Mark Barrow - VP for Education

Mark Barrow is a recent graduate from the School of History and Archaeology. He has been elected to serve as your new Vice President for Education.

During his time as a student, Mark actively got involved in many different University and Students’ Union roles and activities. He was a Course Rep for three years, and during that time he organised two student-led trips, to Berlin and Krakow, and Prague. Mark’s work as a Course Rep saw him win the prestigious Ede and Ravenscroft award, in 2017. Mark also represented the University as an Open Day assistant, besides becoming a member of the ‘Bangor Fund’ Telethon team.

As Vice President for Education, Mark will work with his fellow Sabbatical Officers, and University members of staff, to enhance the educational experience for all students. By listening and learning from students, Mark will tirelessly work upon any concerns or advice that is given to him.

Mark intends to set up a Sexual Harassment campaign, to safeguard and protect vulnerable students, and to ensure that there is no ‘grey area’. He also wants to work with the Course Rep system, to ensure Course Reps provide a practical and meaningful opportunity for all students within their School. Mark will be operating an ‘open door’ policy, and encourages students to come and speak to him, and their Union, whenever they want to!

Mon 05 Nov 2018

Latest update - October 2018

This is my second update, as your Vice President for Education. I am loving this job, and I can’t thank enough those students who elected me. You have truly given me the opportunity to try and make positive improvements for all students at the University.

I have been working on some really exciting campaign and events, which are all highly relevant to you as a student. You are more than welcome to be involved in any of these campaigns!

Engagement

One of my priorities for this academic year is to engage with all students as much as possible. I have started regular ‘lecture shout-outs’, which see me visit a range of lectures, on a weekly basis, to inform students of Student Union campaigns and events. I’m also attending as many of our Societies, Clubs and Volunteering Projects as possible, to listen and learn from students.

I am really pleased to say that our student engagement has been fantastic. So many students came to help with setting up Serendipity, and I’ve been overwhelmed with how many students are attending our various activities. Please keep this up!

Meet and Mingle

I have recently been organising Student Union ‘Meet and Mingle’ events. These are going to be scheduled for around every three weeks, initially, on Friday evenings.

The events are an opportunity for students to meet each other in a calm environment, away from busy pubs and clubs. We provide refreshments, and even get some of our societies to come along!

The next Meet and Mingle is on Friday 9th November, starting at 6pm in your Students’ Union – you’re all invited to come along.

No Grey Area

I have been dedicating a lot of time to organising a ‘No Grey Area’ sexual violence prevention campaign. Sexual violence is an epidemic at Universities nationally, so I am hoping that I can raise awareness of what sexual violence actually is, and who you can confidently speak to about it.

The initial week-long campaign will launch on 26th November, when the professionally produced campaign video will be released. We have been filming for the video over the past couple of weeks.

I have also planned a Reclaim the Night march for Thursday 29th November. Reclaim the Night is a national campaign which emphasises that women, in particular, are able to safely walk the streets at night. We are meeting for the march at 18:30 at Bangor Clock Tower on the High Street – you are all more than welcome to come and join us!

Don’t Panic!

I have also been planning the Don’t Panic housing campaign, scheduled for between 13 and 15 November. I will be at different locations around Bangor during this campaign, to provide information as to where you can safely sign up for a property, and to reinforce the message that there is still time to sign!

This ties in with my house reviewing campaign. You are fully able to review your house, based on the standard of the property, the estate agent, landlord and location. This can be done by logging onto the Marks Out Of Tenancy website, who we have teamed up with for this campaign.

Disability History Month

I have been planning this year’s Disability History Month, which lasts from 22 November until 22 December. We have lots planned! The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘music’. Therefore, I have been working closely with the School of Music and Media, and Undeb Bangor’s Music Society, to ensure that this year’s winter concert, on 7th December, raises money for a relevant charity.

In addition, I have been helping to organise various events for this year’s International Day of Disabled Persons, on 3rd December. The events for that day will include a disability sporting tournament, and an exhibition to showcase the University’s provisions and services.

I will update on these plans closer to the time!

Plastic reduction campaign

I have been continuing to work on our plastic reduction campaign – 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced each year, and we must try and do our bit to help the environment.

At Undeb Bangor, we have a range of environmental volunteering projects to get involved in, such as beach cleans and litter picks. Your Students’ Union has also recently changed our search engine over to Ecosia. Ecosia is a search engine that uses its profits to plant trees rather than give it to shareholders.

I am also really pleased to say that I have been working with the University’s Catering team on this campaign. Each of the University’s food outlets is now also a water refill point, and reusable coffee mugs are now available – using these knocks 10p off every hot drink.

I just wanted to finish by saying to please get in touch with me if you have any questions or concerns. You can arrange to meet me in person, or message me on Facebook or through email.

I wish you all the best for the year ahead!

 

 

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Thu 23 Aug 2018

Huge progress in first two months!

It is hard to believe I’ve only been your Vice President for Education for just two months – it already feels like I’ve been here for ages!

It would be easy for me to say that I’ve spent these first few weeks settling in, and getting to know people. That is true, of course, but I’ve been doing a lot more things besides that, in my attempts to enhance your students experience during the next academic year.

Conferences

Firstly, I have now been to three Student Union conferences. The purpose of these conferences is for Sabbatical Officers, from across the UK, to come together in a group, whilst attending training sessions to help prepare us for the year ahead.

The training sessions are beneficial, as they have provided me with skills that will become invaluable during my time as your VP for Education. However, I found the networking with other Sabbs to be the most useful part. Hearing about their experiences, and what they are trying to achieve at their Students’ Union, has really inspired me.

Sexual Harassment

Back in the office, I have made progress in regards to all my priorities for the next year, in line with my manifesto.

So far, I have dedicated lots of my time to a Sexual Harassment prevention campaign, which will start on 26 November. I am pleased to say this campaign is coming together really well.

The campaign will be launched through a campaign video, which I have already secured funding for. The video will consist of several students, and staff members, outlining just what Sexual Harassment is, and where victims can seek professional help, within the University.

Following the release of the video, the campaign will be very visible across Bangor. I am in the process of setting up our own ‘Reclaim the Night’ event, which will reiterate that every person is safe to walk around Bangor during darkness.

The campaign will see parts of the University’s Sexual Violence policy written on our huge, movable white board, which students can add their names to, thereby conveying our unity against Sexual Harassment.

Keep an eye out for updates on this campaign, and for exciting ways for you to be involved.

Housing campaigns

I have also been working on two housing campaigns, which also align with my manifesto.

Firstly, I have been working in partnership with ‘Marks Out Of Tenancy’, which is a house reviewing platform. This allows you to complete a review for a property you have lived in, based on the landlord, estate agent, location and the house itself. I’m hoping this will provide students with reliable and accurate information before they sign up to a property.

I’ve also been planning a ‘Don’t Panic’ campaign, which is going to be held between 13 and 15 November. The purpose of this campaign is to provide students with detailed information about the accommodation in Bangor, and to reassure you that there is no need to panic into signing a contract!

Again, stay tuned to hear about how you can be involved in these campaigns.

Plastic reduction campaign

One of my other pledges is to work on a campaign to reduce our plastic consumption.

I have been working closely with the University’s Catering team, so that we as a Students’ Union can promote their reusable coffee mugs. 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year, but by investing in one of these reusable mugs, you are doing something to practically help the environment! You can also get a 10p discount on any hot drink by possessing one of them.

There will be many exciting ways you can be involved in our plastic reduction campaign. We have already arranged a beach clean volunteering project for 29th September, which any student can come along to, whilst you can even provide us with your very own plastic reduction ‘top tip’.

Contacting me

I’m hoping to have all my campaigns planned ahead of Welcome Week. From then on I will be very busy helping and advising students, along with getting to know the different Course Reps!

If you would like to contact me, please remember that I have an ‘open door’ policy, so feel free to come into the Students’ Union for a chat. Otherwise, my email address is mark.barrow@undebbangor.com. You can also add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/undeb.ed.7