Chair of Council

Stephen Dawes

Chair of Council


End of Term Report mk2

What have you done this term?


This term I have sought to increase engagement with Council and increase awareness of it. I have worked with marketing to record videos for every Council meeting as well as posting regular blogs. I have worked with the Education Officer to market Council as to encourage people to come along. In addition, The Education Officer, marketing and myself have worked together to change the way that Council and information about motions is written and promoted on the NUSU website.I have attempted to be an impartial and fair Chair of every Council meeting ensuring that Council proceedings are conducted in such a way that is conducive to student democracy and in an orderly fashion. I have also submitted Council reports to The Board of Trustees to help keep them up to date with the events of Council.


What has been your biggest achievement?


My biggest success this year is my democracy week which turned into a series of events which aimed to increase engagement around Council. This has seen me host a motions writing session as to encourage more motions to be submitted to Council, create a mechanism by which feedback can be provided by those who attend Council meeting. I am also using surveys to find out why those who hold permanent voting places at Council don’t always attend. I conducted a separate survey to find out how engages the general student body is with Council and what they feel would encourage them to come along to Council. I plan to move this to an online form so that more people will fill it out as to gather more information about Council.  

I have done this as to help improve Student Council engagement and to ensure that so the new student Officers team such as The Chair of Council and Education Officer have some ideas on how to improve Council next year and so NUSU student democracy as a whole.


What could you have improved on?


I believe that I should have established a feedback mechanism sooner in the year so that I had more time to respond to the feedback provided. I have found releasing Council promotion videos far in advance of Council difficult but this is largely due to the time constraints that the events leading up to every Council meeting.


What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?


To my successor I would tell them that they have to be proactive and take the initiative to talk to the relevant members of staff to get the things that they want done. This involves both building a good working relationship with NUSU staff and familiarising yourself with everyone roles as to understand who can help you with what. The Chair needs to be firm and decisive in their role but also find a way to make people feel welcome and at ease at Council and so striking a good balance between the two is important. It is difficult to release Council promotion videos more than a few days before Council so I suggest discussing this with marketing and the representative and democracy team.


Any additional sections that the report writer deems necessary


I have immensely enjoyed this role and believer that there is room for the Chair to take on my responsibilities when it comes to promoting NUSU democracy. This role has allowed me to learn a lot of new skills and I am honored to be allowed to serve in the role as I have this academic year. I hope that the next Chair is as passionate about student democracy as I am.


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