By Alexander Finer
Name and course: Izi Robe, 3rd Year Geography
What are the main features of your manifesto?
Collaboration, student welfare, equality and accountability run throughout my manifesto which I have divided into:
- Shake Up Student Voice
- Employability and Equal Opportunities
- Academic Success and Your Mental Health
- Campus Connections
- Teaching for a Sustainable Society
Why do you think you are well suited to the role?
My interests at university have been focussed in academic experience. I have been elected as a student rep for Geography 2 years in a row and was awarded CGES Rep of the Year at the FXU Student Voice Awards for my hard work. This year I have taken on the responsibility of Subject Chair for the College of Geography, Environment and Society and have made the most of the position particularly during the UCU strike action. I acted as a strong representation of student’s voice during this time. I volunteered my time to attend meetings with my Director of Education to deliver feedback from students quickly, sent emails to the Vice Chancellors to hold them accountable for their lack of support for our academics, and ensured that CLES Masters students were invited to speak to Tim Quine so that every member of the university was represented. Having been involved in the different components of the Student Rep system I’ve seen how important student voice and feedback is for making changes at the university. Making change also requires confident and clear representation from FXU President Exeter which I have shown that I can provide.
How do you think you will handle liaising with Falmouth uni to get the best for both universities?
As FXU President Exeter I will be particularly focussed on building more opportunities for collaborating with Falmouth University students in academic settings. I believe that a unique selling point of the Penryn Campus for Exeter students should be the unique opportunity to engage with a leading arts university in a way that allows all students to learn from each other and develop skills to create future thinking graduates. There are already obvious cross-overs between courses at Exeter and Falmouth University, so I am very keen to start the conversation with both universities to create collaborative modules available to Exeter and Falmouth students. In the short term, I would like to develop ‘Cornwall Challenges’, started by your current President Dean Pomeroy, which will be a cross university, interdisciplinary project week for Exeter and Falmouth students to find innovative solutions to Cornwall’s environmental and social challenges. My approach to liasing with Falmouth University will be to utilise every academic opportunity that is available to both universities because of the unique setup of our campus.
What do you think could be improved upon/what would you do to improve with the leadership of FXU?
I think the FXU Presidents need to work more collaboratively as many issues that affect students cannot simply be categorised under one title. As part of my manifesto I am interested in making the university understand the connection between academic success and students’ mental health. In order to do this, I am determined to work closely with Harry Bishop to share knowledge, as mental health is just as significant to academic experience as it is a welfare issue. As FXU President Exeter I would also like to be more present on campus and clearer about why I’m attending meetings and the outcomes of them. As part of closing the feedback loop so that students know what changes are made based on their feedback, I would also like to create a Student Voice Forum with student reps, Subject Chairs and Presidents so that each term everyone has the opportunity to be involved in the same conversation and decision making process. Overall, I think FXU leadership needs more connected communication with student voices at its heart.