Student Representation – The Wheels are Turning, But What is Ahead?

In March the Undergrads enthusiastically endorsed the proposal of a new student association and as David has already passed on the details of the vision, purpose and values of the new association I won’t linger. The hot news is that the Postgrads also endorsed the creation of a new association in mid-April. The vote however just passed. Although I have never walked the proverbial postgraduate mile, as an attendee of their SGM at the invitation of the Postgraduate President I hope to try and allay the legitimate concerns the postgraduates have. The main concern seemed to me that in a single student organisation postgraduates’ issues would be swamped by issues other than postgraduate issues. While there will be a multitude of issues that will be facing a new executive at any one time; the President, Vice-President and General Members were elected to represent all members and cohorts of the association and their office should rightly be judged and critiqued upon that. The newspaper can provide that platform and happily so, as everyone loves a good scrap. The Postgraduate member of the executive, supported by the Postgraduate Sub-Committee (that all cohort groups will have) will be able to provide clarity of argument and support for any of those positions that are filled with undergraduates. The membership of the cohort sub-committees is to my mind up to the determination of those cohorts and will take the form they want.

That aside, the next challenge for the new association will be to build membership, which under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 dictates that membership be opt-in. So apologies in advance to anyone within reach of the interim postgrads and undergrad executives but we are going to be hounding you and apologies in advance to those out of our reach, for the electronic maelstrom coming your way. In the ideal world everyone would be a member and I hope that all students enthusiastically take up the opportunity of membership, so they can vote and stand for election if you are so inclined. You can never have too much democracy! So if you are not hit up in person or electronically for membership, which is free as we all pay SSAF, please hit us up because it is important.

- Josh Osborne

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