Beckie Thomas

Do Sabbs Actually Do Anything? – VP Welfare

 The role of VP Welfare is one that I feel incredibly privileged to have; almost daily, something happens that reminds me how amazing it is that I get to represent & fight for the welfare of 23,000 students! I’ve only spent 3 months working full-time since July due to a period of absence after I broke my spine in October; but I’m back part-time now and relishing every second of it!

If you want to find out more about the projects I’ve been working on, click on the images!

Which areas am I responsible for?…

Recently, we categorised all of the things that we do into Zones, to help make it easier for you to get involved with the things that interest you. I lead on two areas;

 STUDENT LIFE Zone &  SUSTAINABILITY Zone

What do I actually do?…

  • Work to achieve my Sabbatical Goals1383161_588526747874550_1396727048_n
  • Attend meetings with University Staff; from equality & diversity to pastoral support.
  • Attend meetings with SUSU staff to work on projects.
  • Reply to emails from students, staff, and other organisations.
  • Meet with my 4 Student Leaders to support them with the progress of their plans. 
  • Attend national conferences to share best practise and represent SUSU
  • Chair and attend various committee meetings.
  • Respond to issues as and when they arise!

I just want to take this chance to say a huge thank you to Dave Gilani, Claire, Oli, David MW, David Martin and Evan for looking after my areas of work whilst I was away recovering from my accident. They’ve all done an unbelievable job! I’m cracking on with my goals now that I’m back in the office; here’s what I’ve been up to…

Goal 1- Mental Wellbeing

According to a national survey of students 20% of students consider themselves to have a mental health problem. I want to eradicate the stigma around mental illness.

  • I fed into the external Mental Health Review of the University 
  • I organised the first ever January StressLessFest, which included the Petting Zoo! The StressLessFest will be back again in May!
  • I ensured the Safety Bus ran in the revision period to take you home up to 2am.
  • I’ve suggested mental health & welfare considerations to the library in regard to the extension of it’s opening hours.
  • gsfI am creating an action plan consisting of everything SUSU will do to tackle mental health stigma.
  • I am in discussions with the University to ask for their commitment to ending mental health discrimination through signing the Time to Change pledge!sfgsg
  • I’ve worked with SUSU Staff to implement the brand new Peer Support System

 

Goal 2 – Your Choice

gsdfIt’s you who chooses whether to spend nights out drinking with friends, or to try out SUSU clubs & societies. It’s you who chooses  whether to judge people by their appearance & pay attention to what the media suggests is a ‘perfect body’. And it’s you who chooses whether to pay for condoms when you can get them for free by signing up for a free condom card at the Doctors surgeries on campus!

I want to provide you with all of the information you need to be able to make an informed choice; so that you can stand by the decisions you make! The crux of this goal is to remind you that in so many areas of your life at university, it is in fact completely and utterly your choice!

 

Goal 3 – Housing

ddfgfDave Gilani has been looking after this goal whilst I’ve been away! Here is the the progress we’ve made on the housing campaign;

  • Taking the fight straight to the letting agencies, they’ve signed pledges agreeing not to add to the rush for housing ridiculously early in the year.
  • We’ve run the Don’t Rush campaign, encouraging you to wait until after Christmas to view houses.
  •  We held a Housing Fayre in January with loads of advice on finding a house!
  • We have updated the Housing Advice section on the SUSU website here
  • We are giving a student the opportunity to become SUSU’s Housing Officer.
  • I’m interviewing for the letting agency manager; who I’m adamant must have your rights at the very top of their agenda.

 

 

Other projects:

  • mm n,mPromoting Self Defence Classes run by student groups
  • Organising the Inspiring Women event; inspirational female speakers were invited to discuss the inequality they’ve faced.
  • Business ethics are being taken seriously in SUSU, starting this year, we will be using an ethical research database to evaluate the organisations we do business with!
  • I fed into the external employability review of the University’s services.
  • Ethics & Environment committee ran SwapShop, Waste Wars, and are busy organising February’s E&E week!

 

 

  • sfsdBEES (Business Ethics & Environment Students) is an innovative sustainability project, which trains students to audit a businesses’ ethical & environmental practices, then to use our toolkit of interventions to bring the business up to scratch! You can find out more & sign up at the BEES Launch Event is on the redbrick on Wednesday 5th February!
  • The Sustainability Awareness Survey will feed into work we do in the Sustainability Zone, and 5 entrants will win a £50 John Lewis Voucher each! You can enter here!

 

If you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them in a future blog; email me at vpwelfare@susu.org, or just pop into the Sabbatical Office on Level 2 of SUSU! 🙂

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  1. […] of student volunteers and the rest of the Sabb team (you can read their mid-year blogs here – Beckie,…

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