As you probably all know by now, there are a certain number of JCR
positions up for grabs. Academic and Disabilities Officer is one of
them! Let me tell you a little bit about what this role encompasses:
The Academic and Disabilities Officer forms part of the general welfare
team at Newnham, which also consists of the Welfare Officer, LGBT+
Officer, Women’s Officer and the President. Through this role, you are
expected to attend weekly JCR meetings and termly meetings of the Safety
Committee and Joint Committee. The role of the A&D Officer is varied.
Firstly, you act as a point of contact for students who may be
struggling academically, with disability, or with other welfare issues.
You are not expected to be able to give professional advice, but can
provide a confidential listening ear and direct students towards other
sources of help that are on offer. Secondly, you can choose to organise
events, such as study skills sessions, support groups and disability
awareness sessions. Also, as a member of the JCR, you are in a position
to contribute ideas towards more general college issues. Through my
role, I have run Academic Tea, which provides a forum for discussion as
well as a comfortable working environment. There is a budget for this,
so the money doesn’t come out of your own pocket. I believe there will
be a nice surplus for the next officer coming in so anyone interested
might want to consider whether they could put this to good use!
There is a lot of scope within the role to pursue different ideas that
interest you. For example, you may be keen to bring up issues of
disability access with college. There is a lot of flexibility and you
are not expected to tackle everything. Good communication skills and the
ability to effectively and professionally liaise with senior staff
members is important.
I’ve loved being Academic and Disabilities Officer, and it has given me
a great insight into the way in which the college is run. I would fully
recommend that anyone interested applies! It’s a very rewarding role and
will look fantastic on your CV. If anybody has any questions they would
like to ask, don’t hesitate to email. REMEMBER, the manifesto deadline
is THURSDAY 13th NOVEMBER AT MIDNIGHT.