this info has been collated I will be sharing it in further meetings with Chloe and relevant members of union staff. Manifesto Progress Aim 1. Represent the needs of Disabled Students.
Progress In Progress
2. Continue to highlight and fight for fixes for accessibility issues across the university. 3. Work with VP Activities to create disability friendly classification for societies. 4. Work to improve equipment provided in Disability Resource Rooms. 5. Run a series of events for Disability History Month 2013. 6. Create a directory of
Notes As stated in the last report, this will remain in progress for the entirety of the year as it is pretty much the extent of my remit. The installation of the ramp at Headingley represents a big win for this goal. Inaccessible? Unacceptable! is continuing to find and highlight issues on both campuses. Meetings have taken place and plans are being drawn up to incorporate a disability friendly classification into a new scheme for societies to be unveiled soon. Conversations with Kate Cunningham, Angie Bell and the Disability Action Group are continuing to address this problem.
Yo Adrian! We did it!
Work on this has now resumed with an online
local disability services. 7. Campaign for increased availability of accessible library resources in multiple formats.
directory now being built. Work continues alongside Kate Cunningham, Angie Bell and the Disability Action Group.
Intersectionality As part of Disabled Students Conference, a speech was delivered by the Trans rep on NUS Womenâ€™s Committee about the importance of respecting trans students needs. I will be discussing with the LGBTQ officer what was covered in the statement and how it can apply here. I attended Isocs Discover Islam week events and spoke to various students attending about the work that I do and how they can get involved. I gave generic information regarding E&D roles to candidates for the E&D sub-committee positions upon request. As a current officer I retained absolute neutrality in my communications with candidates. Meetings I attended a short meeting with Angie Bell, the newly appointed head of Disability & Dyslexia services on Wednesday 12th March. I am impressed with her enthusiasm to include the students union and I am especially grateful for the invitation to sit on the interview panel for new advisors. I am greatly looking forward to representing the views of disabled students in regards to what they want from their disability & dyslexia advisers. In addition, she has agreed to make herself available to my successor for Disabled Students Network sessions next year. Notes I would like to congratulate all candidates in the SU elections for their campaigns. Each candidate brought a unique buzz and excitement to the union during elections period and they all wore their passion for their causes on their sleeves. I strongly encourage all non-final year council members to get involved in elections next year as the experience is invaluable, as those who stood this year will no doubt agree. I would like to say thank you to all officers, union staff and council members who supported me in my campaign for NUS Disabled Students Officer. Although my efforts were unsuccessful in the end, the experience has been unique and extremely worthwhile both for the union and for me personally. A lot of hard work and effort went into this and I would especially like to extend thanks to the three members of my campaign team, Aurelie Disasi (General Rep & Deputy Chair of Council), Paula Smith (former Womenâ€™s Officer) & Beccy Smith (former LGBTQ officer & current Dietetics student). Date & Time of disabled students network for March is to be confirmed. I will tell council this information during the verbal summary of my report.
Equality & Diversity Officer Reports International Students’ Officer
In the weeks since the last SRC meeting*…
I gauged interest from students to establish a language exchange café. Kat from the International Office and some of the international social network mentors are on board with the idea. Many students expressed their interest too. I worked on an idea for a cultural awareness campaign aimed at dismantling stereotypes about students coming from different countries. The Real People Movement. I am thinking about running it on social media/online as well as in the campus. I talked to students that would be interested in the student conference on immigration issues which I am trying to develop
In the space of the next couple of months I aim to…
Start running the language café Find people interested in joining the campaign and run it Send out a call for papers for the student conference
*Please note I have been writing my dissertation in the past months which has interfered with the amount of time I could dedicate to doing my officer duties. I will aim to invest more time now that that is over.
LGBTQ Officer SMARTER HOUSEMATE MATCHING
LGBT Pride Parade
Callum Strode After a series of incidents reported to me including one serious hate incident taking place in university accommodation, I will be working alongside the LGBT society to work with the housing office to create a smarter matching system that gives students an opportunity to rank different needs in order of importance, including the opportunity to express the desire for a safe and accepting space for LGBT students. We will have to be careful of how we word this. Universities in California already have similar schemes in place. At an initial meeting with the housing office manager I was told that they have tried unsuccessfully to do similar things in the past so I am working with the LGBT society to prove that there is a need for this service prior to a formal meeting with the housing office W/C Monday 24th March I am working with Ali, Chair of Leeds Pride to coordinate Leeds Met’s involvement with the parade. I am also working with staff to have one big Leeds Met contingent, the university is giving more of a budget than in previous years for Equality and Diversity
marketing purposes, I intend to take advantage of this to minimise the amount of money that the S.U as an organisation has to spend on the event I intend to use LGBT conference as a platform to raise key issues which have yet to be addressed such as internalised homophobia resulting in a “femphobia” specifically within the gay community and ignite a debate on the ways in which we can overcome this. I also plan to raise the possibility of smarter housemate matching systems for students nationally as research I am undertaking is showing that it is a large contributor to stress and anxiety of first year students (the concern of being placed in a non-accepting environment) as for many LGBT students it is the first opportunity they have to be themselves away from home.
Black & Minority Ethnic Students’ Officer
Faculty Officer (FBL)