Posted on Fri 15 Jul 2016 at 13:47 by Lucy Woodcock
The move from Education Officer to President has been, so far, a smooth one. It’s been really useful to have an established network of contacts and a solid grasp of how things work around here, after all Students’ Unions and universities aren’t always the easiest of organisations to navigate! Handover with the team was great and whilst it was pretty emotional saying goodbye to the 15/16 Officer Dream Team, I really look forward to seeing what this new team will achieve through working together. Dream Team Strike 2!
It’s not only a new Officer team where there is change in the SU though…
Ian, our Chief Executive of 19 years, recently retired and moves on to a time of well-deserved rest & relaxation. The magnitude of positive & forward- thinking change he helped to bring about speaks volumes. 100% committed to always making sure the SU was the best that it could be, an excellent listener & advisor and buyer of honey tequila at staff Christmas parties – it was a privilege to work with Ian and he’ll be truly missed. But all good things must come to an end and on August 8th arrives our new Chief Executive Andrew McLaughlin and I have every confidence that he’ll do a fantastic job, building upon the solid legacy Ian has left.
The content of my work and meetings so far has been hugely varied, something I love about this job! Just to highlight a few things:
• Looking at the BME Degree Attainment Gap and the measures that need to be put in place to tackle this
• Considering improvements for students & staff who cycle to campus and the facilities they need
• Conducting the annual review of the Bath Award
• Planning the 50th Anniversary celebrations – save the date of 25th October in your diaries, it’s going to be fab!
• Inputting into the new designs for the Tub, woohoo!
• Recruiting the new University Chaplain
There’s been plenty to celebrate too…
- The Officer team donned their gowns & mortarboards to see hundreds of students graduate during the recent summer ceremonies. Big congratulations to Kat, Will & Ben who were celebrating their own graduations too.
- As many of you will know HRH Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, is the Chancellor of our University and whilst he was in town for the graduations, he hosted a reception for approximately 30 postgraduate students at the VC’s residence. His enthusiasm to find out more about our PG community was great to see and I hope many more students will be able to engage with him over the years ahead!
- And recently at the NUS Awards in Liverpool, we received a Gold Best Bar None Award and were named as one of the top 6 SU bars in the country - oh yeah!
'NUS Students’ Unions 2016’ in Liverpool was a cracking event and I was particularly impressed with what a welcoming and positive atmosphere it was for all delegates, both those brand new to the movement and those with some experience already. From sessions on how to deal with the Prevent Agenda to how to effectively communicate when in crisis, there was a lot to take away from the event, not to forget excellent keynotes from Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (Founder of UK Black Pride). As well as hard work, we made sure plenty of fun was had too including SU Officers from across the country heading to Liverpool’s Popworld to sing some tunes and dance the night away!
So looking forward... what’s coming up?
Over the next few weeks I’ll be helping to make sure Freshers’ Week planning is on track, finalising the services & deals for the coming year with the bus companies, as well as preparing various content to welcome our new Student Leaders in September. As a team, we’ll be busy setting our priorities and coming up with our Top Ten for the year ahead. If you’ve got any bright ideas about what you think should be on there, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear from you.
Each of the team will also be travelling to their NUS Lead & Change summer trainings. I’m heading to Leeds in early August and I’m already looking forward to meeting lots of other Presidents from around the country!
And finally, at the end of next week, I'll be sneaking off to a glorious little place in South Devon called Hope Cove for a few days to spend some quality time with my family and to stock up on some sleep, fresh sea air and good old British sunshine - can't wait!
I hope you're all having a great summer holiday so far. Do keep in touch and let me know if there's anything I can do to help!