Running for VP of Education, Stewart Gallagher wants to give back to the students after years of faculty experience if elected.
Brig caught up with final-year primary education student, Stewart Gallacher to talk about becoming the next VP Education.
Gallacher says his previous stints as faculty officer and module rep stand him in good stead for this position.
“I was a Faculty Officer for 3 years within the union, so I worked with three previous VPs of Education and seeing what they did made me want to push my own work that I was doing in my faculty further and really bring that work to the whole university to benefit everybody.
“I also wanted to run because of my degree and my previous experience, it kind of seemed like a no-brainer. While I worked with previous committees across the university, I was persistent and with the transferable skills I’ve learnt and the knowledge of the area, I thought I would be the logical next step.”
“After a couple of years, you recognise when problems still haven’t been fixed and that I have a clear solution that would fix that. Faculty Officers and module reps allow the Students’ Union and the University to know what is working and what isn’t. Without these vital roles, issues may go unaddressed, and students may find it difficult to know where to go when they are looking for support which is what I’m trying to emphasise.”
Cost of Living
Explaining his manifesto, his first point is focused on tackling the cost-of-living crisis and hidden fees within courses. Stewart said: “Making students aware of hidden prices in courses and online materials that are at their disposal is so important for students right now, especially with the cost of living crisis. I would also try to work with the next President and VP Communities to try to get cheaper accommodation at Stirling through subsidy.”
On his next point of improving academic integrity, he says that “when I started before Covid, my faculty had very clear explanations of what the standards for plagiarism were and what to do.
“But recently there’s been a massive increase in plagiarism surrounding academic integrity. I would want to run workshops for students wanting a bit more support and would reach out to faculties to give a clearer explanation or better guidance on plagiarism. also that the union can support you with these issues and you’re not alone when it can sometimes be really scary yourself.”
Improving engagement and representation, something that is close to Stewart’s heart, he feels can be sorely lacking sometimes at the university.
“I feel people don’t fully understand the little amount of commitment it takes to be a faculty officer or module rep, to be engaged with that side of the university and for not very many hours the whole semester it’s super beneficial. Spreading more information about it is not only important for the union but for engagement in classes as well with feedback”
Inclusivity in the community
Accessibility and inclusivity are important parts of his manifesto, Brig asked why this is.
“Since Covid, online options have been successful, so I feel like more hybrid options should be implemented to help mature students, commuters and international students feel more a part of the community making it more accessible. This gives students the community spirit with clubs and societies as well, regardless of ability or where they are from.”
On his last point of building the community back, he said: “Stirling has always had a really strong community with events at the university. Whilst I was a part of STEER society as a captain, I helped run lots of on-campus events, so I would try more virtual and in-person events to meet people and make friends outside of societies.
When Brig asked why you should vote for him, he says that “It’s my experience. Having worked with three VP of education, I’ve seen their policies, and I’ve worked closely with them. I have sat on student liaison panels and committees, which has given me great insight into across-the-board issues at Stirling.”
You can read Stewart’s manifesto here.
Voting opens February 28 at 10am, and closes on the March 5, at 5pm.
Featured Image Credit: STEER