Your Education Officer Bianca Andrei provides an update from November.
December is now here! This month is quite an interesting month as you might be really busy with deadlines and exams for the first 2 weeks.The good news is that in 3 weeks’ time you’ll be coursework free and enjoying your holiday season
But before we jump directly into Christmas, you might be under lots of pressure at the moment. Please don’t forget that professional services such as Health and Wellbeing, CAW, Digital Services, Sigma, Talent Team, and Student Success Coaches are all available to you if you need any help. To access them, you have to log in to your Coventry University Student Portal and many will be available to contact under the “My Help and Support Services” section.
Update on extensions and deferrals: you now must submit evidence supporting your extensions/deferral request. If you fail to do so, you might not be accepted! EXCEPTION - if you enrolled late, you are available to extend/defer your assignment/assignments (you just have to send any evidence you might have about your late enrolment).
As of November, this month has been quite busy for my time in the office. I will highlight some of the wins and challenges:
1. Cost of Living Crisis – Proudly to say that now, after weeks of negotiation with the university, both parties (Your Students’ Union & Coventry University Group) agreed to proceed with the following:
· The Hub now open 24/7 (free access between 07:00 – 22:00, phoenix card access between 22:00 – 07:00)
· Cheap breakfast around 1 pound from 07:30 – 09:30 across the Group!
· Implementation of more water fountains across the group
· Accommodation available for up to 2 days in Coventry University Student Accommodations for students that lost their home/ having no home (negotiable for more days of stay, depends on the severity of the case)
We are still negotiating for more support to be given to you by the university in partnership with Your Students’ Union. So far, I can briefly say that it is hard to raise the Hardship Fund as the university doesn’t currently have the budget to increase the fund. However, we are looking into different strategies on how to help you financially.
2. Meeting with Zara Sultana, the Labour MP for Coventry South – a very productive meeting in which:
· A letter will be sent to the Government to tackle the importance of prioritising students in their cost-of-living crisis strategy as students are not yet a focus in their discussions
· Starting with a detailed email, following with an open letter to the Coventry City Council to delay the council tax payment for the recently graduated students. We understand how inconvenient it is to be sent the request (the next day after graduation) to pay the council tax, therefore, we are trying our best to sort this out with Zara
· A letter to the National Express to reduce the transport prices for our students (West Midlands only)
3. Enrolment – still pressuring the university on offering MORE support for late enrollers, as well as making sure that the January intake won’t have a bad student experience while in the process of enrolment.
Please note that the September 2022 intake had multiple factors that negatively influenced your enrolment experience, either that can be external (such as VISA checks within the Home Office) or internal (oversaturated university system). However, there is no excuse and I emphasise with each one of you that had an unpleasant enrolment process. If you need any support from Your Students’ Union, our Advice Team is open to anyone that might need advice throughout their student experience. To contact them, follow this link https://www.yoursu.org/advice/academic/
4. Officer Library Outreach – Since November, us (your Sabbatical Officers) are now present in the Coventry Uni Library on Tuesdays 11:00 – 13:00 and Thursdays 13:00 – 14:30 to hear your feedback and support you with advice! We want to meet lots of you and work together on improving your student life here on campus. We have surveys in which you can submit your honest opinion and perspective over your current student journey, as well as having a friendly discussion with us in order to get to know each other. We are trying our best to be there for you, so please connect if you get to see us on campus
My priorities also focus on improving the Reps System and promoting our new rep structure to the returning students. We are also preparing some exciting events for our reps for the next term, so please keep an eye on their Instagram account. Moreover, I am working closely with the university in providing a more flexible approach for assessment submissions, deliver and increase the feedback quality, and increase the support that is being given to students across the group.
Until my next update, I hope you look after your mental health! I cannot truly emphasise how important is to talk to someone that you trust about your emotions, feelings and experiences. Remember that you are not alone! If you go through a very challenging time, please consider the following services:
CrisisText Line - Crisis Text Line | Text HOME To 741741 free, 24/7 Crisis Counseling
Kooth - Home - Kooth
The Samaritans - Samaritans | Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy | Here to listen
Until next time,
Your Education Officer