This year, Declan Greaves and Cassie O’Boyle are the candidates running for Education Officer in the Students’ Union elections. The Education Officer hustings offered a chance for voters to have their questions answered and to hear the candidates’ manifesto points. The returning officer for the hustings was Beth Massey, who chaired this session.
The candidates started by giving a one minute presentation about themselves. Declan outlined his main points, which were to make sure that every student is listened to and spoken to, as well as making the Education Network more accessible.
Cassie explained all her previous experience, including working with Beth Massey on the lecture capture campaign which she wants to continue to work on if elected.
“Declan believes that focus groups are not working”
The first question concerned the BME attainment gap and the work needed to reduce it. Declan stated that focus groups are not working and that working with personal tutors and academics may help.
Cassie said that she would like to work with the BME Officer(s) and start communication early to identify the right strategy.
The next question asked for the candidates’ opinions on lecture capture. Both candidates supported lecture capture but had different approaches to solving the problem.
Declan said that he wanted to talk to different departments and cater for their individual needs, whilst Cassie provided a list of reasons why students may benefit from the service and argued that it would not affect attendance.
The next subject addressed was the careers support between Arts departments and Science departments, as some felt that Arts students do not receive as much employability support as Science students.
Declan explained the system that Science has established, such as regular drop-in sessions, and suggested that speaking to Arts students would be vital to find out whether they would want a similar offer.
Cassie explained that she was part of CLAS (School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies) and knew the nature of the problem. She stressed the importance of liaising with the careers service to rectify the situation.
“Cassie highlighted the importance of using course representatives”
Questions were then invited from the floor. The first question asked for the candidates’ opinions regarding an increase in international fees.
Declan explained that the Officer team could all work together and bring this to the attention of the National Union of Students.
Cassie agreed that this is a national issue and that officers from multiple universities needed to collaborate.
The final question asked how the candidates would improve the Education Network at postgraduate level.
Declan stressed the importance of talking with students and the Postgraduate Officer to find out what would encourage postgraduate students to get more involved.
Cassie highlighted the importance of using course representatives and the sounding board to find ways of connecting the two more, as well as bridging the gaps in the Postgrad Education Network.
Images: Rhys Thomas for Impact Images