Following an extensive process of manifesto compiling, consultation, argument and co-creation, the SU Officer Team is pleased to announce that we have finalised our Top 10 Priorities for 2019/20.
These are our main goals we want to achieve as a team in the year ahead, and are as follows:
1. Holding the University to account as it reforms its Disciplinary processes.
The Students’ Union was consulted in the drafting of both the review of disciplinary processes and the development of the University’s values and guiding principles. Now it is time to ensure those recommendations are implemented, real change is introduced and that the student voice continues to be heard, so that every student can have confidence in the systems that are meant to keep them safe. We expect the University to conform to its timelines for implementation, and to start working on the processes put in place for all breaches of these policies, including sexual misconduct.
2. Campaigning for improvements to Wellbeing Services and other services intended to care for the mental and physical health of all students.
The University has a duty to support the mental and physical wellbeing of all students, and we aim to highlight the importance of this. We will campaign for culturally competent care that meets the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of the Warwick community. The University must recognise the need to ensure that the plethora of support services available are equipped to deliver effective support that reflects the needs of all our students, regardless of their identity. Finally, as the University pursues ambitious targets for growth in student numbers, investment in mental and physical health provision must increase to match it.
3. Ensuring the University continues to work to close the Black Attainment Gap, and makes our campus one where every student can feel safe and supported no matter their background.
We will hold the University to account in working towards its target to close the absolute gap in degree outcomes between white and black students by the Academic Year 2024/25, as outlined in the University’s Access & Participation Plan.
4. Fighting for an education system that is free, liberated, and accessible to all.
We oppose the ongoing marketisation of Higher Education, the commercialisation of University services and the casualisation of our University staff. We want to focus on cutting the cost of University to fight for an affordable experience where education is prioritised over profit. We also acknowledge that many postgraduate students blur the line between staff and students, and we will continue to fight alongside them for their rights as both students and workers.
5. Transforming the Students’ Union into an organisation that students find relatable and useful by better communicating with students of all types.
The Students' Union must recognise that our purpose is not always clear to students, and for us to be truly effective we must work to show our value and make clear what we believe in. We will aim to make our work more transparent and our democracy more accessible. We also acknowledge that there is not one set way of being a student. We aim to change the way in which the SU engages with all students, making sure that we remain relevant to students from alternative pathways.
6. Ensuring the University and SU undertake real action to address the Climate Emergency.
We strongly believe that drastic action needs to be taken by both the University and our Students' Union to tackle the Climate Emergency currently facing our planet. As this is an immense and deeply complex issue, we understand that big steps must be taken, and thus plan to address this issue not only through concrete changes to the way our campus operates, but also with a focus on the more deeply-rooted problems with our community's culture and behaviour regarding environmental sustainability. We expect that by the end of this academic year the University will have completed its Carbon Strategy with full student engagement, which will set out an ambitious approach to playing its part in averting climate disaster.
7. Harnessing the power of Sports Clubs and other student communities to bring about the change they want to see at the University and beyond.
'Reshaping Sport' aims to make sport at Warwick as inclusive, diverse and accessible as possible for people of all identities and abilities. This campaign represents a collaboration with the University, SU liberation groups, Warwick Sport and the local sporting communities in Coventry and Leamington to change the perceptions of sport. Through the cohesion of this proactive community, we believe that we can harness the unity shown by #TeamWarwick clubs to make positive change in diversifying the sporting culture at universities, and then extending that out to wider social change.
8. Lobbying for an affordable, welcoming and comfortable campus that nurtures a stronger sense of community.
Students will often spend their entire day on campus, and so deserve an experience that does not make them feel unwelcome or pressured into spending money. Campus should, through its design and services, be a place that students want to spend their time, rather than simply exist in between commitments. As more students get the chance to study at Warwick every year, the services that make that possible – from study spaces to microwaves, transport to laundry – must see increasing investment, not just to maintain the current standards but to go beyond them. As the University implements its masterplan for campus, we expect that student needs will be at the heart of it, with particular attention being paid to creating a campus that supports a genuine sense of community.
9. Empowering students to shape their futures by giving them the skills and knowledge they need to succeed outside of their degree.
Students get involved with the SU in a huge range of ways – whether as a Student Officer, a Society or Club Exec member, as student staff or through one of our many other opportunities. Through this involvement, students will gain a huge amount of skills and competencies, and so it is crucial that we ensure they know how to utilise these skills to their advantage in order to maximise employability and achieve their full potential. We also recognise that not all students want to follow the same path after university, so we aim to promote alternative careers opportunities to encourage students to find the best career for them.
10. Improving the experience of students as they become members of our surrounding communities in Coventry and Leamington.
With the unique prevalence of Warwick students within our campus' various surrounding communities, we acknowledge that life outside of the ‘Warwick Bubble’ can be just as important to our students' overall university experience as time spent on campus. As such, we intend to not only continue to address ongoing issues within these neighbouring areas, such as the rise of Hate Crime against our students in Canley, but further tackle prominent off-campus concerns - pertaining but not limited to housing, transport and general safety.
Please do feel free to ask the Officers about any of these priorities in person, and let us know if you’re interested in getting involved in helping us achieve them by popping into our offices at any time!
- The Student Officer Team