POSTED ON MON 19 JULY 2021 BY SOL GJØINES
First Month as President Kent
POSTED ON MON 19 JULY 2021 BY SOL GJØINES

First Month as President Kent

First Month as President Kent

(Keep in mind, this blog post was supposed to be posted the 19th of July, but we were experiencing some technical issues with the website at the time. Sorry about this!)

Wow, it’s really been a hot minute since the last time I wrote a blog post. Probably not since my tumblr days (those were dark times, let’s not go there lmao). 

Anyway, hello all ! I want to start off by saying a big thank you to everyone who voted. I am so excited to be working with Gaeb, and I know we are both really grateful for this opportunity. We’re both really passionate people, and I think we feed off of each other's passion for change. It’s quite honestly an honour to be able to work toward enacting some of the changes I wish I saw as a student, and there is no one else I’d rather be doing it with. I can assure you that we will be vocal, proactive and transparent in all that we do.

In the spirit of transparency, we will be using this blog as a sort of informal catchup - to tell you all what we’ve been up to as presidents. Eventually, you’ll also be able to track the progress of Gaeb and myself’s campaigns with our Infogram tool (stay tuned).

We’ve spent the past month as presidents doing a lot of training, dealing with handovers and just settling into our new roles in general. I would lie to you if I said it hasn’t been a stressful change. Going from a student working part time, living in a student house, to working full time and living as a ‘professional’, has been chaotic and scary to say the least. Change is always difficult, even when (sometimes especially when) it’s a good change. As someone who is neurodivergent, processing information and learning new things can be a bit of a challenge, however, the whole SU team has been very helpful and understanding (much love to them<3), which definitely made the change that much smoother.

We have gotten to flesh out our previous manifesto points, into actual campaigns that we will be actively working on throughout the year. We have some really exciting campaigns already in the works, and we will make sure that we involve you and keep you in the loop as much as possible.

The Rochester and FE closures is something Gaeb and myself were thrown head first into even before officially starting our roles. After settling in, we have finally been able to update the closure pages on the website. (Which you can find here, if you’re interested). Alongside this, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Catherine Harper, and the head of the School of Further Education, Sarah Clarke, have agreed to meet with us on a monthly basis, so that we can continue to keep you in the loop around the closures.

We have also met with several other Departments at UCA, including International Student Experience and Technical Services, as well as several of the people in the leadership team. The quality of education, but more importantly, student mental and general well-being has been so compromised as a result of the pandemic. We want to ensure that we keep up the good working relationship the SU has with the University, while also ensuring that we are actively communicating any short-comings and student concerns, and generally fighting for your voice - and we really appreciate the willingness for cooperation from the different departments at UCA. 

Having just graduated ourselves - and having to navigate student life in the middle of a global pandemic - we come from a place of understanding and sympathy. We have dealt with a lot of the short-comings first hand, and we will use this experience to our advantage while working on bettering the student experience as a whole.

Overall, it’s been an intense, but fun and insightful month. I am genuinely so excited for the next academic year ahead, and I can’t wait to meet you all in September (hopefully, fingers crossed, in person)!

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