Name: Dessie Nedyalkova
Degree Subject: Management
- Course Representative 2010-11
- Treasurer for Chamberlain JCR 2011-2012
- Course Representative 2011-2012
- Events Representative for ‘ManagementConnect’ 2011-2012
- Academic President 2012-present
- Treasurer for ‘MangSociety’ 2013-present
Campaign Slogan: “Vote Dessie Nedyalkova for a better VP (N)Education”
Strength: 8 (I have the relevant experience, and I’m aware of the student issues which need to be targeted in order to keep Southampton University applications rolling in year after year. The missing ‘2’ points are to signify the fact that I am open to learning from experience, which means that I will get better at the role as I go along.)
1. Why did you decide to run for this position?
In my first year at Southampton, I became a Course Representative for my degree programme. Now in my third year I’m actively filling the role of Academic President and I feel like I’ve progressed in my abilities to make the changes I want to see, happen. I see my candidacy for VP Education to be in a sense, a self-instigated promotion; if I’m elected, I would be in a position with more authority, which would allow me to push forward ideas which will better the academic experience of all students at the university. I also feel I have the relevant experience to support me in fulfilling the role well and effectively.
2. What has been your best experience during your involvement with SUSU?
My favourite experience resulting from my involvement with SUSU, is meeting like-minded people who share a passion for bettering and getting involved with their student’s Union! Working with such people really opened my mind to all aspects of the Southampton Community and showed me what a great place Southampton University is to live and study at!
3. What makes YOU the best candidate for the job?
I am more than familiar with the student representation system- I’ve been Course Rep for 2 years, and am Academic President currently. I have worked at almost every level leading to the role, and am thus prepared to take on the responsibility. I’m aware of the big academic issues currently circling Southampton University, and have discussed them greatly with other students and staff members over the past 3 years. I’m approachable, and I love what I do, making me the best choice to fill the big boots after the current VP Academic Affairs finishes his term.
4. How will you make yourself accessible to students, to ensure you can represent them accurately?
I plan on making myself a visible body around campus and the SU. This familiarity, I hope, will encourage students to contact me outside their representation system if needs be. I don’t believe in setting limits on the time I spend communicating with students and so thus would fully publicise and encourage the entire student body to approach me with any ideas they may have, whether in person, via social media or using more formal contact methods! In this way, I hope that they will feel empowered enough to share their opinions and ideas, which I would gladly push forward in their name.
5. How will you persuade tutors to take on more work, in order to improve tutor-student relationships?
I don’t believe Personal Tutors would be taking on more work- I would like to teach them how to fulfill their role more effectively and what support to offer in order to create more value for the students they mentor. If they grasp these concepts- which would be provided for them in a handbook- then I believe they would be able to successfully accomplish their role without taking on more work, or adding to their work hours. So making their job expectations clearer would improve tutor-student relationships, without having to ‘persuade’ tutors to take on more work.
6. Which aspect of the VP Education role (e.g. teaching quality, library provision or feedback) do you believe needs to be focused on most urgently and why?
Feedback is a sector of every student’s educational experience at Southampton which has not delivered as well as expected. It is also the lowest scoring section on the NSS for several years running. Therefore I would urgently address bettering this and improving the following years’ scores, by implementing my manifesto policy of Faculty-Specific Feedback Handbooks. This would work by writing guidelines as to what ‘quality’ feedback constitutes of, for students in their particular departmental faculties.
View Dessie Nedyalkova’s manifesto HERE