Interview with 2019/2020 VP Education: Steph Vallacey

Tell us about yourself.

I’m Steph, newly elected VP Education, I’m in my fourth year of Health Science and Society, in the School of Health and Social Science. I’ve got my dissertation due in two weeks, terrified!

How was election night, how did you feel right after, and how are you feeling now?

Election night was very intense, very stressful, I wasn’t expecting the whole intense music to be playing before it. It hit me what had actually happened (getting announced as the newly elected VPE), but it was just really nice, because I could go to sleep and not be stressed after, as it was a really busy week. 

What’s at your top priority now that you’ve been officially elected, any pressing manifesto points to be enacted?

One of my main points was improving feedback, and I still think that’s something that I really want to push, that’s both in assessment feedback and also between the schools and the students. 

SSLC meetings could really be enhanced to make it a better way for students to give feedback on everything. 

So it’s all the little forms of feedback that I want to push, midsemester feedback, assignment feedback, even the enhancement questionnaires – I think they could be done a lot better to improve everything. 

Are there any specific things that Diva carried out that you would want to continue?

Diva did a lot of work on decolonising the curriculum, she’s created a little group called LiberatEd. She’s done that, and I think that’s meant to be a little more self sustaining now, so I want to be able to support that, but I also think that she’s done a really good job at getting that going, she’s already pushed a lot of that through, so I’ll just be there to support it, but I think she’s done a really good job at setting it up. 

How was campaigning week, how did you feel?

I don’t think I slept at all, I wasn’t expecting it to be that intense. The whole time I was stressed that I wasn’t doing enough, so I spoke to hundreds and hundreds of people, constantly going everywhere, I felt like I couldn’t have done anything more. I told myself that if I actually didn’t go all out, then I would regret it. so I might as well as do everything 

I could. 

I hit up Pollock twice – it’s definitely good to go down to Pollock because there’s a range of people. Some people were really keen to talk to know (about role of the Student Council and what past Sabbatical Officers have enacted, like 24 hour access to the Main Library and the arrangement of buses to King’s 

Buildings).

What would you describe your ‘core’ to be, whether it be with regards to your personality, values, manifesto points, or all things put together?

I put students first. There are a lot of things that have happened that haven’t actually included students, like the support for study policy. So I’ve sat on a few committees this year, where I’d be the only student, and it’s really amazing to see that some people (staff) actually don’t know what students are experiencing or thinking. I want to be able to create that link between staff and students. 

 

Image: Shannen Tioniwar

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The Student Newspaper 2016