Do Sabbs Actually Do Anything? – VP DCI
I’ve had a great six months so far in my role as Vice President Democracy & Creative Industries and as a Sabb more generally and have worked with a fantastic team. I’ve enjoyed working on things as varied as the Bunfight, elections, media broadcasts and affiliating new societies. Below is the work I have done over the last 6 months, derived from my Sabbatical Plan.
The experience of being a Sabb is definitely one that I would recommend; being able to influence such a wide range of areas of responsibility and doing something that you are really passionate about is amazing. Furthermore, you are supported by a wonderful team and given training to do an even better job. Elections start in just a few weeks, so even if you’ve got just the tiniest desire to improve student’s lives by running for a Sabbatical position, I say, DO IT! You can find out more >>here<<<
Utilise Student Talent
Providing all students with a whole range of opportunities to do what they love.
Led on the development of the first Creative Industries Training Week, bringing together Media, Performing Arts and Union Films for the first time. This included a range of technical training and other skills training.
Organised the largest Bunfight ever – with over 280 student groups – which ran incredibly smoothly and had highly positive feedback. We reorganised the route, produced publicity, placed PA in the Cube and delivered an Activities Showcase.
Completely redesigned the way that we do funding for student groups – we created a new, simplified funding system which made the process much easier for you to apply for money.
We awarded £195,000 quicker than ever before so that student groups were able to carry out there Freshers’ Week activities.
Helped promote and facilitate a range of ‘Your Skills’ sessions so that students and student groups are better trained in areas such as communications, assertiveness and time management skills.
We’ve finished creating a series of ‘How-To’ guides for student groups which help all committees really understand their roles.
Work has begun on creating a Creative Industries Handbook, which will be an integral resource for all members interested in Media, Performing Arts and Union Films to develop and gain new skills.
Planning is well under for the Creative Industries Careers Season which will take place in March and will involve a number of panels, workshops, sessions and events for those looking to pursue a career in the industry.
Strengthen Your Facilities
Helping make our Union space the best it can be for our members.
Renovation of the Surge Radio studios has been completed and Media Resources has been fitted with new technology. Furthermore as part of a successful £20,000 bid, I’ve helped SUSUtv invest in new equipment and studio improvements.
The Multi-Purpose Studio (MPS) has been installed with new speakers to help our dance groups perform to a higher standard.
Activity space and storage is, as many of you know, at a premium within SUSU. I’ve been working with David Gilani on developing our ‘Master Plan’ to make really substantial to our facilities within the next few years. We’ve already had some highly productive sessions before Christmas that I’ve attended.
There is a now a new keylist system in place that is synchronised with the Online Groups Hub. In addition, earlier on this year we developed a new system for student groups to submit their booking requests.
Preparations for a major equipment review and audit are underway so that we get a good baseline of the issues that student groups are facing and can plan for the future successfully. This may include the purchasing of a few lockers for general use.
As mandated by the AGM last year, the Activities Room is set for renovation. Off the back of a survey that got 60 responses, work is underway on scoping the project and refurbishment will be occurring in summer.
Promoting Open Democracy
Ensuring every member feels able and involved in making change.
There’s been a successful transition to our new Zones structure which showcase areas of activity. This has been a major project, ensuring our governance, structures and culture have changed. You can learn more about the zones here
For Union Council, there is now a dedicated online page giving more details about Union Council and how to get involved in submitting ideas and policies. Work has been done on making it more accessible and we are alternating days throughout the year.
There’s been a few elections already this year that I’ve helped lead. Ranging from our Autumn By-elections to Union Councillor positions, there’s been great engagement with our elections, and working with Oli, the JCR elections obtained a record turnout.
Our Union Policy has not been updated or revised for several years. Working with a small Policy Review group, we are reclassifying and consolidating all of policy to ensure it is relevant to the work that we carry out as a Union.
There is now a new papers and minutes page. The previous site was old and broke regularly, but the new one is much more user-friendly for everything that we do.
With our main elections approaching, I’ve been assisting with our Improving Participation project team, seeking to get under-represented groups involved. You can fill in our survey here
What’s Coming Up?
Obviously there’s lot more that I’m going to be working on this year, including Spring Elections, the AGM, media conferences, improving the opportunities we give to student groups and a lot more. Look out for future details in my blogs and Council reports!