Rose Taylor, the Postgraduate Officer, tells us a bit about the creation of her role, her responsibilities and how she can help you as a postgrad.
“Hi I’m Rose and for the past year I’ve been working as your elected Postgraduate Education Officer in the Students’ Union. I represent the postgraduate student body with any academic issues or needs they may have and work towards improving your experience with regards to teaching and learning.
The Postgraduate Education Officer role was new this year and was created after it was acknowledged that postgraduate students often have very different academic experiences to undergraduates.
This year’s been a busy one as I’ve been shaping a new role as well as working on many different projects. One of my priorities this year has been improving mental health support and provision for postgraduates; postgraduate study can be very isolating and postgraduate students are generally less likely to access the support services that they need. I’ve been working with the Welfare Officer, Rianna, to campaign on removing the stigma around mental health. I also encouraged the Counselling Service to run ‘Manage your Mood’ workshops specifically for postgraduates.
This year I’ve also been campaigning against the rising postgraduate tuition fees at Sussex and have been lobbying the University to provide more financial support for first-generation scholars at postgraduate level.
One other important area that I have focused on is the University’s reasonable adjustments- the support that is put in place for some students with disabilities. Rianna, Bethan (Undergradaute Education Officer) and I felt that there were several problems with the process by which reasonable adjustments were decided and so have worked with the University to make improvements to this system.
Much of my time is spent in University committees and meetings with various members of the University. As boring as they may sound(!) it is in these meetings that I can represent the views of postgraduates and create change in the University.
I’ll be in the role until next June and so I’d love to hear your ideas about what you think I should be working on. Get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Twitter @PGEducationUSSU or add me on Facebook.”