Councillor: Aysha Musa
What I have done:
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The main thing I have been working on this semester, with help from course reps and departmental staff, is awareness of possible career routes. The majority of Biblical Studies students go into ministry or go on to teach. However recently teaching has become a difficult route to access. Therefore I think it is important that students are aware of alternate career paths. Luckily the lecturers agree that this is important and we have been able to put on careers sessions in the department at convenient times for individual year groups. These sessions have been tailored to Biblical Studies students and the skills their course provide. Also we have been effectively advertising methods of finding more information about the world after education. Careers sessions have been attended by good numbers of students and all feedback has been positive therefore we feel this is a success and something the department will continue to offer to all students not just focused at thirds years which has been the past situation. Another issue we will be looking at in the near future will be improving the structure of dissertation lectures/ seminars as many third years and postgraduates don’t feel they are befitting from the current format.
What i am currently doing:
It has come to my attention that some departments do not have sufficient disability access to the facilities they provide. The particular problem arose concerning the joint Biblical Studies and Philosophy department building which only has one room that is accessible to disabled students. I think this is an issue which prevents inclusion as many of the society events are held in rooms that have special facilities for the society and are not accessible to disabled students. Additionally other facilities are off limits to these students. I have raised this issue for a number of reasons:
• The departments’ staff have offered little to no help with reards to improving this situation,
• No money has been offered to help improve the situation (although the society is willing to donate money and put on fundraising events)
• Because I believe that there should be more inclusiveness in mind to students with disabilities,
• Departmental and society facilities are off limits to these students,
• Lecturers are difficult to reach for these students
• Because this could affect the departments intake of students; disabled students may be put off a department that does not consider their needs,
• MOST IMPORTANTLY I want to know if this is a problem which affects any other departments or university facilities.
Please could you find out if this problem, or a similar problem affects any of your constituents, so that it can be determined whether this is an isolate problem, or not. If it is not an isolated problem this would lead to the University needing to take action, rather than an individual society/department needing to rectify the issue at hand.