And so we close the books on our Winter Term as your SU Executive Team. It has been an interesting term of settling into our respective roles and getting to know each other better. This article aims to update you on what each individual executive has done towards the three main goals of their tenure as well as potentially anything interesting they have found along the way.
President – Katy Botha
My goals for the year consist of creating a safer environment for women, a more inclusive environment, and an eco-friendlier and more sustainable campus. The past term I have focussed specifically on creating a safer environment for women.
I have successfully introduced free sanitary products in seven bathrooms on campus in partnership with the organisation Hey Girls. Moreover, I have drafted a report to Buckingham Town Council regarding the lack of lighting in Chandos Park. The report is yet to be discussed however the lighting issue appears to be moving forward positively. In conjunction with this, I hosted a Girls Night In event which was a fantastic opportunity for all womxn to discuss any issues or concerns they had about the university. You can read more about this event here.
I hosted the first Student Council of the year which was extremely beneficial for myself and the SU to gain feedback from students. Student Council is an opportunity for elected student representatives to raise any concerns or issues that need addressing. These student council meetings will occur every term hopefully with more participation.
Henry and I discussed and finalised the introduction of protected societies. We are happy to publicise that Pride Society, Men's Mental Health Society, and Feminist Society are now protected societies.
In the next term I will be focusing on introducing recycling bins and more sustainable living strategies.
Vice President – Henry Hunt
This term has been very society focused. Trying to make them more forward thinking and planning with events whilst also thinking about what they want their society to be like once their tenure as President ends.
We have also made some great strides towards finalising the society training handbook which is aimed for release by May/June. We have been asking the Presidents of societies to give input towards the handbook to see what else they want to contribute or if something is not clear enough.
The next stage is design which will just be to make it aesthetically appealing while taking into consideration it being dyslexia friendly and accounts for colour blindness.
I will be drafting an article soon about the benefits of participating and leading extracurricular activities for academia, wellness and more so keep an eye out for that!
BSU President - Adam Pilling
During Winter term the BSU has seen it's membership reach over 220 students which is a credit to all the clubs for the great work they do. We challenged all of the sports clubs to increase their engagement on their Instagram accounts which saw some inventive and creative posts and I want to thank all the clubs for getting involved.
One of my main aims was to work with the OTM to show more sports events in the evenings on the TV screens. The Rugby 6 Nations matches were shown and we also have BT Sport now in the bar so Champions League football is being shown - it would be great for this to continue so please come along and show your support!
A BSU members trip to Ninja Warrior in Milton Keynes has been organised for Spring term and we will be looking to replicate this for our Crewe based members later on in the year.
Welfare Officer – Karina Karagyozova
This term was a great ease into the role with all the training and planning that we did in January slowly started to be implemented – successfully!
For me, the term started with the TEDx event that had been in the planning for a few months beforehand. The event was held on the 29th January at the Radcliffe Centre and revolved around the theme of ‘Re-shaping’. It was a wonderful day, filled with ideas worth spreading!
We commemorated University Mental Health Day with an event on the 3rd March where we got together in the OTM and had a chat about the importance of having a self-check in on our mental health. On top of that, we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon with snacks, puzzles, and painting.
Throughout the term I have been discussing student (mis)information and drug and alcohol awareness with the WSD department, and have outlined some of the gaps in these fields. We have been discussing ways to ensure students are being informed with the correct information and feel confident to reach out in the case of not knowing or understanding something.
At the end of the term I discussed my plans for the next term with Katy, which include ways to support students throughout exams and more.
Equity & Inclusion Officer – Dayeabasi Enoidem
This Winter term I was focused on receiving feedback from students and doing my best to ensure that their suggestions were heard. For example, a student member of the LGBTQ+ Society reached out and expressed that this group is underrepresented at the university. Following this, I worked on reaching out to our LGBTQ+ group here at the university in light of LGBTQ+ history month. By posting on the SU Instagram, we were able to recommend relevant sources and assure that plans are being made to provide celebratory events. By the end of the term, the Pride Society which had previously been dormant was revived as three students volunteered to run the club.
Another area of interest of mine was with the Wellness Wednesdays currently run by our Wellbeing department. I attended a session to receive a feel of what the event is about; through this, I had a meeting with a member of the department concerning a suggestion from the students and discussed the best way to implement their idea.
This term, I discussed with Katy and Henry the iea of a culture-based event to give students a chance to display and celebrate aspects of their culture. I also created a forum centred on how much students feel themselves and their cultures are ‘included’ at the university, and how it could be better represented.
In the next term, I plan to share this questionnaire with the students and make plans to implement their suggestions as much as possible.
Environmental & Ethical Officer – Toby Corbett
This past term has been focused towards kick starting multiple environmental projects with the help of the rest of the executive team that will come into play both during my tenure as Environmental Officer as well as long after I graduate. This includes the possibility of generating hydroelectric power for a section of the OTM, as well as shifting the University’s default web browser to a service named Ecosia which plants trees for every 45 searches an individual performs.
This term will be focused towards implementing the planned events and fundraisers formed during the Winter term, as well as focusing on projects previously kick started by those in the role prior to me.
Crewe Officer – Harry Chester
This term saw the formation of a working group for Student Support Services in Crewe as well as a working group to specifically work on library services, a priority for our students in Crewe. I attended a Faculty Board of Studies meeting where I represented students in Crewe, giving student voice on wider academic issues than covered in student staff liaison meetings.
I hosted a successful karaoke evening and supported societies with events where needed. I have promoted the bar which now has quite a few successful nights a week where the bar is busy. The study space above the ICB (International Café & Bar) is now open 24 hrs and used a lot by students. The plan now is to work with Student Support Services and the Pro-Vice Chancellor to improve the services available to students in Crewe as well as developing the accessibility for services, for example those online.
The medical student term has not finished yet so you will have to wait on an end-of-term update from Zaid the Medical Officer until then. Brandyn, our Commuter and Community Officer, will join Zaid’s update and talk about the work he has done since the beginning of the year.