The SU Hub was nearly deserted at 1pm , despite the fact that all members of the Education Network, as well as any interested students, should have been there. It was unsurprising, then, that non-attendance and a lack of structure were two of the main issues discussed during the Candidate Question Time.
It quickly became evident that all candidates agreed that the Network needed to be reformed to bring in a much more reinforced hierarchy, including Michael De Vletter, the sole candidate for Education Officer, who clearly stated his wish to have a “reupholstered Education Network” based on his own experience as a faculty coordinator – experience which, it was pointed out,the previous Education Officer had lacked upon taking on the role.
“The system of electing students to positions used by societies doesn’t seem to work in education” Michael added, “We need to make sure that we recruit the best students possible for the roles and, through their training, really get them passionate about what they are doing”
Another indicator of the Network’s disconnection from student lives came from the two first year candidates’ account of their own experience as newcomers to the Education Network system. Both expressed their desire for more information about the Education Network, and one commenting that she hadn’t fully know what she was signing up for at the time she signed up for her current role as School Representative, or what the role entailed.
Hopefully, whoever is elected to the Education Network can expect to be part of a new, more organised and experienced team, ready to take a much bigger role in students’ education than before.
Becky Wilson & Ben McCabe