Candidate for the position of Chemistry Undergraduate School Representative

Image for Ioana Baltaretu

Ioana Baltaretu

Hi, I am Ioana, a 3rd year Medicinal and Biological Chemistry student. I decided to get involved after being on the committee of the Edinburgh University Music Society for the past 2 years now, as well as being the programme rep for Chemical Pharmacology 2 last year. About me, I love: organic chemistry, playing the flute, learning languages, cheese.

As school rep, I’d focus on:

 GROWING Chemunity – enhancing mental health and wellbeing support by encouraging more students to get involved with Chemunity and organize activities on a participative budgeting model (i.e. share decision-making responsibilities with the larger chemistry student population to give them a sense of ownership in the events that are being run).

 GROWING the Community – promoting current peer support mechanisms within the school, such as Academic Families and Webchats and creating a transgenerational academic support tool: BoostLab – name still pending :) -, building on the MathsBase model and making it our own by identifying the specific needs of the chemistry student.

 PLANNING AHEAD – as things currently stand, I believe that the school should operate on the assumption that at least some of the students might be forced to continue their studies online for a part of the next academic year. We cannot afford to be caught unprepared once again and I think that contingency plans should be set in place, so that this time around all courses are properly calibrated to online teaching.

 CATCHING UP – Designing a lab simulator and/or a bootcamp approach to revive students’ practical skills inside the lab. If/where possible and necessary, the school should partner with local universities or establishments so that students stuck overseas are not missing out on lab experience.

 FAIR ASSESSMENTS – a significant number of people have been voicing complaints regarding the wide range in marks given by demonstrators for similar content. While a certain degree of subjectivity is only reasonable, this should be limited by adequate training and detailed marking instructions that clearly outline both intermediate marking and aspects for which taking points off is not appropriate.

 TRANSPARENCY and CONSULTATIONS – these are the key words that set the tone for my candidacy and if you take something away from this reading, let it be this. Not only will I try to be as transparent as possible in my actions as school rep and consult students on all relevant matters, but I will also try my best to reinforce the same habit within the school. In the past year, I personally felt like too many decisions were taken without consulting the students, and although it might have been understandable under the circumstances, this needs to change.