Farewell from me!
It’s been a crazy 2 years and I can’t quite believe it’s over. From spending a year as your Education Officer fighting for no detriment policies, rent rebates, increasing accessibility through enhancing provisions in the assistive technology, decolonisation work, introduced a rep rewards recognition scheme to spending the last year returning us back to campus from Covid.
Reflecting back over the past year, none of the things we have achieved would have been possible if it hadn’t been for our student community making sure their voices were heard.
We starting this year with challenges around graduations being cancelled and throughout the year we have seen the impact that Covid-19 has had on our student body. The way the University responded to these challenges and reacted so quickly is thanks to you for highlighting any concerns and solutions.
We’ve had the ongoing issue with buses this year, and whilst I can’t leave saying we’ve solved the issues, I do hope that we have managed to get somewhat closer to solving the issues of transport to campus by working with the University, First buses and BANES to address the issue.
We’ve made some fantastic steps towards increasing the number of inclusive spaces across campus. Meg and I have worked together on this top ten issue and you can see my previous blog on some of the new spaces we’ve secured for next year.
We’ve made sure students concerns are being listened to and acknowledge on a national level by talking to our local MP. We’ve supported her with sharing the student bodies view on issues such as mental health, safety in Bath, drink spiking, buses and international student mobility. We’ve also engaged with the leader of the local Council Kevin Guy and may other Councillors as we rebuild the town / gown relationship and encourage more students to get involved in local politics and stand in the next round of local elections. I’ve also raised the issues around international student mobility to Department for Education which you can see here.
We won the Bath Life Award where we were nominated in the People Services Award, showing just how students have shaped the community we are part of throughout the pandemic.
We made changes to some of the food outlets on campus by introducing the 10% discount with the totum cards, altering the timings they are open and working with the University to enhance the food provision for next academic year so there is more affordable choice available. We’ve also increased the water fountain and microwave provision.
We’ve introduced the new citizenshift framework that makes sure you can shape the decisions within the SU, through Summit, Standpoints and Ideas to Action.
We joined the national campaign around drink spiking, holding all the venues across Bath accountable for the provision they put in place to support victims of drink spiking. We also worked with the University to secure funding for drink spiking testing kits that can be found in the Plug and Tub. We have also worked with the Bath BID to hopefully secure funding for a safe bus off campus.
We’ve helped shape the University Staff structure but being involved in several recruitment panels. This has been incredible important to make sure that the student experience is acknowledge during the recruitment process.
Working alongside you, we’ve managed to hold some of our flagship events again such as Summer Ball, Varsity and Snow Ball. But, we’ve also had Drag Bingo, A night with ACS featuring DJ Cuppy, Bubbles and Beer.
In terms of education, we have had a series of industrial action this year that we lobbied the university to ensure that there was adequate support for you in place. As well as raising concerns around the late rejected exam submission process, increasing study space by using the School of Management Building and what the new IMC process is post Covid. We also managed to get free parking for all students and staff across the examination period.
There are lots of other things that we have worked on together over the past year that are not included in this blog update.
I want to say an enormous thank you to the SU Officer Team, Meg, Jacob, Zoe, Sid and Elizabeth who have worked tirelessly this year to make sure that your voice is heard across our campus. Being an SU Officer is incredible rewarding as we get to working with you to see some fantastic changes across campus take place, but it is also challenging as we can be faced with conflicting decisions around governance, within our student body and between the SU and the University.
Thank you all for putting your trust in me for two years to be an SU Officer, I am handing over to Alex who I am confident will be fantastic at continuing to represent you!
One last time, thank you it has been an honour!
Annie SU President 2021-22 over and out x