I will fight to reduce the cost of being a student at Durham, making Durham fairer.
Why? Because the Durham experience is not an equitable one and it should be.
Being a student at Durham comes with a whole host of costs around sports, extra-curricular activities, college life and more – costs that mean the Durham experience is not an equitable one, accessible to all our students. It should be. Working closely with our Opportunities Officer in particular, and the rest of the Officer team, I will fight to make the cost of Durham fairer.
I will work with student leaders to ensure our Common Rooms get what they need to provide strong, sustainable communities as Durham University expands in line with its new strategy.
Why? Because tomorrow’s students deserve the same amazing college community experience that has added so much to the experience of current and past students.
I will be working closely with student leaders within our Common Rooms to ensure they have the support and resources needed, so that as our University expands and student numbers increase Common Rooms can provide strong student communities for all students. This is particularly important for the Common Rooms of Colleges who are about to undergo a period of significant change, such as John Snow, Ustinov, Stephenson and Josephine Butler.
I will make sure the Student Consultation Framework becomes a way of working for the University, and makes it off the page and into the decision making processes that have an impact on them.
Why? Because students should be part of making the decisions that shape their education and their student experience.
Last year’s our President, Alice Dee, headed up the work to get University commitment to a student consultation framework. She successfully gained this commitment at the highest level. Making sure that agreement actually makes it off the page and into practice will be my third key area of focus for this year. Decisions about our academic interests, our communities, and our student experience shouldn’t be made without input from those of us can see what that impact will be on the ground. I will also be pushing for greater representation on University committees, including remuneration committee.
I’m Megan, and I’m delighted to say that I’ll be your Students’ Union President for the coming year. After studying BSc Geography for three years, and then spending a year as a JCR President, I’m very excited to start my fifth year in Durham. To tell you a bit about myself as an Officer, I’m still figuring out my exact priorities for the year, but I have a keen interest in reducing the cost of the Durham Experience, in supporting the Common Rooms to make sure they’re being the best they can be, and in making sure that the University hears the student voice on all issues, not just when it’s convenient for them! To tell you about myself as a person I’m just a very blunt 22-year-old from Leeds and if you see me out and about in Durham please just come say hi, I’m always up for a chat.
My motivation to run to be an officer was that I realised the potential the Students’ Union had to make change. That sounds really cringey but I spent a significant amount of time wondering what the SU did and not bothering to find out. Then I realised that the SU was the final piece of the puzzle that was necessary to make the University acknowledge the issues faced by Durham students. The Common Rooms are absolutely fantastic communities, but the Students’ Union is here to bring us all together as one, single, united body of over 17,000 students, and that really gives us the strength to make change.
What I’d like people to know about me
That as SU President is that I work for the students. I’m not a member of University staff, they don’t pay me, I’m here solely to make Durham a better place to work and live for our students. I want to hear what you have to say, I want you to constructively question why I’m doing things, or make suggestions. I want you to feel like you can come to me with a problem or an issue that you’re having so that we can fix it, because chances are that you’re not the only one.
So at the moment I’m keen to get stuck into everything surrounding the issue of accommodation fees. Basically, Durham is getting very expensive, and the accommodation fees we pay are a huge part of this because they’re very high in comparison other Unis. There’ll be a campaign with loads of info from freshers’ week onwards so please do look out for it and feel free to get involved, the more of us that get behind this campaign, the more likely it is that the University staff will do something about it! I’m also working on a couple of things that are ongoing issues within the student community such as tackling sexual violence and misconduct. So much progress was made on this last year but there’s still more we can do. As well as this the University strategy is really beginning to roll out now so I’m personally keeping an eye on this, at the moment this specifically means being really involved with the building of new colleges which is so interesting but also very important as it means I can steer projects in the direction that is the best for students.
The best way to communicate with me personally is by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. This said, the easiest way is probably to stalk the SU on facebook. Durham Students’ Union itself has a facebook page, but so do all of the officers individually so you can keep up with what we’re doing and interact with us easily. My facebook name is “Megan Croll SU” so please do add me, but just remember that I get a bunch of messages to that group so they get lost easily, so it’s usually better to email if you’ve got a burning question.