I’m Declan and I am running to be your PG Academic Officer. For the past four years I have been studying higher education within Education Studies, which has inspired me to stand up for student rights – not consumer rights.
Empowering PGs As Part of the Student Body
Pandemic University has widened divides in student experience. Postgraduates already have a diversity of student experience whether it be MA, MSc, PhD, PGCE, taught, research, etc. I will build upon the work of my predecessor to better integrate PGs into the Durham student experience by encouraging wider participation from postgraduates in groups which embody the Durham student experience – whether that be writing for Palatinate or volunteering with DUCK.
Tackling the Demand of Studying and Teaching
Postgraduates are simultaneously seen by the university as students and also as a reserve army of academic labour. Juggling these responsibilities has long been an expectation – but it has been a patchwork of difference between departments. As PG Officer I will strive to improve university expectations of PG students to be more unified, more rewarding and more accommodating to the needs of all PG students.
Last year I stood on a platform of digitising the library. I saw this as an accessibility problem as well as an alternative the culture of all-nighter Bill Bryson sessions. Pandemic University has not only highlighted the need of these resources as a necessity and not an alternative, but has also sped up a lot of the process. It needs to go further and be solidified so that we can use Pandemic University as a lesson, not a temporary state. We also need to look at the mental health provision offered to postgraduate students, as Pandemic University has highlighted that this is an area we need to improve on.