So Long and Thanks for All the Fish…
As the end of twenty four months in office comes to a close I thought I would take some time to reflect on my progress this year, what we have achieved over the past two years and some thanks..
This year I focused on three key goals; streamlining support for student groups, developing student involvement and Student Group affiliations. I am ecstatic to confirm that of these goals I was able to complete a massive 91.94%, this is what I’ve been up to:
1. Streamlining Support for Student Groups
- Developed an online tool whereby Clubs and Societies can add their own events to susu.org calendar enabling individual students to see all of the activity opportunities in one place.
- Developing RAGs WordPress Site by designing the layout and organising training for the RAG committee.
- Facilitating RAGs weekly ideas sessions reviewing how and more importantly why we do RAG week, leading to the creation of #theBIGgive project
- Trained Societies Committees’ reps and worked with them to represent the views of these groups to SUSU.
- Leading the social media focus of #theBIGgive ensuring our campaign reached thousands of students, raising over £6,500 in one week.
- Built on the success of last year’s funding system for Societies and allocated £80,000 of grants to societies helping to enrich students’ lives through activity. All of these grants were published publicly to increase transparency of the process.
- Created and delivered bespoke training to over 100 JCR Committee Officers.
- Ensured that, where possible, forms for student groups were completed online ensuring an easier process for those filling in the forms.
- Worked with Performing Arts Committee to develop a strategic action plan following on from students’ views at last year’s open space conference.
- Successfully secured £50,000 of funding for Union Films to purchase a new Digital Projector, enabling them to show more current films as well as the new ability to show 3D films.
2. Developing Student Involvement
- Introduced weekly meetings for RAG to help build a volunteer base, working on a two week rotation students have given ideas on how RAG should fundraise and participated in workshops developing their skills as individuals.
- Worked alongside Union Films’ plans to involve student’s decision making within their provision, developing the concept of audience choice giving power to the viewer.
- Introduced a small range of household products into the halls bars, helping provide more options for students.
- Supported committees to develop individual goals for each JCR, ensuring SUSU is campaigning for change relevant to students in specific halls such as Highfield and Connaught working on food provision within catered accommodation.
- Given every first year student a Halls T-shirt to welcome them to their new halls community.
- Developed a mobile website where students can register interest for Clubs and societies, saving paper/faff at the bunfight and enabling those who can’t attend to get involved easily.
- Created the ‘Give it a Go’ programme in Winchester, successfully securing £2500 from the innovations fund to run a month of activities within Winchester. This has now led on to regular Life Drawing and Zumba sessions on Winchester Campus.
3. Student Group Affiliations
- Developed clear processes for Student Groups across SUSU and embedded this within an online resource known as ‘HowTo’. Student Group officers can learn how to best utilise SUSU’s services as well a resource for best practice when running their groups.
- Created a training programme for Student Group officers to be rolled out in the next academic term.
- Created a Student Groups Blog enabling SUSU to effectively communicate with groups without bombarding them with emails.
- Updated the Standing Order (Now Rule 10) on Student groups to reflect our current interaction with groups, updating the constitution to be more relevant to our groups needs.
- Evolved how SUSU looks at supporting Union and Affiliate groups by developing five Support Packages. Now Student Groups can pick how they want to interact with SUSU and what level of support they require through an easy to use online tool.
- Designed and implemented a brand new website called the Student Groups Hub (picture below). This is a one stop shop for Student Group management it enables them to:
The Past Two Years…
SUSU has grown a lot over the past two years and it has been a privilege to play a small part in this journey. In the world of Student Engagement we have firmly cemented JCRs within SUSU, made Performing Arts the Next Big thing on Campus, evolved how we support student enterprise, switched RAG to being all about every student fundraising, taken Union Films up a gear into the digital age, and completely revamped how we support Student Groups.
The Soppy Bit…
Finally I want to take this opportunity to thank some people. Firstly to you the student body, Southampton students are brimming marvelous, you are the reason why everyone involved at SUSU works so hard!
I want to thank all of the wonderful student officers I have had the pleasure to work with, your ideas and passion really do make SUSU the wonderful organisation it is (A massive shout out to my student leader teams from both years!).
And perhaps more importantly I want to thank the Staff at SUSU, without the staff none of the achievements listed above would have been possible, you guys are the backbone of the organisation and are pretty awesome, thanks for your unconditional help and support!
In true spirit of this years trend to love the bridge, especially the fresh fish of the day, i will end this blog how i started it…
So long, and thanks for all the Fish!