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“I really want to represent students,” says Postgraduate student Dean Tsang. He described the moment that convinced him to run for the position of VP Education: “I went to this Faculty Forum and there was a student who felt really powerless when talking to her department. She had raised some issues and then the department told her to essentially stop complaining. This should not be the case for anyone and I wanted to do something about that.”
His experience as Faculty rep for the FASS department will be vital, he says, to this role. He said this experience “has allowed me to communicate student issues in departmental, faculty and senate meetings. I have attended various training sessions as part of the academic rep development scheme. I’ve also talked and engaged with students and I therefore know their sentiments about certain issues.”
Tsang believes that he can provide representation in all areas, not just departmental. He says that “in my manifesto, my key point was to incorporate the Part Time Officers and liberation campaigns to ensure all representation is covered. As well as this, I would like more access to study spaces, essentially allowing groups to book seminar rooms that aren’t societies.”
Expressing his doubts over an NSS Boycott, Tsang said that he was “unsure” about “whether there’s been enough mobility to ensure the Boycott is fully effective.” He went on to explain that the danger that “even if the boycott is successful, TEF can still be applied which could damage students’ relationships with their unions. Gathering student data is key to escalating opinions.”
Indeed, Tsang took a stance on many issues that face students today. Tsang sees the uncertainty in today’s world as the biggest problem for students, and warns of “a lack of student engagement and it could alienate them for quite some time to come.”
He called fee increases “ridiculous”, saying: “We should engage the university with regards to changing fees.” Addressing the omission of this in his manifesto, Tsang told SCAN: “this should not be something in a manifesto, it should be something any FTO of education would do.”
Explaining that “University changes often take more than 12 months,” Tsang said that Postgraduates may not engage “because they do not see the changes.” He talked through his view that “undergraduate and postgraduate representation should be different. But I think policies can apply to both. Engaging all three types of students (UG, PGT and PGR) throughout my campaign would help me in my role in developing policies that allow fair representation for all three groups.” He added that he would like to make changes that PG students can see during their time at University.
Trivia: Tsang was aware of all of the faculties on campus.