It’s Elliott here, remember that guy who used to blog every so often! What a glorious day we have upon us today, in fact, what a fantastic week of weather we’ve had. Just hoping it continues into the weekend so I myself can get out in it and get a bit of tanning and ‘audiobooking’ done. Plus it’s your VP Faculty of Arts and Science’s wedding on Sunday too so would be nice if we got good weather for that too!
Anyway, I’m aware of just how long it’s been since I last blogged, but I’m not going to bore you and go into every single thing I’ve done since you last heard from me. In fact it’s been that long that this is my first blog since winning the Presidency in the SU elections, which themselves feel like a lifetime ago. Just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for me and hopefully I won’t let you down in the upcoming academic year. In fact, much of what I’ve been doing of late, has been more under the remit of that role than my current VP role in all honesty and I’m sure you’ll recognise this when reading through some of the key things I’ve been up to below. Colin himself will say that the President-elect position is a role in itself, as everyone wants my input and views as future President as much as they do Colin’s as outgoing.
Anyway, here’s a summary of some of the key things I/we have been up to:
- I met with the Pro-Vice Chancellor Resources and the Head of IT Services back in April to discuss IT provision and working space around campus. As a result of that meeting many things are being considered and started on including:
- More plug sockets in The Hub and library (and not just round the edges)
- More PC’s in The Hub and library (not Macs)
- Bespoke course-specific software (Photoshop, Final Cut Pro etc) on some 24/7 computers i.e. The LINC. Adobe Creative suite has already been installed on 3 macs in LINC but there have been some issues with Final Cut so this is on standby
- Space for those working on laptops in The LINC.
- Phones on the first floor of The Hub linking to different helpdesks so students can phone for support rather than having to go and find someone in a different building.
- Basically re-designing the top floor of The Hub with the Head of IT and Director of Facilities Management (FM) to accommodate for both social activities and those wanting a proper working environment.
- Possibility of an Interactive Whiteboard in one of the group rooms in the library
- Various meetings and requests which have led to the laundrette being expanded. Hopefully this will see the number of machines doubled over the summer
- After much hard work, the Accommodation Team have allowed the April intake of nurses to apply for halls accommodation from September, where in the past they have had to move out to make way for the much larger September intake of students. This has made life much easier and less stressful for these students who find it difficult enough integrating into University life in their small group at such a strange time of the year.
- I’ve also been looking into the issue of that the Year 1 and 2 Key Stage 2/3 students have been having regarding the lateness of their placements (on into July). This is still being looked at, but they are able to reside in halls for the time after their current housing contracts expire and hopefully this will be paid for by the FoE (fingers crossed).
- The Semi-Naked Sport Relief Calendar launched at the back end of March and has helped us raise money for Sport Relief. After much hard work by the lead photographer & editor and I, I’m pleased to say the end result was fantastic and the feedback from those involved and those buying it has echoed that sentiment. Being the over ambitious person I am, I ordered lots of the calendars and so we do still have some left. As we covered costs a while ago literally all £6 goes to charity, so if anyone would like one or fancies being generous then come and grab yourself a copy from the SU J
- After research undertaken with students I delivered a report to the Faculty of Ed’s Senior Leadership Team on this role and how it can be approved. As a result next year Alex should be able to visit more lectures, not only at the beginning of the academic year but further down the line to keep students up to date with what she’s been doing and keep an ear to the ground on any burning issues. Also the SU and FoE will do a better job of informing staff about the role and integrating it into their thinking and support mechanisms. Movement is already underway on this with the Primary and Early Years area including the VP FoE’s contact details and description in their module handbooks for next year.
- I have also sat on a thematic enquiry panel which has been looking at student induction and how it can be improved. Research that I carried out with both current and prospective students has played a large part in recommendations the panel has made to the University regarding student induction. Such recommendations include basic timetables being made available 6-weeks before the course starts, enrolment being 100% online and evaluating that ‘First Week’ of teaching in the same way that normal modules are, to ensure that induction activities are successful and ‘of worth’ to students.
- I was the speaker at our annual Sports Awards, which seemed to be a very successful night and enjoyed by those who were present
- I was also present at our Graduation Ball, which saw over 450 beautifully-dressed students flock to Aintree racecourse. Again this seemed to be enjoyed by the majority of those that attended and the views before the sun went down were fantastic.
Please read Part 2 too…!!