During Fallon Sheffield’s time as LGBT Officer, she has worked closely with both the SRC and SSC. She has a good knowledge of the Students Association and, if elected as Director of Representation, would advocate an open door policy to encourage all students to present any concerns or ideas.
As mentioned, Ms Sheffield would advocate an “unfiltered open door policy” with dedicated office hours in which anyone experiencing problems relevant to education can approach her directly. As DoRep, Ms Sheffield also hopes to increase “communication and positive relationships” between School Presidents, Class Representatives, and Directors of Teaching. However, she may need to present a more specific plan of action for developing more communication between student positions as it is currently unclear how she would do this.
Another primary concern for Ms Sheffield is the lack of study spaces, which she says has become “a real problem for the University.” Her aim is to improve student access to free space by advertising it within halls and in student emails. However, this would not actually do anything to increase study space, something students would want the DoRep to address.
Another of Ms Sheffield’s focuses would be establishing equal opportunities. She would do so by increasing “the number and size of collaborations between minority focused societies and organisations,” such as the Saints LGBT, the Afro-Carribean Society and Student Minds among others. Again, Ms Sheffield will need to specify how these collaborations will work and what they would actually achieve.
She also hopes to create diversity workshops, in which representatives of different minorities within the University will visit schools around Scotland. This would vastly improve outreach and ensure that “young people realise our differences are not just accepted but celebrated at University.”
Ms Sheffield presents an ambitious plan to improve employability at University. She hopes to work with school presidents to produce “collaborative Employability Fairs,” which would also involve Alumni participation. She wants to encourage school presidents and employability representatives to work more closely with the Careers Centre and to bring more “department specific careers events to all years of study.”
Ms Sheffield also aims to compile a report based on a survey of woman in STEM subjects to see why they were accepted and what, if anything, has made them feel reluctant to follow a STEM career path. She hopes to follow this with a poster campaign to raise awareness of any potential results. This policy seems, though in principle a good idea, seems quite strange and it is unclear what exactly this poster campaign would achieve.
Another of Ms Sheffield’s key focuses would be on improving general wellbeing at the University. She aims to continue the collaborative work she began as Association LGBT Officer on Safe Space, a project which she hopes will result in staff training to deal with welfare issues surrounding the LGBT community. This is a tangible approach which can be easily achieved with her experience in the LGBT community.
Ms Sheffield also wants to work to increase the “visibility of Mental Health Awareness Week.” Building upon more current relationships with Nightline and Student Services will be another key aim, though this policy seems somewhat obvious and original.
The Saint’s assessment
Overall, Ms Sheffield’s manifesto focuses a lot on minority groups which – though important – means that she has few policies which will really affect the general student population. Yet she clearly has good experience in the Union and has clear, achievable ideas of what she will do in the job.