Democracy

Education Officer:
Erin Davies

Erin Davies is the SU's Education Officer.

Hi, I’m Erin your Education Officer for this year. I’ve been here four years studying Law and Sociology, and have spent three years involved in the Union: two as Social Sciences Faculty Rep and last year as the Chair of Council. I’ve also worked in the outlets and been involved in tonnes of socs and sports – I’m a MASSIVE fan of our SU!

This year, I’m looking forward to talking to you about all things academic. I’m really focusing on the quality of your feedback and contact hours so will be looking for some comments on the Hungry for Feedback campaign. My team of Faculty Reps and I will be working very hard to improve the SSLC system. Look out for Education Convention, which will include your chance to quiz the University higher-ups.

If you have any issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. My office is in SUHQ, pop in for a chat, or drop me an email.

Officer Objectives

Click here to see the progress of Erin's aims and objectives for this year.

Blog

  • Fri 27 Jun 2014 11:59

    This week I have watched so many students celebrate their marks. To those who have finished their degrees – conGRADulations! I hope you have enjoyed your time at Warwick, and continue to be part of the Warwick family via the Alumni network. To those in their intermediate years, I hope you have a fantastic summer, and good luck on the rest of your degree!

    And to the PGTs writing up their dissertations – keep at it! The Sabbatical team will still be around over the summer if you need any support/help/a cuppa and a rant.

    Last night I went to Socs awards and was, once again, blown away by all the work that students at Warwick do, in the words of Ant Scott, you’re all awesome. I’ve been very honoured to be your Education Officer this year and will continue to work hard on plans for the Teaching Building until Maahwish takes over in August.

    Good luck with what lies ahead.

     

    Erin

  • Thu 15 May 2014 11:25

    Some of you may have seen the shorter version of this on Facebook, so sorry for parroting on - but I feel there’s a salient point in here somewhere!


    This week was the last All Student Meeting of the year. Despite there only being one policy to debate officially, it went on for well over an hour. Much of this time was taken up by questions to officers and most of these involved the same point being laboured over and over again. One of the questions asked was: “In training, you are told that you wear three ‘hats’: membership, charity and business. Which do you think is the most important?”

    Firstly, it’s worth stating that these are not in fact the hats we got told we wear, which were trustee, representative and employee. Secondly, Ben gave a really great response to this which every member of the team will agree with - they're all important. You can’t just pick one because they’re connected, and it all depends on the context. Diminishing our role to this categorisation is not just difficult – it’s unfair. It did get me thinking though. What hats do I wear in this role? And I realised that a Sabbatical Officer is the proverbial hat-stand. On any given day, I wear one of the following:

    Trustee, charity, business, membership, employer, employee, representative, politician, devil’s advocate, advisor, sympathetic ear, friendly face, nagging mother, creative thinker, traditional support, team member, team leader, administrative executive, heavy lifter, middleman, Union photographer, public speaker, private thinker, student advocate, angry by-stander, frustrated board member, agent of change, defender of the faith or reformer of the system, arbitrator, facilitator, judge, jury and executioner.

    Really, I realised that the most important hat is complete and utter flexibility - something the team has done extremely well, despite (to steal Lucy's phrase) the power plays and personal politics that we have had to deal with all year. And despite this, the weird suspicion persists that we're out to hide something – which is the oddest thing I have ever experienced. Rather than come and have a chat about something, we’re often accused of covering it up because we don’t want students to know. This is not how the Sabbatical team works.

    I am extremely bemused as to where this has come from.  This is my fifth - I repeat, my fifth - year being involved in Union Democracy, and my fourth on Council. This is not the way I remember treating the Sabbatical team. We asked questions, and we asked them openly. They were rarely anonymous, and they were certainly not framed to put Sabbs on the defensive – rather than “why haven’t you done [X]?” in an accusatory manner, it would be “Can you update us…”, “What’s the progress on…?”, “Has there been any movement on…?”. Anybody with any level of emotional intelligence can see why the latter approach is better. If I don’t feel under attack, I’m going to give you a much more expansive answer.

    This attitude has got to change: I hate how often I have sat in a meeting, wondering if what I’m about to say is going to result in me being attacked - either in the meeting, or as a response on an officer or councillor’s Facebook post or blog.  We should never have a situation where a Sabbatical Officer is afraid to tell their students why something hasn’t worked out the way they wanted.

    How did we get to this? This is not the Student Council I first joined. This is not the Student Council I helped create in the Democracy Review. This is not the Student Council I wanted to chair. And this is not a Student Council that is helping the wider student body understand what we do.

    Now this is not an attack on everyone. In fact, I think it's mostly a very loud minority, but unfortunately this has tainted those who do ask us sensible questions and those who do have a genuinely good relationship with their Sabbatical team. 

    This is me trying to open the lines of communication with students. I honestly welcome questions about what I'm up to - please feel free to ask. But please, do it constructively. Send me an email. Or pop in for a chat. Like I've said all year, I make a cracking cuppa - tea lady is one of my hats. 

  • Fri 25 Apr 2014 15:28

    So. Pink Slips. When I ran for this position, I said I wanted to ban pink slips at lunch time. This was actually one of the things I was challenged most about during elections week – while some people loved it, others thought it would be a terrible idea.

    After having discussions with the library, I discovered two things:

    1) that they’re not actually pink anymore, but who cares, I’m still calling them pinks slips, and

    2) the slips system is mostly used in the lunch time period, in fact, I was told that on most days they don’t give out any after about 5pm, and that they only use the slips for a couple of weeks. They are really keen to highlight this next point so I’m copying it directly: “we do not use these systems just to frustrate students during the most stressful time- we do it when the need is really there

    We have come to a nice compromise though that I think will really benefit students. The slips will give you a full hour. Now, this is an hour I expect  you to make the most of – your brain will thank you. I’m not saying you must take the full hour for lunch, but go outside for 20 minutes, have a leisurely lunch break, and give your brain time to rest, then by the time you get back to it you’ll be raring to go. I can practically see you rolling your eyes at this, you’ve heard it all before I know, but so many students don’t listen to this. So here I am, nagging you again, god I’m worse than your mother.

    Back to the library; if you have a slip on your desk, don’t worry, chuck it out when you get back. I know it’s infuriating getting one when you’ve just nipped off to fill your water bottle (I managed to get 10 in the space of a day once, seriously, I get it) but the stewards are just being consistent.

    Every year there is paranoia that your stuff will be removed from your desk. This is not the case. The staff will never take your stuff away, the slips are there to tell students that if you’re not back by 3.42pm, they can move your stuff to the side and use that study space.

    If you are using a space that has been left for more than an hour, do not move the stuff far. Pile it to one side, or under the desk, but don’t move it much further than where you found it. Also, there are complaints each year that students who are desperately looking for space will move things before the 1hour period – don’t do this, not cool, how would you like it if that was you? If you’re struggling, the advisors or stewards may have spotted somewhere that is empty when doing their rounds – ask them.

    This is what the slips will look like. The library are aware that there were complaints about the amount of ink that was used producing these slips, they’ve toned it down as much as possible but still kept it in a style that makes them recognisable.

     

     

    Yes, I’ve just realised I’ve written an entire page on what is essentially a scrap of paper.

    TL;DR – you have a longer break with the pink slips, use it wisely.

  • Thu 20 Mar 2014 15:46

    UPDATE: it looks like it may be fixed! http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/news


    Technology is a wonderful thing; especially when it breaks.

    As I’m sure many of you have already noticed the library website is down. All the information is up here:

    http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/eresources-fix/

     

    But the long and the short of it is, they’re waiving fines on books overdue on the 18th that you couldn’t renew through the normal process (although, they're still following the rule that you can't renew books that are on hold)

    If you need to access online articles, they’re having a decent success in finding other ways to access those resources, so email them at library@warwick.ac.uk with the details (name, publisher, year, all the stuff that usually goes in your referencing) and they’ll see what they can do.

     

     

    I reckon this is the shortest officer blog in the history of time. Here, have a definitive list of the most amusing 404 pages 

     

  • Mon 17 Mar 2014 14:01

    So, who’s panicking about essays and exams? It’s going to start getting pretty busy on floor 5. Don't forget, the library will be open 24 hours a day next term (this is not an excuse to sleep there, I will personally come and tell you to go home if you do!)

    *** EDIT: Just discovered that there is additional space within the library that really under used this time of year! They will be opening the Training Room on floor two for general use unless there is a session already booked ***

    If you’re struggling to find work space on campus, don’t worry! There are plenty of rooms available for you to use! For a start, you can book any centrally timetabled room for group study work etc (I did this A LOT last year, I would highly recommend it). You can do that here. Ant Scott has a handy dandy guide on his resources page.

    There are also tonnes of rooms available on the Westwood campus, and they’ve been redecorated recently so are lovely and shiny. The University has set aside rooms WA101 and WA110 specifically for silent study for Term 3. I’ve also been informed that the Avon Drama Suite in Westwood would make for great group revision.

    The Uni has actually set aside a decent number of rooms on central campus as silent study rooms too, a full list can be found here. Ask your department if they’re intending to book out any rooms as revision spaces as many of them do.

    As I’m sure many of you will have seen, the Rootes Restaurant, as well as being rehearsal space, is also going to become the Dining Grid for some extra revision space. This will, of course, include the microwave facilities Ben fought so long and hard for! This will only be available for a couple of weeks though, so be warned.

    IATL has been very lovely and offered some of their teaching spaces – a booking system for that will be organised soon. Keep your eyes peeled. There aren’t many desks though – this would be suited for someone who’s not doing a great deal of writing/groups wanting to be able to talk through theories.  

    I'll try and update this blog when I hear of more study spaces!

    Basically the crux of this whole blog is that there are loads of places to work on campus. So don’t panic about getting up at the break of dawn to make sure you get a spot in the library. Unless you’re genuinely a morning person, in which case, I have no idea how you do it.


     

     

Contact Me

Erin's office is on the 2nd floor of SUHQ.

My Election

The election for Education Officer takes place during the Officer Elections in Term 2.

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