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Meet the new Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers

The new Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers start today (1 July).

Five students are elected each year by the student community in order to ensure the Union’s strategic aims meet the needs of Portsmouth students. Each Sabb has their own remit and areas of responsibility and they work throughout the year to deliver their manifesto points and provide support to students.

The new team were elected in March but a new Vice President (VP) Sport has recently been announced as previously elected VP Phil Samuel stepped down due to personal circumstances.

President – Helena Schofield

The role: The President leads the Sabbatical Team and assumes ultimate responsibility for the work of the Union and in creating a positive impact for all Portsmouth students.

Manifesto points:

  1. Improve student accommodation and make it easier for students to choose houses by introducing a ‘Rate your Accommodation’ app.
  2. Work with the University to improve the University bus service to include later services and an additional route.
  3. Reduce the cost of library food by including more options in the meal deal.

About Helena:

“I studied international relations and politics and have had a really positive experience at Portsmouth. Throughout my time at uni I have been on the committees of the Labour Society and the Palestine Solidarity Society. I really want to try and achieve my manifesto points but my main focus is to make everyone’s experience at uni more positive.”

Contact: president@upsu.net

VP Education and Democracy – Rama Hilouneh

The role: The VP Education & Democracy represents the academic needs of all students at high-level university meetings. They help to ensure the Union and Sabbatical Officers are democratic and student-led in their decisions

Manifesto points:

  1. Create a peer mentoring programme to tackle the BAME attainment gap.
  2. Make improvements to the library facilities, by means of adding kettles and microwaves available to students at all times. 
  3. Improve the feedback system for coursework and exams. 

About Rama:

“I come from a town in West London called Hounslow but was born in Syria. My experience at university has been positive, from starting a society to taking part in the NUS Campaign. I am excited to get the BAME scheme running and to get to know how the university works and make decisions on how students can influence change at the university.” 

Contact: vpeducation@upsu.net

VP Sports – Gez Matthews

The role: The VP Sport supports the development of sports clubs and recreational activities at the Union and encourages student engagement. They represent the student voice on sporting issues both locally and nationally.

Manifesto points:

  • Standardised kit for all sports clubs, making kit cheaper and giving a more professional appearance to all Portsmouth sports clubs.
  • Provide 5 international playing tour opportunities.
  • Increase the provision of “Give it a go” Days.

About Gez: “I have been interested in sport since I was very young and will be graduating in Exercise and Fitness Management. Rugby has been a huge part of my life for a long time and has helped me to grow in confidence and develop teamwork skills. My role as club captain allowed me to see more about how university sport works and the best ways to try and run a club. I’m looking forward to taking on big projects such as the Rainbow Laces campaign and This Girl Can as well as making my own projects to promote and develop university sport.”

Contact: vpsports@upsu.net

VP Activities – Tom Plant

The role: The VP Activities supports Union Societies, RAG and Student Media, and encourages other students to get involved, sign up and start new groups. They also help student-led groups to develop key skills, run events and achieve national recognition.

Manifesto points:

  1. Promote, expand and increase circulation of student media, and its interaction and cooperation with the Union and other societies.
  2. Improve support for students wishing to work, volunteer and study abroad over the summer, and arrange more travel fairs.
  3. Organise and publicise more all-inclusive events for every student at the university, including a Refreshers Week, RAG events, and cultural.

Contact: vpactivites@upsu.net

About Tom: “I studied international relations and politics and over the last couple of years I’ve been involved with student media, hosting radio shows and providing coverage at Union events. I’m most excited to increase the involvement of student media within the Union and across all societies.”

VP Welfare and Community – Hayley Turner-McIntyre

The role: The VP Welfare & Community supports student welfare by raising awareness of support services whilst working with the university on issues affecting student wellbeing. They also support volunteering projects whilst helping to build relationships between students and the local community.

Manifesto points:

  1. To create a reward scheme at the university for recycling plastic.
  2. To ensure all landlords and letting agents are being held accountable for providing ALL students with quality housing.
  3. To educate and to provide support for all staff and students regarding sexual assault and harassment that occurs on and off campus.

About Hayley: “I come from Yeovil in Somerset and studied sociology and media studies. I was a Faculty Rep for Humanities & Social Sciences in my first year and started working part-time at the union shop in my second year. I am looking forward to implementing amazing and beneficial changes to the university and understanding the complexities of student experiences.”

Contact: vpwelfare@upsu.net

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