During February, I made a lot of progress on my manifesto – especially in my life skills workshops. Even though I still have five months left in the role, I feel like the time to wrap up and ensure things are in place is important as ever.

This month led to finalising my life skills workshops, choosing the themes and the alumni who will facilitate them. I am really excited for these to go ahead, and I can’t wait for them to be implemented in the Summer term.

I attended the ‘Living Black in University’ webinar which was really eye-opening. It was led by various Black leaders and each led on an account of their experiences within a university, including changing their names to be more euro-centric, not feeling that they belonged in their accommodation or in their course, and the discrimination they faced on a daily basis. The research they supported was led by the Unite Group and is really interesting. I have a recording of the webinar and notes if anyone is interested in watching it back. Here is the report.

February also began my role as Deputy Returning Officer for the Leadership Elections. I was able to check through candidate manifestos and attend the candidate briefing to answer questions to candidates!

SUSU also held their second Senate meeting which meant I had to do an update on my Senate report. I found that even though I had achieved more than I thought, I didn’t achieve as much as I hoped in my manifesto. However, it was successful and the Senators had good feedback for me and seemed to be happy with my progress.

One of my manifesto points I thought I had resolved, lecture recordings, seemed to prop up again after lecturers were telling students they wouldn’t record their lectures if attendance was low. I raised this with Alex Neill, the Vice President of Education at the University, and he confirmed that the University policy stated that lecturers must be recording lectures or providing an alternative.

One of the things I felt I was lacking was drop-ins as mine hadn’t been successful, but felt I’d rather have them and no one turns up than not have them. I set up various sessions for course representatives, academic presidents, faculty officers, academic societies, undergraduate students, postgraduate students, and all students. These have been going well where students have felt more open to talking to me, especially when I invited them directly. I have also been able to raise more concerns and see where the problems lie for the students.

I am so excited for Elections Night Live next month, I can’t wait to see who is elected into the best job ever – mine!