Candidate for the position of Vice President Access & Academic Affairs

Tucker Drew

Coming from America, I had little information on how to apply to Oxford, and even less on the undergraduate experience. The official information online was scarce, so I relied on student-created media to guide my application. As a result, I have focused much of my extracurricular efforts on promoting access. I’ve created and collaborated on over 30 videos with hundreds of thousands of views on various Oxford-related topics for Oxvlog, Cherwell, and official University channels with the hope that future applicants won’t have the same difficulties I had in applying to Oxford from an unconventional background.

Serving on the Oxford SU’s International Students’ Campaign, I helped lead initiatives that created new guides for International Freshers, and, as Co-Chair, I passed a motion in Student Council to encourage MCRs to establish Graduate Access and International representatives. As the President of American Society and Brasenose JCR International Rep last year, I helped create a home-away-from-home for International students in the UK.

As the host and presenter of Cherwell’s OxPops, I’ve interviewed over 200 students about Oxford, with specific episode topics ranging from student opinion on access initiatives, to the disparity of workloads in different subjects. I understand the student voice and what students believe will change the University for the better.

Transparency at the University

Oxford is incredibly decentralized, and requesting information about certain areas of the institution can be time consuming and difficult. I believe increasing transparency in Oxford will result in a more equitable University that will work better for all current and prospective students. I resolve to:

•              Develop strategies with the university to demystify the Oxford admissions process, especially for those from underrepresented backgrounds in Oxford

•              Push for greater transparency in administrative policy meetings

•              Lobby the university to reveal how and where money from graduate and undergraduate course and application fees are being used

•              Lobby for a fee review for graduate and undergraduate students to give students an opportunity to understand and shape the future of the Oxford fee structures

Equality Across Oxford

Oxford remains a university with academic inequalities. The University should implement technological solutions which can lower attainment gaps. Oxford should do what it can to close attainment gaps as soon as possible. I resolve to:

•              Hold the University accountable to their Attainment Gap goals

o              Push for lecture capture usage in all lectures

o              Push for continued assessment diversification, including more digital methods of assessment

•              Give all students the option to take exams on computers

•              Review the Humanities and Social Sciences curriculums to be more representative of the diversity in Oxford’s student body

Collaborate with underrepresented students groups like ISOC and DisCam to meet the academic needs of all students

•              Support the continued development and implementation of the Opportunity Oxford and Foundation Year programs

Together for Access

I believe the more we work together; the more Oxford can do for access.  I will empower students who want to promote Oxford through opening more opportunities for students to take part in access campaigns. I resolve to:

- Continue the Access Conference scheme to help implement the most effective college access schemes across the university

- Create a working group with access representatives and college officials to resolve disparities in access efforts across link areas and colleges

- Open up more opportunities for social media takeovers on official University and SU accounts

- Launch an Oxford SU Access YouTube channel and support students in creating content

Breaking Down Barriers

Access doesn’t stop once you are at Oxford. Making sure that Oxford is accessible for its current students will be one of my priorities. In order to make sure that students from disadvantaged backgrounds continue to succeed on a level playing field after they are admitted, I resolve to:

- Pressure departments to ensure the enforcement of the reasonable workload guidelines

- Continue pushing for a 5th Week Reading Week for undergraduates to improve mental health and workload during the busiest time of term

- Demand that the University improve physical accessibility in colleges, libraries and departmental buildings, with the guidance of DisCam

- Fight for colleges to adopt welfare-focused policies for and preserve rights of suspended students