VP Services & communication
Promise Three – “Shape Everything Around You”
This month I have been involved with a lot of the internal improvements and changes within the SU – the communication side to my Sabbatical position. We’ve taken a step back and assessed how we shape everything around students which has seen me speak to students, gather their feedback and answer their questions. This project is still ongoing as I want to speak to as many students as possible to gather their ideas in regards to how we are functioning as an SU and whether or not we truly are shaping everything around you guys. It’s a big project and one that will continue to take up a lot of my time as it is important students are aware of how the SU can be a valuable service and one they can communicate with.
If you were to have any feedback that could help and want to email me, or if I wasn’t clear in explaining and want to question the project, please send me over an email and we can go from there. If you want a one on one meeting, that’s fine too!
Rebel Radio has launched!
On the 25th of November, Rebel Radio broadcast live from square 3 and will continue to do so from the Creative Studios from now on! Everyone over at Rebel has worked extremely hard to get to this point so exciting times are ahead. If you want to get involved and fancy yourself as a bit of a radiohead, join Rebel! If radio isn’t your strongpoint but writing, broadcasting, editing, photography or anything else creative is, Rebel is for you! I mean, we even secured an interview with the big dog himself Tim Westwood – if that isn’t an incentive, or a sign that exciting times are ahead, I’m not sure what is! Where can you join? Here: https://www.essexstudent.com/rebel/
As for me, I will be helping the guys to expand radio across campus, into venues and make it the heart of the community we are building here at Essex.
Whilst speaking to students about how we shape our organisation to their needs, it has been found that deadlines have been a hot topic on campus – one word just keeps cropping up in conversations with students from various departments and various years of study: “stress.” The SU promises to help get you an amazing degree and job as well as promising to benefit all members and I have therefore been involved with thinking about how we can expand our exams campaign, that we usually run during exam seasons to relieve stress, to become more of an academic support campaign. As me, a few of the other Sabbaticals and SU staff in relative departments are finalising and speaking to students about what it is that would help during deadline seasons, the campaign is likely to start at the beginning of December so keep an eye out!
Welfare in Venues
In my last Officer Report I mentioned about chairing a newly established committee regarding welfare in venues. It is believed that this is part of a wider campaign tackling issues such as harassment, spiking and general welfare considerations to educate student on. This campaign is due to begin in January after the Christmas break and will aim to educate students how to stay safe on campus, in town or wherever one might find themselves on a night out in the future.
Back in my Officer Report from September I mentioned the changes I helped implement to ensure students were treated fairly in venues and that warnings would be issued where possible as opposed to straight up bans. I can confirm that this change has had a massive impact! Between the 17th and 24th of January, for example, 3,689 students went on a night out and 188 were asked to leave yet between the 14th and 20th of October, 9,450 students had a night out and only 23 were asked to leave. I have completed my Personal License Training and am now qualified to have a direct say on the status of bans and will thus use this to improve banning procedures using student feedback on the new system.
Societies, Sports Teams and Venues
It’s been a great month for societies and sports teams coming forward and setting up events in our venues – we’ve seen more involvement and engagement than ever before! From nights outs and quizzes in BASE to American Election Night specials in the SU Bar, having you guys involved in the process of organising events and taking a lead on what the night will look like is what helps to push us as an SU to become the world’s most student-centred organisation. It’s been great working with you guys and making your plans become a reality and I encourage more to do the same. I will be contacting societies and sports teams who have organised and held events in venues for feedback to allow us to make improvements where we can to the process but, in the meantime, if you were to have any suggestions then don’t hesitate to email them over to me!
In my last report I talked about the prospect of bringing live music from student bands to our campus. The vision is to have student acts fit the bill to use it as a platform to achieve publicity but, most importantly, experience. We had a number of bands and artists come forward but, unfortunately, many pulled out over the course of the month due to essay and exam related commitments which is completely understandable! What does this mean though? Is the dream dead? Of course it isn’t! We’re looking to push it to next term and work closely with societies to put together a killer launch for the venture!
Aside from that though, live music is still coming to campus. We’ll have bands performing, some organised by the SU and others by societies, as well as having our network of student DJs performing at various events over the coming weeks!
*Blows important Microwave-related news klaxon* As mentioned in the Officer Report last month I was approached by students asking about microwave facilities to be provided. I spoke about working with departments to have them put into common rooms. I have spoken to Course Reps and found that whilst some do provide these facilities, some don’t whilst others did once but don’t anymore. I am starting a plan in which we can ensure microwaves are provided but this may also be part of a bigger plan of general improvements to common rooms.
New Student Ideas: “Silent Parties” and “More Asian Orientated music events”
We had two student ideas put through (mentioned above in the title) but as we feel these are things we are looking into anyway, they didn’t need to go to a vote – we’re all for it!