Officer impacts from elections past

As we move ever-closer to the SU Elections voting period, we take a look back at some of the key decisions and impacts made by previous sabbatical officers, and why it’s so important that you have your say when voting opens on 22 March.

In less than two weeks, you’ll be voting to elect your sabbatical officers for the 2021/22 academic year. This week, we’ve been explaining the importance of democracy to the Students' Union through a series of blog posts. Up next, you’re going to see a selection of some of the decisions and impacts that have been made in the past and why it’s important that you have your say when voting opens (9am, Monday 22 March).

Reviewing our democracy

2018/19 President Clem Jones campaigned to change up our outdated democratic practices, which weren’t very accessible or easy to engage with. Once he was elected, he worked with the staff team and an external consultant to completely review our democratic practices. This changed pretty much everything from the Officer structure to how you can have your say on all aspects of the Union.

Student-focused research

Following our Democracy Review, we undertook three pieces of research in the 2019/20 academic year. Then-VP Education, Kate Roberts, and VP Welfare & Diversity, Lucy Simpson, launched a Policy Inquiry to examine the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students on campus. Then-President, Jack O’Neill, also launched two Policy Inquiries - one exploring improvements to the Careers Service, and another looking at the experiences of postgraduate research (PGR) students. An in-depth Student Voice Report was created for each of these Policy Inquires, with a range of recommendations presented to the College that will have a substantial and long-lasting positive impact on the student experience at Royal Holloway.

Read the reports and recommendations

Sexual health testing on campus

Right at the end of the 2018/19 academic year, then-VP Welfare & Diversity, Willow Wong, secured sexual health testing on campus after a few years of students having to travel to Slough to make sure they were protected. Making it easy for students to get tested, and increasing the availability of tests on campus by having free STI tests in our Advice Centre, has had a massive positive impact on student health.

Increasing use of lecture capture

Last year, then-VP Education, Kate Roberts, undertook a piece of policy work with the University to increase the number of staff members recording their lectures and making them available on Moodle. Last year, we saw a 55% increase in lectures being recorded, helping students across the University have better access to their learning.

Revamp of student group membership

Last year, VP Societies & Media, Sophia Bolton, and VP Sport, Dom Brown, both worked to remove the, now defunct, Student Opportunities Membership fee which meant that students had to pay at least £12 before being able to purchase student group memberships. Removing this fee has made student groups more accessible.

Officers make really big changes to how the Union and the University are run, so it’s really important for you to make sure you have your say. Next week, you’ll be hearing directly from the candidates at Candidate Question Time ahead of the voting period (22-24 March).

Meet your SU Elections candidates