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Officer Report: Aisha D'Souza

Aisha has been representing you....

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How we have been representing students:
In the countless number of university meetings that I attend, student representation is my highest concern. As an elected Students’ Union officer, the opinion that I put forward is both representative and in the interest of the students.
As officers, we all represent a faculty, the faculty I represent is the Faculty of Medical Science. I also have an over-arching view of all the faculties. This representation includes attending faculty meetings as well as having regular meetings with the Dean. I am also going to be putting a policy forward to Union Council which proposes including a Faculty of Medical Science Faculty Rep in our constitution, so that they can be part of our elections. 
I am in the process of organising meetings between the Faculty, Portfolio and Liberation reps with the officer team. These meetings will not only add extra support for the reps but also give the reps and officers a chance to join forces and combine contributions towards campaigns.
I also spend as much time as possible actively going out seeking student opinion on my campaigns and projects.
What we have been campaigning for:
After going to the Zone Conference, Sarah and I were inspired by the importance of the union as part of a national collective. Since the ‘Free Education’ march is not accessible we will be looking into supporting the Cambridge Students’ Unions’ accessible march and seeing if both Cambridge and Chelmsford students would be interested in attending the event.
At Zone Conference, I went to a workshop on BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) attainment gap, where not only the gap was examined but also the experience of BME students’ in higher education was reviewed. I have now set up a BME forum which aims to understand and work on the academic problems of BME students at ARU.
From my manifesto I am working on the march ‘Reclaim the Night’, which happens nationwide to promote women’s’ right to feel safe walking down the street at night. In order to organise the ‘Reclaim the Night’ march, I am working with Cambridge Unions’ women’s campaign.
In order to work and support reps I have been/will be attending course management meetings, sending out rep emails and organising rep forums for all reps.
Our projects and objectives:
My two main projects this year are based around mental health and lecture attendance. 
I chose to do a campaign on mental health as academic achievement can be greatly affected by a student’s mental health. This campaign focuses on promoting the existing support services and aims to encourage the awareness of mental health issues. The encouragement has/will involve throwing ‘tea parties’, giving out  mental health guidance and we are also organising so that Guide Dogs will be coming into University for ‘puppy therapy’. Sarah and I are also looking into further mental health ideas such as eco therapy.
I am running, organising and co-ordinating a campaign targeting lecturer’s about the issue of diminishing student   attendance as it has been suggested that an increasing number of students are not attending all their lectures. This project aims to find out why students aren’t attending their lectures and what makes a good lecture, so we can promote positive change within the university.  
I am also working to get a bike pump put on the Cambridge campus.
What we get up to in the office:
I spend the majority of my time going to various university and union meetings, for example this week I will be attending 12 meetings.
When I am in the office I end up mostly spending my time replying to the 50+ emails I can get in a day. 
With the newly elected Faculty, Portfolio and Liberation reps coming into the Union I have undertaken a new part of my role as a mentor to all faculty reps, Cambridge’s Women’s’ rep and Chelmsford Disabled Students rep.
To help students keep everyone up to date on what is going on within the union I have been writing articles, updating Facebook and Twitter.
I have also been on an interview panel for hiring new staff within the Union, which has been both interesting and educational.



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