What Does the Fox Say? – The FTO elections are more important than ever

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COLLEGE WELFARE PROVISION

Let me quickly get this out of the way: I didn’t come to Lancaster because of its collegiate system. That said, I’m surrounded by people who will take their college allegiance to the grave, pint in one hand, dart in the other, and the suitable logo tattooed to their chest. I mention all this because in recent weeks, the report on the College Review has been making the rounds on campus and I’ve been asked to share my thoughts on some of the recommendations raised – in particular the need to enhance and bring colleges in line with one another when it comes to Welfare Provision, an idea that I welcome. In my previous role as a Welfare Officer, I was unfortunate enough to hear from a number of students that the difference in both experience and reliability between college advisors, assistant deans, and other welfare providers, fluctuates depending on their college.

It’s clear, however, that the Review panel offered no real solutions, simply adding requirements to roles already existing and expecting Student Based Services to conjure up detailed training events when they have demonstrated time and time again their lack of resources. If you ask me, the answer lies in a large investment towards professional, campus-wide welfare training which means anyone who might end up helping a struggling student is making the best decisions for that individual. Colleges are already serious contenders when it comes to graduate retention, and a move like this would only strengthen that.

FORGET PARLIAMENT, IT’S ELECTION TIME IN LANCASTER

You’ll have noticed that you can now nominate yourself for any of the six Full Time Officer (FTO) positions today. “Woop-ty-fucking-doo”, right? Actually, no. Every year these elections are important, but there is something special about this time around. We are entering a period where the relationship between LUSU and the University is partially unstable, with Upper Management throwing down iron fists while academics and on-the-ground departments continue to show encouraging support. By the time the new FTOs come into office, we might be facing a completely new political phase nationwide, with the future of higher education dependant on the upcoming general election. LUSU need to do everything in their power to achieve the highest turnout possible, utilising every outgoing communication channel and focusing their eyes on the six most potentially effective students in Lancaster. It could be the difference between more student activism and more student diplomacy.

AND JUST IN CASE

Are you in two minds about nominating yourself? Send me an email (t.fox@lancaster.ac.uk) and I’ll share anything I can from my own experience as an FTO. Don’t worry, it’ll all be confidential and relaxed – I have my own ideologies (if you haven’t noticed) but I’m always happy to help a student who wants to represent, especially when it’s for the good of the collective rather than their own egotistic achievements.

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