Jordan Hickey

Candidate for Vice President Education and Democracy

  • Increase promotion of feedback systems
  • Improve the capability of SUSU to act on student's needs
  • Aid academic reps better quality of education
  • Push for a retrospective and ongoing no detriment policy
  • Widen the support systems currently available

Why vote for me?

Why vote for me? Because I am a student just like you and like many others. I have seen and encountered the hardships that you all also face, and I am determined to improve the quality of education during the pandemic and beyond. Education should be at the forefront of a university, but we do not seem to be receiving the quality of education we all expected from a Russell Group university. It makes us question what we all worked so hard for and if it was even worth it, and I aim to make it so.
Over the past year, the university has made many decisions that affect students negatively, but the SU does not seem to have enough power to make our voices heard. To help solve this, I will increase the promotion of the ‘you make change’ initiative. This initiative helps the SU take your feedback to fight for a better education.
The university is not taking student’s needs into account as they should. They need to be held accountable for their purely business decisions and this can be done by giving the SU more power. To do this, I will increase student engagement with the SU and support them when they take action. As the student support for SUSU increases, the university will be more likely to put our educational needs first.
Academic reps need to be supported more to truly address and take action on academic issues. There are many issues that students have been complaining about for years, but unfortunately, the academic reps are not enabled fix them. To fix this, I will be pushing for academic reps to have more regular meetings, especially with the vice president of education. This will ensure that relevant academic issues are taken to the university straight away. Furthermore, by being more aware of the university's educational issues, I will be able to help promote the changes they intend to make and support them in lobbying and protests.
No student should be penalised by a pandemic. Covid has brought forth a host of issues we never had to deal with before, so students must be given more support. A no detriment or safety net policy will only help in protecting students. So I will be pushing for a retrospective and ongoing no detriment policy.
Finally, the educational support currently available in the university needs improvement. The special considerations process is heavily tailored towards those that are at risk of failing a module, but the suffering of everyone deserves recognition, not just those that are failing because of it. The special considerations process is clearly not fit to deal with the new issues pandemic has brought. Therefore, widening the kind of evidence that can be given, widening the outcomes and the approval process will help maintain fairness.
This year was tough, but next year let’s be more prepared.

Questions & Answers Ask me a Question

What are your 3 core values?

My three core values are efficiency, empathy and honesty. Efficiency is important for someone in my role because we desperately need change to occur in terms of education. If I am efficient and have created a more efficient system, I can achieve things quicker and create necessary change with as little compromise as possible. It is important to be empathetic and put the needs of others first. I understand and share some of the struggles people are currently going through, so I know how it is important to get the university to start seeing things from our point of view. Finally, being honest, open and transparent in my communication with students and ensuring the university does the same will help in building trust. We do not have much clarity in these unprecedented times and I aim to change that through having a more honest and open communication with the students.

This question was also asked to Charlotte James, Ryan Couchman-Sawyer, Martha Luke, Amina LechkhabAnswered by Jordan on 01/03/21 00:44

Hello, what experience do you each have in representing the student body, and how do you think this will assist if you were elected to this role?

I have experience as a student ambassador at my high school and have worked in running my school football team. These positions have mainly helped improve my communication skills so I can talk clearly and effectively with both the university and students and has given me the ability to push for and create change when necessary. So, these two roles have laid a solid foundation for the work I will be doing as VP of education and democracy. My university experience this year and the struggles I have seen so many go through, combined with all I’ve learnt in the two roles I have had prior, push me to never be complacent in fighting for the students.

This question was also asked to Charlotte James, Ryan Couchman-Sawyer, Martha Luke, Amina LechkhabAnswered by Jordan on 03/03/21 09:45

How do you plan to improve the quality of education?

I plan to improve the quality of education by lobbying the university to provide technological training to staff so that they are more familiar with recording and editing software so that the quality of online lectures will be more consistent. I will also lobby the university to allow better avenues for teacher feedback so that students can easier get feedback specific to their work making improvements on work easier. In addition to these plans, I will also be constantly accepting and looking for student feedback both from the general cohort and student officers to push for constant improvements.

This question was also only asked to JordanAnswered by Jordan on 01/03/21 00:45

With COVID-19 considered, what more could the university do to improve the quality of education?

1) Training. The faculty do not seem to understand technology as well as we need them to, and that significantly brings down the quality of teaching. So if we provide teachers training then they will be able to provide better teaching. 2) Software. Providing better software in addition to training will facilitate the improvement of quality and consistency between lecturers. 3) Feedback. Improve the feedback that is given to students in terms of their work to be more accessible, detailed and clearer. Students should also be able to reach out and ask for further guidance which will help them in improving their grades. 4) Forums. Not all subjects have forums to ask their lecturers questions so they have to wait until their office hours to do so, which leads to them having to answer the same question multiple times. Creating a more student-friendly and accessible Q&A forum will help these questions get addressed and will lower the burden on both students and teachers to get and provide help.

This question was also only asked to JordanAnswered by Jordan on 03/03/21 11:02

Where has SUSU failed to inform the university of student feedback on the decisions the university has made which they've had no power to make change? What makes you think that you will be able to increase this power?

SUSU has not hidden or forgot to mention student feedback to the university, but regardless of whether student feedback is given all the power to make change lies in the hands of the university. When there is an overwhelming number of students who want a certain change to occur, and there is no real reason coming in the way of it then the change should occur. However, we can see that the university prioritises its business needs over the students. Therefore, I agree that SUSU has little power to create the change that they desire, and that is where the issue lies. So how will I increase the power of SUSU to enact change? Unions are only as powerful if they have many supporters and I feel that the student body has lost trust and interest in SUSU, and consequently the supporters. Working towards increasing engagements and improving feedback systems will be the way to fix this. I will work to drastically increase SUSU’s focus to actively seeing the betterment of university education as opposed to activities and societies, and this cany bring back trust in the union. I will also strive to improve the ways that students can give their feedback by promoting the ‘You Make Change’ platform so both SUSU and the university can have a better understanding of what the students are going through. Constant engagement as well as putting more importance on student’s feedback is the way to give SUSU the power to create change. As a last resort, I will ensure that SUSU takes harsher steps to ensure the university pays attention to our needs e.g. through strikes. It is always possible to increase the power of a student’s union, and I will seek to ensure that it does happen.

This question was also only asked to JordanAnswered by Jordan on 03/03/21 10:02

How do you plan to increase engagement with the SU?

I will Improve feedback systems like 'You Make Change' and better promote them so we can know how the students feel. As we are here to fight for what the students want, we will not be complacent and will fight for and create change based on the feedback given to us. Currently, students do not believe SUSU can create change or at least not enough. So, merely promoting elections will not increase student's engagement in the elections because they do not believe what SUSU says and that they can actually have a say in creating change. Actually creating change will increase trust in SUSU's ability to fight for the students and so more will start engaging in both current issues and the elections. Finally, I will make sure that the elections are promoted from the beginning of the year so new students are aware that creating change is an essential part of the SU, and will continue to promote it throughout the year.

This question was also only asked to JordanAnswered by Jordan on 03/03/21 10:11

You mention a lot about education - but where have you discussed the democracy part of the role?

I can see that it may not be clear, but I believe that democracy and education are intrinsically linked. Creating change in the education aspect of things, especially change that the students want to see will drive them to engage more in the elections. My belief is that the main reason why students have a low interest in democracy and the elections is that they do not see the change that they want to actually occur. For example, for years students have been fighting for all lecturers to record their lectures but those pleas have fallen on deaf ears. This will make students feel that SUSU has no power to create change and that there is no reason to truly care about the elections. If we think about democracy as separate from education then we will not achieve anything. These students who have seen little change that they want will not respond positively to just promotion of the elections as it means nothing to them. In a university, a complete focus on education is a complete focus on democracy too. There is a reason that education and democracy are put into one role, and so focusing on one will automatically improve the other.

This question was also only asked to JordanAnswered by Jordan on 03/03/21 10:19

How do you think a non-detriment policy will positively impact all students?

A no detriment policy will make sure that students are not penalised for being in university during the pandemic; there is no downside to a no detriment policy that is well implemented as it will only ensure that students get the grades they deserve and would have obtained without the pandemic factor. Also, it could help students' mental well-being as they know that they cannot hurt their grade, reducing the stress of university, which the current situation has heightened.

This question was also only asked to JordanAnswered by Jordan on 01/03/21 07:26

The special cons and extensions were made to be an automatic approval for covid-related reasons, so what evidence can students provide to prove issues relating to covid, and what more can the uni do with these systems?

I do not wish to make students provide evidence for COVID-19 related forms and believe that automatic approval is an excellent step in improving the pandemic's special consideration process. I wish to improve the range of outcomes possible from special consideration requests. It is currently tailored to ensure that students at risk of failing a module can get appropriate outcomes. However, everyone of all attainment has been affected as Such outcomes such as resits for tests with disappointing marks below the students' average attainment should be implemented so that the special consideration process better supports all students.

This question was also only asked to JordanAnswered by Jordan on 01/03/21 07:24

How do you plan to engage with the wider student body, such as Foundation year students, and postgraduates, particularly across faculties that aren't within your degree area?

All students' problems are essential to be addressed, and it is crucial to work closely with joint Honours officers and Postgrad officers to get a good understanding of the support that is needed and what change is necessary to support them specifically. I will also be promoting the use of the “you make change” initiative to help make SUSU aware of any issues students face.

This question was also asked to Charlotte James, Ryan Couchman-Sawyer, Martha Luke, Amina LechkhabAnswered by Jordan on 01/03/21 07:22

Would you encourage the University to cut ties with the People's Republic of China (in particular the Confucius Institute) due to the horrendous actions taken by the Chinese Communist Party?

I do denounce the acts of the Chinese Communist Party for its extensive list of human rights violations like the genocide of Uyghur Muslims. However, for the benefit of the large Chinese student population and for exchange students in Hong Kong, we must not cut ties with China. However, the Confucius Institute has been accused of and found multiple times censoring certain topics. They are beneficial in terms of teaching language, art and history to students who would like to stay in touch with their culture. So, it should be allowed to continue its services as long as it can provide evidence of not committing censorship. In order to make sure there is no censorship in their education, the University should be able to review what they are teaching. If they want to continue to be allowed to teach in a university setting, which I would like because it benefits the large population of Chinese students, then they must be under some control of the University. As long as they are willing to be impartial and only provide education, then the university should allow them to provide their services.

This question was also asked to Charlotte James, Ryan Couchman-Sawyer, Martha Luke, Amina LechkhabAnswered by Jordan on 03/03/21 10:52


Jordan has not spent any of their budget yet