Update: The first two weeks of term

Daniel Lemberger Cooper, ULU Vice President

First two weeks of the new term. (Jan 7th – 21st).

Here is an update of my major areas of work as ULU Vice President over the first two weeks in January (this report is being presented to ULU Senate, it’s decision making body):

  1. 1.      Students and the workplace:

–          Ongoing campaign to inform, and organise, with students in their workplace: have been supporting a number of ULU Students’ Unions to organise meetings, events, workshops.

 

–          3Cosas campaign: which calls for sick pay, holidays and pensions for staff at the University of London intercollegiate halls, have been:

1)      Latino night for students in late January to hear about the campaign:

2)      International potluck: food and film afternoon for workers involved in the campaign.

3)      Meetings at London University campus about the need to work together with staff on campus.

4)      Organising in halls of residence to get more students and staff involved in the campaign.

5)      Met with University of London senior staff to discuss the issue; they indicated that movement is certainly possible over the question of pay and holiday rights, which is extremely good. However the college is tied ideologically to outsourcing.

6)      Protest on the 5th February to increase pressure on the University of London: http://www.facebook.com/events/324905967616107/

 

  1. 2.      Housing and accommodation:

–          I have been reaching out to UoL intercollegiate halls of residence to start to learn about the conditions of stay in the halls. These have involved meetings with the existing club committees, and setting up residence wide meetings.

–          We have been working with local colleges to introduce schemes that mean Intl students are freed from the burden of stamping up large amounts of money in advance of starting a contract. We intend now to put together model letters for Unions to send to their VC’s/Principals, and put pressure on the GLA.

–          Materials for London students: we are currently putting together materials for a) the case for social housing and bigger structural accommodation matters b) a guide to students housing rights across the city.

–          We are in consultation with the University of London’s facilities and accommodation department about their plans for the Garden Halls of residence.

–          We are responding to the Major’s consultation, the London Plan, alongside Shelter and other groups, see here: http://lrs.homesforlondon.org.uk/page/s/tell-boris?src=hpban-c

–          We have written to Boris Johnson asking him to debate us on ‘What is the future for young people in London?’

–          We have released a briefing on the government’s changes to council tax, see here: we are keen on evidence based policy, and research to support Unions, we have produced this briefing for students’ unions and students on the council tax changes the government is making.

 

  1. International students and travel:  Together with King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU) President Thomas Clayton, I have been pushing for changes in the regulations for student oyster cards to benefit international students.  https://dancooperulu.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/ulu-pressing-for-international-students-oyster-card-changes/

 

 

  1. 5.      Student bloc on NHS demo:

Following on from our public meeting at Goldsmiths university last term on the possible closure of Lewisham hospital’s A&E service, we have called a ‘Student bloc’ alongside Goldsmiths SU.  We are working with Goldsmiths students on getting college students along to the demonstration. Additionally, we are trying to get medical students in ULU colleges along to the demonstration, and encourage some campaigning locally.

 

  1. Millport’s MBS is “The National Facility for Marine Biology” located in the Firth of Clyde, on the West coast of Scotland. The school is currently under threat. Following the failure of London University and St Andrews University to complete their partnership deal it has been announced that unless funding can be secured the station will close in the coming year. This is also because the Higher Education Funding Council for England had withdrawn the £400,000 We have been working with the campaigners involved to find out details of the move to close the school, as well as pressure the UoL and Scottish institutions.

 

  1. 7.      Student activities stuff:

–          Launch of ULU online sports shop:

We have launched the online sports shop: www.ulusportsshop.co.uk. The shop will cater for sports teams, clubs and societies and offers a wide range of uniforms, equipment and leisurewear. The catalogue has been handpicked by ULU to satisfy a broad range of requirements from providing a squad of players with kit to printed t-shirts and hoodies for a fresher’s fare or sports tour. We can also provide items not listed in our catalogue, so if there is something you require but cannot find then please contact us on Sales@ulusportsshop.co.uk

–          LGBT party: ULU is putting on a series of events for the London student LGBT community over the next few months. Our first event, a music festival, is on the 9th February. This will be followed by sporting and cultural events, organised by ULU members at different colleges.

–          Vintage Cinema night: we organised the second in our series of vintage film showings. The next movie, ‘Marriage Italian Style’, on the 29th January.

–          Self defence classes for women.

–          Campus meetings: we are meeting with student officers, sports players, societies, clubs and staff to discuss the support we can offer, inform members about what we are up to and continue the work we are doing together.

–          Volunteering Clubbing Crew: we are launching a volunteering project in the coming weeks, details coming soon.

 

  1. 8.      Societies Convention:

We are holding a one day Societies Convention to bring together students involved in societies to share best practice, to learn and develop their skills, and meet other interested students from across the City. We are drawing together the agenda and publicity. Thjis will be out in the next week. We have received lots of positive feedback about the convention.

  1. Newsletter, mail out:

ULU has been putting out regular newsletters, mail outs and materials for its members across the city.

See our newsletter here: http://ulu.co.uk/news/index.php?page=article&news_id=357483

 

  1. London student liberation network: I’ve met with activists involved in the network to organise the next few meetings and events. The first is in February, details here: http://www.facebook.com/events/132076490290811/
  2. London student’s mental health: I have been working with London student officers on organising a pan – London mental health campaign. This is in response to a rise in mental health issues amongst students over past years, with many feeling that some issues are particularly London-centric.

At the meeting we learnt about various models of academic and non-academic support for students on London campuses. This acted as a good best-practice sharing exercise.

ULU is now taking on a research exercise into the provision of mental health services in London. The idea is to create some kind of educational and informative website/ web presence with a literal map of the support available to students, a resource that all Students’ Union’ officers involved will be able to easily harness and promote via their websites/ social media.

 

  1. 12.  ULU Small and specialist colleges:

I have been working with sabbatical officers from small and specialist institutions on working together through the network we established last term. This will involve a) jointly working on common issues to take to London authorities or the University of London b) ratifying the special service offer that S&S students receive at ULU c) holding training events for S&S students d) co-running social events.

 

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