Nicole

Sites students, Everything is changing!

 

Lol. Just Kidding, but now I have your attention…

In the last few months i have been tasked to undergo a sites review, which, when completed will be some form of document that tells us more about our Sites students, in regards to who they are, what they do, what they already have from SUSU, and what they need. This will become a very important document to refer to for the completion of the Union Plan, and become the basis of how SUSU interacts with Sites students, and vice versa.

Earlier on in the month the outcomes and recommendations which came from the audit was presented at Union Council, which helped us form our overall vision. Here’s what they are:

1. Educate and inform students about SUSU.

Recommendation 1 applies to all sites. It is important that students have an informed idea of what SUSU is and what it offers students of the University of Southampton before we put anything in place for them.

The opinion of SUSU from many sites students is not necessarily a good one. I believe this is due to students not understanding what a union really is. They need to understand that SUSU is not a place in Southampton for only Southampton students to enjoy, but a fantastic opportunity that should encompass all students. How can we get students engaging with SUSU if they do not know about it?

2. Facilitate a Travel Plan that meets their needs.

We are aware from the audit that the Winchester School of Art campus is roughly 11 miles away from the main campus, and students studying there are not happy with the current travel service.

This may be due to students no knowing about the current services and subsidies available to them, or the current service may not meet the needs of the students.

This year there has been an increase of Winchester students engaging with the societies, sports, events and facilities at Highfield, they need a way of getting there.

3. Utilize the Union-Winchester

The union in Winchester is a large space which is full of potential to use for their own activities and societies, but it does not get used.

The facilities are rather run down compared to those at other campuses, not to mention students are not aware when the space is available to them.

Currently SUSU does not offer much in the way of catering services, leaving students to go to the university run ‘Lattes’.

4. Get Winchester on our Website, or, wsa.susu.org?

Currently there is no information about Winchester on the SUSU website, which could leave students to believe WSA students are not members of SUSU.

There needs to be something on the website that tells students at Winchester they are members, and that we care. This could be by having a Winchester page on the ‘something for everyone’ tab, where students can upload there work and show SUSU what students get up to, which can show an appreciation for art. It could also display information and activity that is relevant to them. For example: SUSU events or, ‘how to get to Highfield’.

We could even take into consideration a possibility of WSA students having their own website, like MEDSOC (medsoc.susu.org… wsa.susu.org?).

At the moment the website doesn’t really convey the message that WSA students are a part of SUSU, which is an important concern when you take into consideration that the website is really the first place people interact with SUSU before they become students under the University of Southampton. How would you know if you chose to go to WSA that you are a part of SUSU if there is nothing to say it is on the main website?

5. More support for the Medical Society (MEDSOC)

It is important to have and show a good relationship between SUSU and MEDSOC. After all, MEDSOC is a part of and funded by SUSU, we should be supporting them within all their own activities and services and build a presence within MEDSOC.

MEDSOC has a large presence and have become highly independent at SGH and almost acts as a ‘sub’ student union for SUSU, as you can see from the audit. The society has quite a lot of respect from medics; it is important for SUSU to support the society and build a stronger relationship to ensure SUSU cares and is present at the site.

6. Regular and Sustainable access to SUSU officers

It is important that students at SGH gain regular and sustainable access to officers and staff, so their voices can be heard and any issue within the attention of SUSU, and can be improved no matter what the issue. We need to show we care.

It gives sites students the same opportunity to speak to and engage with their officers and student leaders just as students at Highfield have.

7. Something for everyone

SGH is not just for Medicine students, but also for students who study nursing and midwifery. There should be strategy that focuses on catering for those students needs also. This could be by creating a sustainable day event that happens weekly brings both medicine and health sciences students together, or developing and supporting NAMSOC.

There are approximately 800 students studying a course with the Faculty of Health Science, it is important these students gain the same equal support as students studying Medicine.

6. Regular and Sustainable access to SUSU officers

It is also important that students at NOC gain regular and sustainable access to officers and staff, so their voices can be heard and any issue within the attention of SUSU, and can be improved no matter what the issue. We need to show we care.

It gives sites students the same opportunity to speak to and engage with their officers and student leaders just as students at Highfield have.

8. Communication strategy for NOC

An audit of all communication channels at NOC (it might be you have to invest to create some new ones, for example, maybe a specific NOC Society board that NOCSOC can use to promote their own events and activities), and from that create a system for when we do stuff here that is relevant for NOC students, when can use the audit of communication channels to know how we can get our services and current events/campaigns to them.

By knowing what the communication channels are, it will be easier to keep students at NOC up to date on current activities, events or campaigns, and therefore begin to engage with SUSU.

9. Implement and Support a NOC Community

WSA and SGH are similar in a sense that they both have their own community within their own campuses, where they cater and support one another. I think NOC could benefit by having something similar, and could start by developing NOCSOC or developing the student centre.

Community is important within a campus as students can run their own activities, support one another and understand they can voice the issues happening with in their campus. It is important for SUSU to help run and support this culture that will benefit these students.

10. Adopt Appropriate Recommendations to Placement Sites

Use relevant recommendations above to help support students on Placements.

Most of the recommendations above already supply us with an outline of how we support these students. For example; by communicating the relevant information to them via a communication strategy, or supporting students by listening to their opinions by regular access to Officers.

And with all this in mind, here is the overall vision:

 Vision – ‘Every student feels like they are a member of SUSU.’

So there you have it folks! Thanks very much for reading. Any questions, comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, or, email me at vpsites@susu.org. Always good to hear from you :).

Cheers!

Nicole

 

 

 

 

 

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