As the Postgrad president, I work on a variety of issues that affect students. I also work in internal organisational aspects of the SU. Most of my work days are slightly varied but here is an example of an average day at work for me.
I usually start work between 9 and 10. Since we all work online due to the pandemic, I am saved from having to rush to the office for a meeting in the morning. In this half hour I check my emails and gather my thoughts for the meetings in the day.
Once every two weeks, Ben (the Undergraduate President) and I have a catch up with Rich the CEO of the SU. We generally update each other on main lobbies sabbatical officers are involved in and the key issues that have come up internally within the management side of the SU. In this meeting we discussed the SU’s funding bid to the University for a block grant. This grant contributes to about half of the SU’s annual budget.
Ben and I had a brief catch up on our work and checked the points we would raise at the Rapid Response Working Group meeting. We schedule these chats several times each week. I find these conversations very useful to talk about strategy for our lobbies.
I have a meeting at my regular 12-1 lunch hour so I am having an early lunch break. Today I used some of this time to call my family in Nepal. Mornings are a good time for a call because of the time difference with the UK
Once every week Ben and I attend the Rapid Response Working Group meeting which deals with all issues around the University’s asymptomatic testing programme for COVID. We asked for the change in testing protocol to be included in the video demonstration of the test. As I come from a non-science disciplinary background, I find the discussion around scientific arrangements particularly interesting.
I am working on a research project on PhD student- supervisor relationship with Siyang (Postgraduate Access Education and Participation Officer) and Grace (Welfare and Insight Manager). Last week we put a call out for PhD students to participate in focus group discussions. We received a number of responses. Siyang, Grace and I discussed a plan about when to schedule the focus groups and how to group the participants. We also discussed the communication channels through which we would approach PhD supervisors to participate in the study’s interviews.
The postgraduate supervisor training working group meets every few months. This group is set up to come up with guidelines to improve postgraduate supervision practices in the University. It comprises representatives of various departments and even external experts. Today we had a comprehensive discussion of the various issues that supervisors need to be mindful of in the stages between PhD admissions to corrections post viva.
I spent the next one and half hour responding to emails, reading papers for upcoming committees, going through press briefs written by other sabbatical officers, thinking about what happened in meetings today and the strategy forward. I try to keep the workday about eight hour long. This of course changes when we have College Forum or SU Council in the evenings.