The new academic year has just begun and it has been another busy month for the Student President Team. Check out the presidents’ three big things below:
Isobel Hall, President of the Students’ Union
I’ve been appointed to the QAA Student Strategic Advisory Board as one of thirteen members to represent students on a national level. The QAA has a UK-wide remit and operation regarding academic quality and standard. This Board will play a key role in advising on QAA strategy and decision making, giving a student perspective on legislative, regulatory, funding and policy environment in higher education. I am thrilled that I am representing the North East and getting northern students involved in the national conversation.
- Letter from Universities Minister, Chris Skidmore MP
This month I received a response to my letter I sent to the Universities Minister regarding funding for foundation year students. The Minister stated that he recognised the value foundations year have and will be considering all the evidence as they review the recommendations from the Augar Review.
- Wonkhe Article
Lobbying to improve funding for healthcare students is key for me this year. With recent coverage of these issues by The Guardian and Office for Students as ministers are discussing how to fund healthcare education, I thought I would add my own commentary to urge the government not to park the issue and have published my article on Wonkhe.
- Parliamentary Debate
After sharing my Wonkhe article on Twitter and bring to the attention of MPs, APPG on Students Chair and MP, Paul Blomfield commented that he was going to raise a parliamentary debate on the issue of funding for healthcare students.
- Water Fountain
Thanks to our Commercial Services Director, we have a brand-new water fountain! I know a lack of water fountains on campus is a source of frustration for many students, so I hope this helps rectify this and encourages more people to use a reusable bottle.
- Climate Action Meet-Up Group
We had our first ever Climate Action Meet-Up Group this month - we discussed sustainability and the environment. It was great to have so many passionate and enthusiastic people in the room and we now have lots of ideas to take forwards!
- Trustee Board
We had our Trustee Board meeting this month where I brought a paper asking for Hull University Union to formally declare and recognise the climate emergency. I am absolutely delighted that they accepted this proposal. This was announced at the beginning of Green Week – stay tuned for more info about everything you can get involved in, in the upcoming year.
- Articles Referendum Passed
After 7 days of campaigning for the much needed changes to be made to our Articles of Association, we were really pleased that these were passed with over 90% in favour!
- First Union Council & Bye-Laws Passed
This month we had our first Union Council of the year. Taking a record 40 minutes we presented and passed the proposed changes to the Bye-Laws. The Bye-Laws had not been updated since 2013, were not student friendly, contained references to things that didn’t exist anymore and missed key bits of information out like how to bring a motion and start a petition! After spending a lot of time with the Chair of Union Council, Student Voice Team, CEO, an external consultant and solicitor, we got the Bye-Laws down from 40 pages to 16 pages which are easy to read and understand, clear, student friendly, relevant and now match our newly changed Articles.
Abi Morris, President of Inclusivity and Diversity
- The Inclusivity Survey had a good turn out and gave some really good feedback on what people believe ‘inclusivity’ to be. We also got quite a few clubs and societies asking to be involved with the shaping of the award. This will commence properly over the next couple of weeks so look out for an announcement.
- The 12th - 19thNovember is Transgender Awareness Week. I have been working with Hannah, our Trans Representative on how we will be looking to celebrate this as well as beginning to plan a campaign to run alongside it. This will also be announced during Trans Awareness Week!
- I have also started planning a campaign with Erin and Evie, our Women’s Representatives. This will also be launched in a couple of weeks - so keep your eyes peeled for that as it’s going to be a big one!
- This month I delivered signposting training to club and society welfare officers. The training involved sharing useful contacts, how to handle situations and what it expected of them as welfare officers. If you did not get the chance to come to this and think you would have enjoyed it, please email me at [email protected]as there is the potential for me to run another session in the coming weeks
- This month was also full of important awareness days. We used World Mental Health Day to promote the availability of Big White Wall to our students and had loads of people come and design bricks to build our own big white wall. The Big White Wall is an online platform where students can go to share experiences of wellbeing, seek advice and have some honest conversations. It is monitored 24/7.
- Show Racism the Red Card Day was also a huge success, with loads of clubs and societies taking photos to show their stance on this, as well as a photo from Hull University Union staff and the board of trustees. The dodgeball tournament was also a big success, with teams getting competitive and raising money for the good cause.
- I have also been planning this trimester’s SHAG week! Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance week will take place from the 12th -15thNovember. We will be promoting the importance of looking after your sexual health as well as providing testing throughout the week.
Simeon Orduen, President of Education
Black History Month
I had lots of conversation with Societies and the BAME Representative, Anotidashe Manjanja to see what they had planned for Black History Month and ensuring that they led on what they thought would be a good fit for Black History Month. Abi was very supportive and gave me room to manoeuvre.
BAME Attainment Gap
I have had a few groups of students who have allowed me to come and chat with them about the campaign. The survey that we put out to get students’ thoughts and feedback for the month of October is ending soon, so I am excited to see the results and see what students think.
Lots of firsts...
My first HYMS Joint Senate Committee meeting, Education Zone Open Meeting and Senate meeting. These meetings allowed me to raise student concerns, such as an open channel of communication from staff to students about what is happening on courses and the impact of such, certain concerns students had regarding academic representation and the high pricing of placement costs for international students respectively. I enjoyed all these avenues and the chance to represent students, as well as all the feedback I got during the Education Zone Open Meeting.
Erin Pettit, President of Sport
The AU Exec and I have been working hard to plan the AU Ball. This year it is going to be a Winter Wonderland ball and will be held at 7pm on the 22ndNovember in Asylum. Tickets went on sale on Monday 4th of November and sold out on the same day!
AU Club Meetings
This month saw the first matches for most of our teams and as a result I have spent a lot of time catching up with them in individual meetings to clear up any problems. I’ve worked hard on securing wins for clubs including Boxing, MMA, Men’s Cricket, Women’s Basketball and Women’s Lacrosse.
I have been working closely with Abi this month on some joint campaigns. I helped her out on World Mental Health Day when we had students and staff designing bricks for her Big White Wall. We also worked together for Show Racism the Red Card. Many sports clubs joined in with this and turned up to training in red to show their support for the campaign. I was really proud to see the efforts everyone went to.
Tom McNamara, President of Activities
After many, many interviews we’ve now got some great people on board to run The Hullfire and Torch TV. The interviews have been very time consuming but feels great now everything is coming together. Can’t wait to see what they get up to this year! Last week, we also appointed a new JAM Radio Station Manager who has some great new ideas to relaunch the station. Another big development over the last few months has been the creation of the new Student Media website. It’s much needed and will create a stronger collective brand for Hull Student Media. Keep checking back in on the website to find new videos, articles and more.
Check out the website here: www.hullstudentmedia.co.uk
- Student Committee Elections - Through UEC and Union Council, I’ve created a new standing order that outlines how an Annual General Meeting (AGM) should be run to ensure committees are elected fairly and democratically. We didn’t have any solid policy before now and last year it was a big issue.
- Fundraising Policy - I have also started writing a Fundraising Policy in collaboration with the newly elected RAG committee. As a students’ union we are looking to be registered with the Fundraising Regulator to ensure we are meeting national standards and am looking to develop further training for Student Fundraisers to make it clearer on how any student can fundraise.
Student Commercial Forum
To help shape End of Year Ball 2020 and influence future live events we had our first Student Commercial Forum. We had a really good turnout, it’s great that students want to get involved in shaping the event. We’re planning to set up multiple recurring meetings looking at options for the event. There’s still opportunity to get involved if you missed the first one. Join the Facebook event here.