Meet your new Student President!
Cheree Fleming has recently started in her role as president of New College Lanarkshire Students’ Association.
And she’s being supported in the job by three newly-elected Vice-Presidents: Marisa Rose in Motherwell; Dominika Gryszka in Coatbridge; and David Penman in Cumbernauld.
The team has hit the ground running by making plans for Freshers’ Week and taking part in NUS Scotland’s flagship ‘Lead and Change’ training programme for new officers.
The Students’ Association acts as the voice of students at the College – and all students are immediately members. You’ll find their main bases in the Social in Motherwell, in the Atrium in Coatbridge, and in the Den in Cumbernauld.
After taking up the baton from outgoing President Daniel Moore, we chatted to mum-of-two Cheree, 28, who lives in North Lanarkshire, about her plans for her 12 months in office…
I wanted to become Student President after getting involved in the Be Engaged programme. It was with the Be Engaged programme that I received teaching experience to help support my university application for PGDE (Post Graduate Diploma in Education) Secondary Art and Design. They got me experience around Cumbernauld, Coatbridge and Kirkintilloch campuses, shadowing lecturers. They also helped me gain experience by electing me the SPARQS Institutional Leader. Because of this, I would like to help the College in making the Students’ Association great once again.
I’m from the Isle of Man and after leaving school I studied a two-year BTEC in Art and Design at University College Isle of Man. After a gap year, I gained a degree in Textiles and Design in 2013 from Heriot-Watt University in the Scottish Borders. I’ve just completed a year at New College Lanarkshire studying Higher English and National 5 Maths, which are the qualifications I need to study PGDE at the University of Strathclyde next year.
As President, I want to work towards a more creative college. Coming from an art and design background, I see a lot of the talent across the campuses. I feel that students should showcase their work and achievements to help them gain recognition and potentially boost employment opportunities from people visiting the College. I have a few plans to run with and am very excited!
(Pictured above is David Penman, VP based at our Cumbernauld Campus)
I’d also like to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide more support. I would like to have Zen days held across the campuses, where students can relax and meditate during stressful periods. If you are less stressed and anxious then you will be more positive, which will reflect in your studies.
(Pictured above is Marisa Rose, VP based at our Motherwell Campus)
I want the campuses to be more sociable and have more of a fun atmosphere. I spoke to students when I was campaigning for election, and a common theme is more activities and more ways to enjoy the overall college experience. We’ll do a lot of surveys, interactions and events so that people know who we are. We don’t want to be removed from the students. Our door will be open at all times.
(Pictured above is Dominika Gryszka, VP based at our Coatbridge Campus)
The most important thing I’ve learned from education is self-discipline. It’s only yourself who can get the work done. You can get help from lecturers, but it’s up to you to get it done, get the praise or criticism, then that’s how you progress further.
The thing I like most about New College Lanarkshire is its staff. The College already has a very good support system in place, and we would like students to be more aware of these services while they study.
Away from college I enjoy playing pool, and I used to play snooker many years ago – I was thinking of holding a ‘Beat the President’ competition! I used to play for the all-women’s football team in the Isle of Man, so starting campus football teams is on the agenda. Obviously, growing up in the Isle of Man I was brought up with the TT, so I do tend to enjoy watching the races.
I still work freelance as a digital textile designer and some of my designs have been on sale in John Lewis under a different company name. I worked on a range of home furnishings that were used in things like lampshades and wallpaper.
Find out how you can get involved in the Students' Association: