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As some of you may have noticed, we are rapidly approaching the end of Lent Term (where on earth did it go?)
After the past week and a half of electioneering at the SU, I am happy to announce that we will be putting on an End of Term party for Postgrads – ‘The Graduate’ - in our new building.
For those of you who have yet to check out the Venue, it’s a pretty sleek club room. We will be hosting the event on Thursday 20th March from 10.30pm, with cheap drinks and a great DJ all night long.
Tickets will be £3 for the first 100 people to buy, and from there on the price goes up. If you know a big group of friends who want to go, you are also in luck - we are looking for some keen entrepreneurs to sell tickets, and for each ticket sold we will give you £1…so why not make money and have a good night in the process? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
If you are interested in selling tickets, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be telling you how you can buy tickets soon.
In other news, as election season comes to a close, I can tell you that I will be working closely with both the current and new set of elected officers to make sure that the examination period passes by smoothly for the Postgrad community.
On that note, the SU will be running a room booking system for study groups, allowing you and your study buddies to knuckle down and revise in a room of your own. More information on this will follow next term.
I’ll be meeting with the Course Reps again next week to keep them up to date with academic affairs here at LSE. As some of you may know, the School are considering changes to the layout of the academic year to an 11-11-8 system of term length (by weeks). If you have any thoughts or concerns regarding this, please do get in contact with either myself or your Course Representative.
As a final note, I will be working over Easter on several projects with long-term benefits for the Postgraduate community here at LSE, including re-organisation of the working week and further representation for students on a School-wide level. I’ll be keeping you updated with the progress of these initiatives next term. This being said, there is plenty of scope for new initiatives! If you have any other thoughts or concerns, or changes you would like to see made, get in touch with me at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,
The LSE Accommodation Office has a lot of information regarding housing for both term-time (this year and next year) and the summer, and their website would definitely be the best place to start. Since we’re nearing the end of Lent term, there’s no time like the present to consider your options.
Unfortunately, applications for summer 2014 are not yet available, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking into. The temporary booking webpage will hopefully be updated within the next few months, and this is where you will need to look for mid August to late September accommodation opportunities.
If you applied to live in LSE halls before you arrived, you’re probably already familiar with the LSE halls at a glance webpage. It is your best resource for hall-specific information, and it includes documents like What we provide in each hall and the current table of room fees, which is an excellent guide, even if next year’s fees will change.
The Accommodation webpage also has information about private accommodation, and that might be also worth looking into, depending on your personal circumstances and preferences.
We have a plethora of excellent housing advice available in past posts, and I cannot sufficiently express how important this information could be for students searching for private accommodation. Hours of time, research, and student concern went into these posts, and some of them include legal details for your protection. If you’re considering private accommodation at all, please look at the following links for more information:
Looking After Yourself: Avoiding Housing Scams
Common Landlord Problems
Student Housing Guide (Part 1: Housing Options; Halls of Residence vs. Private Accommodation)
Student Housing Guide (Part 2: Searching for the Perfect Property)
Student Housing Guide (Part 3: Sorting Out Contracts and Moving In)
Finding a Home from Home Part 1
Finding a Home from Home Part 2
Finding a Home from Home Part 3
Read the blog and comment below.
This article describes the opinions and thoughts expressed in the third discussion group of the BME at LSE project. The theme was elections and campaigning.
The project aims to improve BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) engagement at the LSE Students’ Union. For more information about the project, read here.
In general, there was agreement that the Students’ Union elections are a great opportunity and platform to express opinions and create change. While most students acknowledged positive aspects to participating in the SU elections, this article will also describe some of the negative aspects as well as possible improvements suggested by students in the discussion group.
Elections – observations
Positive comments about the elections included:
For me, the elections are a good opportunity to get your views out there on issues that are important to you and that you can change.
Overall I found it a very positive experience and not very daunting at all.
There was a sense from most students that the SU elections are a popularity contest and it can be off-putting to penetrate the ‘inner circle’ of candidates and perceived voters.
My one criticism would just be that when it comes to exec elections, it can sometimes be a popularity contest with the more desirable and popular roles…I think a lot of the time there can be this perception that you sort of know who is going to run for SU elections and that there’s an inner circle kind of thing and so in some ways, it can prevent people from getting involved in elections.
Some students were concerned that despite being extremely active in many aspects of the SU, when it came down to elections, this was not always taken into account by voters.
Interestingly, this echoes the previous discussion group which appealed to the SU to better reflect the diversity of society events in its publicity and allocation of resources. This would make a broader variety of students and societies more visible. This would encourage election candidates to appeal to this broader spectrum of students. This would encourage more and different students to vote.
There was however, a level of acceptance that the popularity side of the elections was just the reality and that to think otherwise was perhaps naïve.
I used to have quite a naive view of elections that people just read manifestos then decide who they would vote for according to how they receive those policies but being aware of what was going on, there’s much more politics and popularity involved.
One student noted that
You can see the elections as a summation of all you’ve done during your time at LSE so someone who has got involved in a lot of societies and other things in the SU would get to know more people and therefore have more chance of being elected.
While this was accepted, a counter opinion was also put forward:
I do take on board what you were saying about what these people contribute and they do a lot of stuff for LSE so no wonder that people think that they are the ones who will probably be elected – I completely accept that, but a lot of the others who are less likely to win also contribute a lot to societies and to halls and whatnot but because it goes a bit unnoticed sometimes, the kind of things they’re doing so they feel that their achievements aren’t enough to run.
Later, when asked about factors that might affect whether or not students engaged with the elections, participation was discussed. Linked to the above point, students observed that even when BME students participate in elections…
…I think the problem is with the next step and feeling like they can win… Mainly there is a cultural thing as well and home students feel more affiliated to it but it’s not an issue as international students run, they clearly want to win but there must be something wrong in between as to why they’re not winning or why the wider student body aren’t adopting these candidates and endorsing them and actively trying to get them in.
This link between international students and BME students has been a theme throughout the discussion groups and it is felt that the overlap is very strong and making more efforts to engage one group will help the other.
As well as discussing the importance of the following factors in making people stand/vote:
Students also suggested:
As participation of BME students was not seen as a problem, it was agreed that it was more a question of how the SU harnesses existing participation and capital from BME students.
Closing the gap between the central SU and societies has been a theme throughout the discussion groups. Specific solutions, suggested by students, could involve: handpicking society committee members and encouraging active students; providing election workshops for BME students; working more closely with relevant societies from start of the year; a targeted communications strategy to reflect the activities of BME students.
It has been debated in each of the first three workshops, whether there should be some BME-specific positions in the AU, societies and media groups. Overall, students thought that positions in the AU and articles in the Beaver, for example, should be based purely on merit. Others thought it might be useful to have an outreach officer to liaise with other societies and the SU. There was some concern however that too much onus would be on individual societies and groups, when in fact, it is the responsibility of the central SU to seek out underrepresented groups and create opportunities for them. If this is done from the start of the year and in a meaningful way, this would manifest positively in SU democracy.
How to get involved
Come along to the final discussion group in week 9 – Tuesday 11 March 4pm. Or if you just want to express your views, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts or to arrange a meeting.
Read here for more info about the project.
The full report will be published online in the Summer Term.
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