To all PostGraduates, with love from your Studentsâ€™ Union
• Meets regularly with the university senior management team and so can ensure that postgraduates are represented at the highest levels.
• Sits on the University Learning and Teaching Committee.
• Leads the Students’ Union as an organisation, and so can ensure that our activities are sufficiently supporting post-graduates.
• Holds course rep assemblies to discuss relevant matters regarding your teaching and learning experience.
• ussu.president@surrey. ac.uk
• ussu.education@surrey. ac.uk
• Meets regularly with the Registrar and Deputy ViceChancellor.
VP Societies & ID
• Ensures issues such as access to learning, childcare, travel, parking and accommodation are kept on the university’s agenda.
• Makes sure that our societies reflect the diversity of our community, including post-graduates.
• ussu.societies@surrey. ac.uk
Please ema il any of the team if there is any thing in the remit you w ir ould like to discuss. They are e ach in office until July 2014 when the new tea m will take over. Intere sted in und ertaking on of the roles e ? The Stud ents’ Union elections ta ke place in February 2014. Ema il the releva nt person to d iscuss their role further.
VP Sports & Recreation • Ensures that postgraduates and all students have access to sporting activities and free time to take part. • firstname.lastname@example.org
Postgraduate Development Officer • Unlike our full-time officers, Chris was elected in order to focus specifically on the postgraduate experience, alongside his own studies. • Chris should be your primary contact for postgraduate concerns. • ussu.postgrad@surrey. ac.uk
Introduction We thought we’d take this opportunity to say hello in writing! Whether you are a researcher or on a taught course; just starting or continuing on, the Students’ Union is here for you and representing you as best we can in university meetings and decision-making panels, in the local community and on a national scale with the NUS (National Union of Students). As well as over 40 sports clubs and 70 societies to get involved in, full-time education and welfare support, trips, events and activities, the Students’ Union is flexible and adaptable to what you believe is important and what we should be spending our time on. The Union Executive team, made up of 5 full-time officers and 8 part-time voluntary roles, were elected by the student body in February. We meet every week to discuss how the union is run and any relevant issues that need to be discussed and put on the agenda. Any student (undergrad or postgrad) can observe these meetings and bring forward motions or items for discussion. If you have any queries, then drop Chris, an email anytime at ussu.postgrad@ surrey.ac.uk.
Course representatives for postgraduates Every year a course rep is elected from within each course or research area across the university, and they become integral to the student representation structure here at Surrey. Your course rep is a really important first point of contact for general course related issues, that you might not be able to raise with academic staff, or might have raised before but has not been resolved. The best thing about your course rep is that they are studying the same course as you, so they understand the structure and content of the course. Because they attend meetings (such as Staff Student Liaison Committees) with university staff, they can bring up any problems for the students they represent, and suggest ways for these problems to be resolved in the future. For your course rep to be successful they need you to feed back to them about your course. You can ask them to pass on positive feedback too, if you love the course and how itâ€™s run. Based on your feedback last year, we have created specific and targeted course rep assemblies for postgraduate research reps to discuss the issues that concern them. Look out for these happening just before the usual full rep assemblies. Not sure who your course rep is? Simply email Priya at ussu. email@example.com. We are currently in the process of uploading the full list of names to the Course Rep webpages of the Union website. (www.ussu.co.uk/advice/Pages/Course-Reps. aspx).
Postgraduate society The Postgraduate society is run by postgrads for postgrads with support from the Students’ Union through our VP Societies & Individual Development, Maz. Whether you are studying for a masters degree or are a doctorate level researcher, the postgraduate society has something for you. Events organised by the postgrad society include games nights, BBQ’s and Go Karting! The aims of the society are to: • Increase the society’s awareness and accessibility across campus. • Provide fun opportunities to meet other postgrads at Surrey. • Represent the voice of postgraduate students to the Students’ Union. The committee are elected each year in the postgrad society Annual General Meeting, and are all current postgraduate students.
Committee: Charles (President), Jo (Vice-President), Chris (Treasurer) 7
Left to Right, Games night, Hogs Back Brewery Tour, Halloween party, Surrey Postgrads badges!
Website: www.ussu.co.uk/ClubsSocieties/societies/post-graduatesociety/Pages/home.aspx Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: Univ. of Surrey Postgraduate Society Twitter: @SurreyPostgrads If youâ€™d like to get involved, please send the society an email and you can be added to the mailing list!
PostGradWelfare This year something that is particularly prominent amongst students’ unions nationwide is the issue of student mental health. The NUS conducted some research into this area during the 2012-13 academic year, and found that 92% of students had suffered ‘symptoms of mental distress’ and 13% of the students that were surveyed also said they had experienced suicidal thoughts at some point during their studies.
“For postgrads it is especially important that mental health issues are on the agenda, please feedback with any ideas you might have.” Not only is this a big issue nationally, but students are taking mental health seriously on our campus too. We’ve recently ratified a mental health society, and our Welfare Warriors have placed mental health as one of their top priorities for the year. For more information on any mental health issues get in touch with the Centre for Wellbeing or take a look at the links on the advice pages at www.ussu.co.uk.
Mean flow, turbulence, shear stress, viscous scales? It’s like another language! Music graduate Em (Union President), and bio-chemist Maz (VicePresident), took to sitting in on a masters level Aerospace Engineering lecture in October. They left that lecture with the utmost respect for our engineers and it gave them a little introduction into the effort masters students put into their work, and the effect of what they do has on our community. Thanks to Aerospace Engineers, we get to jet off around the world on exotic holidays. Thanks to Electrical Engineers, we have wireless communication devices. Thanks to Mechanical Engineers, we have the cars or buses that drive us from A to B every day. Thanks to Civil Engineers, we have bridges and skyscrapers. Thanks to Chemical engineers, we have efficient fuels and combustion processes. The Union Sabbatical team would love to sit alongside postgraduates – both taught and research, and learn more about what it’s like to be a postgraduate here at Surrey. You see, we as a Students’ Union are here to represent you on every area of your academic career and wider experience here at Surrey – from the annoying clicking noise in your lecture room, through to ideas you may have about events, or the cost of living. There’s been a call to action on you for too many years – that we sit and wait for you to voice your opinions to us. Well, this is a new year – we will be active in our listening; we’re coming to you! Please do get in touch if you would like to teach us a little about your research area, or come along to a seminar! ussu.president@surrey. ac.uk
Keep Wednesday Afternoons Free! An important issue that was drawn to the attention of our previous VP Sports & Recreation sabbatical officers was that of scheduled lectures going on every Wednesday afternoon after 12pm. This issue meant that students often had to choose between representing the University at sport, or attending their lectures. Some chose to skip their lectures and some didn’t, but why should students have to face that choice? After campaigning and research from the Students’ Union, a policy was passed at the end of last year which stated that lectures should not take place after 12pm on a Wednesday afternoon. This applied to all undergraduate courses in all faculties as well as postgraduate taught courses. Therefore if you are a taught postgraduate student, then the university has said your lectures must finish by 12pm on Wednesdays so you can take part in sports, societies, language courses or have the afternoon to catch up on study. In order to enforce this policy we need your feedback. If you have lectures after 12pm on a Wednesday, get in touch with any of the sabbatical team and make sure we know. If students don’t tell us about their lectures on a Wednesday afternoons, we can’t make sure the policy is properly enforced.
Postgrads finding time for university sport...
I started playing Ultimate Frisbee half-way through my first year as an Undergraduate and kept it up throughout my degree but probably spent a bit less time on it in 4th year as I was concentrating on work. I got back into it during my PhD, and throughout my time as a postgrad I’ve played more and more. I’ve found that being a research student gives me the flexibility to work around other commitments, so I’ve had the time to really commit to being a part of the club – I was cocaptain last year, and in the lead-up to big tournaments we’ve sometimes trained up to 7 days a week.
Jon Francombe, 3rd year PhD in the Institute of Sound Recording
I knew that I’d have less time available as it came to writing up my thesis, but I’m still training and competing regularly; one thing that I really enjoy about playing is that it’s a chance to completely focus on something that’s not related to work.
Research Spotlights PGRs are doing some incredible and fascinating research, and we as a Studentsâ€™ Union want to commend that - ensuring there is a dedicated space to research spotlights on our union website (www.ussu.co.uk). If you would like your research to be included, please email Chris at email@example.com.
Entrepreneurial role behaviour and judgment approaches concerning ethical dilemmas in the context of sustainable tourism Mrs Susann Power My research interests are ethics in tourism, entrepreneurship and leadership in tourism, and sustainability. My aim is to develop a conceptual framework for ethics and best practice in tourism.
The Labyrinth of Time: The Dimensions of Time and Improvisation in Music. Bret Kean Composer, Doctoral Researcher The aim of the research is to explore the psychological, chronological and ontological aspects of improvisation and time experienced by the musician and composer.
Post-modernism, Psychoanalysis, Crime/ contemporary Fiction Nathan Ashman My research centres on the way in which postmodern fiction utilises the epistemological foundations of the crime/detective novel to explore and scrutinise the instability of hegemonic concepts of history and cultural memory.
Read more about these research projects and additional research spotlights at www.ussu.co.uk 14
SurreyDecides Could you be the next PostGraduate Development Officer or full-time sabbatical? Every February we hold our campus-wide Students’ Union elections where every student has the opportunity to place their vote for our next Union Executive team (including the 5 full-time roles and 8 part-time roles). If you would like to find out more about any of these roles or the elections themselves, then please email our Union Chairperson, Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you’ve found this booklet useful! If you have any feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact any of us here at the Students’ Union. Every week we will be sending out a Union newsletter via email that is personalised to you – stay in touch.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! With love, Em, Priya, Tom, Maz, James and Chris
Facebook: www.facebook.com/surreyunion Twitter: @surrey_union Website: www.ussu.co.uk