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Meet the Sabbs: 2012-13

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The Students' Union Sabbatical Officers, the 'Sabbs', for 2012-2013 took up their new roles on 1 August and are now making preparations for the year ahead.

Earlier in 2012 they were elected by the student body to run and develop Warwick Students' Union and associated activities.

Here, we introduce them to the University community...


Nick Swain : Students' Union President

Nick is the President of the SU and recently graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finance. He has been involved in student activities at Warwick since joining in 2005, having previously graduated with a degree in Economics in 2008. During this time Nick has been involved with a wide variety of student activities, including being on the executive committee of five sports clubs and societies, ranging from captain of WarwickSnow’s Ski Race Team to the secretary of the Economics Society.

As President, Nick’s role is to represent the voice of all Warwick students to the university and wider community at the highest level. This includes holding a seat on University Council and Senate (the highest decision making bodies), being Chairman of Warwick SU’s Board of Trustees and having regular meetings with members of the University’s senior staff to discuss the latest concerns of the student population.

This year, Nick aims to ensure the on-going success of Warwick SU by reviewing the way the Students’ Union communicates with its members and looking at additional ways to improve the SU’s membership services. His objective is to increase overall student engagement, particularly for postgraduates and mature students. Nick will also be focusing on providing the best support for students facing the new fee structure.


James Entwistle: Education Officer

James is the Education Officer this year at the SU. He graduated after reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics for three years. He combined his studies with his involvement in campaigning and activism on campus and in the local community, as well as working in the Union nightclub. Before he was elected, he was involved in political societies and was last year’s Chair of Union Council.

As Education Officer he is tasked with representing students on academic quality issues. He is also responsible for coordinating the Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) systems and sits on a number of University committees and working groups, allowing him to raise students’ views and concerns.

James’ big projects for this year include working with the University to target and resolve issues concerning feedback, contact hours and course costs. He is developing innovative new systems of academic representation, as well as growing the STARS of Warwick Teaching Awards. This year James will be supporting a dynamic and active campus concerned with issues in higher education, with many talks, debates, socials and events in the pipeline.


Anna Chowcat: Postgraduate Officer

Anna is the Postgraduate Officer, a new post introduced this year. She graduated in July 2011 with a degree in Politics and International Studies, after which she embarked on a taught Masters in International Security, which she finishes in September 2012.

During her studies Anna was involved in the SU as a 3rd Year Union Councillor and then as the Postgraduate Social Sciences Faculty Representative. She was also a member of a number of societies, volunteered as a Freshers Helper and worked for Warwick Welcome Service at various University events and Open Days.

As Postgraduate Officer, Anna’s role includes chairing the Postgraduate Association (an elected body of Postgraduate representatives), representing students on a number of University committees, helping to co-ordinate Postgraduate SSLC’s and facilitating social provision for postgraduate students.

Over the next year, Anna is hoping to improve representation for postgraduate students and increase postgraduate engagement with the Union.


Cosmo March: Democracy and Development Officer

Cosmo, who recently graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, is the Democracy and Development Officer.

During his three years here, Cosmo was heavily involved in the University’s ski and snowboard club. His involvement ranged from representing Warwick on a national level at ski races, to organising trips to the Alps for hundreds of students twice a year. Alongside this Cosmo was also the President of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Society, played Lacrosse and worked as a Team Leader in the Copper Rooms.

Cosmo’s constant involvement with the SU inspired him to run for an Officer position. Having previously worked for the Union’s commercial services, part of his job now is to oversee the running of this department as well as the Union’s finances. His role is also extended to ensuring that the SU’s democratic structures are fair, representative and effective.

His main objective this year is to improve students’ awareness and understanding of how the Union operates both democratically and financially, with the ultimate aim to increase overall participation in Union activities.


Ben Sundell: Welfare and Campaigns Officer

Ben is the Welfare and Campaigns Officer for this year. He studied Politics and Sociology for the past three years and before that did a year as a full time youth worker. He loves salsa dancing, and ran the society here last year. He has also been President of the Politics Society, a regular on Radio Warwick, and has worked at the Leamington Homeless Shelter.

Ben’s job is to be here for students if there is anything that doesn’t go quite to plan while they are at Warwick. He is always available to chat, offer advice, and to help with problems that may be encountered at university – his areas include: accommodation, transport, mental, physical and sexual health, crime, responsible drinking, and general student wellbeing. Students are also encouraged to get in touch with Ben to get involved with campaigning, in a liberation group (LGBTUA+, Disablities, Women, and Ethnic Minorities) or in any of the other campaigns and community projects the Students Union run.


Silkie Cragg: Societies Officer

Silkie is the Societies Officer. She read Philosophy, Politics and Economics over four years at Warwick and studied in Grenoble, France in her third year. During her studies Silkie was the principal oboist in the University Symphony Orchestra, an executive committee member of WarwickSnow and World@Warwick, and a member of the Israeli-Palestinian Forum Society.

As Societies Officer, Silkie is responsible for the 230 societies we have here at Warwick. She organises events such as the Societies Fair and the Awards Ceremony and is the first point of call for a society executive or member if they have a problem, need support or are unsure of where to go. Personal training and development for society members is a major part of her role, as is overseeing big events including OneWorldWeek, Warwick Student Arts Festival, and the Economics Summit.

Her main initiatives for the year are to improve Union support for charitable activity on campus, develop employability programmes, and incentivise sustainable development and expansion of societies.


Natasha Cabral: Sports Officer

Natasha is the Sports Officer. She graduated with a degree in Sociology after spending a year in Sydney coaching sports in one of the internationally recognised leading boarding schools. Over the past three years Natasha has represented the Ladies Hockey 1st XI, coached their beginners squad and was elected their Club Secretary. In addition, she was Sports Liaison for One World Week, has participated in the Lacrosse and Floorball summer leagues and is a Right To Play Ambassador.

As Sports Officer, Natasha is responsible for supporting the Sports Clubs and ensuring there is a relationship between the students, Warwick Sport and the Students' Union. She also takes the lead role in organising the big sporting events of the year including Varsity and the Sports Ball.

Her primary aims for the year are to integrate the Sports Clubs further to maximise the support they gain, to expand the Intra-Mural Leagues to increase the participation into sport, and to introduce a sporting aspect into the Monash Alliance to enhance the student experience.


You can keep up to date with the Sabbs through their blogs on the SU website