What made you decide to run for Academic Officer?
The post of Academic Officer has been seen as the quiet post for too long. Far too few students know what the Academic Officer does or who they are. Additionally, as York is sliding down the university rankings and our degrees are being devalued, we need an officer who has both the experience and record of working with the University, and ideas on how to improve student academic life. I believe I am that officer.
Sum up your main policies.
– Extend the lecture capture system so that all lectures are on the VLE 24 hours after they are presented.
– Create a comprehensive feedback contract where students will have rights such as the right to see their paper setter for 15 minutes outside office hours and to see their scripts annotated online.
– Improve preparation for exams and assessed work by ensuring five years of past papers (or the equivalent in specimens) and examples of first class work are on the VLE.
Describe yourself in three words.
Determined, experienced, reliable.
What makes you different to the other candidates?
As a candidate I have a strong experience of giving real promises and have had two years [as Disabled Students’ Officer] where I have delivered real results. I have made hard-hitting changes to campus and have a good working relationship with many high-ups in the University, as well as knowing how to work within YUSU and be effective. I also have the best record of communicating with students and ensuring that people know how to contact me, get in touch, and have their voices heard. I also have the best policies to improve the student experience, get value for money, and most importantly stop York’s slide down the league tables.
What experience do you have that will be good for the role?
As Disabled Students’ Officer for the past two years I have worked with the University and know how to get results out of them. I have managed to save dyslexic students over £150 as well as open catering doors half an hour earlier, put hearing loops in major lecture theatres, and helped our nightclubs become more accessible. I have been involved in major consultations on issues such as campus signage, the planning of Constantine College, and the planning of the new teaching building.
This experience has shown me how the University works and has given me the opportunity to meet the higher-ups at Hes Hall. This experience will ensure that my campaigns and reforms will be successful as I have the best record of lobbying the University for change. I have also had experience chairing a committee of representatives and helping them achieve their potential. Therefore, as Academic Officer, I would be able to help Department and Course Reps do the best they possibly can.
What will you do differently to George Offer, the current Academic Officer?
I will aim to publicise the successes of Department Reps and the campaigns I am launching so students can get involved. For too long this role has been seen as the quiet one of YUSU, with students not knowing what the Academic Officer does. By ensuring that what we do gets publicised, I will create a university that is constantly asking for a better academic system, knows who to go to when they need a helping hand, and does not feel that the [person occupying the] position is not doing anything.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
Until third year I had never ordered takeaway for myself once at university.
What do you think of the other candidates?
I think they have some good ideas and have been working in the academic system for a long time.
What do you think the biggest challenge you’ll face during elections will be?
Not failing my degree.
What’s your campaign strategy?
I’m going to get out there and talk to as many students as I can.