Sebastian Graves-Read

Vice President Education and Democracy

Key Points

  • Better Personal Academic Tutor system
  • Library provision and space
  • CV workshop and career workshops
  • Democratic accountability review
  • Open door policy

My name is Sebastian and I am a masters year law student. I am running for the position of VP Education and Democracy because I feel like my experience in educational leadership and representative roles, such as sitting on the Academic Board with the heads of school and Vice Chancellor of my previous university, have prepared me to represent the educational interests of all students. Being a post-graduate student also gives me a unique perspective for two reasons: I can relate to the struggles of the undergraduates as I was one myself only last year and at the same time I can understand the strain of being a postgraduate student.

In my time as an undergraduate I was a faculty representative for a year and was a course representative for all three years of my degree so I understand the needs and the struggles involved in these positions. This means I have a good perspective which will allow me best assist the entire student academic support structure when issues arise. I have also held other leadership positions, I care a great deal about charity and am a trustee and director of a local charity and held 6 committee positions in my undergraduate degree. I am currently in the committee for Enactus and am helping with the leadership of that society.

The personal academic tutor system could be a very effective one, some tutors are very good and a real support for students but equally some tutors are not able to offer the same level of support. This is an issue that I think can be addressed in several ways, peer mentoring between tutors being one such way to go around addressing it. Raising awareness of the services available to students from the university is one which I think will help streamline the system and relieve some of the pressure on tutors and could be another way to address it.

The library has lots of great study space but quite often during exam season space simply runs out. I want to explore with the university whether when that happens if other space in the university could be used. This could be anything from a set number of rooms being reserved for study to a new area being opened up.

Something I always found useful were CV and career workshops, I want to ensure this approach is built into every course so when students finish their degrees they know how to go about getting a job.

I want to create a review of how democratic representatives are accountable to the student body as a whole and make sure that the work that we all do is transparent and available.

Finally, I want to have a policy where students should feel free to talk with me, if there are issues they feel I am missing or that their course representatives maybe aren’t reporting to be comfortable emailing or coming and talking to me about it.