Your Student Leaders, commonly known in Student Union's as Sabbatical Officers, are elected in the spring each year by UAL students and are paid to work full-time for a whole academic year from July until June.
Your Officers meet regularly with key decision makers at all levels within the university and are members of important committees where they can effect change for UAL students.
Officer Priorities & Themes 2023 - 2024
Every year, your Sabbatical officers will create individual priorities from their elected manifesto. These priorities are then categorised into themes that Arts SU will focus on for the year ahead alongside our additional campaign work, such as passed student ideas!
Cost of Living Crisis
The Cost of Living crisis is severely impacting many of our students, with some choosing between buying art supplies or food. We will build upon our campaign last year and aim to trial new measures with your support.
We will continue:
- Our Cost of Study initiatives to help with material and degree show costs
- Our free food parcel events, and expand them
We will lobby UAL:
- To trial funding 16-25 railcards for commuting students 2024/25
- For more affordable and standardized canteen meals
- To implement a bursary or scholarship and travel scheme for LCF students
- To extend studio access during the winter and spring breaks
We will also create a digital campaign with resources of money saving tips and a student housing guide.
Equity through representation
We want to ensure that all groups of our diverse student body are represented at Arts SU and UAL, and that they all feel seen and heard.
One key part of how Sabbatical Officers can do this is by hosting events, bringing together students and curating exhibitions that celebrate the diversity of our student body. We do this through liberation periods, history months and calendar days that draw attention to identity-based student groups.
Liberation periods that we will be working on this year:
- Black History Month in October
- Interfaith Week in November
- Disability History Month in November-December
- LGBTQ+ History Month in February
- Earth Day in April
- South Asian Heritage month in July-August
Other ways we will be representing the diverse student body:
- Ensuring inclusion of Postgraduate students in Welcome events
- Working on a Guarantor Scheme for Home & International students
Inclusivity and accessibility in education
As well as building equity through representation through pastoral activities and projects, we also want to extend that into the educational sphere at UAL by working on improving our students access and inclusion to their education.
We will be doing that through:
- A review and suggested overhaul of the current dissertation process
- Looking at reducing the attainment gaps for Home Black, Asian and other Global Majority students, including for final year LCF Black students
- Working on improved graduate access and support for students
We will continue to:
- Work with UAL for regular updates on their Anti-Racism strategy, including their work to include modules on Decolonisation on courses
- Working on the Safe Space Crits campaign, creating multiple streams of work and linking it to the education strategy
- Working on the Bullying & Harassment Campaign to ensure that students feel safe and protected in their learning spaces
Creating spaces of community and cohesion will be an integral part of our work. We plan to work on academic projects, social networking events and enrichment activities to draw together students from across the colleges, and working with various UAL teams to link up with them. We want to ensure that students from all cultural, racial and financial backgrounds, as well as from different levels of study, all feel that they are all part of one UAL-wide community.
We plan to:
- Work on issues around student financial access to sports
- Work on UAL-wide projects that are inclusive of sometimes isolated student groups, such as the Postgraduate Welcome mixers and setting up a Student Parents, Carers & Guardians Network
- Improve student community at new campuses such as LCF East Bank, the Doctoral School at High Holborn and the FE courses move to Lime Grove through events such as panels, mixers and workshops
- Encourage collaboration between students of different courses, through actions such as cross-campus collaborations at colleges with multiple campuses, such as CCW and CSM
- Establish good links with students and senior staff through encouraging setting up Town Halls with all Heads of College
- Establish links with external collaborators, such as Queer Britain and the Cartoon Museum to create student community spaces and events
- Continue working with UAL on projects around decolonisation
- Continue working on improving the sense of community both on-campus and UAL wide
What do your Officers do?
Your Officers are elected by you, accountable to you and exist to represent your interests as a UAL student. As your full-time/paid representatives, the Full-Time Officers:
- Deliver campaign pledges to create change across UAL, in accordance with the manifestos they were elected on.
- Contribute to various UAL meetings on behalf of students, relaying your views and advocating for your interests (Executive Level and College Level) .
- Work with UAL staff on recruitment of senior positions, developing University strategies and processes, allocating budgets to student support/wellbeing/community and overarching decision making.
- Chair termly academic Student & Dean Forums in every college at UAL.
- Faciliate and co-lead student led iniatives with Arts SU staff.
- Support and work with over 1,200 student representatives (course reps, school reps, society and sport committee members, part-time officers).
- Undergo duties in their Trustee role of the Arts SU charity & business.
And many other ad-hoc tasks and projects.