As we come to the end of the Spring Term, your sabbatical officer team take a moment to reflect back on their achievements, including the work they're putting into their manifesto goals.
President, VP Education and VP Societies and Sport
My main focus this term has been to engage stakeholders in my Invest for Change campaign (lobbying the university to divest from fossil fuels and adopt gold-standard ethical investment policies). The student/staff synergy behind this campaign has been incredibly exciting and I am appreciative of all staff across the university who so enthusiastically supported this work. The staff open letter, written by the RHUL Centre for Research and Sustainability, gathered 132 signatures and the student statement was signed by around 100 students; the Education Executive; and the Societies, Sports & Opportunities Executive (committees of elected student leaders). At the beginning of March, I brought a recommendations paper containing the supporting statements from stakeholders to Investment Subcommittee. A public statement will be released later this year regarding the outcome of the meeting. I have also led our SU Security review: I will be working with colleagues to publish the analysis of our all-student survey and implement recommendations from summer 2023.
As your VP Education, I have spent this term working closely with the Careers Service to act on feedback from students saying they would like to see a more in-person service. I am also collaborating with the library team on the Library @ Scheme to identify study spaces across campus during exam periods. The quick rise in AI technology such as Chat GPT has caused some questions and concerns to arise this term. That's why, I have been in discussion with the university regarding ChatGPT, highlighting the AI tools students are using, the impact on learning outcomes as well as disruptive AI policies that are teaching their students to use Chat GPT ethically instead of banning it. Finally, as part of the work I've been undertaking to achieve my manifesto goals, I launched my 'Creativersity' show on Insanity Radio to better engage with students.
This term, I led the Students’ Union’s LGBT+ History Month campaign in February, working collaboratively with student groups to organise a diverse series of events focused on celebrating the queer community. Cinema Society hosted an LGBT+ Movie Night, tying into the 2023 theme of LGBT+ History Month #BehindTheLens. Our well-established LGBT+ late-night event, Rainbow Rave, kicked off the month and Maia and I were featured on an Insanity Radio Community Hour centred around queer anthems. We also hosted several events highlighting student talent, with Maia hosting our second Queer Creativity Showcase, which was very well-attended and featured over 35 student creatives. Lastly, I organised a craft session for students to decorate a banner which was displayed inside the Students’ Union building throughout February.
In addition to LGBT+ History Month, I spearheaded several inclusivity initiatives this term. In collaboration with Royal Holloway Sport, I organised a workshop with ‘Beyond Equality’ for student leaders focused on inclusion and leadership. As well, I led the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign where I facilitated a session on breaking down barriers in sport for women and showcased the successes of female students at Royal Holloway on social media. Hannah has also been organising our student group awards nights: Colours Ball and Society Awards and the biggest sporting event of the year: Varsity!
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