Thursday 27-06-2019 - 11:34
Huge, huge thank you, to each and everyone who voted for me as your Education Officer and President of your HSU Community. It has been an incredible journey and I feel incredibly privileged to have worked alongside various student groups to make student life better as well as the local authority in improving youth engagement in democracy. In particular, I’m so proud to have worked with the schamazing BAME Ambassadors and campaign networks for the last two years, they’ve achieved so much, but here are a few highlights:
- The BAME Ambassadors met with Chris Skidmore, Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation to talk about the student experience, and new Education Officer Adesewa wrote a Guardian opinion piece in response to the “Closing the Gap” launch.
- With our support, BAME Ambassadors also held memorial campaigns for the victims of the Christchurch and Sri Lanka attacks
- The LGBT+ Campaign Network ran a campaign called ‘The History of Blood’, during LGBT History Month, to raise awareness of the legal limitations for gay men to donate blood and fundraise for the Terrence Higgins Trust and supported LGBT+ related petitions and government consultations.
- The Disabled Students Network fed into the NUS’s research on the difficulties applying to the Disabled Students Allowance via Student Loans.
- The Women’s Campaign Network ran a campaign called ‘Chai Day’ on International Day to End Violence Against Women and are currently organising an exhibition campaign to be run in September 2019 on Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence.
Thank you to all I have worked with and who have supported me at the University, especially, the incredible HSU community. It really has been an honour! See you at graduations!!!
The past two years have been an unforgettable journey. It has been a privilege representing all of you; whether it was at School Boards arguing for microwaves so you can heat up your lunch for free, or at Kirklees Council meetings urging them to make our town safer and more accessible after 5pm! There have been some amazing achievements over the last two years, not only personal achievements like organising a Huddersfield Pride, but as an Officer team we have done our absolute best to give you the best student experience as possible. Most importantly though, it doesn’t stop after we’re gone…
Here are a few things that I’ve been working on for the past two years:
- We negotiated an emergency bed scheme for NHS placement students valid at 26 HOST properties across the UK.
- We housed over 40 commuter students over the exam period, offering £20 a night rooms in Kingfisher House. There are some great individual stories of how this helped students at such a stressful time and we are evaluating what we can do for resits and next year.
- Over 850 people came to the first ever HudPride, it was brilliant seeing the community come together to celebrate the beginning of Pride month, and seeing people of all ages, from all different walks of life celebrate who they are.
- Ask for Angela and the Safe Taxi policy have started to help students feel safer on nights out in Huddersfield. Ask For Angela is now used in most bars around town, if your favourite bar doesn’t use it, let the SU know!
I can’t believe that this experience is finally coming to an end – it’s been truly life-changing and such a privilege to represent the students of Huddersfield. The idea that I was voted by you, twice, is still quite surreal and we’re extremely proud of the way we’ve stuck together through some difficult periods, and even more amazing ones! I’ve worked hard to implement a sea-change in the way that we deliver activities, resulting in a 29% increase in Club & Society engagement since my election in 2017/18.
- Academic Societies are now at the forefront of what we do – the ability to integrate and bring enrichment specific courses and disciplines was nothing but an idea two years ago. I spoke to approximately 1,500 of you during Freshers’ Week and we now have over 50 groups operating!
- The thing that really gripped me about being a student here at Huddersfield was Varsity – to lead us away and then home securing the W on both occasions was my most satisfying moment in office. The sense of community was electric, especially knowing how hard our committees work to make our sports programme what it is. Singing Toto – Africa and Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader with 800 other Huddersfield students in the stand at Lockwood is a moment I’ll never forget.
- Sports Clubs: as some of you may know, the University is currently undergoing a sports review. This looks at what we currently deliver, how it works and if it’s fit for purpose. After recent discussions with the Vice-Chancellor, I’m hopeful that the University will implement a true and ambitious sports strategy in the future, giving UoH students the sports programme it deserves.
Thank you to every student that has helped make student activities at Huddersfield so special, you deserve so much credit, and thank you for having me. I’m forever proud.
I had three main areas of focus this year, and I’m proud of all my progress:
- Peer mentoring has been a big success this year, lots of you have attended training and shared your tips with new students. We held a peer mentoring conference, with students, academic and professional staff from across all Schools looking at best practice and recommendations for next year.
- I worked with the PGR coordinator to set up the first PGR society and I’ve worked with the Society on many events throughout the year including an interdisciplinary conference on sustainability which was linked in with contributing to the sustainable development goals as set by the United Nations. My focus next year will be on PGR Representation as there are a number of issues that this group of students are looking for support with.
- The biggest change has been around Academic Integrity. A campaign around Academic Integrity has been running across the exam period and the campaign has involved messages going out on plasma screens across campus, a banner in front of Student Central, messages in emails and a vlog to address the topic. Also from next year, every student will receive more education and support about Academic Integrity, and how to avoid breaching University regulations around it.
- A very important project for me has been my work with Registry, raising awareness of religious observations and exams to ensure accessibility of the support to students. Information about support was included in exam schedules that went out to all students following this.
- Working with student Societies, I helped them to put organise two major music events. One was during Fresher’s Festival in September and the second was a carol event in December last year, with these events we raised over £1,500 for Kirkwood Hospice and the local RSPCA in collaboration with the former Mayor of Kirklees.
Your support, faith and confidence in me has contributed to my making it through this year and it has also given me another year to represent and serve this great student body as president. I can’t wait to get started with Adesewa, Adetayo, Bethany and Lucy and see what great things we can achieve you for and with you
Education Officer and President-Elect