officer blog

blog

sophie atherton

campaigns & democracy
s.atherton@uea.ac.uk

let's talk accountability: getting up to date

What a busy semester it has been! It’s gone by so quick; I’d thought I would let you know what I’ve been doing and the progress I have made with my manifesto. 

Manifesto points development: 

Better representation: significant Student Led Democratic Reform 

  • The initial modelling options for a reformed SU democracy have been received which this Union Council will be able to discuss and feedback on. This will be considered at Student Officer Committee (FTOs & PTOs), Management Committee (FTOs), and our Trustee Board.  

 More money in your pocket- fair accommodation for all  

  • On the 11th October, the Welfare, Community and Diversity Officer and I had a meeting to discuss 2021/22 rents as the University have planned to meet the NUS affordability factor, so 2020/21 rents have been set. This meeting included discussion around our disagreement of supporting a rise in rent increase. I suggested that this process needs to become more strategic, like the Liverpool accommodation model.  

Transparency through better communication  

  • Ordered stands for officers to have open office hours across campus. I am uploading my officer update document to blog posts so all students can access my updates. 

Campaigns: 

‘I’m registered to vote’  

There is larger emphasis on registration to vote. The follow has been achieved since the last Union Council  

  1. Distribution of posters, flyers and stickers across the university and within Union House 

  2. Multiple videos with why it’s important to register  

  3. Stalls in Union House with tablets, proxy and postal forms where students can register in collaboration with other students.  

  4. I moderated a husting event with Norwich South candidates last Thursday with a reminder to register to vote- the Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidate were unable to come but we’ll be sending over questions to them. This was done in collaboration with the political societies! There will be an update on my blog of this. ·  

Priority campaigns 

  • The priority campaigns for the year have been established by Student Officer Committee and I have summarised them to then guide our work as a committee for the rest of the academic year 

Meetings: 

  • Rent discussion meeting - 11th of October detailed above  

  • Postgraduate Committee - There will be a Sky House working group to discuss PGR concerns. 

  • Direction and Oversight Board: Venues – We went through upcoming plans, NPS and the departmental plan.  

  • International Exec – This focused on the upcoming Big Shift day on Global Success which forms part of the University’s next 5-year plan.  

  • VC termly meeting – Each semester, the full-time officers have a meeting with the VC to update and talk about key issues. I spoke about funding for BAME representation in the wellbeing team, registering to vote, hustings, and the roundtable I attended.  

  • Student Experience Committee – I presented an update on the democracy review to the committee to update them.  

  • University UCU meeting – I met with the VC and PVC with other full-time officers to go through upcoming strike action to listen to their concerns.  

  • UCU meeting – I met key UCU committee members with other full-time officers to go through upcoming strike action to listen and go through questions before supporting them through this recent action. 

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