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Each July a new team of Sabbatical Officers start their year in office, leading Students' Union UCL. The new team are getting settled into their roles right now.

What do they do?

Sabbatical Officers are here to make sure your voice is heard at the highest levels across UCL. They lead projects and develop new initiatives all aimed at making your time at UCL even better.

How did they get here?

You voted them in! During our leadership race back in March, 10,400 of you took part in Vote Week, where you picked the students you wanted to lead the Union this year.

Before they got stuck into their roles, we asked each of them what they plan to focus on this year, along with that all important advice for new students...

Union Affairs Officer – Mary McHarg

Mary is responsible for our democracy and governance, as well as our commercial services...

My top 3 priorities:

  1. Develop a Union Skills module, so that student leaders can dedicate more time to activities and
    their effort can be recognised alongside academic work.
  2. Advance the efforts for a Students’ Union Building with dedicated arts, sports, and social spaces.
  3. Continue ensuring student involvement as the Student Life Strategy gets rolled out.

My advice to new students?

There’s a community for everyone at UCL, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Plus, you can join groups at any time- whether its societies, sports, the arts, or volunteering, if you miss them during Welcome, don’t worry! Just tag along at a later date and they’ll be more than happy to show you the ropes

Equity and Inclusion Officer – Ahmad Ismail

Ahmad is responsible for leading our equity and inclusion work...

My top 3 priorities:

  1. Expanding Student-led E&I work beyond the SU and onto the departmental level.
  2. Expanding societies’ involvement in making our campus more inclusive through increasing on-campus presence and growing celebratory programmes.
  3. Navigating trans inclusivity work, implementation, and assessment post-stonewall.

My advice to new students?

UCL is massive, with enough going on to overwhelm anyone new. Each of us has their own pace in navigating our experience and making the best of our time. We should never forget that; it is a marathon, not a race.

Seyi Osibamowo was elected Equity and Inclusion Officer in this year's Leadership Race, however, Seyi has decided to withdraw and not take up the post for 2023-24. Seyi was withdrawn from the ballot and the election count was re-run, with Ahmad receiving enough votes to be declared winner.

Education Officer – Muhammad Shaban Chaudhary

Muhammad is responsible for leading our work shaping education at UCL...

My top 3 priorities:

  1. Ensure minimised impact on student education during strike action and lobby for financial and academic compensation.
  2. Work alongside stakeholders in revising the structure of the academic teaching year focusing on concerns about the high stakes exam period and over assessment.
  3. Introduce free short courses for students/grads and introduce collaborations with top-tier institutes
    and organisations worldwide.

My advice to new students?

The networking opportunities at UCL are incredible and will gear your route to success, so don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, build connections and make the most of your time here.

Postgraduate Officer – Issy Smith

Issy is responsible for our work representing postgrad and improving the postgrad experience...

My top 3 priorities:

  1. Create a weekly programme of events that caters to all (PGT, PGR, part-time, child-friendly, UCL East & Main Campus)
  2. Ensure that students feel their voices are being heard and that our Sabb officers are more accessible and connected to the student body. E.g., anonymous feedback forms, drop-in sessions with Sabbs etc.
  3. Expand bursary support (not based on family income but on need) and support PGs through the cost-of-living crisis.

My advice to new students?

Get stuck in. There is definitely something at UCL for you and a whole host of things to get involved in. Studies are important of course but the
extracurricular and social life is something you should never sacrifice and it will give you memories and friends for life. The biggest regret I find final year students have is that they did not get involved with enough events, societies, clubs etc. during their time (I am one of them!). Whether it’s just one thing or 10, it all counts! Uni is an experience of a lifetime.

Activities & Engagement Officer – Aria Xingni Shi

Aria is responsible for leading our clubs, societies, volunteering, and events work...

My top 3 priorities…

  1. Establish more facilities for students to rest between activities and study
  2. Help to further diversify the SU’s activities programme
  3. Support students with their work-life balance

My advice to new students?

Balance your study and life :)

Welfare & Community Officer

Vaania Kapoor Achuthan was elected Welfare & Community Officer in this year's Leadership Race, however, Vaania has decided to withdraw as Welfare and Community Officer for the coming year. As Vaania was the only candidate for this post, we can't re-run the count as we have done with the Equity & Inclusion Officer position. We'll confirm our plans to cover the Welfare and Community Officer portfolio shortly.