Written by the Student President Team.
The new academic year has just begun and it has been another busy month for the President Team!
Check out the Presidents’ three big things below!
Isobel Hall, President of the Students’ Union
Safe Campus Cards
This month Abi and I were really excited to launch our brand new Safe Campus Cards! The Safe Campus Card is a contact card with emergency and non-emergency numbers and contact details of a wide range of charities, organisations and services that can help students, should they need it. Safety on and around campus is a key manifesto point for me and I hope that these cards go some way towards helping this. Best of all, our cards are made from 100% recycled card! You can read our blog article below for more details on our new Safe Campus Cards here.
On Friday 20th September, Hull University Union stood in solidarity with the Global Climate Strikes as we shut down our operations and services for an hour and went on strike. More than 60 students and staff joined our strike outside the front of the Students’ Union with more than 700 students signing our placard in support of climate action. We then marched through campus and joined the strikes in the City. You can read more about our strike here.
Funding for Health Care Students
Following on from my meeting with Diana Johnson, we have now sent a joint letter to Dido Harding (Chair of the NHS Improvement Group) asking for her to come and visit students on campus to talk about financial difficulty and their student experience. I have also tweeted the Universities Minister asking him to visit Hull! You can read more about this here.
Abi Morris, President of Inclusivity and Diversity
Last month, Jess (last year’s Disabled Students Representative) and I travelled around campus with ‘Simon’ the wheelchair. We went into different areas of the building and Jess showed me where issues of accessibility can be seen and where needs work. From this, I spoke with Phil Quinn who is the leader of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work being carried out by the University. He has since put my name forward to sit on a campus accessibility group who get together regularly to talk about how we can make our campus inclusive to everyone and therefore, accessible. I am also currently putting together a map containing accessibility information, including directions to lifts in buildings, where toilets are as well as raps and lecture theatres.
This month we had all of our students come back! Yay! We have had two crazy weeks of talking to everyone we could, introducing people to their Union, attending some amazing Give It A Go events and trying different things! (I was amazing at the roller disco, unlike Isobel who fell over…) These weeks have been amazing – giving us the chance to talk to students about what they would maybe change about University, and especially talking to new students about their first experiences of Hull and how we can support everyone in their transition to/back to University.
Isobel and I sit on University Council, a group that meets five times a year to discuss the university and makes important decisions about how it runs. This time, Isobel and I presented the Council with a presentation all about what we at Hull University Union have been doing for our members and how we get people involved and help them! We spoke about the advice centre, representing students on a national scale in parliament, WelcomeFest and the climate strike. We took our big sign along and I think it’s safe to say that the Council were extremely impressed with how many people got involved!
Simeon Orduen, President of Education
Although there has been a lot to do within the first two weeks of the new academic year, I thoroughly enjoyed all the work we did during WelcomeFest. From meeting the freshers (first years, foundation students and even PhD freshers) to the shout outs during Induction Lectures, which allowed me to establish a connection between the Union and incoming students. Being face-to-face with you and getting positive feedback from those who I spoke to at fairs or induction lectures was really heart-warming. I feel we all started off on the right foot.
BAME Attainment Gap Campaign
This is most certainly kick-starting in October. However, work has already begun behind the scenes in order to make the campaign lift-off successfully. In between the busyness that comes with WelcomeFest, Abi and I have been dipping in and out of discussions concerning the campaign. So do join our bandwagon this October.
All things Democracy
During the course of the month, the President team have been working hard to get the word out on the Referendum, By-elections & Part-time Officer positions. We did this at times through social media, through 1-2-1 conversations with students and shout outs. There were also some students who simply took interest on their own. Also, Tom and I raided Isobel’s Chocolate & Chat this month to promote and encourage students to get involved, not only exercising their voting rights as members of the Students Union but also remind them of how sweet strawberries and marshmallows taste when smeared with chocolate.
Erin Pettit, President of Sport
Club Shout Outs
I worked with our marketing team to secure some social media coverage for smaller AU Clubs. The shout outs were posted from Hull University Union before and during WelcomeFest and were really well received and are helping promote our AU to new students!
Interview with Kristian Thomas
Abi and I met Olympic bronze medallist Kristian Thomas and were given the opportunity to interview him. We discussed things such as mental health and stress, as well as how gymnastics and his teammates helped to keep him focused whilst he was studying for his degree. Kristian gave us lots of advice, which we will be sharing with you in the near future.
President Team Comms Plan
We worked really hard as a team to create a coherent plan of events and themed weeks for the upcoming academic year. We are really excited to communicate these weeks to you when the time comes.
Tom McNamara, President of Activities
It goes without saying, WelcomeFest has been a big part of our September. Between arrivals, fairs, Give It A Go events and the Climate Strike, it has been a busy couple of weeks. It has been a lot of fun! The Fairs went really well and it’s good having a busy campus again. I even did a quick interview on BBC Humberside about what was on offer to students during WelcomeFest. Overall, it has been a huge success thanks to all the hard work our staff have put in to make it happen!
New Societies & working with the University
We’ve ratified nine new societies using our new development plans which seems to be working really well. A good amount of interest growing behind these new societies. Regarding societies, I’ve had meetings with:
- The University Registrar to address and resolve concerns around a couple of potential societies.
- The Alumni Relations team looking at how Alumni can support societies with events entered around notable guest speakers.
- Culture Campus to start planning a networking event in November for students to meet leaders from Hull’s Creative Arts Sector. I’m hoping to get performance-based societies involved to explore opportunities for collaboration and development.
From sessions run last year, it has been great to see that feedback finally being implemented in our venues. We have a new food menu in Sanc, Live Sports on the TVs and later opening hours. I’ve also been responding to other feedback we have had through ‘Your Ideas’, reviewing their feasibility and looking at how we recognise and include this at our Board. I have had a meeting with our CEO and Commercial Services Director to plan next steps for the development of our Commercial Board; what potential opportunities we could explore and how we broaden the skill set of our Board.