TASMIN BRINDLEY – ROCHESTER STUDENT EXPERIENCE OFFICER
I’m Tasmin, aged 21 and a third year student on the Creative Arts for Theatre and Film course. Founder and Chair of the Pole Fitness Society, which is probably why you don’t recognise me as I spend much of my time upside down. I ran for this position due to the lack of socialing at this university; if I work hard I want to play hard too. I’m an extrovert, so don’t be shy and come talk to me, I’m here to listen and help in any way I can. Nervous about talking to me? Don’t be, I could probably talk enough for the both of us combined.
HOW I WILL CREATE MORE OF A COMMUNITY
I have heard that an online forum is going to be created for the students to be able to propose things that they feel need to be changed. This will be fed into the Students’ Union and the University giving the students an opportunity to share their ideas with the decision makers. I think this is a brilliant idea and would love to work on this with as many students as possible because YOUR VIEWS MATTER! I also think that it is important to build a good relationship between the students and the Students’ Union. In order to make a strong connection between all four UCA campuses I feel we really need to have regular meetings between the Student Councils on each Campus. Therefore I propose that Rochester and Canterbury meet on each Campus, and Epsom and Farnham meet on their campuses. I also think that we could use the Students’ Union skype accounts more to discuss issues that affect students across all four campuses of the University. I think these meetings should occur 5 times a year and should aim to create unity amongst our students rather than individual campuses.
THE OPPORTUNITIES I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS
At present I don’t feel like the students are as involved in meetings with the Students’ Union as they could be. I think that the main reason for this is because students don’t have the time to sit through an entire meeting just to make a point, and, let’s face it, meetings are boring and uninteresting. I think we need to change the way we interact with students. Let’s start thinking about online forums and course rep feedback sessions. Course reps have a great relationship with their peers and will be aware of the changes that need to be made to help improve the student experience. Let’s start using them more in the activity we do! Not every demand will be able to met, but we could start on the right foot by knowing that these problems exist. I think that this will get more students involved with the Union as they will know about who they are and what they do.
HOW I WOULD INSPIRE STUDENTS TO HAVE A VOICE
We can’t have a strong student voice if the students don’t know that the Union exists. The Union is invisible at the moment and we need to change that! Communication is a key area that I would like to improve to help inspire student voice. One of the ways I intend to do this is to encourage all council members to meet all clubs, Societies, Reps and other groups of students to hear their ideas – especially around the social aspect of University life. While everyone wants their voice heard, not everybody wants to be known – particularly around difficult subjects. The Student’s Union needs to have things available where students are anonymously able to post feedback and ideas to the Union. We could use the online forum or alternatively look into interactive noticeboards. I also think the Union could be more savvy on social media and interact with us on our terms.