Ahead of this year’s #BSUElections in March, a proposal was made by current Vice President Student Involvement (VPSI), Jess Bradbury, to replace the current VPSI role with a brand-new Sabbatical Officer position to enable the officer holding this post, to be more reflective of our shared priorities with the University as well as our current and future strategic objectives to support the student experience at BNU.
Agreed changes at Union Council on Monday 9 January include working with all student communities and promoting opportunities for personal growth, the benefits of participation and active engagement alongside supporting student success in all that it means for the newly named ‘Vice President Achievement and Belonging’.
Areas of our work that will be a focus for the Vice President Achievement and Belonging (VPAB) include:
- Equality, diversity and inclusion
- Sustainability and green Initiatives
- Personal development, leadership and employability
- Growth and development of student-led communities, groups, teams, societies and projects
- Developing our portfolio of opportunities and growing participation across the breadth of our offer
- Civic engagement, relationships with our wider community, charity fundraising and volunteering
Why was the change needed?
Replacing the old role of VPSI, which is too often thought of as an outdated ‘sports and societies’ role, will put greater focus on the areas of the Union’s work that sometimes receive less attention. These areas of our work have constantly featured prominently as important aspects of the Students' Union in the annual membership survey. The progressive move does not require a change to our constitution, but it is always important to get our members views on such changes to ensure we are moving forward in line with students’ views and needs.
What was the outcome?
We are thrilled to announce that we gained approval at Union Council on Monday 9 January to update our bye-laws to reflect the change with the VPSI role which will form part of our March 2023 elections. We would like to extend our thanks to all our members for the near-unanimous support for the new Sabbatical Officer position at Union Council, allowing us to widen our representational support for students at BNU across all our campuses.
If you are interested in running for one of our four Sabbatical Officer positions or any other student leadership positions, election nominations open on Friday 13 January and you can contact the representation team for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.