PRESIDENT, NOVEMBER 2017 REPORT
Progress is behind schedule when it comes to collecting data, I am mindful FA has not had the windfall of a backing event like Enterprise and Safe Drugs had with Freshers fairs, though Engagement has been very promising so far with the survey subject, with many students being pointed towards the office to pick up a survey by their friends. I am unsure if other campuses are distributing them though, this is most likely my own failing for not keeping track. One last concerted effort from all interns and my scheduled lecture drop-ins that were discussed with academics at the School boards should be enough for a viable demographic cross-section to be collected and collated into useable data.
Catering: Value For Money
I’ve been mindful in the past to leave catering issues to Riley so as not to confuse situations but Lesley approached me about increasing transparency and communications with students in line with a “Transparency Project” I’ve been discussing with boards I have a seat on. The coming week and a half will see catering forums across all campuses chaired by Lesley herself in hopes to adequately fulfil the restlessness displayed by many students around catering and accommodation. I am pleased to see these departments taking such an active role in improving this situation and hope it will follow on with other engagements I have with them. The new chef in Farnham seems to have, if temporarily, waylaid the issue of quality, though I still believe the value for money part needs attention.
Campus Life: Green Impact
My attention has been fleetingly diverted to concentrate on Green impact by Vanessa and the similar campaigns of Riley (100 days of veganism) and Phill (Less is more?) to concentrate on my own. I believe it is in the Universities and Unions best interests to subscribe to the new directional trend of eco-friendly and sustainable campuses and thus am writing a proposal to turn Courtyard social spaces in Farnham and other applicable spaces on other campuses into eco gardens. Improving the appearance and use of these spaces as well as providing welfare initiatives for students who just want to take some time out of their stressful days to do a bit of gardening, ya’ know? With the added benefit of providing a use for all the waste food produced by the canteens. It is my hope that the university will embrace this idea as a portfolio option, that they can boast of having eco conscious campuses and an active Sustainability society, partnering with the “Farnham in bloom” groups to add support and workshops to this movement is an avenue I am also pursuing. I am currently working with Intern and CEO Kaya Cohen on writing a proposal to Roni Brown for these spaces in line with Roni’s Campus Life campaign.
Campus Transparency Project
This campaign will be an ongoing initiative and will likely be perpetual.
Anger and frustration displayed by students regarding many issues arise from lack of information disseminated to them by their tutors and higher ups. An issue that has become systemic with little sign of changing throughout my 3 years as a student. With the creation of the carpark steering group (I’ll stop going on about it I promise) We (as a student orientated faction) saw that information could be disseminated to us if the effort was put in. And so a trend has started of Boards and groups being more open to Transparency initiatives. I have been pushing communication techniques and engagement issues with any staff who will listen and see that it is having a profound effect on how the University communicates with its students. I do not want the SU to be weighed down and branded as the “Engagement Department” if we can teach them how to do it themselves. One example. I allowed Alison Branagan to use a lightbox to advertise a creative workshop that summarily had far better turn out that would have been likely otherwise. This was communicated by Alison to her higher up with stress that we would not be helping in the same manner again, they have since altered their engagement pattern to be independent and more effective. “We are the hand that shows, the hand that teaches.”
It’s also my hope that after the pressure from students about engagement at the SRCEEG that consideration for notice boards and digital displays will be confronted.
- I was invited to march in Remembrance Sunday where I met with a myriad of interested local figures. This morning I had coffee with Lucinda Flemming, ex-mayor of Farnham and chair for a few local organisations to discuss collaborations in the local area. Whether these relationships are renewed every Sabb, or only now they want to connect I do not know but I am hopeful for the future.
- Finished the employability Blog with help from Creative Enterprise and academics from a broad range of courses, more of a small win but shows they’re engaged.
- We had a successful “Smashing Stress” workshop at very short notice, the team really pulled together and I’m so thankful that we managed to do it given the available resources, and I’m ecstatic to give more exposure and power to the Wellbeing network, with Tara Murphy since working closely with Phill and myself on more projects.
Any Other Business
- So happy to have a full team, big welcome to Taylor, Chris and Josh.