Newsletter #6

Happy New Year 2020. It’s absolute survey central around here. What a time to be alive.

Masters Student? Thinking of a PhD?

Exciting News: Beverley Hawkins (The Associate Academic Dean for Students) has got some funding together which myself and my colleague, Penny (VP Education) are going to use to host “Polish Your Proposal” events. These will consist of bringing your draft proposals and presenting them to academic staff in the relevant field, who will give you feedback, advice, and/or contacts on the next steps. I will be sending out exact dates once the events are finalised, but keep watch on my social media channels in the meantime: @exepostgraduates

PGR Frontline Support

I’ve had a lot of feedback that some PGR students are struggling with frontline support from the Doctoral College. I’ve also found that other universities run their PGR support differently than at Exeter. I'm interested to see what works, what doesn't, and how we can improve. So, here’s a very short form which I would be grateful if you could fill out!

Big Guild Survey and PTA Fair Pay Campaign

It’s that time of year again! The Guild want to hear from you. It’s really important that postgraduates fill this out so our needs are fully understood by the organisation. This year there are some extra questions for postgraduates, around PTA contract working conditions. The feedback from this will inform the PTA Fair Pay Campaign myself and Ginny Thomas will be running next month.

Incidentally, if you are interested in being involved with that campaign in any capacity, please let us know Sunday.Blake@exeterguild.com or Virginia.Thomas@exeterguild.com

Trade Union Membership

If you are teaching, you may want to consider joining a trade union.
UCU membership is free for postgraduates: www.ucu.org.uk/join

Other unions representing academics include Unite and Unison.

Wellbeing

Exeter Guild Feminist Society are running a student-led, and institution-wide campaign on experiences of wellbeing provision on campus. Just like the Big Guild Survey, it is important that we gain insight into the experiences of postgraduates in these areas. So if you have a moment, and have used wellbeing services at Exeter, please do fill it in here.

There is also a student-led campaign, supported by Guild Officers looking into the wellbeing provision (or lack of!) at St. Luke’s campus. Katie Heard (VP Welfare and Diversity) and I met with students this week and Katie will be producing a survey to gauge experiences, and to present to the University to lobby for better provision. Keep watch on her social medias for this @exewelfare. I will also be sending it out with my next newsletter.

Prayer spaces

Over the Christmas holidays I have been looking into prayer spaces on campus. My concern is that we are providing minimum compliance, instead of best practice. As a “global institution,” we should be achieving best practice. If you practice a faith – whether you use facilities on campus or not – I would like to hear from you on how we can improve religious inclusion on campus, and in the curriculum. Let me know: Sunday.Blake@exeterguild.com


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