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Interim President and Welfare Officer Ashleigh's goodbye

As we approach the end of her term as Welfare Officer and Interim President, Ashleigh reflects on some of the challenges and achievements over the past year that she's most proud of.

Voice

Hey everyone, it’s Ashleigh, your Welfare Officer and Interim President! After an exciting and challenging year, it’s nearly time for me to hand over to the next Officer Team and wrap up my term here at Leeds Beckett Students’ Union.  

I’ve been working in the Students’ Union for three years alongside my journey as a student. First as a Global Majority Ambassador and Student Academic Rep Assistant, then as your Interim President and Welfare Officer. We’ve done so much together! 

As we approach the end of my term, I wanted to reflect on some of the challenges and achievements over the past year that I’m most proud of.  

Taking up the role of Interim President 

For me, stepping into the role of Interim President was a big responsibility, but I’m really proud of how I managed the role and the challenges that arose throughout the year.  

I’ve had many more time pressures to juggle as a result and sometimes it feels as though a majority of my work is behind the scenes. From relationship building to decision-making, it can be a really intense job! 

Over the course of my time as Interim President, I’m very proud to look back at how I handled stepping into this role and the opportunity I had to lead and improve the organisation through a difficult period with the cost-of-living crisis and in the face of financial uncertainty.  

Equality, Diversity and Inclusions Work 

Stepping into the role of Interim President meant that some of my priorities as Welfare Officer needed to be shifted. Time restrictions and responsibilities of the Interim President role meant I didn’t have the same capacity to lead as many workshops, events or campaigns relating to welfare and EDI that I initially intended.  

However, I was able to represent the student voice and make contributions in loads of different spaces where I’ve been able to lead and provide insight for both the University and Students’ Union to further develop this area of work. I sat on the EDI Committee and Race Equality Charter, contributing to strategic discussions that will address the barriers facing Global Majority staff and students.  

I’m incredibly proud of my work in this area and look forward to seeing the positive changes the University and Students’ Union will make in the future.  

Good Governance 

Part of my job as an Officer was to sit on the Board of Governors, the top decision-making body of Leeds Beckett University. It was really special to be able to influence and contribute to decisions at this level and to represent the student voice there! I’m delighted with the feedback I’ve received on my work and contributions in this space.  

As a governor, I was also able to develop my skills and learn more about good governance. I had the opportunity to attend the Advance HE Conference to learn more about good governance and how I can bring these best practices back to the Leeds Beckett Board of Governors and the other boards I contributed to. 

As part of my role as Welfare Officer and Interim President, I was also a trustee both here at LBSU and Unipol. Sitting on the Board of Trustees is a huge opportunity to shape the direction of an organisation and contribute to its overall goals and hold its trustees and staff to account, and I’m very happy with the role I’ve played as a trustee for both organisations.  

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