Successes from your VP Education and Democracy this year

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During her year as VP Education and Democracy, Jo Lisney has achieved lots of positive changes for students. Here we take a look at what she’s worked on this year and her most successful projects!

  • Lecture recordings implemented across all departments. For the last 10 years, SUSU’s VPs for Education have been lobbying the University to invest in ensuring lectures are recorded for students. As time has gone on, more lecturers have taken this practice up, but it was not consistent. This year, Jo was able to research and put together a proposal for the University to consider, and to help with the transition to online teaching due to the current pandemic.
  • Lobbied for Humanities students to have access to advice on a range of career interests. Working with the Office for Development and Alumni Relations, Jo hosted a webinar series for students to hear from Alumni on how to get into different careers fields and offer advice. Going forward, this will be continuing for 2020-21.
  • Ran successful socials for Postgraduates at Highfield campus throughout the year and a Christmas social, and a successful breakfast morning for our Postgraduates at Winchester School of Art.
  • Launched our first virtual Academic Awards ceremony. As of 27 April (3 days after the ceremony airing), our video has reached over 14,000 people. We had the highest volume of nominations this year and although virtual, many were keen to help celebrate our Reps successes.
  • Secured £10,000 for Humanities students to buy more textbooks for their course in the Library. This was following mass feedback from Humanities students on availability of their textbooks. Jo has been able to secure another £10,000 for the academic year 2020-21 for Humanities students to purchase more core textbooks for the libraries.
  • Reintroduction of meetings after suspension for PGR students. Alongside one of our Postgraduate Research reps, Jo lobbied the Faculty of Environment and Physical Sciences to introduce a mandatory meeting for PGR students coming back from suspension to ensure that students have their wellbeing supported and ensure there is support throughout their time at university.
  • Campaign for extension of pay for Postgraduate Research students over April, despite campus closing early.
  • Worked with SUSU’s education societies to talk about skills and employability. Working with our Communities Coordinator, External Engagement Coordinator, and some of our education societies to offer student workshops on LinkedIn profiles. These covered identifying skills, learning how to talk about them confidently and how to use LinkedIn to look for jobs in fields they’re interested in. Through these conversations, Jo was able to lobby the University on diversifying those who they invite into careers fairs and how they present this information in brochures.
  • Lobbied the University to ensure funding for extension of Postgraduate Research candidature. Working with the University, Jo was able to ensure candidature for PGRs are extended and also funded for those who were in their write-up prior to COVID-19 shutdown.
  • Year round celebrations of SUSU Academic Reps. By working with VP Educations from other students’ unions, Jo was able to introduce ‘Academic Rep of the month’. This is to ensure that our Academic Reps are recognised for everything they do. This is only the initial groundwork but building on the success of the Academic Awards 2019, Jo wanted to bring a little more celebration and appreciation to all our academic volunteers.

Other achievements include:

  • Helped get a PGR their VISA reinstated during COVID-19.
  • Lobbied the University on the no-detriment policy and the updates which followed.
  • Reduced wastage post autumn and spring elections.
  • Reduced spring election complaints by over 80%.
  • Lobbied for better PAT support for students who are unsure of where to get help from.
  • Monthly communication to students on VP Education and Democracy updates.

Thank you Jo for all your hard work this year! Jo will be our VP Education and Democracy until 30 June 2020, and will be returning for the next academic year as our Arts and Humanities Faculty Officer.

Find out who your Academic Reps are here: susu.org/representation/academic-representation

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