The review sought to identify and implement changes directly suggested by successive sabbatical teams, with the intention of making the structure more fit for its purpose.
The four current roles of the sabbatical officers: President, VP Welfare & Community, VP Participation & Campuses and VP Academic Affairs, were produced from the last review of sabbatical roles and responsibilities.
In the four years since the last review, the University has experienced several significant changes, including the tripling of undergraduate tuition fees, Exeter’s entrance to the Russell Group, the completion of the Forum and the Sports Park.
The review states that changes will be made to some titles.
In the 2014/5 elections, VP Participation and Campuses will become VP Activities. The current focus of ‘Campuses’ will be dropped from the title, as it is felt that the representation of students from all campuses is already a central focus of all work of the sabbatical officers. Moreover, the change to ‘Activities’ from ‘Participation’ more effectively aligns the role with the interests of students engaged with activities and volunteering.
Following concerns expressed at the lack of focus on the diversity agenda, VP Welfare & Community will become VP Welfare & Diversity. The title of VP Academic Affairs will also change. VP Academic Affairs, now considered out-dated, will resume its previous title of VP Education.
The review also includes some additions to the role overviews. The President will have the extra responsibility of taking a lead on Guild commercial services, while VP Activities has new emphasis ensuring student views are relayed to Employability & Graduate Development. The VP Welfare & Diversity mandate advocates the responsibility of the promotion and implementation of the Guild’s equality and diversity work as a chief concern, and newly supports the valuable input of hall committees.
Changes will also be made to the timings of elections. The International Students’ Officer, the Postgraduate Students’ Officer and the St Luke’s Officer will all be elected at the same time as the Sabbatical officers. It is thought that this concurrence will increase electoral turn out.
Hannah Barton, Guild President, commented: “This timely review of the sabbatical officer roles recognises the evolving needs of our students in the context of a changing higher education landscape and strong growth on all of the University’s campuses. Each role has been carefully rebalanced to ensure that it will serve students in the most relevant and efficient way and I am confident the refreshed posts will be responsive to our members’ needs into the future”.
Kitty Howie, Lifestyle Editorbookmark me