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Officer Blog: It's been a great first term!

Thursday 13-12-2018 - 14:31
Blog post a message from your officers

The HSU community has had a fantastic first term, which saw so many of you getting involved in activities and events!

We're really passionate about making sure you have plenty of opportunities available to shape your journey here at Huddersfield, and with this in mind we've been working on our strategy for the future of the Students' Union - our overall vision, mission and aims.  This strategy runs up to 2025, reflecting the University Strategy.  But over the next two years we're really focusing on getting more students involved with the SU, and on demonstrating both to you guys and to University staff how beneficial getting involved in extracurricular activities while you study can be - developing life skills and massively enhancing your future prospects.

Along with the SU's CEO, we presented this strategy at the University Council - and it was very positively received!

As well as supporting the SU team to deliver their objectives and new strategic plan. with focuses on mental health (one of our priority campaigns) and on creating more inclusive opportunities, we've also continued to work on our individual objectives...

 

Jonathan Stephen, President

What a great first term! As mentioned, we've been busy shaping a strategy that will take HSU into the next decade. Alongside this we've also been working on a few other things, including:

 

  • Extending the campaign networks to include LGBT, disabled & women’s campaign networks alongside the BAME Ambassador Scheme. Find out more here
  • The launch of the Women in Leadership project is well underway, and the students involved are beginning to shape their leadership journeys
  • We’ve partnered with the University on creating an equality, diversity and inclusion committee, which is planned to be in place by January 2019
  • I've been continuing to develop relationships with youth initiatives in Kirklees to ensure young people are empowered to engage in democracy in your SU and locally
  • For the first time, I submitted a number of Honorary Award nominations on behalf of the HSU community
  • Supporting HSU’s BAME Ambassadors with the launch of the 'BroadenMyBookshelf' campaign during Black History Month, alongside your Education Officer – this was in collaboration with the University’s Computing and Library Service
  • Finally, I have written a letter to Nicola Dandridge, CEO of the government's Office for Students, which has led to an invitation to a meeting with her next week. We'll be talking about how student experience is measured.

 

Emmanuel, Education Officer

I have been working on a number of projects this term with very significant progress, which include:

  • Establishing a PGR Society, with the aim of creating a network of engaged PGRs to address the issues of underrepresentation, isolation and retention. The PGR Society now has over 350 members. Check out pictures from their first Society event.
  • Training peer mentors!  There are now 60 additional peer mentors across campus, as a result of my work with schools to increase the number of peer mentors who are there to support students in lower years. A University steering group has also been established to continue driving the initiative of peer mentoring
  • An academic integrity project.  With support from Registry, we're looking at educating students on the importance of academic integrity (being honest in your studies) and supporting you develop your scholarly skills
  • We're currently developing a Global Student Rep Scheme, which aims to create more peer-to-peer representative links between the HSU community and international students

 

Tom Bowden, Community Officer

As part of our aim to engage more students, I've been working on a few things to ensure you feel a part of the HSU community and the wider Huddersfield community as well.  These include:

  • Schools Outreach - we visit every school twice a month to talk to students about key issues, projects and events happening on campus. So far we have focused on mental health, volunteering and encouraging students to access their Personal Academic Tutors.  You might know this as the SU on Tour!
  • The Halls Welcome project has been created to welcome and integrate students who live in halls.  Over 600 students were individually welcomed to their accommodation by the HSU community and our four Halls Liaison Reps are always ready to answer any query you may have
  • The Ask for Angela initiative has been introduced to help prevent sexual harassment in Huddersfield town centre. Multiple popular venues have agreed to take part in the initiative; and by partnering with both the Huddersfield Pubwatch Committee and Kirklees Licencing, we are hoping to have all venues join the initiative by the end of the academic year
  • A Huddersfield Pride is slowly becoming more and more of a reality! There has been loads of interest from students, staff and local organisations to make this event happen. In the new year, I'll be meeting with potential stakeholders to the event to discuss how we can make it an engaging, inclusive, community-wide Pride

 

Jake Rodgers, Activities Officer

This year the Students’ Union put a focus on diversifying and broadening our events programme to provide the best experience to as many students as possible. In total over 8000 students attended an event on campus and in the town during Freshers’ Week. Some key highlights of this term include:

  • Freshers Week: Over 250 students brought their friends and families to the Roller Disco as part of Feel Good Friday. More than 550 students joined us for the Secret Garden Tea Party and 2250 students enjoyed HudCrawl in the town centre
  • Bonfire Night, held at Storthes Hall, saw its highest recorded attendance with over 2000 students and local people, and included a larger number of international students in attendance than  any year previously
  • University Challenge: The first meeting with our University Challenge team went well – they are in the process of completing their application to ITV and could be on your television soon!

I’ve also worked closely with the Activities department to make changes including:

  • Academic Societies Project With an increase from 25 to 43 Academic Societies across all the schools in the past 3 months, the Academic Society project is starting to gather momentum. Some of the events and activities that have been delivered include 200 students visiting the Museum of Science & Industry with the Bioscience Society, and the Textiles Society visiting the Hepworth Gallery. There are some really great plans and exciting events being put together by our committees, and we're seeing more and more students recognise this and get involved - or start their own Academic Society
  • Hud Uni Sport Membership: Sports Club memberships have already exceeded last year’s numbers with the new system, which allows you to join as many Sports Clubs as you like for £40 (£60 if you'd like to join one or more with a paid coach). The inclusive nature of the project has had a great impact on engagement levels – often with groups outgrowing their facility and requiring more provision!
  • Society Rooms: Brand new to the SU floor, we now have dedicated spaces for students to meet, collaborate and study. Just get in touch to book some space now!
  • Get Involved social media: We've merged our Huddersfield University Sport social media pages with Societies, Academic Societies and Volunteering, and replaced them with one space called Get Involved! The objective of this is to bring together our student group community, and celebrate all the hard work that goes into running a great Sports Club or Society. It’s a space to explore new opportunities, celebrate your achievements and advertise your events!  Follow @HSUGetInvolved on Facebook and Twitter.

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