My third forum of this academic year began with an apology by the education officer Salman Anwar, who had promised at the previous convention to entice us back with cake, but instead had only biscuits.
Today’s meeting had two guest speakers. The first was Chris Turnock, Head of Technology-Enhanced Learning. He gave a presentation about the Teaching Excellence framework. Universities are assessed on thirty-five subjects, of which Hull teaches twenty-seven. The university as a whole must submit a fifteen-page report, and each subject will submit five pages. We were advised that the latter would include contributions by student representatives.
The second speaker was Rebecca Dennison, Head of Customer Service & Administration for Student Services. She reported that consultations had found students were dissatisfied with the service they received in the hubs, which had recently been reorganised. Many students, particularly those in later years, were still going to the old locations rather than the new ones. A representative complained that students in the Faculty of Arts, Culture & Education were taking on a storm of irrelevant emails, which Dennison put down to a technical glitch.
Mr Anwar then took the floor for general questions. He mentioned the approach of Sexual Health Advice & Guidance Week, and the prizes available for sports teams or societies which got all of their members tested for venereal disease. There were some complaints about the universities numerous intranets and virtual tools, most notably the iHull application which was, in his own words, still rubbish.
Two students made complaints about the behaviour of security guards in the Brynmor Jones Library. One had apparently barred a group of students from discussing the Iraq War (which was the subject of their upcoming politics examination) on the grounds that it would offend international students. Another had responded to a complaint about students in a reserved booth noisily watching a football match on the large computer monitor by sitting in and joining them. There ensued a brief discussion on the practicality and acceptability of sleeping in the library.
A representative complained of lectures running the limit of their timetabled slot and leaving no time to travel from one venue to the next. Another raised concern with lecturers who failed to upload slides used in their presentations, and a shortage of electronic textbooks.