VPX Updates 17/11/21
Hello everyone! Its been a busy week of vpx-ing – here are my updates:
SU Michaelmas Elections!
VOTES CLOSE TOMORROW (Thursday 18th Nov) at 5pm!!!Have your say in who represents you at Cambridge, within your Faculty, School and SU, and on a national level at the National Union of Students.You can find out who is running below and read their manifestos in full at cambridgesu.co.uk/vote.
Vice Chancellor consultation
Ahead of Stephen Toope’s departure in September 2022, the SU are collecting student input and feedback for recruitment of the new Vice Chancellor.Contribute via the survey here:https://www.cambridgesu.co.uk/surveys/VCSelectionConsultation/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=6013&utm_campaign=Run-in-the-Michaelmas-Elections&utm_content=More-information-rarrNext week (Tuesday 23rd) i will be attending a university wide meeting to give the Homertonian’s perspective on what we want to see from the new university leadership. please share any issues, concerns, or thoughts you’ve had about university processes, structures and ways of working via this anonymous form. Nothing is too small!
External Campaigns Update 20/10/21
Hello everyone, week 2 has been super busy but the external campaigns have not stopped!
This week in our local community
I attended the SU ethical affairs event about mutual aid on Tuesday evening and heard from some amazing community action groups across Cambridge. More info about how you can help in our local community coming soon!
I’ve also spoken with the organisers of Queen Edith’s community forum, who keep people updated about everything happening our local area (Queen Edith’s is the name of our council ward). You can sign up to receive the newsletter here: https://queen-ediths.info/weekly-email/
SU Student Council Meeting – 25/10/21
The next SU student council meeting is just 5 days away! You can read the agenda for the meeting here: https://www.cambridgesu.co.uk/yourvoice/studentcouncil/
This is also where you can find minutes from the previous council – all motions passed with a majority vote.
Please do share any thoughts or opinions you have about the agenda with me via this google form: https://forms.gle/N1PHDNvwaE7JJUeB8
And a reminder that anyone can attend the student council and raise motions, if you would like any help with that please do drop me a message!
HUS love, Mia :))
Motion to Fund a Portion Of The Cost Of Running CamQueerHistory’s Events For LGBTQIA+ History Month 2022.
Motion to Promote the Running of Alternative Bops (non-drinking events simultaneous to bops).
Motion to support the boycott Barclays campaign.
Motion to Support the Strikes (In the event of positive ballot this week).
Woah that was a busy term! Hence why I’ve only just got round to writing this. Other than dealing with the strikes, here’s a short summary of what I’ve been doing representing U externally this term….
We want U back
I met with Geoff right back at the start of the term (see above for proof) to discuss what we could do to get the bus back. He agreed to speak with the Mistress at Girton College and they have had conversations about our lack of bus service.
I also met with Girton’s old and new VP to discuss the issue and we’ve been working together on this in partnership with the CUSU president.
I presented the results of our bus and cycling survey at a surprise meeting with the University’s travel people and their consultants who are deciding the future of the U bus at the next contract renewal. Together myself, Geoff and Deborah (the bursar) made a forceful case for Homerton’s inclusion. They promised an online consultation survey for students to fill in and have made this available. I’ve ensured that CUSU publicise it alongside our point of view and have done the same for the local bus user group.
As we get nearer to the crunch meeting of the University committee that makes decisions on the bus (this takes place in early February) it’s time for one last big push. I will be making open letters (per department) available right at the start of next term and if you haven’t already: please fill in the survey for the chance to win £100! We’re already the no 1. respondent, let’s cement that position.
Instructions on how best to fill in the survey to help our cause are below:
- Go to https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/universal/
- Respond to Q1 how you want
- For Q2, tick “No stop near where I start my journey” and tick “Other (please say)”, entering “The U bus does not stop outside Homerton College” (and all others that apply)
- Respond how you want to Q4 – Q12
- For Q13, tick “Very Dissatisfied (1)” for “Overall”, “Locations / destinations served by the bus”, “Walking distance to nearest bus stop” and fill in all others how you want
- For Q14, enter something along the lines of “It would be improved if it served Homerton College directly so I could get on it easier” in addition to any other comments you have
- For Q15, enter “Homerton College and Girton College main site”
- Respond to Q16 how you want
- For Q17 pick either “Received email” or “Social media” as applicable
- For Q18 pick “University of Cambridge student”
- For Q19 pick “Homerton”
- For Q20, it would be really helpful if you could pick “Yes”, the bigger the chance of having an actual Homertonian in the meeting, the better our chances of being heard directly
- Answer the remaining questions as you want and submit!
#HomertonVotes in the smallest surprise of last term there was a general election which took place just after it had finished. I publicised and helped people fill in postal voter registration forms and ended up delivering about 30 of them myself! There are no government elections next term but there are CUSU elections which the HUS will publicise nearer the time.
Other Some things don’t fit neatly here but I’ve also attended several meetings with other JCR reps and ensured that students get the clearest information on Brexit given it will be happening on 31st January: I’ll keep working on this in the new year!
Campaigns for 2019-20
We want U back!
Our main external campaign this year is for the return of the U bus! Homerton students and staff overwhelmingly want the U bus back and the substantial number of people disadvantaged by the decision by the University in 2016 is an outrage for us. To further rub salt into the wound the bus stop on Brooklands Avenue was moved further down the road, increasing the time taken to access the U bus.
At the last election only 270 Homerton students were registered to vote. We want to increase the number of students who are registered to vote and who do vote when elections come around. We will try to do this with voter registration at the Freshers’ Fayre as well as putting on candidate hustings where possible.
92.5% of Homertonians use Cycling as their main form of transport but the cycling infrastructure on the main routes into town and over to Sidge and West Cambridge can leave a lot to be desired. We will be promoting safe cycling as well as campaigning for improved cycle relations.
Start of term update (09/10/19)
We want U back I’ve met with the CUSU President who has pledged his support and will be meeting Graham Virgo (one of the Pro-Vice Chancellors) who sits on the committee which makes the decisions regarding the bus to ensure that a fully open consultation is provided for students at Homerton to fill in which has been promised to us multiple times since the original decision. Having found documents from the committee it is clear that other alterations to the route have been made before and as such I will be demanding the return of some service to Homerton this year if possible.
I’ve also met with the Girton JCR President and VP who we’re teaming up to work with on this campaign since they too, lack a bus service and have had their calls for one ignored by the University.
I’ve requested a meeting with our local MP Heidi Allen and will be meeting with Geoff this week to discuss the campaign.
Cycling campaign I’m working with the university travel department to arrange free cycle training for students which is being offered for free by the university this year.
#HomertonVotes I’ve talked to all of the new freshers about the importance of registering to vote and why as young people we should vote to avoid our future being determined by others.
Meeting the council (26/09/19)
Hey hey! I’ve been back early this week to help with organising Freshers, but I’ve also made a start to our external campaigns for the year! Thank you to everybody whose filled in a survey or sent me stuff over the last few weeks: it’s going to be really helpful.
Cycling Campaign: Today I met with the Head of Transport Strategy at Greater Cambridge Partnership as well as an officer with responsibility for cycling to feedback the results from our first cycling survey and the U Bus survey, whose results you can see here in our Homerton Student Transport Data!
I relayed our main concerns about the condition of the Hills Road cycle lanes and the poor cycle parking in town as well as the lack of cycle lanes on Brooklands Avenue. I have answers for each!
- on the Hills Road cycle lanes it is a priority matter for the council to get these fixed as soon as funds become available to do it. They’re aware of the poor condition of the cycle lanes as soon as you get to the Railway bridge and are looking at doing a full resurfacing as and when money becomes available. They will continue to patch potholes as soon as they can in the meantime.
- on city centre cycle parking there is new cycle parking that has just been put into the city centre (around 100 extra spaces) and they continue to work to expand the amount of cycle parking with aspirational plans to drastically increase the amount in the car park by the Maypole.
- on Brooklands Avenue whilst they recognise the concerns about cyclists sharing with road traffic or pedestrians (both parts are narrow), a lack of space due to the trees lining the avenue prevents putting in segregated cycle lanes. There are plans being put together for reworking the junction between Brooklands Avenue and Coe Fen to make it easier for cyclists.
We want U back! I also relayed our campaign for the restoration of the U Bus and how the data showed a strong desire for that sort of route to return. They mentioned they’re doing work on the bus routes around Cambridge so I’ve subscribed to their latest consultations and updates to see when this comes out. I’ll let you know if anything comes in that we can add lots of responses to, so our voice is heard.
I’m meeting the CUSU president tomorrow to discuss his support for the campaign too and I’m looking to hold meetings with others over the next week or two to plan out our campaign. I’ll also be finding out about the consultation we were promised on the new route from June 2021. If you have anything “U” want to add or ideas please email me and I’d love to hear them.
#HomertonVotes I’ve collected some resources from Cambridge City Council so if you have questions on voter registration (or want some free voter registration stash) please drop down and see me in the HUS office or at the HUS Freshers’ Fayre on 13th October.