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News from SU Postgraduate

My first month in office

In my manifesto I promised an SU that works for you, that was fit for postgrads, and where student priorities drive decisions. I also promised regular updates so you can stay in the know. I’ve been in post just over a month, and experienced first-hand the barriers to changing things about the SU that don’t work for you. I believe more strongly than ever that the SU needs to change, and this is the year to do it. Here's what I've been up to so far.

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In my manifesto I promised an SU that works for you, that was fit for postgrads, and where student priorities drive decisions. I also promised regular updates so you can stay in the know. 

I’ve been in post just over a month, and experienced first-hand the barriers to changing things about the SU that don’t work for you. I believe more strongly than ever that the SU needs to change, and this is the year to do it. 

Here’s a summary of my work so far: 

  • Established monthly town hall meetings for PGs, as well as monthly PG Officer drop-ins, to embed PG consultation in the SU’s work and ensure I’m focusing on the issues that matter to you most.  

  • Submitted a funding bid for a postgraduate Give It A Go scheme, offering free year-round PG events in partnership with SU societies. 

  • Removed out of date and incorrect information on the SU's PG webpages, and started to develop effective PG support, information, and campaign webpages. 

  • Contacted key PG service stakeholders such as the PG Hub, Warwick Accommodation Allocations, the Doctoral College and the Academic Directors to introduce myself, make enquiries, and meet to further my manifesto pledges. 

  • Started the process of relaunching the SU's popular clothing swap shops for 2021/22, alongside the SU’s Democracy and Development Officer. 

  • Contacted campus trade unions and Warwick Anti-Casualisation to discuss joint work on the Real Living Wage, reversing Sessional Teaching Payroll (STP) cuts and anti-casualisation at Warwick, both within the University and the SU. 

  • Resolved ambiguities and gaps PGs may have fallen through in the University’s new policy on the right to remedy failure (affecting resits and resulting grades), which aims to bring all departments into alignment with a clear and consistent approach. 

  • Met with the Doctoral College to discuss how PGR students are currently represented in University decision-making, the key issues we face, and how we can work together over this year to improve support and representation. 

  • Facilitated Welcome Week events for postgraduates and underrepresented students, and took back feedback to improve University and SU provision, including transport and parking issues. 

  • Addressed issues of missing communication between departments and incoming postgrad students. 

  • Consulted postgraduates on which key additional course costs for me to lobby the University to cover, and started work on clarifying and reducing dissertation printing and conference costs. 

  • Began work with SU Officers to plan an effective mental health campaign that addresses the root causes of poor student mental health. 

  • Pushed for a gender-neutral toilet in University House that’s accessible to students, particularly due to its distance from other buildings with a gender-neutral toilet on campus. 

  • Began joint work with the Community Values Education Programme to embed active bystander intervention in the curriculum for all students. 

  • Began work on a know-your-rights campaign to make university policy accessible to all students, so that you get what you are entitled to. 

  • Raised issues of SU commercial services’ financial viability with the Chief Executive, as part of the SU’s Real Living Wage working party, and within the Audit and Risk subcommittee of the Board of Trustees. 

Contact me about any of the above, or anything else, via nathan.parsons@warwicksu.com. 

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