Engagement Officer candidate Lucy Wilson is committed to giving students accessible education, chances for career development and a voice that is listened to by the university.
The third-year Primary Education student pledges to “give every student the chance for a better future” by improving the student experience at Stirling and introducing greater employability opportunities.
In an interview this week, Brig asked Lucy what drove her to run for the role of Engagement Officer and how she plans to put her manifesto into action.
She said: “During my time at university, I sometimes wasn’t aware of the opportunities I had available to me and I’ve spoken to a lot of students who feel this way.
“I want to give students the same chances at success and the same opportunities to build their CVs, as well as to just really enjoy their time at university.”
Lucy aims to work with the university faculties to introduce training and career development opportunities that will make students stand out in the workplace.
She said: “I would love for the university to have accredited courses on things like sign language, first-aid and sustainability. These are skills that we don’t usually learn as part of our degrees but they would help students in their time at university and in the workplace, as well as giving them a brilliant chance to build their CV.
“One of my priorities is to have faculties work with employers in their field to give students more of a chance to interact with potential employers.
“I also want to strength the relationship between the Careers and Employability service and all faculties, so that students are aware of and can make use of opportunities, such as the My Stirling Award.”
Lucy praises the events that the university runs and the opportunities that students have available to them, but worries that students often aren’t aware of these: “A lot of courses have placements and internships but they sometimes aren’t advertised very well.”
Lucy is currently the treasurer of the Marine Conservation Society and an assistant leader at her local Cubs group . She also held leadership positions before university, by organising fundraising events at her school and running a children’s sports club.
She told Brig: “These roles have taught me how to be organised, how to ensure that I’m listening to everyone, and how to take advice – both praise and constructive criticism – and building on that.”
Wilson aims to give every student the opportunity to feel heard, engaged and represented during their time at university. She believes that there should be more chances to give feedback on the student experience and she pledges to ensure that this feedback is acted upon.
She is committed to reviewing the effectiveness of module evaluation forms and module representative feedback.
In recent years, module evaluation forms have had a significantly low turnout rate – with some faculties only receiving feedback from a small percentage of their students. Lucy believes that something must be done to change this, and aims to make module feedback processes “more engaging and accessible for every student.”
Brig asked Lucy how she plans on introducing more effective feedback opportunities.
She said: “My first plan is to reach out to every faculty and see what their engagement levels are like. I will then look at what is working and what is not, in terms of module feedback, and act on this.
“Personally, I know that module evaluation forms can look time-consuming and that can really put people off filling them out. Students might also think ‘What’s the point?’ if they can’t see how their feedback is making a difference.”
The Primary Education student has learnt from her degree that a simple and stripped-back approach is often more effective.
She said: “When you look at education from a primary point of view, you notice so many interesting things. A lot of the times, adults use the same skills and reasoning as children. If you make something visually appealing then primary school children will pay attention to it, and we sometimes forget that it’s often the same for university students.
“Having a module evaluation form that is brightly coloured and broken into more manageable pieces is going to be more appealing to fill out, rather than a big grey boring document.
“I also think having smaller feedback opportunities spread throughout the semester could be really effective. So perhaps having a short five-minute survey at the end of a seminar on just one part of the course, instead of a massive feedback form at the end of the semester which can seem quite daunting to fill out.
“Module feedback is such an important opportunity for students to make their voices heard about their module, course, faculty and student experience as a whole. So I’m committed to working with every faculty to make module feedback more engaging and accessible for every student.”
Lucy Wilson’s manifesto can be found in full here.
Voting opens at 9:00a.m on Monday, March 14 and closes Tuesday, March 15 at 6:10p.m.
Featured Image Credit: Lucy Wilson