SU President Blog - New spaces for next academic year!

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SU President Blog

New spaces for next academic year!

New spaces for next academic year!

As this academic year comes to an end and we say goodbye to lots of the UG students on campus for the summer, those of you staying and our postgraduate community will begin to see some changes to our campus.

As an SU Officer, we start the year with a list of things that you would like to work with us to achieve. Sometimes we can achieve these quite quickly, such as changes to events and raising topical issues, but we frequently have to accept that the larger changes take time. This update will outline some of the exciting projects we have been working on this year that you should start to see on campus next academic year. Some of these are in the planning stages, and as always there may be some hiccups along the way, but fingers crossed these will all be opened soon!

This work was linked into one of the SU Top Ten that Meg and I have been working on together this year, asking the University to Commit to funding projects which will provide more inclusive spaces on campus.

This update will cover:

  • Hairdressers in the Student Centre
  • International student space on campus
  • Garden of reflection

213 The Salon - Hairdressers in the Student Centre

This has been talked about for many years and is in line with both the University and the SU strategy. It is exciting that we can now share with you that there will be a salon facility opening at the start of the academic year 2022/23 downstairs in the Student Centre.
We have worked closely with alumni, race equality task force, students, and staff to identify a salon space that can incorporate a variety of different hair dressing facilities. In the past we have had students open a barber’s downstairs in the student centre; hopefully this can now continue in a more appropriate and private space.

One of the key elements that has been crucial in this process is the work Abraham has put into lobbying for appropriate hair dressing facilities for Afro hair and black hair products. We will be continuing to work with the race equality task force to ensure that this facility meets the needs of all our students and remains an inclusive space. We are in contact with hairdressers who specialise in Afro hair from the Bath and Bristol area.

Currently this space is in the designing stages. We have had advice from hairdressers and are now in the prototype design stage. Our Summit members had the opportunity to share their views on the design which was then shared with the designer before the final designs are published.

There is a lot more work left to do, but it is exciting to see this project come alive and a big thank you to everyone who has been involved!

213 The Salon coming to you very soon!    

International student space on campus

Earlier this academic year, the Director of Accommodation & Hospitality Services mentioned to Meg, our SU Community Officer, and I, that there is an on-campus ground floor space which is not currently being utilised. We visited the space and found that it has a small kitchen, dining room, and larger living room area, which are all currently not in use. The building is located between Eastwood and Marlborough Court and is the ground floor of some upstairs accommodation used for visiting academics to live in.

Meg and I began discussions regarding what this space could be used for. We decided to look into turning this into an international student space, following feedback from International Exec. We felt this would fit very well into our Top 10 issue on the University providing more inclusive spaces on campus.

We then held discussions with International Exec and SU staff members to decide how best to use this space for international students. We are hoping the space will be ideal for our cultural student groups who may want to hold events involving cooking international food. The space may not fit larger groups of students, but it would be perfect for a smaller group looking to come together to socialise, learn about a new culture, and eat great food. We're currently working with the University on the design of the space as well as how we share it between Student Services, the International Relations Office and the Students’ Union groups. We're hoping it'll be ready to use next academic year!

Garden of reflection – Woodside Garden

This year I have been working with Nigel (University Chaplain) and Rajani (Vice President Culture and Inclusion) to identify an appropriate space that a place of reflection and quiet could be built. A paper is currently going to the University Executive Board to seek approval for this to go ahead.

As a community there are often moments where we wish to come together to reflect on an event and I am hopeful that this space, when built, will be able to fulfil those needs.