Reza Danesh-Azari

Image: YUSU

Image: YUSU

Third Year
Halifax
Biochemistry

What made you decide to run for Academic Officer?
I’ve really enjoyed representing students over the course of my degree, and working with others to get things done. But what particularly made me decide to run was that a lot of the changes we wanted to make required a university-­wide approach, and this seemed to be the case for many other departments. I feel that as Academic Officer I would be in a position to make sure these changes happen.

Sum up your main policies.
My overarching policy is to improve the way we learn and how we’re taught. I feel that there are three ways to do this:
– Give [students] the resources and support to approach [their] studies in a variety of ways.
– Change how we’re assessed to reflect what we want to get out of our degrees. There are so many really important skills exams don’t use. Complimenting this is to have useful feedback so we always know how to improve.
– Assist those who represent us so they can do even more to change our modules and courses.

Describe yourself in three words.
Persevering, dedicated, professional.

What makes you different to the other candidates?
I’d say a combination of my experience and manifesto. I’m pushing for improvements in how the University supports our learning and I have the necessary experience representing students’ academic interests to get it done.

What experience do you have that will be good for the role?
I’ve been a Course Rep for three years, a Department Rep for two years and Chair of the Biology Student-Staff Liaison Group for two years. I’ve also worked on the development of Natural Sciences on their External Advisory Committee and sat on my department’s Ethics Committee. Finally, I’ve been Treasurer of International Development Society and I’m currently Secretary of the Kendo Club. They’ve all taught me how the University’s system operates, and how to use that framework to make changes or improve it when it doesn’t work.

What will you do differently to George Offer, the current Academic Officer?
My main focus would be how to learn and the way we’re taught. However, I would absolutely continue the great work that George has done – there’s nothing worse than when a lot of good work is abandoned.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
A bee flew into my shirt and stung me once. ­An hour later it flew back out, looking dazed. Though that’s probably more an interesting fact about the bee…

What do you think of the other candidates?
We all had a little chat before having our photos taken. ­ Everyone’s really lovely and nice! I’ve also worked with Sean and Hannah before as we’re Department Reps. It’s great that we’re all able to chat to each other without letting the whole ‘competition’ thing get in the way.

What do you think the biggest challenge you’ll face during elections will be?
Reminding myself that campaigning is fun and something I can learn a lot from, not just stressful.

What’s your campaign strategy?
Puns. Mostly puns. I love puns.

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