Written by Isobel Hall, President of the Students’ Union.
All views are Isobel's.
As my term as your President is now at an end, I wanted to reflect on the past year and demonstrate how I have been working for you all year and some of my wins.
Being your President of the Students’ Union is singly the best thing I have done. I have been lucky enough to have worked with an incredible President Team this year and have had many amazing opportunities to work and represent you. Ever since I started as President of Education back in 2018, I have just had the most fantastic time and I really hope that I have in some way made a positive difference to your student experience Just finally a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me, like a Facebook post, watched a video or got in touch with me. Here is what I have achieved this year:
- Spoke in Parliament at the APPG for Students meeting on the Augar review representing Hull students
- Wrote to Paul Blomfield MP with over 19 other SUs supporting which resulted in an APPG for Students Meeting being called in Parliament on the topic of student loans!
- Spoke at the APPG for Students on Student Loans and from that meeting, they are now producing a report on student views
- Lobbied the government to oppose the Augar recommendation to remove foundation year funding. We did a petition and also wrote to the Universities Minister on this.
- Signatory of letter to Government Ministers asking Government to wipe the debt for healthcare students organised by Greenwich SU
- Becoming one of thirteen members to sit on the QAA’s Student Strategic Advisory Board
- Speaking on QAA webinars about the student experience during COVID-19
- Written article for sector-leading organisation Wonkhe on funding for nursing and healthcare students which led to MP’s seeking a parliamentary debate on the issue
- Co-wrote another Wonkhe article on the much need reform to maintenance funding with LSBSU President
- Meetings with MPs – Diana Johnson and Emma Hardy
- Co-wrote letter with Diana Johnson MP on funding for our Healthcare students
- Co-wrote letter with Diana Johnson MP to Government Ministers on wiping the debt for healthcare students
- Meeting with Emma Hardy MP who then asked questions in Parliament supporting our campaigns
HULL UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ UNION
- Ran a successful referendum to update our Articles of Association with the Team
- Passed our new and updated Bye-Laws at Union Council
- Created an organisation sustainability group
- Changed the Governance Zone to Union Development Zone so more students can get involved with more of the work happening at the Union
- Put a proper accountability process in place for students
- Sorted out the Activities Zone governance and gave student groups greater autonomy
- Introduced President Monthly Blogs
- Worked with Torch TV this year to put out a number of videos on the climate emergency, general election and what the President Team have been up to
- Made changes to the student newsletter so it now has a President Team update to ensure greater communication with students
- Held Chocolate and Chat sessions all year!
- Running exam tea and toast campaign
- Holding a successful general election candidates event at Asylum with our Hull North Candidates
- We hosted our first VC Q&A at Union Council
- Ran a successful register to vote drive with the University resulting Hull being joint top in the UK for student voter registration, ran by Vote for Your Future and Times Higher Education
- Launched additional costs campaign and got over 500 survey responses
- Set new values for Hull University Students’ Union
- Hull University Students’ Union has committed to getting an SU app!
- Worked on a Board Effectiveness Review with other Trustees
- Reformed our Your Ideas system – all ready for next year!
- Secured a £250,000 investment from the University to invest in our Students’ Union building
- Changed our name from Hull University Union to Hull University Students’ Union so we have students at the heart of everything we do, including our name!
- Created a brand new section on the website for environmental updates from the SU
- Passed a motion at Union Council for the Students’ Union to take a stance on additional costs
- Took Union Council successfully online!
- Putting out videos to update students on the COVID-19 situation
- Putting out a letter to our students in response to the COVID-19 situation
- Created President Team Facebook Live Q&A session to keep students update and answer your questions on how COVID-19 is affecting your university experience
- Signatory for letter on accommodation written by Birmingham Guild
- Create an online Facebook Community Group with the team
- Worked with the University to secure a big student win to get those in on-campus out of contracts early saving students thousands of pounds
- Worked with the University on their no-detriment policy
- Helped the University shape their student communications during the pandemic
- Produced a template for students to send to Landlords to ask to be released from contracts
- Co-signed a joint letter with the VC to local accommodation providers asking them to work with students during this time
- Lobbying the University all year to divest from fossil fuels – still waiting for them to do so, fingers crossed for next year!
- Went on strike over the Universities investment in fossil fuels
- The University set a date to be carbon neutral – one of our key campaigns!
- The University agreed to review its investment portfolio
- Started the first-ever Student Climate Action Group
- Held HUSU’s first-ever Climate Strike – we made it into numerous media outlets!
- Produced the first-ever SU Climate policy!
- Got the Board to agree for Hull University Students’ Union to declare a climate emergency!
- Held Hull University Students’ Union first-ever Green Week
- Went on a second climate strike!
- Got a water fountain on the ground floor of HUSU to support greater use of reusable water bottles!
- Working with the City Council on the climate agenda
- Hosted the first-ever North East Officer Meet-Up on Climate Emergency
- Spoke on a panel of business leaders and a podcast at the Waterline Summit representing student views
- Key speaker at IEMA’s city event on climate emergency representing the Students’ Union
- Introduced a safe night bus onto campus to take students home on after a Wednesday Asylum night out
- Introduced brand new Safe Campus Cards
- Gave the keynote speech at the University Learning and Teaching Conference on assessment and feedback
- Spoken regularly on BBC Radio Humberside of various issues that matter to students
- Got involved with attending Hull Angels, HUSSO Beach Cleans and Litter picks!
- The University agreed to take a strategic look at how they can remove barriers for students and consider this before suspending programmes with study abroad opportunities
- Worked with the University to create the first-ever Student Partnership Agreement
- Spoke at the AUDE conference about what students want to see from their University estate and putting the climate agenda at the centre of this
- From working with the Library last year, they decided to continue putting on additional silent study space for students during the exam period