Fleur Elizabeth Walsh

Vice President Engagement

Key Points

  • Update the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan
  • Include a university wide volunteering day during Freshers' Week
  • Host regular workshops to teach societies essential skills
  • Expand freshers' reps to include academic freshers' reps
  • Host weekly office hours at WSA, NOC and Highfield

Why vote for me?

Hey! I’m Fleur Elizabeth Walsh, a PAIR student who’s dedicated to providing the best possible experience for all students, from all backgrounds, with all interests. This is what I’d implement if elected your VP Engagement! Freshers’ Week Increase the number of freshers’ reps and combine with the ‘academic-buddy-system’ to create Halls Freshers’ Reps and Academic Freshers’ Reps. Give the option to groups to centralise induction events during...(click here to read more...)

Questions & Answers

One of your points is to 'designate spaces to be used by student groups only'. On top of the already club/society exclusive meeting room 5, clubs and socs room and MPS, how will you create more space without taking away from study spaces, retail outlets or meeting spaces that are needed for sensitive or private staff/student meetings?

Wonderful question! I believe consistency is key for successful engagement, so by designating these spaces students can easily know where to go, and when, to engage in their favourite clubs and socs! A lot of society events take place past 6 pm, after the majority of teaching has finished and the majority of teaching staff goes home, this frees up a significant number of rooms for society use! By talking to clubs and socs to identify the best spaces for them, I propose block booking the rooms before the academic year starts, and centralising the booking system to minimise overlap, increasing overall engagement. The dream would be having these rooms close by to each other so that if a student finds themselves on campus around 6 and wants something to do they know where to stop by to see whats going on! I also plan to make Monte & Glen bars more accessible, and used more regularly for society events. Whether this means adding safety buses from these events or updating the spaces to meet society needs, these spaces aren't used as often as they could be. The introduction of an interactive map, similar to the computer map already in place, of the rooms on campus would show what rooms are free, and what events are happening if societies choose to publish this information. And finally, an audit of all the union owned spaces would give a much clearer picture as to what is available to students, as well as approaching the university for a detailed listing of available and unused space that could become student spaces. There are a lot of options for student group spaces, some of which none of us know about, therefore theres no need to take away from study spaces or the like!

This question was also only asked to Fleur ElizabethAnswered by Fleur Elizabeth on 16/02/18 18:10

With regards to ‘Halls Office Hours’, how would you dedicate your time at Halls such as Monte, and Archers Road for example? Where would you situate yourself (reception/common rooms etc?) and what would your aim be when you’re there?

The aim of 'Halls Office Hours' is to get the union off of Highfield and into the community. I would dedicate at least an hour a month to each hall, including Erasmus Park and Riverside Way (the new Winchester residence), and I'd change up my schedule each month in order to see as many students as possible. Working in collaboration with the halls officer and halls committees, I'd locate myself in an easy access central location. I also want to engage with those freshers living in private rented accommodation by inviting them to their nearest halls or campus office hour. Office hours are essential to transform this union into one dedicated to putting students' first, as it reminds students that their sabb officers work for them! The face to face conversations that would occur would build stronger relationships between the union and our students, accessing those who typically wouldn't engage with the union. I'd want to learn about the everyday concerns our students have, that maybe are too small to warrant approaching a sabb officer but effect our students' lives, to make our union one that works for every student, everyday of the week!

This question was also only asked to Fleur ElizabethAnswered by Fleur Elizabeth on 21/02/18 10:22

Would you pay the ‘sober monitors’ or what it be a voluntary role for students?

My idea for sober monitors would be another way to provide invaluable training, provide essential support and increase awareness to the issues our students face on nights out. It would be an improved version of the welfare officers that are currently deployed on some union nights out and therefore should come with remuneration. I would transform this role by opening it up to all like-minded students to apply for and then provide comprehensive training to the successful applicants on issues such as mental health awareness, sexual consent awareness, sensibility training, drugs awareness, conflict resolution and first aid. This training would not only contribute to my plan to make SUSU the most employable students’ union in the country, it would also transform the way we organise and engage with night life. There are a number of societies that could be brought into this process to improve awareness and engagement such as Amnesty, Sexual Consent Awareness Southampton and Street Doctors. Furthermore, these 'sober monitors' could join safety bus drivers and support them as well as their passengers. This idea could also be expanded by collaborating with the council and the ICE bus as well as providing an opportunity to work with our local clubs and bars to further support our students, engage with the local community and businesses, and provide benefits for students who work for the scheme. I believe for this role to be successful it must be undertaken by driven, well-trained individuals who agree with me that all our students should be able to enjoy the Southampton experience without worrying for their safety.

This question was also only asked to Fleur ElizabethAnswered by Fleur Elizabeth on 21/02/18 22:33

“Lobby the university to act on the results of opinion surveys and research.” Is this not primarily a job for the President, VP Education or DCI?

The role of engagement is to engage with all aspects of the Southampton University experience; in the community, within the student body and to bridge the gap between students and the university executive. In previous years, this has meant having regular meetings with the VC, but not pushing the students' agenda. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we put students first. This means asking them what they want changed within the University and then delivering that change. No other engagement candidate is addressing the issues that are effecting students in regards to executive decisions; the restructure, VC pay, strike action, gender wage gaps. These are structural issues that need to be addressed. Students need to be made aware of them and the unions' primary job is to then lobby on behalf of the students. The reason I've included this point in an engagement manifesto, is that engagement is the foundation of being able to inform the students of executive decisions and receive feedback of whether students agree, for example by hosting regular office hours, or in round-table discussions and town-hall presentations. I believe these structural changes will effect all students in their everyday lives at university, and the fact that the other engagement candidates are not engaged with these issues proves it to be an engagement issue.

This question was also only asked to Fleur ElizabethAnswered by Fleur Elizabeth on 20/02/18 13:22

I’m aware you spent a semester abroad in Canada. How are you going to widen engagement to include more international and exchange students?

I've been on the receiving end of misinformation and not understanding and it sucks! Having one international students' officer for all international students is quite frankly a joke and there is a huge difference between international students who spend their whole degree here and those only here on exchange, therefore I propose introducing an exchange student officer. Speaking to current exchange students, they are frustrated with the lack of information, support and welcome they got when coming to Southampton. Making re-freshers' as informative and as busy as freshers' will be great for those students who join us in second semester, and other students who feel more comfortable taking part after having settled into university life. Events that introduce exchange students to our city, for example my university-wide volunteering day, would be really beneficial! In order to communicate with international students, the introduction of an international student caucus, inviting the relevant societies and their members, would allow us to initially understand how best to engage with them, what they need from their union and what type of events they would like to see put on.

This question was also only asked to Fleur ElizabethAnswered by Fleur Elizabeth on 24/02/18 10:17

Your opponents have come out in support of the 'auntomoy' of enterprise on campus, but this is simply not working for engagement with enterprise projects. I'm really interested in your enterprise awareness week, please explain further?

I totally agree with you that not enough is being done, the fact that no one has applied to be the student enterprise officer is proof of this! So enterprise awareness week would be so much more than just highlighting our enterprise groups. It would be a chance for individuals to share their projects to external funding bodies, host workshops with industry pioneers on topics such as marketing, development, and funding, and make enterprise available to all students across the board by hosting university-wide lectures from our very own enterprise expert faculty members. This week could also provide a another chance to apply for a second enterprise fund. There has been talk in this election of sabbatical officers taking £1,000 out of their salary to put into clubs and socs, and as a VP Engagement candidate I would be entirely prepared to donate this money to schemes and projects within my zone! This could mean creating a second round of funding for the enterprise fund, allowing those students in first year who aren't prepared for the November deadline, and those who were unsuccessful the first time around, to not have to wait an entire year to apply for funding again. I think this week, or at least several dedicated days of enterprise awareness on campus, would provide our students with a world of possibilities as well as boosting the profile of the University of Southampton as being an innovative campus.

This question was also only asked to Fleur ElizabethAnswered by Fleur Elizabeth on 24/02/18 23:37

Do you think recognition of each zone in the Union is important? If so, how do you propose to increase awareness and participation, for increased transparency?

Of course! Recognising the importance of each zone, and the work they do as a means to educate students on the role of the union, would go a long way in helping increase overall engagement, awareness and participation. We can start to do this with clear and obvious signposting, making sure all students know what each zone is, what it does, and how it does it. Furthermore, my initiative to introduce round tables could be tied into the zones, by having each week address a key issue within each zone. By updating susu.org so it conveys relevant and accurate information, in a format that makes students want to engage with it, we can highlight all the good that the union is doing, and separate these into zone projects. My idea for an interactive events calendar could also improve the awareness of zones, by splitting up union events into the relevant zone! Societies should also have more of a say about which zone they are assigned to. Finally, a union introduction in freshers that is energetic and informative will ensure that all those joining our union, and the freshers' reps assisting them, are well versed in our zone system. Increased transparency is something incredibly important to me, and something all candidates should be striving for. Our union unfortunately does not have a significant history success in this area, something I pledge to change. When I first started at Southampton, there was a clear visual aid on the concourse that explained how our money was being spent, I propose bringing this back. Other universities have budget breakdowns available to students, and this is also something we could introduce. Not only would this provide a significant insight into the union's spending of our money, it would ensure that every single project, expenditure and scheme was to the highest of standards, to justify the costings. Creating a culture of an open and welcoming union will naturally increase participation. If students are aware of everything they could be a part of, using the website as a student hub of information, and they know that all these events have value and are of to the highest standard, we actually give students a reason to engage.

This question was also asked to Miles Jordan, Charlie MorrisAnswered by Fleur Elizabeth on 27/02/18 09:50

You mention office hours at Highfield, WSA and NOC. What about the over 1000 medical students you appear to have forgotten?

Thank you so much for bringing this up! I 100% would be dedicated to opening up office hours at SGH to meet the needs of those medical and nursing students training there, and can only apologise for not making this clearer earlier. As I've said throughout this campaign, I want want to provide representation for all students, from all backgrounds, with all interests. I would also like to reiterate that these office hours would be open to all students; those studying at Winchester but living in Southampton are more than welcome to come to Highfield office hours, as well as those training at SGH.

This question was also only asked to Fleur ElizabethAnswered by Fleur Elizabeth on 26/02/18 20:29

A lot of your polices seem to overlap quite significantly with the roles of the other Vice Presidents. Do you not think that this could be an encroachment into their work?

I actually disagree, and believe that a significant increase in engagement, and collaboration with other VPs, can only see to benefit all sabbatical projects, and our union as a whole. My vision is very different to that of the traditional VP Engagement, in that I fully believe this union needs to overhaul its overall attitude towards students. Essentially, all sabbatical officers have to engage with the student body, and therefore an engagement candidate has to be able to immerse themselves in all roles, in one sense or another. Its not uncommon for candidates to have policies that could potentially fit into other zones, as we are applying to work as a team after all, and we all want the best for all students!

This question was also only asked to Fleur ElizabethAnswered by Fleur Elizabeth on 27/02/18 16:01

Hi there. In your campaigning you have on multiple occasions gone around saying how you'd be good in the role by comparing what you'd do to what has previously been done by the Union. Do you recognise that the effect of this type of campaigning belittles and devalues the work that has previously been done by Sabbaticals? Also this gives SUSU a very negative image when you've been highlighting the things, in your opinion, they do not do so well, which will make it hard to remove from students minds if you end up winning; how would you try and rectify this? Would a campaign based on positive actions not have been better?

Hey! Thank you for this question! I do, however, disagree. It has been made clear to me in my time here that a significant amount of inaction has overwhelmed our union, and the reason I’ve highlighted this is because it fundamentally has to stop. In order for us to not repeat mistakes previously made, we must be aware of them, and if we want SUSU to progress towards a system that actively supports every student, every day of the week, we need to address its failures, as much as its successes. When sabbatical officers take on their new roles, it is not a clean slate, they have to work on what has previously been done, therefore, all candidates should be highlighting what has previously been done by the union. Simply to rectify the bad image that SUSU may have in students’ minds, I will do a better job than my predecessors. It is clear that students are passionate about positive change in our union, hence why we have 27 candidates running for only 7 sabbatical roles. In terms of a campaign based on ‘positive actions’, I have most definitely done this. By getting out there and talking to students, behaving the same way I would if I was in the role, I have proven I am dedicated to listening to all students at the University of Southampton. Through talking to these students, it is clear that the majority of us are all frustrated with the way the union operates, further proving the need for the immediate and fundamental change I am promising.

This question was also only asked to Fleur ElizabethAnswered by Fleur Elizabeth on 01/03/18 10:42


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