The status quo isn't good enough. Vote Kevin for a more transparent and relevant Goldsmiths Students Union which listens to your views, takes action and gets stuff done.The low level of engagement with our SU threatens to undermine the legacy and reputation that it has for being engaged and active, and risks it being labelled ‘illegitimate’ in properly representing the wider student population. The key to improving the relationship between the SU and students is you - our members - and we should be listening to the views, opinions and concerns which you have to inform how our time is spent. I compiled my list of aims and goals from talking to students like you. For the last two years, I've run Hacksmiths, the student-run tech society at the college. In that time I've trained and led a team to grow our membership from 60 to over 330, and made it more diverse and welcoming than ever. In the past I've worked as a project manager, software developer and community manager. There's more info about me at the bottom of this page.
I’ve spoken to dozens of students and here’s what you’ve told me you want to work on...
Push for smarter use of our limited campus space
- Better use of existing spaces to create more productive working areas.
- More appropriate provisions in these areas - particularly power.
Continue and expand support for Liberate my Degree (LMD), led by BME students What is LMD?
- Ensure Liberate my Degree has tangible outcomes.
- Make any alternative reading lists easily accessible, and run events to facilitate discussion.
Fight for better accessibility in academia
- Push academic departments to provide accessible learning material on the VLE before lectures.
- Create a working group of students and staff with different accessibility requirements to explore how tech can improve learning and teaching for all.
Improve awareness of SU and student activities and campaigns
- Be more clear on how the time of your elected Officers is spent.
- A single online space for students to find out what’s on for activities run by both the SU and by students.
I see the massive increased potential that our SU has, and here's how I'll make it happen...
Listen to students, don't assume their needs or opinions
- Regular, accessible, online consultations which are easy to get involved with.
- Be flexible on how time is spent based on what students are concerned about.
- Work with Department Reps to increase awareness of opportunities to voice their opinions.
Work more closely with our student groups
- Better enable and utilise the time of Part Time Officers, Societies, Media Groups and Department Reps.
- Involve incoming students in the democracy and representation around our Union during their induction period.
Keep your officers accountable
- Give regular 2 week retrospectives on what's been done, what hasn't been finished, and what wasn't started.
- You should be able to know what your Officers are actually getting up to in a concise, understandable and accessible report.
Hi, I'm Kevin! I’m the first person in my family to attend university and currently study Year 2 Creative Computing, which is awesome. I am a Department Rep and President of the largest society on campus - Hacksmiths. I have trained a wonderful 16-person team to deliver over 50 events a year. The events are focused on being accessible to people from all backgrounds and skill levels, to meet the needs of our growing membership. Previously, I’ve worked as a software developer, community manager and project manager for a range of organisations.
Last year I worked as the Societies Assistant where I designed and implemented new processes which have improved efficiency. Hopefully, if you're a leader of a society, you have felt the positive impact of this work.
Throughout campaign week, I want to hear your views and add them to my list of key issues and make sure this reflects the student body. Please stop me in the corridors, ask about and challenge my opinions. As your SU president, I must act in the interest of the membership as a whole, and I want to talk to as many people as possible to ensure that I am doing just that. I want equal representation of our student body with every voice being heard. Every student is capable of affecting change - it starts with a conversation.
How I've listened to create this manifesto
Over the last couple of months, in my role as a Department Rep, Society Leader, PAL and Student Ambassador, I have been speaking to sudents to understand their views of the SU. I kept a tally of how many times I heard each point for improvement, with the top categories being my manifesto promises. The questions I asked were:
- If you were speaking to someone who'd never heard of a Students Union before, how would you describe it? I used this question to understand if that student had a bias towards one of the SU 'pillars' as set out in my blog post last year.
- What do you think our Students Union could be improved?
- Why do you think Postgraduate students engage less with our SU? (for PG students only)
Students came from a range of departments, years (foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research), liberation groups, international communities and interest groups.