Her Campus Leeds caught up with Education Officer candidate Lois Nuttall to chat about her campaign, manifesto and why she’s passionate about our education.
Why have you chosen to run for Education Officer in this year’s leadership race?
I have chosen to run for education officer because I am passionate about ensuring that every single Leeds University student has everything they need to get the best possible degree. I have loved my time at Leeds so far and would love the opportunity to really get involved and make changes which will make Leeds University the best university in the country.
What experience do you feel that you’d bring to the role?
As the student representative for the school of education I have experience in representing the views of others and using their feedback to implement positive change. By introducing these positive changes I have helped to improve not only the school of education but the student experience as well.
What do you hope to go on to do eventually?
Like many students I’m still undecided! Before coming to university I took a few years out, working full time, trying my hand at a few different things before finding that I was fascinated by the way people learn and decided to come to university to study it! At the moment I am contemplating doing a masters and possibly even a PhD but currently my main focus is getting my undergraduate degree.
Can you talk us through some of the key points of your manifesto, and how you would hope to implement them?
I have three main focuses in my manifesto, firstly, ensuring that students are assessed fairly. This includes staggering assignment deadlines, ensuring your understanding and progress is taken into account and assessing students in smaller chunks rather than relying on one exam or essay to determine your entire module mark. This is something which I have already begun to implement in the school of education and has made a huge difference to students.
Secondly I want to ensure that students get more contact time, both 1-2-1 contact time with module and personal tutors and more contact time in smaller groups to give students the chance to discuss ideas, raise issues and clarify misunderstandings. I plan to get more 1-2-1 contact time by ensuring that funding relieves tutors from administrative tasks allowing them to spend more time with students. I would also like to place more emphasis on schemes such as PASS (peer assisted study sessions) and SLED (student led discussion) in which I would encourage the integration of postgraduate and undergraduate students to give postgraduates valuable teaching experience and undergraduates additional support for topics not covered in lectures and seminars.
Thirdly I would like to improve library facilities and ensure that every student has the opportunity to have a say in how their new library is designed. I would like to introduce areas specifically for quick tasks such as printing and checking emails, introduce more dedicated silent computer clusters and introduce group computer clusters. I would also like to introduce more library areas with café facilities attached. I think this is especially important now that 24hr libraries have passed; we need to have somewhere to recharge and refuel!
I have lots of other ideas and I’m always open to new ones, after all, I would be here to represent you!
How’s the campaign going and what can we expect from you over the next couple of weeks?
It has been a manic few weeks and a lot of hard work but it’s going really well! I’ve gained lots of support from friends, peers and people from the school of education as well as complete strangers who love my ideas! I’m not planning any wild or crazy stunts (and I will definitely not be doing the Harlem Shake!) because I think that whilst it’s important to have fun with your campaign, having a really strong manifesto to back it up is most important and therefore my main focus. But look out for my posters which I’m trying to plaster in every available space! I have a few things up my sleeve but you’ll have to wait and see!
How are you managing to balance all of this alongside completing the third year of your degree?
I’m actually in my second year so luckily I’m not battling with a dissertation as I am aware many candidates are. I am fortunate to have very supportive tutors and plan on spending Easter break catching up on any work I’ve missed. It has been hard trying to juggle my studies with the campaign, a part-time job and school rep responsibilities amongst other commitments but when you’re passionate about something its worthwhile making sacrifices.
If you don’t manage to get elected, what are your plans after graduating?
If I don’t get elected this year I will continue with my third year studies and maybe even run again next year! It has been a great experience regardless of the outcome, obviously I would love to get elected but I have met so many interesting and inspirational people that either way I feel that it has been worthwhile.
Finally, why should we vote for you?
Vote Nuttall because I am passionate about your education. I have the experience and drive to make positive changes to your university and to your degree; I am friendly and approachable and want to work closely with students to ensure that everyone loves their time at Leeds.
All Lois’ own.