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Officer Blogs

Student President

Hi, I’m Cecilia and I’m your Student President. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve policies, diversity, democratic structure of AUSA and if you want to help make a positive change at the University.

Email: ausapresident@abdn.ac.uk 

 

President Work Report - March

Sabbatical Officer Work Report                                       

                                                      Cecilia Wallback, Student President

                                                           27th January – 27th February, 2020                         

 

Highlights

  • Sustainability Action Plan and Hardship Fund announcements will be going out.
  • Sabbatical Campaigns Budget/fund application process changed.
  • Organizing a Flea Market in the Union Brew for 23rd March. Proceeds will go to RAG.
  • Frames available for students to use in the Union Brew.
  • Redoing the Union Brew Meeting Room to make it more professional, give it a more finished look.
  • NUS Referendum dates announced.

                                                  Submitted: 27/February/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manifesto progress

Study spaces are easily found and available – times are updated, and categorized according to term/time/weekends = https://www.abdn.ac.uk/students/student-life/study-spaces.php.  Next step is to contact VP Education R. Taylor to discuss how to move forward with longer opening times. Personalize Union Building – student art project, we are discussing how to improve the roll-down blinds (may not be financially feasible until next year). We now have frames for students to use, courtesy of AberGreen, however have not had any new applicants. UB Meeting room is being refurbished and I am working on redoing the Computer Suite into a chill social room.
More GM – there was one in the autumn term, as I pledged to arrange. AGM will be held on 11/02/2020.
Brexit support – I have been involved with Brexit support meeting, giving feedback on available resources, and there’s a page dedicated to Brexit information/support https://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/brexit/. Brexit will happen on 31/01/2020, University is holding an event at this date.
Open Student council – Student council is now live streamed, and this will happen for every council going forward, this will get Qatar students access, as well as other students not attending physically. SMT members are available to be asked to attend SC, giving more familiarity between students and the University, giving students a change to hold senior university staff to account. For Student Council academic year 2020/2021, rules will be changed via the democratic review so that all students will have a vote.
Increase AUSA – student communication – Sabbs do regular updates and blogs, updating on policies, and extensive work reports. Social media is used to flag up opportunities and resources available, and the new letters is used to highlight big things happening. If any student would like something specific for AUSA to blast on their different channels, please get in touch and we can do this!
Student President Committee – I have a few students who attend University meetings with me, and if I am unable to attend then they attend in my stead, and this group is steadily growing, ensuring proper representation and student involvement in many areas of my job.
Zero Tolerance again sexual harassment – I have maintained this attitude and pledge in everything I am doing and am currently looking over our byelaws to check where things might need to be changed/clarified for a fair and clear process. Please read Byelaw 16 if you have any concerns/complaints and know that any complaints should be submitted to ausapresident@abdn.ac.uk.
Zero Waste Campus – The Sustainability Action Plan that I proposed and worked with Principal George Boyne on has been approved and will be implemented into the sustainability strategy for the Aberdeen 2040 strategy, I sit on the steering group together with Communities Officer and will be giving updates on this. My Occasionwear Project has been launched, multiple students have taken part and I have sourced a rail and racks and will be able to make this a more casual things so that students can come and borrow whenever, there are some logistical aspects that need to be worked out first. I am currently planning a Flea Market in the Union Brew for the 23rd March. Please email ausapresident@abdn.ac.uk for any questions, or sign up via the typeform that will be made available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activity

Work Done

        Outcome

 

Name an activity, e.g. event, meeting, work group, conference, independent work, etc. What was the theme of the activity?

What happened? What was discussed? What sort of work did you do?

What were the outcomes? Did you learn something? Are you going to follow-up on something?

Student Partnership Agreement (SPA)

We have finalized the document with 5 areas of priority: Communication & Engagement, Sustainability, Student Living, Careers & Employability, and Accessibility, Inclusion & Wellbeing.  These different priorities are meeting.

I have attended meeting for my priorities (1 and 4) and created a Teams platform for us to share our work and update on progress. Now, we are mainly working on baseline measurements and how we will implement some actions. 

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (EDIC)

Next meeting is on the 4th of March, which means due to the UCU strikes I am not allowed to attend this meeting. However, after the AGM, I spoke with the student who brought up LGBT Month and they will be attending together with the BME Convener as neither Welfare Officer nor I am allowed to attend.

A subgroup has been formed, which I am part of together with the BME Convener and Welfare Officer. During the last meeting, neither the Welfare Officer nor the BME Convener were able to attend so I attended alone. It was not a productive meeting, unfortunately.

Equality and Human Rights Commisson report – ‘Tackling racial harassment: Universities challenged’’ (EHRC)

A subgroup of the EDI Committee, focused on racial harassment on campus.

See above. I also raised some concerns I had with the paper produced on this by the University.

SUB – Student Art Exhibition

We now have frames for students to use. Students can come in with their art work and frame it at AUSA, and then it will be put up in the Union Brew. If you are interested, you can go to this link:

https://ausa2.typeform.com/to/rR10ZS.

 

Open Sessions

Continuing with my Open Sessions on Foresterhill Campus, at Hillhead, and on Kings Campus.

 

Sessions have been posted on Facebook and AUSA’s Whats On page.  

AUSA Trustee Board

The Trustee Board attended the AGM where students had the opportunity to hold the Trustee Board to account and ask questions.

 

The 3 new Student Trustees have been ratified by Student Council and are now full members of the board.

 

Now, it is only the University Nominee Trustee position that we need to fill.

Brexit

There is now a webpage you can visit (https://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/brexit/) to find out more about the situation and what it means for you as a student at Aberdeen University. If the page doesn't have the answer to your questions, you can also email brexit@abdn.ac.uk.

No new updates. I am keeping the text in the other box so you can all have a reminder of the webpage for more Brexit information.

Democratic Review

The new Sabbatical Officer remits were approved by Student Council and in the current Sabbatical Elections, students will be elected into these remits.  

The latest update can be found here: https://www.ausa.org.uk/representation/ausademocraticreview2018/

 

NUS - Referendum

The Rules & Regulations that I submitted to Student Council were approved and will apply to the NUS Referendum.  

Dates were announced on the 26th February. The question will be announced on March 5th, debate will happen on the 13th March. Voting will be open 17-19th March, and results are announced on 20th March.

NUS

I have been working with the NUS to arrange Campaign Workshops for students for the end of February.

 

Event is free, and will be on 26th and 28th February.

This event was cancelled.

Student Partnership Agreement (plus Priority 1 and Priority 4)

There has been some meetings that I have attended as co-lead for Priority 1 (Communication & Engagement) and Priority 4 (Student Living). There was an SPA meeting in which all groups met up and reported on progress, however I was not able to attend that.

I met with our Representatives Services Manager as I had some concerns about what was discussed during the SPA meeting that I missed.

University Meetings – Capital Projects

I have attended many meetings for this.

 

 

 

University Meetings – Aberdeen 2040

The strategy was launched on the 10th February.

 

University Meetings – 525 Anniversary celebrations

See above.

 

BDS Motion meetings

I have an update regarding this at the last Student Council meeting and at the AGM.

Following legal advice, the board have voted to overturn the policy that was passed in the General meeting in March, 2019. The policy will not stand as an AUSA policy.

 

Student requested the motion be re-written, I have been in contact with Student and relevant staff will offer feedback when they have submitted a draft.  

 

Sustainability Action Plan

This will be incorporated into the Sustainability strategy. Sabbatical Officers will be on the steering group and report on progress.

You can read it here:  ausa.org.uk/blogs/president/2020/02/21/A-Sustainability-Success/

Student Council/AGM

Was livestreamed, which was fantastic, and a manifesto win for me.

 

Rocking Horse Nursery

Attended a Trustee Board meeting for the RHN. Brought some queries a student parent had regarding fees when your child is ill and you have a doctor’s note.

You will not be refunded if your child is ill with a doctor’s note. The nursery still operated and staff still needs to be paid for their time, same as if you don’t attend a lecture.

Student fees will be calculated based on percentage of the normal fee from now on, making it easier for students to know how much they will need to pay for their child.

Occasionwear @ Swapshop

I have been collecting occasion wear from Swapshop for the last year, with the invaluable help from students, and AUSA staff members have also been donating clothes.

Students can borrow these clothes and not have to buy new things. Two further events have happened.

 

So far, this is going well. One student did not return an outfit but we’ll survive.

Social Interaction Spaces Group

Attended this together with a student. They discussed social spaces on campus, there was a misconception that Union Brew closes at 5PM. Union Brew closes at 10PM.

For the next meeting, they have requested a PG student to join, and I want to bring a non-EU International student also. 

AUSA 20th Anniversary

I had a meeting with AUSA SMT (CEO, Activities Development Manager, Finance Manager, and Representative Services Manager) about AUSA’s 20th Anniversary being this year. We discussed how we could mark this occasion.

Personally I think that having a week-long Freshers’ Birthday party would be so much fun.

Qatar

I had a meeting with a student from the Qatar Campus committee and they brought up some concerns they have, such as the date of the graduations in Qatar is very late (November) and their need for societies and clubs.

I spoke with the Principal in Qatar and a another person from Qatar and for next year, they will look at planning two ceremonies as there will be enough students graduating that year for that to happen. The reason the ceremony is currently so late is so that PG students will be able to graduate the same year as they finish (their exam board meets in October, so they would otherwise need to wait over a year to graduate).

 

I have spoken with our Activities Development Manager for us to write a police regarding societies and sports clubs in Qatar. At the moment, there are some operational challenges with AUSA staff is experienced and are working on something that will work well for the Qatar students.

Digital Strategy Committee

We went over business cases and discussed Microsoft Teams for students, which I have been working on for students to have access to and be able to use for different things such as school work, extracurricular, starting September 2020.

 

Qatar Strategic Partnership Board

 

I attended my first meeting for this. We discussed new staff positions and future degrees to potentially be offered at the campus in Qatar.

 

Inclusion Week

I attended a meeting about Inclusion Week 2020. We discussed ideas for events.

I brought up the lack of activity around LGBT Month. We received agreement that they would erect the Pride Flag over Kings for the rest of the month and an all student/staff email would be sent out.

Work from Home/Ill

I worked from home for half a day on the 13th February, and I was ill 17th February until 19th February.

 

Governance and Nominations

We discussed the SFC report, the appointment procedure and panel for the University Secretary and Chief Operations Officer, Court Expenses policy

I will be on the appointments panel for University Secretary and COO, and I will be on the review working group of the SFC report.

Complaints

There were some complaints that I was part of the process for, due to my role as Student President (Byelaw 16).

 

Policy and Resources Committee teleconference

This was a consultation about the UCU strikes.

 

UCU Strikes

The UCU strikes have begun. Striking is between 8am and 11am, on dates:

20-21/February

24-26/February
2-5/March
9-13/March
 

I have received a few complaints and concerns from students, such as wishing for refunds, concerns about no more lectures before exams, concerns that Sabbatical Officers are asking their lecturers not to teach students, etc.

I have also received some emails of support for the strikes.

UCU Strikes – meetings missed (so far)

Sustainable commitments 2020. Student Recruitment Committee. King’s College Transformation Programme Board.

 

 

Flea Market

Together with Joseph from AberGreen and Ailsa, our Events co-ordinator, we are planning a Flea Market in the Students’ Union Building.

Will be on the 23d March.

Sabbatical Campaigns Budget/Fund

I have written an application form to streamline the process of requesting money from the sabbatical campaigns budget.

This should go live shortly.

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Student President

Hi, I’m Cecilia and I’m your Student President. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve policies, diversity, democratic structure of AUSA and if you want to help make a positive change at the University.

Email: ausapresident@abdn.ac.uk 

 

30 posts
Last post 13 Apr 2020
Vice President for Sports

Hi, I’m Isla and I’m your Sports Officer. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve sports clubs, sports events, activities and facilities.

Email: ausasport@abdn.ac.uk 

 

17 posts
Last post 11 Mar 2020
Vice President for Welfare

Hi, I’m Louise and I’m your Welfare Officer. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve the welfare and general wellbeing of students. 

Email: ausawelfare@abdn.ac.uk 

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Vice President for Education

Hi, I’m Ondrej and I’m your Education Officer. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve educational and teaching quality and if you need support with anything concerning your education.

Email: ausaeducation@abdn.ac.uk  

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Vice President for Communities

Hi, I’m Radeen and I’m your Communities Officer. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve sustainability, environment and ethics and accommodation within the University and the city.

Email: ausacommunities@abdn.ac.uk 

 

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