Meet the RUSU Student Officers
Friday, 28 September 2012
'The Vice-Presidents and I are always happy to meet with staff on any issue that they think is relevant to strengthen the already productive relationship that RUSU has with University staff.'
This year's Reading University Students' Union (RUSU) Student Officers have been working hard since their term of office began in July, to prepare for Freshers' Week (Monday 1 October) and the year ahead.
RUSU is led by five full-time Student Officers who are voted into office by students through an annual online election. Undertaking this role after graduating or taking a sabbatical year during their degree, the Student Officers listen to the views of the thousands of students on campus and represent the student voice on campus, locally, nationally and internationally.
James Fletcher - President
James is a Politics and International Relations graduate. He is responsible for the development of the Union, halls representation and communication with external bodies. He is also the Lead Student Representative on the QAA Institutional Review and the student officer responsible for the Student Charter that will be launched soon.
"I am looking forward to maintaining RUSU's positive working relationship with the University and I am keen to explore ways in which we can work together to make students' experiences the best they can be while at Reading. My key area of focus will on what students expect from their University experience as the new fees regime is applied and also to make Junior Common Rooms (committees that organise social, recreational and welfare activities in halls of residence) more responsive to the needs of their members.
"The Vice-Presidents and I are always happy to meet with staff on any issue that they think is relevant to strengthen the already productive relationship that RUSU has with University staff."
Kara Swift - Vice-President Academic Affairs
Kara co-ordinates faculty and course level representation through the organisation of the course and faculty rep system. She said: "I am responsible for consulting with students in order to lead academic campaigns aimed at improving the student's educational experience. I also ensure a strong working relationship is maintained with the University by effectively representing student's views on their teaching and learning through various University Committees.
"My main aim for the year is for an out of hours study area to be a permanent feature during the busiest periods of the academic year. I will also continue the ‘love your library' campaign by pushing for the library to become digitally ready and future proof with a safety bus provision that runs until the library shuts. Lastly, I want to standardise Student Staff Liaison Committees across the University and raise the profile of course and faculty reps."
Ceri Jones - Vice-President Democracy and Campaigns
Ceri plans to make RUSU as accessible and engaging to its members as possible "I am responsible for our democratic meetings where our priority campaigns are chosen and new policy is decided upon. I make sure that these things are put into action with the help of the rest of the team. I take a lead with governance of the Union, as well as organising the AGM and promoting the campaigns we run.
"The democratic meetings ensure that RUSU is truly run by students, for students. They help make sure the student voice is truly heard through all areas of the organisation and create campaigns that make change in the University and wider community. With this comes running the Student Officer elections which hope to find the best representatives from the student body. Alongside this I am the lead office for the student media and encouraging them to achieve the best and stay relevant to their student audience."
Sophie Davies - Vice-President Welfare and Representation
Sophie represents and promotes issues of equality, diversity and liberation within the Students' Union, University and external organisations such as the National Union of Students (NUS). Sophie is responsible for student housing, community relations and all things welfare related including mental, sexual and physical wellbeing as well as student safety both on campus and in town.
"My plans for student safety have already begun through the recruitment of a record number of ‘Freshers Angels' these are current students trained to ensure that all new students, from home or overseas, enjoy a safe and happy Freshers week. I have also developed a ‘Pay Later' Taxi service which will provide students with a card that they can use to get home from town or campus if they have run out of cash; the aim of this scheme being to ensure that every student always has a guaranteed, safe way to get home."
Nick Cook - Vice-President Student Activities
Nick is responsible for enhancing the student experience for those who are involved in the variety of sports, societies and volunteering that are provided by the Students' Union.
He said: "The University has a strong sporting history and has many successful teams representing it. It is my job to ensure that these teams get the best support and representation possible from RUSU and to widen participation in sport by encouraging all students to both play and spectate.
"There is also a huge variety of societies and volunteering opportunities on offer for our students, and it is my job to both listen to and work with these societies and groups to make sure they provide the best experience. I also help publicise and recognise the hard work of these groups in providing activities for students through the RUSU Rewards and Recognition scheme."