What a strange year! But congratulations to everyone for all of the hard work you've put into making bath such an incredible place to study
This time last year, we wrote a similar blog post to this about what an extraordinary year 2020 had been. Little did we know, we’d be having the same reflections one year later. Whilst we’ve had another year of unknowns and life feeling like it’s on pause, we have also achieved SO MUCH as a community.
One of the biggest things going on behind the scenes is that we’ve managed to secure facilities in The Edge and Dartmouth. We’ve been working hard throughout the year with our student groups to see what provisions are needed on campus and how we can help.
The Edge has always been a creative hub on campus, and we’re now working on a comprehensive arts strategy with students at the heart of it, ensuring you have access to all of the performance space, rehearsal space and tech that you need.
Dartmouth is going to be our home-away-from-home; our second social space based in the heart of Oldfield Park. This already has facilities for our sports clubs and societies to use, and we’re looking forward to showing you around in September.
Our Student Groups
This year saw the introduction of our all-sport and all-society memberships. These new membership structures were born out of wanting you all to connect with each other in many ways. It’s been a turbulent year for our student groups, however, this new membership meant that anyone could try anything without it costing more money. In total, over 5000 of you purchased one of the memberships. Here are some of the other achievements of our student groups:
- Over 150 paired in our Exercise Buddy scheme
- 300 students and 20 student groups involved in a Lockdown 2 challenge for Movember.
- Hundreds of pieces of equipment were rented out to keep students moving
- Bath Entrepreneurs won the Development Award at the National Societies and Volunteering Awards
- Bath STAR and Amnesty launched the successful Equal Access at Bath campaign, a student-led initiative campaigning for undergraduate level scholarships and tailor-made financial and support packages to be provided for asylum seeker students.
- Hockey organised a charity event with over 150 attendees, raising over £450 for charity
- Media pulled off Live from the Bath, a virtual chat-show style Freshers’ Week broadcast to bring together people from all over the world.
Volunteering has always been at the heart of what The SU does, and that hasn’t stopped this year. Throughout the pandemic, The SU has been working with Banes 3SG’s Compassionate Communities to help the most vulnerable members of society through such a difficult period.
Some of our other volunteering highlights are:
- Hindu Soc and RAG worked with Banes 3SG in the lead up to Diwali to reduce loneliness in the community
- Volunteering Action Fortnight saw 7 different activities occurring, including distributing 182 Easter Cards for vulnerable people around Bath and North East Somerset, 2 litter picks, 2 trees sessions and 2 virtual action days.
- V Team have spent over 100 hours virtually supporting charities this year
- 83 external volunteering opportunities have been undertaken by students
- 25 students volunteered for a Christmas Call to vulnerable adults on Christmas Day
What’s become apparent this year is the importance of community. We’re blessed to have such strong student communities that exist within our clubs and societies, representation groups, halls and other friendship groups.
- The SU Bath Community Facebook group has continued to grow and now has over 4000 members
- Nightline continued to run almost every night, adjusting incredibly to the challenges of the pandemic, and supporting so many students. They’ve responded to over 240 calls since September!
- First-year students came together for Freshers’ Week 2020 in a blend of in-person and virtual activities
- 51 students ran to be hall reps and bring together different communities on campus
- Alongside our student groups, we came together to celebrate different communities on campus including Black History Month, Lunar New Year and LGBT History Month
- During our officer elections, we planted 164 trees, provided 100m2 of wildflowers for the bee population, and adopted a badger, a farm animal and a whale as part of Plant Your Vote.
- The Student Anti-Racist Action group was set up to ensure the voices of those from non-white backgrounds are heard.
The SU is us, the students. However, we can only come together with the help of some incredible student leaders and staff that work tirelessly behind the scenes. It’s not been an easy year, but thanks to the reactivity of our students and staff, we’ve still got a lot done! Thank you to all of you.
- The student voice team worked hard this year to ensure that the responses you gave to surveys became actions, particularly regarding mental wellbeing and representation.
- Joshua Hale, the SU Volunteering Coordinator, received a British Empire Medal for his work on supporting communities throughout the pandemic
- We elected 6 new officers who are eager to start in June
- The Freshers’ Week Team pulled it out of the bag to with an in-person, socially distanced freshers’ week including creating the 600 capacity East Village – huge thanks to our FWEMs and our Events team for this one!
- Multiple teams in The SU received a Vice-Chancellor’s Covid Award to recognise their dedication to their work during the pandemic
- Student Trainers delivered so many interesting and unique training sessions this year
- The SU has been shortlisted for a Bath Life Award!
It might not have been the year we were all expecting but putting this list together has shown just how much we’ve still managed to do. This community we have on campus is incredible, and now it’s time for us to all come together to celebrate another year finished throughout June. See you all for Summer At Bath!