This year’s Elected Officers from Hertfordshire Students’ Union share their successes from 2014/15 as they prepare to hand over to the new team!
Gurpreet Singh | President
As I look back over this academic year, I think we have had another great year, making great strides to represent you lovely people better and providing services/activities that are relevant. In the Academic Standards and Audit Committee, we passed a regulation change to ensure can request individual feedback on examinations, in preparation for referred assessments.
I also started working with the Equality Officer around the RACE Equality Charter Mark, at the start of the year and was submitted in April 2015. Work to look at issues and strengths around, included regular meetings with the self-assessment team and two surveys, students and staff, respectively.
This year I have worked closely with the Hate Crime Officer from Hertfordshire Constabulary and as a result, our Advice and Support Centre will be a point for 3rd party reporting for Hate Crime for students, whilst retaining confidentiality. This will ensure that figures of Hate Crimes reflect a truer picture, without any pressure on the student to pursue formal action.
Being your President in a year of a General Election, I knew I had to get our young people involved in such a crucial process. It has been exciting and January saw the start of the General Election campaign to ensure students registered for the national Election Day on May 7th 2015. I met with the Deputy Returning Officer from the council and the Dean of Students, Ross Renton, to get registration letters for the students living on campus. Stalls in front of the LRCs’ and the 50 Day BBQ, were both used to raise awareness and to encourage students to register.
April 29th saw the parliamentary candidates, attended a ‘Questions Time’ style event held in Hutton Hall on the College Lane, to field questions from the audience comprised of students, staff and local community sitting side by side.
As a 2nd year officer, I supported a series of election workshops this year, with Bella and Shannen, to help prospective candidates for the SU election, giving specific advice to all candidates around running an effective campaign.
I supported the running of the elections through all student emails/targeted emails encouraging student leaders to stand in the election and supporting deadline extensions for candidates, allowing them to run.
I contributed to the submission as part of the Green Impact team for NUS Green Impact Award, which won a gold award from NUS at the University of Hertfordshire.
I have attended all my University meetings: Board of Governors/Student Educational Experience Committee/Audit and Standards Committee etc. This year saw the new University of Hertfordshire strategy, to which I have made comments at Board of Governors level. I made comments around the strength of the consultation process and to reflect explicit student focus across all the strategy strands.
I led the NUS Delegates to the NUS National Conference 2015 in Liverpool, where we voted on polices and in the elections for the NUS national executive.
I’ve gone well over my word count so GOOD LUCK for next year!
Jack Amos | VP Democracy & Services
I’ve had a fantastic year as Vice-President Democracy & Services, with some great wins for students!
All year we have been spearheading a campaign to represent student views to UnoBus. Back in November we produced a report outlining our recommendations, and we are pleased to see the bus company listening to students!
Amongst other things, I have been doing a lot of work to improve course based representation throughout the university, and have met with program tutors from every school to introduce the idea of students as partners rather than customers, which has gone down extremely well!
This year I have enjoyed representing students at a national level at the NUS National Conference, and through my elected position as an officer on the National Student Fundraising Association.
I am so excited to be President of Hertfordshire Students’ Union next year! I felt so honoured to be elected back in March, and I cannot thank everyone enough for voting me in. I have some big plans for the year ahead, and am looking forward to campaigning for students on such issues as paperless coursework, assessment and feedback and access to university facilities at evenings and weekends.
Next year I will be the lead student representative during the Higher Education Review, which is an extensive review that comments on the quality of education at our university.
I am prepared to fight for full student representation and will stand up to anything that challenges the rights of students at our university, to ensure that each and every student at Hertfordshire has a great student experience and gets a fair deal during their time here!
If you are back at Herts next year I look forward to seeing you in September, and if this is your last year, I wish you every success in the future!
Bella Colafrancesco | VP Student Activities
So long, farewell! It’s been an amazing two years at the Students’ Union and an amazing role to be in. Over my time here I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to be involved in so much and I’ve been so proud to see so many students lead, grow and develop. The AU Clubs have been fantastic, this year especially, winning nine leagues, Varsity (again) and this year, being a part of what I think has been the best sports awards yet. The societies and volunteer groups have also achieved so much and have put on some truly original events. The Herts Got Talent evening by Mixed bag, Edinburgh Fringe Fest with Drama and TEDX conference is to name just a few. These students have done an extraordinary job organising events in their own time and making them a real success.
I’ve really enjoyed my job and getting some real wins for the student body. Attaining £150,000 from the University to invest into the customer service within UNO Bus, successfully bidding for £10,000 from Sport England to bring table tennis back to College Lane and being a part of the University Sport Activation Fund bid with Active Students have been particular highlights. I’ve also had the opportunity to get involved in international university sport with FISU and EUSA which has been eye-opening and an honour to represent my country.
I feel really encouraged about the new officer team and wish them all the best in their term. Already they have some amazing plans and I’m looking forward to see them come into action.
Thanks everybody for an amazing two years! Peace Out x
Shannen Rock | VP Communications & Media
It has been an amazing two years working for Hertfordshire Students’ Union as your Elected Vice President Communications and Media and I can’t believe that this is my last piece of writing for both UniVerse and BlueMoon. The two years has gone so quickly!
I have been so lucky to see a transformation of student media. The quality of both publications has improved with every issue and I have loved reading them, I hope you have too. We have moved into a brand new media suite. We have launched a new media umbrella brand. We have a new website that has had over 40,000 hits in less than a year! We have more TV content than ever before and continued content from radio including involvement in SU and UH events!
Amongst all the amazing projects, events and campaigns I have been involved in one of my main projects has been working with the consortium colleges to build relationships and increase engagement with H.E. students who study at these locations. So much positive work has been done to include this group of students more such as inductions, tours, roadshows, information sharing and focus groups and I can only see this initiative becoming embedded within the SU’s structures. The support has been incredible and those students are seeing a difference.
I would like to wish the new elected team as good a time as I have had. Thank you to everyone for a brilliant opportunity, it’s been an incredibly fun job, with wonderful experiences and amazing memories for life. I’ve had many firsts in this role, first Freshers’, first broken bone (my ankle at the Colour Run this year) and first Summer Ball!
I wish you all the best throughout your journeys at the UH and with Hertfordshire Students’ Union.
Introducing your new VP Communications & Media | Brad Johnson
I am so excited to be starting my role as Vice President Communications and Media! I cannot wait to follow on from the great work that Shannen has done this year for both student media and the communications between the university and students. It was an honour to be elected by the student population to take this role and I look forward to taking your views and working with the University to implement changes that make your student experience better. I want to be easily approachable so if you see me just shout me over and I will love to chat with you about your lives as students. See you next year!
Your Elected Officers for 2015/16
(From left to right)
Annabel Mabin – Vice President Student Activities
Brad Johnson – Vice President Communications & Media
Jack Amos – President
Grainne O’Monghain – Vice President Democracy & Services
Rana Omer Farooq – Vice President Education & Welfare
You can keep up to date with your Elected Officers at hertfordshire.su/representation/electedofficers.