Rosie Makes a Post: TEFinitely working hard & #CutTheCosts

…. The title pun makes me laugh, even if no one else gets it…

my bad

So hey Edgehillians! (and anyone else on the internet that has found themselves here,) Vice President Academic Representation checking in with all of the stuff that has been keeping me busy for the past few weeks. It’s incredible exciting, like a HEFCE Quality Assessment Consultation, responding to an NUS briefing on the TEF, and being utterly confused by NUS’s National Executive Council’s meeting, which, if you don’t know, was live-streamed for the first time ever last week. And being the total policy geek I am, I tuned in with popcorn and played NEC bingo. (I believe I was the first to get a row, so go me!)

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So yes, the TEF, or Teaching Excellence Framework, is something the government is proposing to bring in within the next 3-or-so years. In a nutshell, it’s to ensure the standard of teaching in higher education is, well, excellent.

The problems with it however, are numerous. I could go on about it, (and if you’re interested in my take, drop me an email at suvpacademicrep@edgehill.ac.uk and we’ll have a nice long chat,) but the chief issue with the TEF is the proposal that it will be linked to a rise in tuition fees.

YES. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. In institutions where teaching is deemed to be excellent, the government wants to remove the 9K cap.

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And we all know, higher fees = awful.

I mean, the government are already trying to take away maintenance grants and replace these with further loans, now they want to let institutions raise tuition fees?

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Yeah. I am an unhappy Vice President.

Although, on the grants front, you may or may not be aware that your Students’ Union is meeting with three local MPs on Friday to discuss the #CutTheCosts campaign! We will be asking them to support an early day motion in parliament, (which is basically a petition that MPs can sign to get something discussed.) At current the replacement of grants with loans won’t be discussed in parliament, so our first point of call is to change that. Then we are going to ask them to vote against the proposal. Simple.

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So you can keep up with what we’re doing on the day by following the Union’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, or my personal twitter, where I’ll be live-tweeting what’s going on!

And everything’s about to get even busier for us here in the Students’ Union, as freshers week is fast approaching!

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… yeah.

I’ll write another blog on that madness after the fact, so if I don’t see you during freshers, I’ll see you right back here afterwards.

Bye for now!

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Hey Sanka…. Ya dead??

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WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MR PRESIDENT!?!?!?!

It’s been a while my friends, and for that I must apologise! It’s been crazy hectic, and finding time to breathe let alone type a blog is hard enough. Anyway, my last blog was crazy long and boring, so hopefully this one is a bit better! I’ve picked a few topics to chat about…. Lets go!

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Consent

Oh my, time to vent some frustration! We’ve been seeing lots of media coverage on the consent campaign recently, and even how the government are looking into sexual harassment on campus’ throughout the UK to try to tackle “lad culture” (I’ll leave my opinions on the naming of said culture out of this for now)

Anyway… Why am I pissed off?? Because newspapers have been raising the profile of 9 Universities in England that have been the front runners in the consent campaign… AND WHERE ARE EDGE HILL? NOWHERE!!!!!! AHHHHH!! People don’t realise just how much Codie did on consent last year; I mean our University made it compulsory for all students to receive our consent workshop thanks to Codie last year yet we don’t have a mention anywhere!!!!

We are very much one of the leading Unions in running a consent campaign, and it would be very nice to get some recognition from somewhere! Nevertheless, Lauren will continue Codie’s great work, she’s put together and brand new consent workshop for y’all and the rest of your VP’s and myself will continue to deliver fantastic workshops

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The refugee crisis

Being a students’ union makes it incredibly hard to support anything outside of helping our members. Why? We are governed by charity law, and meant to stay as apolitical as possible (Sounds fancy I know). The refugee crisis has been something of a hot topic EVERYWHERE and something I’ve spent a lot of time debating with people on Facebook….. In most cases to no avail!

I’m going to keep my thoughts to myself, but we are collecting clothes (mainly men’s), food and toiletries for those in severe need in “The Jungle” in Calais, so please help us out! Any clothes etc. donated which can’t be used will be donated to local homeless shelters so please be generous! I have to say this again…. This is not about being POLITICAL, or being right or wrong, but simply helping out those who have literally nothing in the world at this moment in time J

I had so much to say before I started typing this… And now I don’t even know where I’m going with it….. I CANNOT BLOG

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Housing

You may or may not have noticed my ugly mug in The Champion this week….. We’re trying to raise awareness of some of the shocking treatment of our students by certain letting agencies and landlords. It’s worth noting The Champion didn’t publish the full article, and it will be fully released in other papers next week!

Housing is something we’re very keen to sort out here at EHSU, and a lot of landlords have raised concerns that we are tarring them all with the same brush… NOT THE CASE. We are very aware that there are some amazing landlords out there, and we appreciate them so much, but the publication of this article was an extreme method to raise the profile of the bullying of our students and it seems to be working so far!

If you need help with ANYTHING housing related then get in touch with our fabulous advice team; Phil, Brad or Esther will be more than happy to sit down with you and try to help

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Finally… What has Mr President been up to?

Well….. Not to make you jealous but I’m not long back from a holiday in Paris/Chantilly and Amsterdam, which was incredible! And right now… I’m on my way back from governor training London, where I set off at 05:50 and it’s now 19:00. GO STEVE.. :(

Contrary to what “YikYak” might suggest, at the weekend I attended the UAF (Unite Against Fascism) rally in Liverpool to oppose the “White Man March” organised by some far right nut jobs who think Britain should be all white… That was amazing! 1000 people gathered to protest, and I guess luckily for “National Action”, they didn’t show up.

Workwise, I’m knee deep in submitting a democracy report to our upcoming board of trustees. I can’t go into much more detail than that for now, but I look forward to telling you the outcome.

What else Mr President? FRESHERS! Good God this is stressing me out. Planning, planning, planning and more PLANNING! Fresher’s isn’t even upon us and I just wish it was over already… Kind of. Can’t wait to meet all the new first years and see some old friends, but forgive me if I’m a tad grumpy for 87.64% of the week!

I’m rambling on now… But to finish; I’m also working on promoting our PT officer roles for the bi-election & the NUS delegate positions. I’ve been researching the prevent agenda and what that could mean for our students, and I’ve also been looking into ways in which the Union can help those students based at our Manchester campus!

Thanks for listening to me… As always feedback will be taken on board and I hope my blog hasn’t bored you too much (Rosie & Lauren are hard to compete with at this kind of shit).

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Hahahahahousing.

So, this week the lovely Brad (Student Advisor in the magical ARC) and I went to the land of Leeds to take part in training that the wonderful Unipol provided.

This was a jam packed 2 days telling us all about what we can do as Student Unions in regards to this terrifying issue. Throughout the year we’re hoping to support you with all your housing needs whether that’s time out from your drunken flatmates to advice about landlords and how to view a house. We’re here to heeeelp you and we’ve learned how to do this. We also learned how to tackle things in a lawyer, ooo fancy, type way.

I am just kidding, it wasn’t all that terrifying- BUT honeybooboochild,it seems that EHSU & YOU need to take action.

Lets do this thing

I know that loads of you are having a shit time in housing- and that is the nice way of putting it but haven’t you had enough?

i.e- no mum I will not bleeding ‘just pay them the £200 and be done with it’ because they are TAKING THE MICHEAL OUT OF ME.

It’s standing up for yourself with us by your side and seeing the change.
We don’t want you sleeping in a mouldy bedroom and cryyyyying out for help- we’re here to listen.

If there’s one thing that I’ll take away from unipol- apart from huge amounts of jam and that Worchester’s President REALLY doesn’t like monkeys- we need to take a stand and come to us. We will help you! I have so may ideas and am SO ready to talk about them!

Personally- I am bleeding well fed up with seeing all you lot complaining and nothing being done.

ARE YOU ON MY TEAM. SAY YAAAAAAHHHHSSSSS

This year we’re gonna have a GOOD year in the Private housing sector.

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