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2023 - 2024 Reports

Speak Week

Commuter Students

Teaching and Learning (coming soon)

Term Two Co-President Updates

Reem Walid - Co-President Democracy and Education

Looking back on term two, it's been a period where I've truly felt myself settling into my role and becoming accustomed to the pace of this place. Progress has been gradual but steady, with tasks steadily feeling more complete. 

Reps Management: 

Following the vacancy in the representation coordinator position, it became imperative for someone to step into the role of representative as there was no official oversight of the network. This involved several steps, including assessing the existing rep management and understanding the previous coordinator's methods of working with college reps and ongoing projects. I assumed the responsibility of overseeing information coming from the "Tell Me About It" campaign, supporting the execution of Speak Week, and closely collaborating with college reps. 

Teaching & Learning Project: 

Part of working closely with the college reps included successfully securing a project focused on generating a report titled "What does Good Learning & Teaching Look Like in SOAS?" This initiative not only fostered deeper engagement with our college reps but also enabled us to provide academic feedback to the university in a new innovative manner, moving beyond mere problem identification towards collaborative solution-seeking. The project is explorative and designed to showcase exemplary teaching experiences at SOAS, and will contribute valuable insights to the upcoming Learning & Teaching Conference, by allowing us to present to academics what students want to see more of in their teaching within one of the main reflective, and training spaces for academics in the year. 

Student Voice & the University: 

One continuous complaint I immediately noticed once I started taking a more active role with reps the challenges faced by student representatives in raising broader issues within university committees and closing the feedback loop. Thus, I organised a Student Voice Away Day. This event brought together the student representatives sat on the various university committees, including RSA reps, college reps, and student union reps, with main influential members in the university to devise solutions: increasing student representation in non-academic conversations, improving the PGR representation mechanisms, and improving university governance communication. All of which are action points I am in the process of executing. 

Additionally, to address the need for transparent communication with student reps, I established the rep’s newsletter, aiming to provide regular updates on university developments and academic projects. 

IFCELs Work: 

In response to the university's decision to make changes to the IFCELs department, including discontinuing In-sessional Provision, I led SU efforts to challenge this decision.  

This included various meetings with IFCELs staff, their union representatives to understand the decision and how this might impact both staff and students, and meetings with the Provost and the Head of Foundation College to voice concerns. 

I also produced a counterproposal supported by student testimonials for the consultation period. As a result of the lobbying In-sessional classes are no longer being scrapped.  While the outcome wasn't completely ideal, it represents a significant win in preserving essential student services, and I am continuing my support for the student campaign, staff actions, and will conversations to ensure that the service remains to the same standard and expanded if possible. 


A key focus of my tenure has been to enhance student engagement and awareness of SU projects through various initiatives.  

This is why I co-ordinated with an advertising company to provide the SU with screens that we can advertise out projects and lines of support- this included co-ordinating on installation, producing a veto list of what we are okay with having advertised in our space, and setting up the relationships with staff to continue the project after I have left as a sabbatical officer. 

I helped produce election material content to promote SU elections on our Instagram and ensure a presence on our campus despite the hectic, difficult election period, and also set up the official office hours for sabbatical officers, and the officer updates on Instagram so students knew what we were getting up to. 

Engagement also includes making sure to reach out to effected students during difficult periods that happened in term two and ensuring they had a space and solutions to their concerns to be raised to the university including the continued support of suspended students at the start of the term, reaching out to the student that was arrested with resources, and also co-ordinating with the bereaved friends of Samaria Ayanle. 

Additionally, efforts were made to engage non-representative students in a more formal way through proposed student surgeries, aimed at providing a platform for meaningful discussions with university leadership. This was an ongoing and long process for approval than I was hoping for and am hoping to get back to students properly or co-ordinating with the incoming sabbatical to see what could be best to do now that we are nearing the end of time that students are on campus. 

SU Governance & Internal Matters: 

We went through quite a few important shifts with internal SU work that cropped up in term one. 

We went through some internal disciplinary matters, that caused changes within the SU, and we also went through the recruitment of external trustees to our board following the resignation of many last terms. This has allowed us to re-invigorate work, enabling us to convene more board meetings and address pending issues more effectively. 


Maryam Choudhary - Co-President Activities and Events

New Office Hours Implementation

In response to student feedback, I implemented new office hours on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1pm to 2:30pm. These dedicated hours ensure accessibility for those seeking support, guidance, and answer to their queries.

TES Launch: Room Booking

The launch of our new room booking system, TES, marked a significant milestone in streamlining the process for societies to reserve spaces for their events and activities. TES offers user-friendly features and improved functionality, empowering societies to efficiently manage their events.

Society Training Session

We hosted a comprehensive training session tailored specifically for society committee members. This session provided invaluable resources, tools, and how to use both TES and Native to enhance event planning and organisational management within societies.

Refreshers Week

As part of my ongoing support for student societies, I held a short refreshers week. This week was about welcoming students back on to campus such as Pizza and Ping Pong, Breakfast Around the World and a Movie Night. In addition to these events, I was excited to give newly registered societies a chance to showcase their society to the wider student body through a mini freshers' fayre.

Teaching and Learning Awards Ceremony Planning

The early stages of planning for the Teaching and Learning Awards ceremony in June commenced, signalling the Unions commitment to recognising and celebrating academic excellence, innovation, and dedication within our university community.

Female Prayer Space for Jummah

Engaging discussions were held with the university estates department to explore the possibility of establishing a permanent large female prayer space for Jummah to RB01. Some refurb work completed in current prayer space and RB01 was temporarily secured for Term 2 Fridays with porters to move furniture allowing sisters to pray Jummah in congregation. Discussions of much needed refurb to the female wudu facilities.

Sustainability Month Planning and Collaboration

February was dedicated to planning Sustainability Month events, a dynamic initiative aimed at promoting environmental awareness and action. I collaborated closely with student societies such as Herb Society, CommonGround and Beekeeping society to curate a diverse range of events and workshops focused on sustainability, recycling, climate action, and eco-friendly practices.

University Committee Meetings and Advocacy Efforts

My engagement in university committee meetings presented valuable opportunities to advocate for student interests and concerns, particularly in discussions focused on enhancing campus security. I emphasized the importance of open communication and collaboration between estates and students regarding proposed changes, such as the implementation of turnstiles. Additionally, I raised concerns regarding the Guide to Protesting at SOAS, expressing disappointment with the lack of communication and collaborative efforts from the university with the SU.

It was concerning to note that despite claims of consultations with the SU, no consultation took place. To address this, I engaged in discussions with individual SLT members, underscoring the necessity for transparency and communication with Sabbatical officers whenever changes affecting students' safety and activities on campus are proposed or implemented.

International Women's Day Month Celebrations

To mark International Women's Day, I supported the Feminist Society to organise a vibrant celebration at the Bar. The event, spearheaded by the Feminist Society, showcased the talents and contributions of female artists, emphasising their achievements. It was a resounding success, featuring Pink Drinks served throughout the evening and even hosting a tooth gem artist, adding an extra layer of excitement and engagement for all.

Securing Additional Funding for Freshers 2024

Meet with an external company to explore avenues for securing additional funding to enhance the Freshers 2024 experience. By leveraging external partnerships and sponsorship opportunities, I aim to create yet again another memorable and engaging welcome season for incoming students, setting the stage for a vibrant and inclusive academic year.

SU Election Content Creation

I played an active role in creating content for the SU's annual election, which determined the representatives for the student body in the upcoming academic year, including Full-Time Officers and Part-Time Officers. From producing engaging videos and social media posts to overseeing the election booth, I immersed myself in the process, facilitating deeper interactions with students and listening to their perspectives. Although the experience was undoubtedly demanding, it offered a valuable opportunity to see things from a different perspective. Moreover, it was gratifying to witness an increase in voter turnout compared to the previous year, highlighting the growing engagement and participation of our student community!

Freshers 2024 Preparation

The SU team and I have started diligently working on Freshers 2024 planning, meticulously reviewing feedback from the previous year to enhance operations and ensure heightened accessibility for all students. We're committed to crafting an inclusive and memorable welcome experience for incoming students.

Learning and Teaching Awards

Preparations for SOAS's inaugural Learning and Teaching Award ceremony are progressing smoothly. Collaborating closely with the Learning and Teaching team, I am ensuring a seamless nominations period leading up to the ceremony. Nominations will be open from April 22nd to May 10th, providing ample time for recognition of exemplary contributions within our community.

Furthermore, I am overseeing the planning of the ceremony itself, including tasks such as vendor bookings, coordinating with photographers and videographers, and preparing marketing content for release. This comprehensive approach aims to ensure a successful and meaningful event that celebrates excellence in learning and teaching at SOAS.

Smooth Transition Post Election Results

With the election results in, I am focused on facilitating a seamless transition for the incoming Co-President for Activities and Events. We're diligently preparing a handover guides and materials to ensure continuity.

Supporting SOAS Radio

Thrilled to see the revival of SOAS Radio. Having them officially registered as a society and assisting SOAS Radio in their rebooting efforts, reaffirming my commitment to amplifying student voices and fostering creative expression within the student community.

Welcoming Part-Time Officers

Following the elections, we've initiated introductions with the newly elected Part-Time Officers, fostering collaboration and synergy as we work together to address student needs and aspirations. Excited to support the PTO in achieving their manifesto points and aiding in any way possible.

Job Shop Initiative

The Job Shop website page is an initiative that will provide students with a convenient platform to explore job opportunities, including local positions, graduate schemes, and volunteer roles. It will be launching the in the first week of May – so keep a look out!


Jamal Akram - Co-President Equality and Liberation

Hussain Foundation

In the spirit of Hussain's legacy, we are thrilled to introduce professional mentorship and internship opportunities within the Hussain Chaudhry Room. These initiatives are crafted to empower students, offering invaluable career support, mentorship, and hands-on experience. By engaging in these activities, students not only refine their professional skills but also honour the enduring legacy of a fellow student who aspired to create positive change.

Through our collaboration with the Hussain Foundation, we've broadened internship opportunities, introduced CV workshops, and tailored mentorship programs to cater to the unique needs and aspirations of SOAS students. Our aim is to equip students with the necessary tools and resources to navigate their career paths successfully and contribute meaningfully to society.

Youth Beyond Borders (YBB) Showcase and Collaboration with SOAS:

The Youth Beyond Borders (YBB) Showcase was a culmination of months of hard work and dedication from aspiring entrepreneurs who are committed to making a positive difference in their communities. This event provided a vibrant platform for individuals to present their innovative projects, each aimed at addressing pressing social challenges and driving meaningful change. Attendees, including industry experts, investors, and fellow entrepreneurs, were immersed in a dynamic environment where they had the opportunity to engage with the projects firsthand. Through interactive presentations, thought-provoking discussions, and networking sessions, participants gained valuable insights into the diverse array of initiatives and their potential impact on society.

The selection process for the showcase winners was rigorous, involving careful consideration of each project's feasibility, impact, and sustainability. Judges evaluated not only the creativity and ingenuity of the ideas presented but also their potential for scalability and long-term success. The chosen winners exemplified innovation and social responsibility, embodying the spirit of entrepreneurship in service of a greater good.

Our collaboration with SOAS and the creative agency Youth Beyond Borders represents a significant step forward in our collective efforts to support aspiring entrepreneurs in bringing socially impactful businesses to life. By extending the entrepreneur program into a four-month incubator, we were able to provide participants with an immersive and comprehensive experience that equipped them with the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to succeed in their ventures. The program's holistic approach, which included workshops, expert mentoring, networking opportunities, and business plan development, ensured that participants received tailored support throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

The successful launch of 16 social enterprises at the culmination of the program, coupled with the awarding of funding to four individuals, underscored the effectiveness of our collaborative efforts in nurturing innovative ventures and driving positive social change. This partnership not only highlights the importance of cross-sector collaboration in addressing complex social issues but also serves as a testament to the potential of entrepreneurship as a force for good in the world.

Completion of Commuter Students Report:

The completion of the commuter students report represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to enhance the student experience and foster inclusivity at SOAS. Through exhaustive research and comprehensive analysis, we gained invaluable insights into the unique challenges faced by commuter students in navigating campus life. From transportation issues to limited access to campus resources, the report shed light on areas where improvements are urgently needed. The presentation of our findings during a SEOC meeting sparked meaningful discussion among key stakeholders, prompting a promising response from Hannah Bargawi and the wider SOAS management. Their expressed interest in further exploring the report's recommendations underscores the critical importance of addressing the needs of commuter students and cultivating a more supportive and inclusive campus environment. Moving forward, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advocating for tangible solutions that prioritize the well-being and success of all students, regardless of their commuting status.

Female Prayer Room

Our collaboration with the co-president of activities and events on the Female Prayer Room project epitomizes our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and cultural sensitivity within the SOAS community. Together, we embarked on a journey to address a pressing need for a dedicated prayer space for female students on campus. Through meticulous planning and stakeholder engagement, we developed a comprehensive report that articulates the rationale, objectives, and proposed solutions for this important initiative. By documenting the project's evolution and outlining practical steps for implementation, we aim to leave a lasting legacy that transcends our time at SOAS. This report serves as a roadmap for future endeavours to create inclusive spaces that honour the religious and cultural diversity of our student body. Our collaborative efforts exemplify the power of community-driven initiatives in fostering a sense of belonging and respect within our campus community.











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