Getting to know your elected Exec Team

Monday 03-10-2016 - 10:58

The Exec Team are your eight elected representatives in all areas of student life, from leading on implementing your ideas, running Union campaigns, supporting student led activities to raising your voice with the University. Elected in March, the University of Manchester Students’ Union retained the title as having the highest UK voter turnout for a second year running with a phenomenal 11,474 individual voters (29% of the entire student body).

Responding to The MancUnion's most recent survey, and whilst noting that the reported sample size of 141 students (0.4% of the entire student body) is significantly lower than that required to be representative, your elected Exec Team have already prioritised ensuring they make their roles and campaigns more accessible to everyone, stating that:

“In June, we agreed our priority campaign was to make sure our students know who we are and what we do;  this is to help shape our future campaigns and let students know what services the Union offers; from our Advice Service and Student Voice Team to Volunteering and joining Societies. Titled ‘Food For Thought’ you can find us in the Roscoe Building on the 6 October from 11:00 – 13:00 as we launch the first event as part of this campaign. Throughout the year, we will be in different building spread across North and South Campus as well as in different halls in the evenings so we can hear your ideas and update you on what we’ve been working on.”

Since starting in June your Exec Team have all been working on various things;

Naa has been working on how best to prepare for the Mayoral Election by creating contacts around the city to put students on the agenda prior to Devolution. She has also been sitting on the post-Brexit Group to look at the ramification of the Referendum Vote and how best to ensure that your campus remains an open inclusive environment. Alongside her various different roles as chair of the Union trustee board and General Secretary, she is also working on her Masters Dissertation at the moment in her spare time.

Sorcha had been making links with local and national campaigning organisations in the run up to the start of year and since then has been holding sessions for different campaigning groups as well as focusing on her manifesto priorities around sustainability and homelessness. She has also been planning and coordinating for the #Nov19 Demo “United for Education” and planning for JustFest Volunteering and Social Justice Festival on the 18 October.

With Pangaea festival ending a successful Welcome Week, Tamara is now focused on supplying societies with better support online and new platforms to collaborate and promote their activities through a cross-society YouTube channel and a new student night run by societies called Union Presents.

After attending a training course on responding to victims of sexual violence, Jenni has collaborated with Women’s Aid and in October will launch a wide reaching campaign tackling the issue of emotional abuse and coercive control within intimate relationships. Jenni is also helping develop a toolkit with organisations in Manchester to help support her campaign and is planning for the future Active Bystander Campaign which will launch later this year.  

Jenni and Saffa are also currently working on the student safety survey which saw over 1,000 student respondents sharing their experiences of crime and harassment in Manchester, the results of which will be used to improve the safety of our students both on campus and beyond. Jenni and Saffa are therefore working with GMP and others to relaunch Student Safety Zones.

Saffa has also been involved in making the Union a member of Citizens UK and will be attending their training in October. By entering this organisation, we’re hoping to have students’ issues on the agenda during this crucial year.

Izzy has been preparing events for World Mental Health Day on the 10 October and has been sitting on committees and working groups around Disability and Wellbeing in the University, feeding into policy changes. She is in the process of securing LGBTQ+ training for those working in the Counselling Service, as well as working with local doctors to end charges for doctor’s notes needed for mitigating circumstances.  

Emma has been getting to grips with the HE Bill and the Teaching Excellence Framework feeding into national discussions and consultations. She has also been preparing for a campaign to inform people on the changes to Higher Education which will be launching at the inaugural WTF (What The Fudge) Campaign “Fees are rising – WTF” 5 October

18:00 – 19:00 in Room 8 in the Students’ Union. She has had lots to do as she sits on various Education Committees both on a institutional and faculty level.

Ilyas has spent the summer planning Black History Month by working with different societies to try and organise our biggest one yet! This kicks off on Tuesday 4 October at 14:00 with “Liberate My Degree featuring Akala”. He has also been planning Global Fest which will take place in the last week of October as well as working with different community groups.

The Exec Team spent a large part of Welcome Week giving tens of talks in Halls and Lectures introducing the Students’ Union to new students. They also sit on the Trustee Board of the organisation and have various responsibilities attached to that and have been watching over the redevelopment of the Union which will see our building become truly outstanding. You can contact any of them through the emails on the website or tweet and find us on Facebook or pop into the officer in student voice on the ground floor of the Studnets' Union.

Tamara O’Neil, Activities & Development Officer: “From running Pangaea festival to leading the Activities programme, I ensure there are a range of opportunities for students outside their degree."

Emma Atkins, Education Officer: “I support student reps and campaign for and promote the student agenda on educational matters.”

Saffa Mir, Community Officer: “I am responsible for tackling the local community issues; this includes students and local residents”

Jenni Smyth, Women’s officer: “I ensure women are represented within the Union and University and facilitate campaigning on women’s issues”

Ilyas Nagdee, Diversity Officer: “I lead on the Union’s liberation and diversity work to ensure equality within the University and beyond.”

Izzy Gurbuz, Wellbeing Officer: “I champion student welfare within the Union and University, from food to mental health support.”

Naa Acquah, General Secretary: “I am responsible for the overall running of the union. I represent students on high level university committees and I am the chair of the union trustee board.”

Sorcha Floyd, Campaigns & Citizen Officer: “I work to empower students to campaign on social and political issues across campus and within wider society.”

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