Weekly Update – February 8th 2021
An update from the GUSRC Executive on what we are doing to represent and support students.
Hello University of Glasgow students,
This is your weekly update from the SRC as told by our 4 sabbatical officers, Liam (President), Amy (VP of Student Activities), Ella (VP of Student Support) and Grigoris (VP of Education).
In these updates we report to you on the work that your student representatives and the SRC staff team have been doing over the past week to support you, represent you, and engage with you. We also let you know about upcoming projects and activities.
As always, there is quite a bit to cover in this update with regards to student support, engagement and representation. Our top priority continues to be working with the University to push for greater academic and pastoral support for students.
As well as working to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on students as best we can, we continue to offer our regular activities and opportunities including: our Spring Council Elections, Raising and Giving Week, LGBTQ+ History Month, Volunteering at COP26, Rector Elections and more.
At the base of the update are a list of contacts you can use to get in touch with us. Thank you for your time and we hope you have a good week. Remember that the SRC are here to support and represent you.
Take care and stay safe,
Liam, Amy, Ella and Grigoris
Spring Council Elections
Nominations for our 2021 Spring Council Elections opened at 9am today!
This is your time to get involved and lead the change during this challenging period for students. There are 41 positions up for grabs, including the 4 paid full-time sabbatical positions as well as our Academic Reps and Welfare & Equal Opportunities Reps. All of these roles start in July 2021. Nominations will be open until 19th February at 12pm, and don’t forget your sponsors have to confirm your nomination by 4pm for your candidacy to be considered.
All of the information you will need to get involved, including all of the important dates and regulations plus a list of the positions available, can be found on our website under the Spring 2021 Elections section: https://glasgowstudent.net/elections. We will be releasing lots of election content and information on social media in the coming weeks (including a live Q&A session tomorrow) so keep an eye out for that.
We met with University staff who are working on the Assessment Support Measures to help finalise the messaging and advise on how it will most effectively be communicated to students. Please expect an update from the University about this very soon. It is worth noting that this communication will not mention exam support, and we will continue to push for greater exam support measures as they are worked on.
Exam Support for Disabled Students
We met with the University Disability Champion and the Clerk of Senate and amongst other issues raised the issue of double time for timed exams for disabled students. This was following the decision of Education, Policy & Strategy Committee and student concerns raised by Academic Reps on Council. We are aware this appears to be a particular issue in specific areas and are working with staff to find the best way for the university to engage with students about their concerns.
Raising and Giving (RAG) Week
Today is the start of UofG Raising and Giving Week! This is a week dedicated to raising and giving donations for a selection of charities and will run from today until Friday 12th February. This year, RAG will be raising money for four charities: Impact Arts, Handprints e-NABLE Scotland, Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Glasgow’s Golden Generation.
All of UofG RAG’s events are now online on our Glasgow Student Events Native site (https://glasgowstudent.native.fm) and you can give donations to the different causes through JustGiving pages linked in the event descriptions. To raise as much money as possible for these 4 great causes, please check out these events and donate whatever you can! Events include:
- A live DJ set | 9th Feb
- Glaswegian Bingo | 10th Feb
- Virtual Art Auction | 11th Feb
- Speed Mating or Speed Dating | 12th Feb
Meeting with the Principal
Last week we had a meeting with Anton Muscatelli, the Principal of the University. We discussed a number of issues, including academic support and ways to help lessen the impact of the pandemic on students. One item that we pushed for was that the 20% alumni discount should continue for the next academic year. The Principal has agreed to take this back to the University Senior Management Group and we will keep you updated on the outcome.
We also spoke to the Principal about how the University budget is to be spent in the next year, and we pushed for appropriate investment in CAPs (Counselling & Psychological Services) and in financial hardship support.
Learning & Teaching Strategy
University Senate discussed and approved the Learning and Teaching Strategy. Student input has been important in every stage of the strategy’s development, with the final version of the strategy also being discussed with the sabbatical officers and Academic Representatives on Council last semester. Our feedback was strongly considered in shaping the final policy and we are looking forward to it being published.
Purpose Built Student Accommodation Review
The Scottish Government is carrying out a review of Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA). Our Advice Centre team have drawn on their experience of dealing with over 160 PBSA cases in the last 11 months, to submit an evidence-based response arguing for stronger regulation of PBSAs in order to protect students and allow them to enforce their legal rights effectively. Read more about the Government’s review programme in their Programme for Scotland.
Volunteer at COP26
Last week we attended the University’s Sustainability Working Group where we are involved in discussions surrounding the United Nations Climate Change Conference (or COP26) which is to be held in Glasgow this November.
It’s very exciting that this pivotal global event will be taking place in Glasgow, and we are delighted that University of Glasgow students have the opportunity to volunteer for this event. Applications to volunteer through Glasgow City Council are open until 31 March: www.ukcop26.org/volunteer and remember to record your volunteering through the GU Volunteering database: https://bit.ly/3aLfRg9
If you were not aware, students at the University of Glasgow have the right to elect a Rector every three years. The job of the Rector is to take the concerns of students to the University Court. The Rector elections were due to be held in March 2020 but were postponed due to the pandemic. We have been working on finalising dates for the elections and it is likely that these will take place in April (around the Spring Revision period). We will update students in due course with the confirmed date for these elections. Read more about the position of Rector on the University website.
LGBTQ+ History Month
LGBTQ+ History Month continues this week, and we have some great events lined up including:
- LGBTQ+ POC Coffee Meet Up – 11/02 | 17:00-19:00
- Doctor LGBTQ+ – with the UofG Doctor Who Society – 11/02 | 18:00-20:00
- Queer Inclusive Cinema Screening – with GU4SDG Society – 11/02 | 19:00-21:00
From across the student bodies at the University of Glasgow, we wanted to spread the message this LGBTQ+ History Month that despite everything going on, you are not alone and we are here for you. We have a range of events and initiatives throughout the month, most of which you will be able to find at https://glasgowstudent.native.fm
Support Services Webpage
Last week we worked with the University Information Services team to make the Support Services webpage more prominent on the UofG Helpdesk and on Moodle. You can access this page here.
Race Equality Group
Last week we attended the University’s regular Race Equality Group meeting and discussed priorities from the action list of the upcoming ‘Understanding Racism’ report. This report is due to be published internally on 17th February.
Student Carers’ Teams Chat
Last week we met with members of the University’s Widening Participation Team to discuss plans for launching a Microsoft Teams chat which would allow student carers at the University to connect with each other. We will share updates on this in due course, and if you are a student carer then please check out the existing Facebook Group moderated by us.
Volunteering & Social Justice Festival
Last week we held our first virtual Volunteering & Social Justice Festival. Hundreds of you signed up for talks and came along to learn more about the volunteering opportunities we have available. It was a fantastic event and we hope you all had a good time and got something out of it. Check out the Festival site as we plan to upload some of the recorded presentations for you to watch back: https://guvolunteering.native.fm
Volunteering, Clubs & Societies Awards
Nominations are open now with cash prizes up for grabs for our wonderful student volunteers, clubs and societies. Who will win the coveted Club or Society of the Year Award, or the GU Principal’s Award for Civic Engagement?
You can help to decide by nominating your fellow students here before February 19th: http://bit.ly/VCSNoms21
Student Teaching Awards
There are only a couple of weeks left to send in your nominations for our 11th Annual Student Teaching Awards. These awards recognise and celebrate the incredible efforts staff and students put towards their teaching, support, and representation. You can nominate staff who have supported you, who have excited you through their teaching, who have been great in helping you advance in your learning, students who have been incredible in representing you, and so many more!
Visit https://bit.ly/GUSRCSTA21Nominate to find the nomination form.
Finding Flats and Flatmates
Following on from our update last week regarding our Flatshare service, we are working on a guide to finding flats and flatmates during the pandemic. We will share this with you in due course. To list and browse adverts for flats and flatmates, check out our Flatshare service: https://www.glasgowstudent.net/services/flatshare/
For general day-to-day enquiries, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or message us over social media.
For free, confidential and impartial advice on a range of issues including finances, studying, accommodation, wellbeing and more please get in touch with the SRC Advice Centre: email@example.com
To find the email addresses of your council representatives, please visit our website: https://www.glasgowstudent.net/about/representation/council/