THE SU BIG PLAN 2020-21

Last year, we asked our students to tell us what the SU should focus on - we call these things the Big Plan. We set up some big and mini walls, grabbed the stickers and had meaningful conversations about change across our campus’s. The Big Plan is at the heart of everything the SU does.

This year has not been a normal year, so many things have changed and what impacts you and is important to you has changed. Our Big Plan has been formed to work on what matters to you right now.

This page outlines our priorities, progress and also other priorities we will work on during the year that you tell us about.

WIFI RELIABILITY

 

 

AIM:

  • Work with the University to increase internet speed
  • Clarify dead zones to the University in order to “open up” study spaces
  • Increasing capacity to allow for more students to access and use WiFi on campus
  • Establish a robust tool to allow for students to inform ITS when WiFi does not work

 

UPDATES:

  1. VP Education and VP Community and Engagement are active members on the WIFI Everywhere working working group and have attended many meetings to understand the current situation with WIFI
  2. The University has agreed to work with us to create a robust tool to allow student to report where and when WIFI is not working and other WIFI issues.  This will be live soon, in the mean time please let us know using the live feedback tool.
  3. Over £650,000 has been spent to upgrade WIFI on campus to increase the capacity. Nearly all the external access points have been replaced on the Colchester Campus.
  4. Glide (accommodation WIFI) has agreed to an increase of internet speed up to 100mbs with the upgraded premium service.

 

These are the people we are working with to deliver these changes with you:

 

VP Education - Mark Kiley

VP Community & Engagement -

Adrian Tejan-Jalloh

BUILDING CONNECTIONS & Welfare

 

AIM:

  • Ensure that students are able to form formal connections 
  • Ensure students can informally engage with us as a SU and others 
  • Work with the uni to improve mental health services 
  • Being reactive to students welfare needs
  • Ensuring there is a clear communication with SU and Uni regarding welfare 

UPDATES:

  1. In person freshers fair, facilitating in person, real conversations and connections to be made with our fabulous sports clubs, societies and volunteering projects plus other areas of the SU and Uni.
  2. The month of October had an open online freshers fair for all students and to ensure students not able to attend the in-person event due to the pandemic to still be able to meet and find out more about all our SU activities
  3. October, Working with Blades Sports Clubs, Essex Sport & The University to action on approved risk assessments to facilitate the return to Sport of Blades Clubs (Due to the national lockdown sport is currently on hold).
  4. The SU Big Fat Quiz Team Edition – provided an opportunity for 183 students to have a social event for flat bonding.
  5. Just Play / golf & fountain fitness provided physical events for people to connect with people safely
  6. WHAT DO THE BLADES MEAN TO YOU, the voice of the Blades members is so important and through a 3day survey had 405 individuals amounting to 3500 individual responses to the questions which the data has been brought to USG, is an agenda item in a paper I’m writing for Sports Board and will be mentioned at the upcoming Student Experience Committee
  7. Raised at USG, University Steering Group November 2020, The importance on campus activities provides to the Student Experience and discussion on how the University can best support and facilitate the safe return to in person activity and events. (Discussion paused due to Lockdown 2.0)
  8. Working with Essex Sport to provide an online offering for Lockdown 2.0 https://www.essex.ac.uk/sport/fitness-at-home
  9. Movember, A charity raising awareness for mental health, suicide prevention and male cancers. Working with the Charity and participating students / sports clubs on a collaboration project with Rebel. Also working on a Charity event first week of December to complete fundraising (though need to hear from the Charity on a prize)
  10. University Challenge working on a new project bridging Education with Student Experience & Engagement to participate in ITV’s University Challenge and opportunity for all students from First year to PHD to get involved and represent the University as the greatest minds at Essex.
  11. Upcoming SU Activities Quiz…

 

These are the people we are working with to deliver these changes with you:

 

VP Student Experience -

Olivia Matthews

VP Welfare - Vinnosh Jaya Kumur

Covid Learning

 

 

AIM:

  • All students have access to all their essential readings online.
  • Lecturer engagement with students is no lower than in a normal academic year.
  • Teaching delivery is of the same quality or higher than in a normal academic year.
  • Exams and all other assessments are well prepared for by the University.
  • The University and departments are engaging in live feedback, listening and responding to student concerns.
  • University prepared if COVID extends into term 3 where in-person teaching is required

 

UPDATES:

  1. Weekly meetings with the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Education
  2. The launch of the live feedback form, to ensure we are hearing your concerns and passing them onto the relevant individuals and teams at the University
  3. Live lecture feedback – A list of best practice for the whole of the university to use, based on the feedback we get from lectures. This is ongoing and a number of sessions have been attended and shareable good practice has been collated.
  4. Ensuring that feedback reaches the Insights and Actions Group, where the SU will work on your feedback and pass on relevant feedback to the University.
  5. We estimate 75% of all essential readings are available online and we continue to meet with the University to increase this number.

     

     

These are the people we are working with to deliver these changes with you:

 

VP International - Alex Ilie

VP Education - Mark Kiley

Loans, Bursaries and Grants (Southend)

 

AIM:

  • Improve and awareness of external and internal loans, grants and bursaries
  • Provide access and information on deadlines
  • Ensure information regarding additional costs is provided prior to students attending university
  • Understand how other universities work around additional costs

 

UPDATES:

  1. Project group has been created.
  2. Loans,  Bursaries and Grants were covered during welcome and induction talks to EBS, East 15 and Health and Social Care new students.

 

These are the people we are working with to deliver these changes with you:

 

VP Southend - Ria Buachie