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Plain Text Manifesto:
Emily Dunford for PG Officer
For a Postgrad-inclusive SU
MA English 2016-17, BA English and Theatre Studies 2013-16.
PG Arts Faculty Rep 2016-17; UG Arts Faculty Rep 2015-16.
Trustee, Warwick SU 2016-17.
Secretary of the PG Exec 2016-17; Chair of the Education Exec 2015-16.
SSLC Rep 2013-17.
Warwick Student Arts Festival Coordinator 2014-15; Events Manager 2013-14.
Treasurer, Freshblood New Writing 2014-16; Producer for Music Theatre Warwick and Warwick University Drama Society.
- Box Office Assistant, Warwick Arts Centre.
In 2017-18, I want Warwick SU to make Postgrads a priority. These are the four strands of my campaign:
An SU that supports all Postgraduate students
Postgraduate Education and Workspaces
Continue the SU’s work on University and National Higher Education issues.
1. A Students’ Union that supports all Postgraduate students.
I’d love to introduce the first Warwick SU Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference (with a catchier title). Run by student volunteers) and open to all Postgrads to attend, the Conference will allow students to share their research in a large-scale cross-disciplinary event.
Run events and promote SU services for underrepresented groups such as students with dependents, part-time students, students on cross-institution courses and students from Warwick Medical School (WMS).
I'll work with the PG Hub, Research Exchange and the Library as they continue their amazing programme of academic and cultural events and services supporting Postgrads. Here at the SU, I'll work with the Societies and Sports Execs to promote PG access to extracurricular activities and campaigns, and get groups thinking more about how they might include Postgrads in their work.
I want greater PG access to Student Staff Liason Committees (SSLCs). Not always able to attend meetings owing to your course or personal life constraints? No problem! Everyone has the opportunity to be a Course Representative - I want to make sure that more PGs are aware of, and get involved with, their department’s SSLC.
Postgrads want to party too! I'll make sure ents are available outside of term time, and hold back an allocation of tickets for popular term time events such as Pop! and Skool Dayz for later release to allow more Postgrads to attend who might not have heard about the ticket release originally.
The Graduate isn’t inviting enough for PGs. I want to make this space more appealing for Postgrads with more regular opening hours, noticeboards and better signposting that this is a space available for PGs to work and relax.
2. Postgraduate Welfare
- A Better Postgrad Welcome Guide. Postgrads are thrown in the deep end when they arrive at Warwick - expected to know the locations of every building, main points of contact, groups to get involved with, and every referencing system. I’ll enhance the PG Guide from the SU and ask the University to send out more information to incoming students to give you a better welcome to Warwick.
- Highlight Postgraduate mental health and wellbeing, and focus on Postgraduate isolation and loneliness. I’ll partner with the Welfare Exec for a PG Welfare campaign and an Are You Ok? day focused on student isolation.
- I’ll coordinate the various University and SU welfare teams to regularly host welfare stands across campus. I will promote these services across departments, and ensure that PG welfare is a priority in every faculty.
- The Yearly *Accommodation Crisis*. I’ll work to make finding PG Accommodation easier with clearer information and ensure that those of you awaiting accommodation decisions from Warwick Accommodation hear earlier. I’ll push the University to house all students in the local area. Throughout the year I’ll put pressure on the University to guarantee that more low-cost PG accommodation is made available.. I also want to update the Housemates Wanted forum on the SU website to help Postgrads find a place to live.
3. Postgraduate Education and Workspaces
- More English language support. Currently demand outweighs supply - Warwick needs to make classes and support more readily available.
- Push the University for clarification, for students with Tier 4 visas, on Enrolment, Temporary Withdrawal, and Minor/Major corrections in PGR submission to make these complicated processes less stressful.
- Better workspaces across campus! I'll ensure workspaces in the PG study areas match Warwick standards for safety. Adjustable chairs and monitor heights, and footrests should be included as a minimum. I’ll lobby for the University to invest in standing desks too.
- Increase online and digital academic resources. We shouldn’t be relying on Google Books previews of texts.
- Encourage opportunities for interdisciplinarity. Departments should be promoting the interdisciplinary modules available to all PGT students.. For students who aren’t able to take outside modules for credit, opportunities to audit should be publicised. Interdisciplinary study benefits both students’ academic work and welfare - working with people from outside of your department helps to alleviate PG isolation.
- Free hot water in the PG Hub and the REx. 50p for hot water on campus is a rip off, let’s face it.
4. Continue the SU’s work on University and National Higher Education issues.
- Continue to fight for fair pay and working conditions for hourly paid staff.
- Continue to fight against the disastrous Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) (which will lead to higher tuition fees if it goes ahead) and other reforms to HE.
- Keep watch on changes to PG funding as PGT and PGR loans are introduced.
- Encourage the University to introduce measures to support students in departments with low levels of PGT and PGR funding. A lack of funding in the Arts Faculty, for example, means that students are under enormous pressure to balance life, work and study.
- Work with the University to improve Widening Participation at Postgraduate level.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to ask me a question at Candidate Question Time, or on the comments board on this page.
Find me on Facebook:
Emily Dunford for Postgrad Officer: www.facebook.com/EDforPG.
Support this campaign with the hashtag #Emily4PG.