A day in the life of a full time officer

Thursday 11-02-2021 - 14:57
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Right, so… a day in the life of a Sabb. This is a hard one. It is very difficult to answer this simply. Being a Sabb means that you don't have a regular day, they don't exist - every day is different, every day has new challenges and every day has new opportunities.

As the Vice President of Student Voice for the past (going on) 2 years now, I am painfully (and joyfully) aware of this. Some days require alot of independence and self management, while others are met with numerous preorganized, and often back-to-back, meetings; either “internal” with colleagues in Union or “external” with our partners at the university, or even with members of the wider national community. The “day to day” of this incredibly unique job is one that demands flexibility and adaptability. It rewards confidence and initiative, but requires communication and collaboration to succeed and do well.

Depending on which Sabbatical Officer position interests you, will dictate the type/category of meetings that you attend, and broadly how the majority of the time will be spent - for me, (with the risk of grossly oversimplifying) that has been a lot of external meetings with the university on policy and process issues, while also working with flat out colleagues within the Union to manage and lead on the Union’s formal representation network (student reps and representation in general).

But for the purpose of this exercise I will run you all through my calendar for last Monday (1st of Feb):

  • 8:00 - 9:00 - Be AWAKE and start to review work emails.

    This one is more of a me issue - I am 100% not a morning person and working this into the morning routine gives me time to try to wake up and get ahead of anything that I may have missed/need to know/do for the day ahead.
  • 9:00 - 10:00 - “Sabbs Monday Meet”

    This is an opportunity for myself and the other 3 Sabbs to discuss the issues facing that coming week and strategize how we plan to address them - it's also a great time for a coffee and a laugh but things have been V this year.
  • 10:00 - 10:30 - “SMM Overflow”

    we used this as an overflow from SMM, as we needed extra time to come to a view on some specific issues being discussed at Academic Board (AB) that Friday
  • 10:30 - 11:00 - “Banna and Emails”

    (As the name suggests, I used this time to eat a banana and send/answer emails)
  • 11:00 - 12:00 - “Staff Huddle”

    Every Monday, Union staff (full time) come together and update/coordinate on the upcoming week’s issues and activities - this meeting while seeming repetitive, acts as a vital method of the Union’s different teams (comms team, student voice team, activities team ext) remaining close and aware of one another’s going ons.
  • 12:00 - 12:30 - “University Meeting Preview”

    This is an opportunity for myself (and whoever else may have read the papers) to raise and feedback on any specific agenda points (typical within upcoming uni meetings) that may require further discussion, consultation or review in order to effectively and accurately advocate for our students’ interests. And tbh, half the time I am a bit ignorant on whatever the issue is, so this acts as a great time to ask for some help from the wider team!)
  • 12:30 - 13:30 - “Exceptional Circumstances Working Group”

    Despite sounding just like another Uni meeting this is an internal Union meeting. I think we can all agree that the current Exceptional Circumstances policy is kinda crap (Not fit for purpose) - and the Union is defo aware of that. This meeting acts as a semi-regular catch up/strategy sesh to give us the best chance of maximising student interest in the final outcome.
  • 13:30 - 14:00 - “Lunch”

    This is a great opportunity for me to have some nomms and watch some youtube (maybe go outside for a walk… it has been very cold recently tho)
  • 14:00 - 15:00 - “Confidential Stuff”

    This one is confidential, so I called it confidential stuff , so as you’ve probably guessed I can't obviously share details about it!
  • 15:00 - 15:45 “Comms and Sabbs”

    This is a regular catch up between the Sabb and Comms teams - this is a great opportunity to plan how we will give feedback to you all on Brookes policy/process developments, while also offering a great space to plan how we action/role out campaigns.
  • 15:45 - 16:00 - “Overflow”

    I used this time to discuss how I/the reps could help with Comms going into the election.
  • 16:00 - 17:00 - “Student Voice Meeting”

    This is the meeting where we try to resolve student issues and triage/signpost where appropriate. I find that I often leave this meeting with a fair amount of actions (things to do), but that may have something to do with me being the student voice human… so I guess it’s understandable! In all seriousness, this meeting is really valuable because its where a lot gets done (or actioned to be done)
  • 17:00 - 18:00 - “HLS HSS Faculty Meeting Prep”

    This meeting was to prep the Faculty reps on the uni TLEC (Teaching Learning Enhancement Committee) that they would be attending that week. This entails a lot of discussing papers/agendas as a fair amount of what comes up in these spaces are often complicated, abstract and difficult to understand. That said, despite the Faculty reps being an entirely new thing to this year, they have been absolutely brilliant so far and have been completely DOMINATING in meetings… terrific really!

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