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!

New Year! New update!

Hi guys. The past few weeks have been chaos (in a good way!), so sorry for not updating you sooner. The University’s financial situation has become a priority of late, but this report will also explain a few of the other campaigns and events I am currently working on!

Financial situation

As many of you are probably aware, much of my time, over the past few weeks, has been dedicated to the University’s current financial situation. My priority during this period has been to ensure all students are able to feed in to the process, and that their voice is heard. That is why we have been setting up focus groups with Course Representatives, and have been collating all comments and concerns that have been emailed to your Students’ Union. I have always believed that this process cannot happen without transparency, which is why your Sabbatical Officers pushed the University to send out the ‘business cases’ to all students.

Once the consultation period ends on 1st February, we will be compiling all your comments into a report, which will then be sent to the University Executive. We will then get a better idea of the extent to which student concerns and views have been taken into account.

If you would like clarity or any more information about the situation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Awards season

However, the financial situation hasn’t prevented other exciting events and campaigns from taking shape. The ‘Awards season’ is now upon us, and this is a really great opportunity for students to show their appreciation to staff members, course reps and landlords.

The Student-Led Teaching Awards, and Course Rep Awards, are taking place on Friday 3rd May. Nominations are open until 28th February. Staff members do amazing work to help and support students, and it is only right that we reward them. There are thirteen categories, so make sure to fill in those nominations! Likewise, your elected student representatives do some fantastic work, which can really help make you feel like part of the community. During the current financial situation, their feedback has been truly invaluable. More information about these can be found here: https://www.undebbangor.com/voice/slta/

Also, do you have a great landlord, who always responds to you when needed? Or maybe you have a landlord who has really helped you to settle into your property? If so, consider nominating them for a Landlord Award. Your Students’ Union wants to celebrate the work and effort put in by landlords across Bangor, who provide students with high quality housing.

The three different categories for the Landlord Awards are the Value Deal of the Year, Responsive Landlord of the Year, and All Rounder Award. You can nominate your landlord here: https://www.undebbangor.com/voice/landlordawards/

Maturi-tea

Maturi-tea was set up last semester, as a place for mature students to socialise to discuss anything that matters to them. It will continue this semester on a weekly basis, on Wednesday afternoons. We provide the refreshments!

I will be promoting this over the next few weeks, with the hope of setting up a Mature Students Society. This would help Maturi-tea expand, with the group getting together to go on trips and take part in various activities.

Assessment methods report

I will be working with course reps across the University, to compile a report about whether students choose modules based on assessment methods. I’ve heard from many students who have said they appreciate a diversity of assessments, as it leads to students gaining more skills and therefore becoming more employable.

I therefore want to investigate how we can expand a wider variety of assessment methods across the University.

Panopto

One of my priorities over this academic years has been to expand the use of Panopto. Lecture recording has been shown to be a valuable revision tool, and also helps students who are unable to attend a lecture.

This year has been really successful, in terms of more academics using Panopto than ever before. However, there is still more we can do, and I will be working with academic staff, over the next few weeks, to try and enhance the amount of usage.

Plastic-reduction campaign

One of my other priorities is Undeb Bangor’s plastic-reduction campaign, which I have been spearheading. Examples of what we have achieved so far include making sure each catering outlet is a water refill point, and ensuring reusable hot drinks mugs are on sale for all students.

I will be developing this campaign, by encouraging clubs, societies and volunteering projects to reduce their plastic consumption. I will be providing them with examples of how they can join in with the campaign, such as reducing their plastic waste at social events and activities, and by shopping locally, where possible.

Once rolled out, this campaign will become a competition. Judging from the breadth of photos that students send to us, we will be awarding the most sustainable club, society and volunteering project a lucrative award!

This is just a snapshot of what lies ahead! Please do come and see me if you’d like any further information!

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