Posted on Thu 10 Feb 2022 at 13:44 by Lucia Rodriguezpedroso
Hi everyone! This term I’ve been busy with a variety of student queries and issues mainly about exams in term 3 and some big changes to SOAS governance, as well as organising interesting stuff for the strikes.
Here are some of the committees that have taken my time:
SEOC (Students Experience and Outcomes Committee)
- Exams: We discussed the format, timeframe and marking criteria for exams.
- Exams are going to be unseen papers on which students will normally be expected to spend either 2 hours or 3 hours (each exam paper will specify).
- 24-hour period to sit the exam, which will take into account any issues with work space, and we will ensure that there is sufficient study space on campus.
TeLSOC (Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Committee)
- Education Strategy Implementation Plan
- We discussed SOAS new Education Strategy and the importance of liaising and consulting with the wider SOAS community on this, particularly students.
- Same as in SEOC but with some minor changes about preferred format and timeframe.
- Highlighted the importance of accessibility and implementation of a plan for students who have SIP, which resulted in this policy:
- For any student that is entitled to Special Exam Arrangements (SEA), the normal adjustment for the exams will be an additional 12 hours. Any student with a SIP will therefore have a 36-hour window in which to complete the exam.
Academic Board (AB)
- Changes to SOAS’s Academic Governance
- SOAS is planning on changing some of its academic governance structures, mainly what it is now the Senate and Academic Board.
- The new two bodies are going to have different responsibilities as stated in the recommendations. One will be the higher body for academic decision making in the School while the other is a wider forum for academics to participate and discuss matters of importance to their community.
- Students participating in both of these spaces was one of our priorities and managed to secure seats for them in both of these spaces.
Board of Trustees:
- Annual Financial Return (5 years forecast)
- SOAS has to provide the Office for Students a forecast of our financial situation. Luckily it seems as if things are looking brighter this year in terms of the School’s budget. Still transparency and accountability to the wider community are lacking and this is something that we will continue to push for.
- New Chair of the BoT Appointed, as well as two new lay trustees.
Besides committees I have also continued supporting and helping run the Students Representatives System. Among the things that are going on with Reps, here are the most relevant ones:
- Terms 2 Plenary
- We held this at the beginning of the term to answer any questions and comments about the term ahead and how things went last year.
- In Person Social
- We had some crips and drinks at the SU Bar back in January which was lots of fun and are currently planning a new social for February. Hopefully we’ll have one every month for reps to get together and do fun stuff beyond their own responsibilities.
- Term 1 Report
- At the end of each term we ask reps for some feedback and make a report with this data. Currently we’re putting this information together and will be sharing it across the wider SOAS community soon.
Term 2 is also our most exciting time of the year because elections are happening! Nominations are now open and we hope to make this the biggest election ever in terms of participation and engagement so if being part of the Union is something that interests you please contact me or Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And as you may know I act as the deputy chair for UGMs so the past few weeks I have been working closely with Jack and other students to get motions ready for today, as well as making sure our logistics are ready and that things run smoothly
Finally I’ve also been supporting students with mitigating circumstances and other academic issues as well as welfare support and of course preparing fun activities for the strikes!