Meet the candidates running to be your next Undergraduate Education Officer

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By Molly Pipe, SU Correspondent

The Undergraduate Education Officer is responsible for overseeing and improving the experience of undergraduates at the university.

It will be a two-horse race for Undergraduate Education Officer, with both Dave Jones and Seb Key keen to win the role, which has been held by David Ion for the past year.

Voting takes places using a ranked-choice system, meaning students can rank all the candidates in order. Voting will be open between 9am Tuesday 9 March and 9pm on Thursday 11 March. Results will be announced by Bristol SU via Instagram Live at 6pm on Friday 12 March. For more information on voting visit this link.

Here are the candidates running to be your next Undergraduate Education Officer (in alphabetical order):

Dave Jones

Bristol SU / Dave Jones

Dave Jones is finishing his fourth year in Music with Innovation. Having been a course rep over the last four years and as the current Arts Faculty Rep, Dave says he has ‘seen some fundamental issues with education here at Bristol.’ As a result, he would like to address the following ‘with your collaboration’:

COVID Safe Return

- Collaborate with the university on the safe return to campus for all degrees when safe and sensible and work with Library Services and the University hardship fund to support access to online learning through adequate study spaces and home support.

- Have the university commit to the equality of all practical subjects in decision-making.

Students’ Mental Health

- Have a student-led approach to reviewing and reorganising how academic work affected by mental health flare-ups is mitigated.

- Work alongside the Student Living Officer to review mental health support provision and make the university commit to relevant changes.

Emergency Assessment Mitigations Policy  

- Work with students and the university to develop robust policies for the future provision of emergency academic mitigations and have the university commit to a set of conditions that will trigger this policy.

Quality Education

- Get a university commitment on guaranteed synchronous teaching hours and commit to course-level quality assurance statements.

- Make the university commit to changing how international fees are reviewed.

- Develop optional careers units that integrate programme specific skills into the world of work.

Decolonise the Curriculum

- Supporting further development of the bottom-up approach to decolonising curricula alongside BAME network and other BAME communities.

- Get the university to commit to top-down decolonisation policy.

- Develop a ‘Bristol’s colonial history’ course with Bristol Futures.


Seb Key

Bristol SU / Seb Key

Seb’s manifesto focuses on putting health and wellbeing at the centre of education. He wants to address the flaws in the university’s existing wellbeing systems, which he believes will increase engagement and academic success.

Academic Welfare

- Make the Extenuating Circumstances (EC) system more transparent, and more responsive to pandemic-related issues.

- Make sure that personal tutors are trained in wellbeing concerns, and that they are approaching this element of their role appropriately.

- Lobby for assessment deadlines and formats to be published before term begins, and for deadlines to be realistically spaced.

- Push for the safeguarding of time off by ensuring there is a time gap between assessment deadlines or exams and the start of the next teaching block.

Mental Health

- Increase the availability of counselling, and reduce waiting times for it by expanding its budget.

- Implement communication structures between staff and students that better recognise and support struggling students. An immediate focus will be on addressing difficulties for students in the medical and veterinary schools.

Curriculum  

- Further decolonise the curriculum, with an emphasis on overlooked subjects like medicine. Follow the Keele University guide on decolonisation.

- Move away from the emphasis on Western ideals and the patterns of privilege that they reinforce.

- Work with the Equality, Liberation and Access Officer to increase inclusivity for marginalised and minority students.

Fees

- Lobby for the introduction of different tuition fees for different levels of academic engagement. Encourage the university to compare the quality and engagement of its programmes.

Digital library

- Ensuring online library content for all students to support their virtual learning.

Featured Image: Epigram / Siavash Minoukadeh / Patrick Sullivan


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