President Kent Candidate
My main focus of anything I do, is the people involved! Your voices matter!
I genuinely care about your wellbeing, your mental state, and factors that influence your education. A lot of your money, time and effort goes into your education, so I intend to make UCA Canterbury and Rochester places that you WANT to be, not just where you feel like you have to be because of your studies.
I understand that there are so many factors that affect your lives outside of being within the UCA walls, but together with a team, I will be committed to trying to put you as IN CONTROL of your learning and opportunities as much possible, and most importantly, that you are happy!
I am committed to fighting for you; for your safety, for your wellbeing, and for your voices to be heard!
IN ADDITION, I WILL FIGHT FOR:
♥ More academic and creative OPPORTUNITIES. –interesting learning.
♥ PUPPY DAYS – Studies show that interactions with therapy animals can decrease stress in humans!
♥ A CLOSER COMMUNITY – more societies, more socials, more events.
♥ More SUPPORT – To promote the facilities that we offer, such as dyslexia writing support, especially around deadlines! More tutor contact!
♥ Optional MINDFULNESS courses – Another way to improve mood and deal with stresses that you may be facing.
♥ YOUR OPINIONS TO BE HEARD – I want to hear what YOU want to happen at UCA. I want to hear what you want me to fight for.
How would you improve the visibility of the Union (day-to-day activities, as well as events / clubs and societies) to students and university staff?
♥Many people feel somewhat estranged from the student union, and feel that it potentially is irrelevant to them, which is a shame. Therefore, I would like to change this. I would like the student union to be more involved with events, and for them to be more present in situations such as the degree show, or community events such as Canterbury Pride and also BAME events. I think there should be more FUN, but diversified fun so that everyone is happy with the service they are receiving. I would like to encourage the happening of puppy days (run by the student union) around deadlines; as being around puppies, cats, bunnies and other animals are a great way to reduce stress, depression and anxiety. Students could donate a small amount of money to the animals that come in, in order to keep the charities going.
♥ I would also like the SU to be part of events such as running optional mindfulness courses in order for students to learn how to deal with the stresses they feel in their lives. I would ensure that the SU plays a big part in opening the communication barriers between students of all years, and staff, and also to adapt MyUCA so that is is easier to understand and navigate. I want people to feel like the SU is there for them, and that all students and staff are part of a creative community.
♥I also think it would be a great idea to encourage more competitions – such as each department creating something, which is then photographed and becomes a UCA Calendar (for example, each department competes to have a photograph on each page) and all proceeds from this product go towards improving something within the University, of the student’s choice. This could also work with taking a photo of an event per month, and then this will add up to a 12-month calendar. This could then promote to the following years students, what happened at their university the previous year, and promotes the the community that they are joining.
♥ As students, I also want to hear what role you think your Student Union should play in your every day lives.
Would you, and how would you make students more engaged in creating a community ? As a small university, the possibility of bringing more courses closer should be more prioritized.
♥ I would like to encourage more collaboration amongst the university courses. There are many creative and academic opportunities that exist, and I believe the collaboration between courses will enhance these opportunities. For example, for LGBT, Autism and BAME events, I would like to encourage every department to get involved; Graphics to make the posters, architecture to help make props and sets/stalls, fashion to make costumes, jewelry to make accessories etc. I would also like to create events such as ‘UCA Charities’ whereby a charity (or multiple charities) is chosen, and students from each department are to get together to create a fair. In the fair there would be many stalls which are manned by the UCA students, and on the stalls would be their own creations which they would sell. All of the proceeds would then go towards the chosen charity or charities. This would likely to be in the warmer months.
♥ It could be an idea to create collaborative exhibitions and events for the universities also, like exhibitions in London or surrounding areas, talent shows and fashion shows.
♥I would also like to create more socials and more societies, in order for everyone’s interests and talents to be celebrated with like minded people; such as games days whereby a console or two is set up in a public area of the university (mainstream games can be played, or games design courses can have a chance to show their works), or societies that involve going to London to see galleries. I would like to encourage more socials as well, in order for us, as a community, to experience the places we live in, together. Also could possibly include sports days, or any other interests that people have.
♥I am also open to hearing how everyone else thinks we could get closer as a community, and am willing to fight for the socials and events that students want to be run, and want to encourage these events to be as student involved as possible.
What are you doing for BAME students?
♥ Initially I would like to set up an open dialog between myself and BAME students to enquire about what they would like me to run for, and how they would like me to represent BAME. I would like to run a scheme to support BAME students where they can meet previous BAME alumni who work in industry and gain mentors from these ex students. In addition, I intend to set up a scheme whereby BAME students can meet successful business and community leaders throughout Kent, London and the South East, in order to inspire achievement. A BAME ‘buddy system’ may also be beneficial so that older year BAME students can support the new first year students.
♥ Every month I would also like to run a BAME event , which the students (working the student union) will choose and run, to promote the BAME community.
♥ Furthermore I would like to encourage the celebration of all holidays, like Ramadan, Chinese new year and Diwali (plus many more). Every time that there is an BAME holiday I would like to set up a stall or table, in order to promote the event and also educate fellow students about the importance; emphasising the uniqueness and importance of their cultural identity. I also would like to encourage other students to experience these holidays and events; for example by partnering with the canteen and offering food from the culture.
How are you going to help promote employability and post-university success?
There are many things that I would do to promote employability and post-university success.
♥ There are a group of students within UCA that haven’t got the right grades from their GCSE’s in order to pass onto the next stage of their employment or education, such as those who do not have their GCSE Maths grade at C or above. I would like to run a scheme whereby UCA ensures that these certain individuals will definitely have their C in Math’s or English by the time they leave, in order for them to progress to the next step, such as teaching. I would like to set up clubs and tutoring (led by other students) so that people who struggle with these subjects don’t feel set back or at a disadvantage, and also students can be in a fun environment to learn these skills. It would also benefit the students running the tutor sessions for their CVs; like a peer mentoring scheme. I will also set up a ‘resource bank’ on MyUCA for people to access free materials to aid their learning of these subjects in a fun and interesting way.
♥Secondly, I would like to introduce ‘placements in industry’ for students to gain more experience in the fields they wish to go into. Gaining links from an alumni network, and other connections with the university, students, on an optional basis, would be able to choose their placement in second year (with support from the SU or Student Support service) as part of the credit for their course. I would estimate these placements duration to be the same length as one term, and it would be a great addition to student’s C.Vs so that employers could see they already have experience in the ‘real world’. You would also have to build up a small ‘portfolio’ of experience whilst on this placement to log the skills that you have learnt, and your placement supervisor will have to sign these off. I would also like to create opportunities for people to work in industries adjacent to what they are studying in. For example, if a Graphics design student wanted to work in a gaming industry, or a musical theatre industry, I would try to make this happen so that they can widen their transferrable skill set.