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March's Student Council Wrap-Up

Your chance to recap all the action from the fourth Student Council meeting of the year

Student Council Wrap-Up

Thank you to all student leaders who attended and contributed to the discussions in the most recent Student Council meeting on the 23rd of March. For those of you who were unable to attend or wish to refer back, please find a summary of the meeting below.

 

Updates from Student Trustees

Student Trustee, Victoria Udeh, reports no new updates from trustee meetings.

 

Updates from the Students’ Union

CEO Rebecca Hobbs gave two important updates on behalf of the Students’ Union.

Zara, this years’ elected Vice President Education, has in the last month resigned from her position, taking up a permanent full-time employment opportunity with the University of Hertfordshire’s finance department. Although it was sad to see her leave, Zara is wished all the best in her new role.

Secondly, Rebecca congratulated and thanked all who ran in the Elections and those who got involved by voting, further congratulating the newly elected Officer team who will officially come into post in July. The student vote went as follows; we will be welcoming back Rhiannon Ellis into the role of President, and there will be three new Vice Presidents joining her. Saj was voted in as the new Vice President Activities, Osama Siddiqi into the role of Vice President Community, and finally, Aman Tripathi into the role of Vice President Education. You can find out more about the Election results here.

 

Elected Officer Updates

Firstly, Prosasti Ganguly, your Vice President Community gave updates on the work she has completed since the last student council meeting (sustainability, safety on campus, Herts Empowerment, period poverty).

One of Prosasti’s main achievements since the last meeting is successfully lobbying the University Estates team to build a bus shelter to be built outside of the Todd Building. The funding is to be provided by Welwyn and Hatfield Council. Moving forward, Prosasti is excited to begin this project with Estates and the Council.

Additionally, Prosasti has been collaborating with Welwyn and Hatfield Council to encourage students to get their COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters and is trying to find more ways to spread the word.

Earlier this month, Prosasti also arranged a successful pop-up event in celebration of International Women’s Day where she gave out free sanitary products to raise awareness of period poverty.

Next, Rhiannon Ellis, your President recalled the work she has done since the last meeting based on her manifesto points (preventing harassment and discrimination on campus, improving disabled students’ experience, improving the mental health and wellbeing of international students’ experiences).

Since the previous student council meeting, Rhiannon has been successful in arranging a date to roll out Active Bystander Training, which will move to a mandatory session in the SLDP Programme. The first session is Monday the 28th of March at 1-4pm. This session will aim to equip students with the skills to support victims of sexual harassment, rape, and sexual assault. Alongside this, Rhiannon has been granted £10,000 towards a proposal which aims to embed consent training into the student life cycle.

Moving forward, Rhiannon is excited to put on a Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance Week that will take place in September/October 2022 following Welcome Week. Alongside this, Rhiannon has been lobbying the University hard to sign the #CantBuyMySilence pledge highlighting that they’ll stop using Non-Disclosure Agreements. Although it has been assured that NDAs have not been used in the past for cases of this nature, it is important to make sure it does not happen in the future. During the meeting Rhiannon called for student support with this.*

*Progress Update: In the few days after the Student Council we are pleased that the University of Hertfordshire has agreed to sign the Can’t Buy My Silence pledge. Rhiannon has been working with the University's Vice-Chancellor since the launch of the Can't Buy My Silence campaign towards the goal of singing the pledge and we welcome this development. You can read the full University statement here.

In working to improve disabled students’ experience, Rhiannon has attended the first Estates Accessibility Forum to talk about undertaking a full university accessibility audit and has also met with the Disabled Students’ Network to discuss potential campaign ideas. Rhiannon looks forward to developing the Student Rights campaign next academic year.

Rhiannon next gave updates on what she has been doing in regards to mental health and wellbeing. A ‘Time to Talk Day’ event was hosted to encourage students to come together and talk openly about their mental wellbeing. Rhiannon looks forward to planning more of these events, especially with exams and deadlines looming.

Finally, Rhiannon has been working alongside other Elected Officers in the UK to arrange support for Ukrainian and Russian students in light of the recent invasion of Ukraine. As a collective, Rhiannon and other Officers have written a letter to universities with recommendations which can be read here.

 

Student Submitted Motion: Sexual Harassment/Violence and #NeverOk

As proposed by Hannah Crocket, a discussion into present/previous incidents of sexual assault on campus was encouraged, especially the inaction of the University. It was proposed that the Students’ Union should offer support for people who have experienced sexual harassment on campus. The feedback and discussion has been recorded.

 

Student Council Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who attended. This was another productive Student Council meeting. We hope to see you all at the next meeting which is scheduled for the 27th of April.

 

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