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My Six Month Update

This is what I have been up to for the past six months as CUSU President! Please let me know if there is anything else you think I should be working on.

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Hello Everyone,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you all on completing this semester and hope you had an amazing time. Secondly, as some of you may know, I have now been in office for six months and would like to update you on how I have been coming along with my manifesto and other projects I have been involved in.

Manifesto Points:

Lobby the University for rent reductions and inclusion of Covid-19 termination clause within contracts.

Since coming into office I have been in talk with FutureLets and some members of the University Senior Leadership Team about this. Realistically, that is no longer feasible for this academic year, as the contracts were finalised in March 2021, before I started my term, so I am now requesting to get involved in this process for next year, and to consider this clause and a dropping out clause for future academic years.

Encourage the University to increase the emergency fund provision for students with financial difficulties.

I have had some conversations with the Provost about this and I will be working more on it during the next six months.

Increase the level of mental health support available on all campuses, no matter where you are.

Your VP Welfare and Inclusion, Indica Norcup has dived into this issue and it has not been forgotten.

Improve accessibility and support for disabled students.

Again, your VP Welfare and Inclusion, Indica Norcup has been working on this issue and it has not been forgotten either.

Make the Students' Union truly student-led by involving students in more University and Union decisions.

This has been the manifesto point that has taken up majority of my time. The Democracy Review is under way; this is going to fundamentally change our Elected Student Structure from July 2021. For next academic year we will only have four Full-Time Elected Officers; President, Education Officer, Activities Officer and Community Officer. We are now looking into Part-Time Officers. Once these structures have been approved by the Union Affairs Committee and Coventry Executive, I shall update you. In addition, we have now introduced democratic accountability for Full-Time Officers.

I have also been mentioning all the major issues students have been facing at the University Board of Governors and Academic Affairs Committee; they might not be able to do much about it, but at least your voice is being heard at the highest levels inside the university.

Ensure that the Board of Trustees and other important meeting minutes are readily available on the website.

The CUSU Student Meetings minutes are now up on our website, and our Board of Trustees meetings should follow as soon as possible.

Restrict in-class tests and coursework deadlines during revision week to help students focus on exams.

The University Leadership Team has been made aware that this is still a reoccurring issue at Coventry University Coventry and Coventry University London. As a result, I have created a survey to collect date around the 10 hours of teaching and revision week. We will use this data to prepare a presentation for University Leadership Team at the end of the academic year.

Tackle the BAME awarding gap.

Your VP Education, Obinna Okereke has been working on this issue, since coming into office in July 2020.

Provide sports and societies additional support and on-campus facilities to organise events and activities.

Your VP Activities, Sports & Wellbeing Officer and I fought to give Sports and Societies more time at Priory Sports Hall. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get much more time, however we are working on making sure the issue does not repeat itself in future semesters/academic years.

Bridge the gap between campuses by organising cross-campus sporting and social events.

Due to covid and financial limitations, these events are not feasible and I would like to apologise for having put this on my manifesto and not being able to fulfil it. However, the four Cross-Campus Full-Time Officers are now visiting all the UK campuses on a regular basis, with the purpose of bridging the gap between us and these students. This had never been done before. 

Build a rapport with local businesses to provide more employment opportunities for students.

I only started working on this in December. Now that it is under way, I shall endeavour to update you on this as soon as possible.

Any Other Matters:

  • I worked on a Safe Night Out Campaign with VP Welfare and Inclusion, Indica Norcup.
  • I have liaised with University Leadership Team to put out the correct information, on a timely manner about Coventry based graduations in November 2021. We have also put out a couple of outdated articles on this.
  • I am in conversations with the University Chief Executive Officer about compiling a student friendly document about the university finances and a broader University Ethical Investment Policy.
  • I am now working with all elected NUS Conference Delegates on our Policy Proposal.

As of the end of the business day today, I will be logging off from work for 2021. I will be back on the 10th of January for my last 6 months in office. 

I would like to wish you all the best Christmas and new year celebrations. Stay Safe and Healthy.

Warmest Regards,

Catarina F. Cardoso

CUSU President

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