The Cardiff University Student’s Union is all about their Student Voice campaigns and the most important event they hold annually is Speak Week. From February 4th until the 8th (last week) you should’ve seen stalls throughout the Student’s Union and around campus. Each stall is stacked with blue cards on which you can anonymously submit your biggest complaints and best suggestions to improve your experience as a student at Cardiff University (you could also submit ideas online!). Campaigns like this remind us that we, as students, do have a voice and can make a change and ask us what we’d do if we ran the university.
Jackie Yip, your VP Education, puts together all the data from the survey and compiles a massive folder with every single suggestion included. She uses this data to back up her suggestions in meetings and make a positive change that students themselves have said they wish to see. The report is the proof she needs as VP Education to make a positive impact to the way we are taught, assessed, and treated as students. The report from last year is available on the CUSU website if you’re interested to know the statistics thus far.
In Speak Week 2018, over 3,425 responses from students were collected. Yip hopes these figures will continue to rise in future years. In previous years suggestions have helped Cardiff University on a lot of improvements: for example the ASSL opening hours were extended to 24 hours, Wi-Fi coverage around campus has been improved, and card payments for University Catering became available around campus.
The data collected has also helped to inform ongoing projects like Hidden course costs project, and many more. If you missed it you can always talk to your Student Reps about suggestions you may have, speak to the Student Voice team on the 3rd floor of the Students’ Union, or even email Jackie Yip at VPEducation@cardiff.ac.uk if you have any ideas.
The increase in student participation over the years is clear, this week is an amazing way to get students more involved in improving their experience, from requesting more plug points in the library to longer holidays! Any suggestion is a valid one (within reason). Yip aims to get every student writing at least one suggestion each in the future, this way future Vice Presidents can make the change knowing exactly what the students want and have the proof to back it up.
Getting involved in the Student Union’s campaigns, especially those that set out to improve the student experience, is really important to student wellbeing, and encourages us to make a difference and possibly run for a role within the union. Just as the new semester kicks off, we will be the ones critiquing how the university is run. At the end of the day this is our university and we are the paying customers, we deserve for our voices to be heard and listened to.