The Postgraduate Community here at Warwick is a diverse one, made up of approximately 4000 students, covering all nationalities, age groups and courses of study.
Despite the reputation and expectation that Students Unions are aimed at providing only for the undergraduates, here at Warwick we aim to represent and provide for our Postgraduate students to a level equal to that of the undergraduate Community.
One of the most important aspects of our Students Union when talking about Postgraduates is the Postgraduate Committee. This Committee is made up of the Postgraduate Committee Chair, The Postgraduate Faculty Representatives and the Education Officer and Deputy President. The committee discusses issues relating to entertainment, education and welfare for the postgraduate community. Postgraduate affairs are taken seriously at all levels of university governance, and students are invited to sit on various working groups and focus groups to get the view of the postgraduates across.
The Postgraduate Faculty Reps primarily represent postgraduates on academic issues, attending SSLC meetings and reporting to the Union and the University. They also work on other areas of student life as members of the Postgraduate Committee.
The Education Officer and Deputy President also has special responsibility for overseeing postgraduate representation, both within terms of provision and academic representation. The Education Officer also liaises closely and works on a regular basis with the Postgraduate Committee ensuring postgraduate representation is a priority within the Union Sabbatical Team.
As the Postgraduate Committee Chair, I represent the postgraduate community on various University and Union committees and boards, covering areas such as campus life, equal opportunities and academic representation. I liaise with appropriate members of both the University and the Union in order to get issues raised and dealt with and ideas to improve postgraduate provision put into action.
I will also be organising and chairing two postgraduate conventions this academic year, aimed at giving an open forum for postgraduate students to talk directly to Union Officers, a sort of postgraduate Union General Meeting.
As far as entertainment is concerned, the Union does its best to provide events for students outside of regular term time, when the majority of the undergraduates have gone home. Some regular Union events take place, albeit on a slightly smaller scale, to ensure that theres still something to do on campus in the evenings when youve had enough of studying for the day!
The Union and the University work together to make sure that the campus is still alive during the vacation. The University Library will now be open as usual even without the Undergraduates about, bars and restaurants will remain open at usual times and the there are even plans in the works to build a new facility primarily for postgraduate students near some of the postgraduate accommodation.
The Union is also there to provide support and welfare services to students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. There are advice and welfare services available both during and outside of term time and the Welfare and Equal Opportunities Officer is available to deal with issues from all students.