Ijeoma Opoko

Candidate for Vice President Education and Democracy

  • Introduce and facilitate voluntary virtual peer led studies and tutorials
  • Facilitate the adjustment to increased digitization following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Increase awareness of and access to learning resources and student opportunities
  • Publish and circulate periodical reports on the progress and engagements of the office
  • Improve student representation through an open and accessible administration

Why vote for me?

I am Ijeoma Pamela Opoko and I am interested in representing your interest as Vice President Education and Democracy.

WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE ME?

I have represented students’ interest in previous capacities as Vice President of a Students’ Association, and Vice Chairperson, Students’ Representative Council. As an experienced lawyer, I have developed advocacy and professional skills that would be useful to discharge the responsibilities of this position. As a Student of this institution, I identify with some of the challenges faced by students such as the absence of a structured peer program that encourages group studies, as well as inadequate awareness of available opportunities. Also, given that our University is a multi-cultural community, there are students who feel lost, or out of place and this may adversely affect their academic performance. I commit to tackle these issues in the following terms:

Transparency
- Facilitate grassroot communications through an effective feedback process towards improving representation of students’ academic interest.
- Improve awareness of and access to resources available to students.
- Publish and circulate periodical reports of office activities and engagement

Inclusivity
- Introduce a networking platform where students of similar interest can connect.
- Promote diversity and foster a sense of belonging amongst students through resolution of issues that may affect their academic well-being.

Progress
- Advocate for and facilitate processes that encourage interaction and real-time support following the Covid-19 Pandemic.
- Engendering and facilitating structured voluntary peer study programmes where students can share knowledge, exchange ideas, and network.


Your vote is a demonstration of hope and a commitment to the progress we can make together.


Your voice matters!

A vote for me is a vote for YOU.

Questions & Answers Ask me a Question

What will you do to protect disabled student's ability to access their education while the pandemic continues and beyond?

It is important to protect and improve access to education, regardless of the situation. The Pandemic has occassioned an increased use of digital resources and it is important that disabled students understand the support system that the university has in place for them. I will 1. Liaise with the enabling services, advice centres and relevant officers to create awareness of the support available to the them. 2. Advocate for focused and personalised support as generic policies or approaches will be unsuitable to cater to the specific needs of each student. 3. Regularly engage them to ensure that the office promptly captures their issues and assist to deliver quality academic experience. 4. Push for increased availability of assistive technology for their use. 5. provide multiple communication channels to receive feedback from disabled students and act on them quickly.

This question was also asked to Avila Chidume, Dipam Sengupta, Isaac Makponga, Amina Lechkhab, Grace Lampkin, Kendall Field-Pellow, Katie Ludvigsen, Alexander BeyeneAnswered by Ijeoma on 20/07/20 09:43

How do you rate the University of Southampton's policies regarding the Covid-19 outbreak- and what would you have done differently than the current university administration were you in their position?

I believe the University's Covid-19 response policies could have been better as the lockdown order was forseeable. If I were in their position, I would have: - promptly commenced contingency plans. - generated and cirulated clear statements on issues like pending coursework, accommodation status, status of accommodation contracts, visa status, and mental health to avoid/ reduce feelings of uncertainty and tension among students. - coordinated the members of staff to be able to work, remotely or otherwise with strict social distancing measures, towards the prompt/ real-time response to queries. - designated a 24 hour operational helpline to deal with mental health and urgent issues. - further develop contingency plans to deal with any such academic interruption or emergency.

This question was also asked to Avila Chidume, Dipam Sengupta, Isaac Makponga, Amina Lechkhab, Grace Lampkin, Kendall Field-Pellow, Katie Ludvigsen, Alexander BeyeneAnswered by Ijeoma on 20/07/20 05:11

How will you encourage more University of Southampton students, particularly those who feel disillusioned with student politics, to engage with SUSU's democratic elections?

People are reluctant to engage where they do not feel a sense of belonging or see impact. Accordingly, I will encourage students to engage with SUSU's democratic elections by - running an open and accessible administration that circulates reports on office activities to elicit feedback and encourage participation. - fostering a sense of belonging through regular communication and campaigns designed to engage the students. - improving feedback mechanisms and reassuring students that SUSU exists because they do. - clearly communicating that change starts with the students and political participation is the way to unite forces to achieve better representation and policies.

This question was also asked to Avila Chidume, Dipam Sengupta, Isaac Makponga, Amina Lechkhab, Grace Lampkin, Kendall Field-Pellow, Katie Ludvigsen, Alexander BeyeneAnswered by Ijeoma on 20/07/20 05:25

What would you do in your role as VP Education and Democracy to represent PGR student interests? What research have you done into the specific educational issues facing PGR students?

Personal consultation with some PGR students make me understand that their issues vary, depending on circumstances. For example, following the Covid 19 Pandemic- some currently need access to the laboratories for research purposes and some sponsored students require support for extension from their sponsors. In the representation of PGR interests, I intend to: - improve engagement by liaising with the relevant officers to organise events or networking forums to intimate them of all opportunities and resources available to them. - maintain communication through available records and encourage them to share their issues for the necessary support. - facilitate the prompt resolution of personal/shared challenges that may affect or impede their academic experience.

This question was also asked to Avila Chidume, Dipam Sengupta, Isaac Makponga, Amina Lechkhab, Grace Lampkin, Kendall Field-Pellow, Katie Ludvigsen, Alexander BeyeneAnswered by Ijeoma on 20/07/20 05:36

Budget

Ijeoma has not spent any of their budget yet