SRC Sabb Blog #2 – Student President

Throughout academic year, GUSRC sabbatical officers will provide an update on the work they’ve been carrying out to make your experience at the University of Glasgow even better. Our next update comes from Student President Kate Powell

Hey friends, if you are reading this, it means you’ve reached peak procrastination, good job. While you’re having a break from your upcoming deadlines, let me tell you about some of my work this semester, so when people ask, “What does the SRC actually do?” you know that we have secured millions of pounds already this year to be invested in the student experience.

Student Numbers

We have fought hard to improve your student experience. This year, the University over-recruited and took in more students than planned, to the point that your experience was in danger of being sidelined. At meetings with Senior Management Group we made sure that they knew the impact this was having. I drafted this letter and we sent it to the Principal. To their credit, the University listened, and responded. This year the SRC has secured an additional £2m for teaching and study space. Furthermore, we have secured £200,000 for the Counselling Service to appoint more psychologists and expand its support to the student community. This will help with the service’s role out of peer support across the university- a manifesto point of Lauren, our VP Student Support and mine.

Student Experience Committee

Another accomplishment that may not sound exciting on paper but is an incredible step forward for the SRC is the creation of the Student Experience Committee. This year I have pushed for this committee to be a committee of Court, the governing body of the University.  The proposal for the committee will be considered by Court in December and if passed will be a major platform for student issues to reach the ears of university decision-makers. In the future, it will be an incredible way for the SRC and University to work in partnership to put the student experience first.

Rent Pressure Zone

Earlier in September, I met with Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council to discuss the increasing rent charges in the West End and since then I have been in touch with Councillor Ruairi Kelly, who is leading on this development, about the possibility of applying a rent pressure zone on the area. A motion to commission a report to investigate the possibility of this has been approved by councillors and they are now waiting on some further information from Scottish Government. It is important students are involved in the planning and consultation stages, so I have ensured we are in regular contact with the City Council and that the Glasgow Student Forum are engaged with developments.

Rate Your Landlord Scheme

Next semester, we will launch a rate your landlord scheme to provide students with the opportunity to review rental properties and see what the quality of prospective flats look like. This was another of my manifesto points, so I am looking forward to it. Keep an eye out for this in January!

Brexit

As part of my role to represent UofG students on a national level, I have signed a letter along with the Student Presidents of Scotland to the Prime Minister warning her that the higher education sector has been dangerously side-lined in Brexit negotiations. We want continued participation in the Erasmus scheme, protected mobility between Europe and the UK and sustained levels of research funding. We are waiting on a response.

If you’ve reached this part, it means you might have to start looking back at your work. Good luck with all of your exams and deadlines, follow our de-stress campaign for events and tips throughout the Winter period via the Look After Yourself page. Our door is always open, so feel free to come visit us or drop me an email at kate.powell@src.gla.ac.uk or follow me on Twitter @GUSRC_President to see what I get up to. I have fought, and will continue to fight, for a quality student experience at Glasgow.

Leave a reply