Hello! It’s been a crazy couple of months with elections a graduation week so here’s some of the highlights of what I've been up to since our last UGM.
2. Manifesto updates
2.1 #LoveYourEducation campaign
Jack and I have been running our marketisation of education campaign. It is an awareness campaign for students to understand the different effects of the marketisation of education of HE. We have created graphics covering a range of topics from strikes to tuition fees and will have a Q&A with the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Kristyan. I also organised a trip to the student strike event held in London by NUS for students to attend talks and discuss with other students about what education should look like in the future.
There was a graduation! Congratulations to those who graduated last week (I was one of them). I hope it was a special day! If any of you have feedback on the day, drop me an email or a message on teams so I can pass on to the university for future graduations as they will be looking to do something similar for the following years.
Still working on this aim by continuing to post updates on Facebook and social media (and working on my TikTok fame) although I seem to be getting my visibility dressed up as a squirrel recently…
2.4 NUS National and Liberation Conference
I attended a week of NUS conference where I was involved in numerous policy discussions including. To view the policies that were successfully voted by National Conference see here, to see policies passed for Liberation Conference see here.
3. Involvement in Sabbatical Team Strategic aims
We hosted the ‘Our World Festival’ in the SU where we celebrated different cultures around the world. The event was very successful and we’re planning to run another one hopefully before the end of the academic year.
I took part in Ramadan by attending the Iftar event that the university put on and fasted for a day to raise awareness to those who don’t really know what is, or why people take part in Ramadan. For those who are interested, you can find out on my one of my highlights on Instagram. I also ran a date stall with Tom and Jack to give free dates to those who were fasting as dates are traditionally the food to break the fast with.
I attended Jonathon Porritt’s session on "10 Years On: Looking Back to Leap Forward!" as well as going to the official opening of the Low Carbon Generation Energy Park which generates 50% of the University’s electricity. If any of you get the time, it’s definitely worth the visit to see the two wind turbines and 12,500 solar panels.
4. UGM Policy Mandates
4.1 Free periods
We now have free period products in the SU women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms. Unfortunately, due to previous incidents, we cannot place them in the men’s bathrooms. I will continue to try and find an alternative solution but if anybody would like to work with me on this issue, please get in touch and we can set up a meeting/focus group.
5. Update on other activity
5.1 Ukraine Response
Throughout the SU’s response to Ukraine, I’ve been supporting Tom with donations by being the dedicated driver for moving them to different storages and donation points. I created a dedicated website page directing students to support and contents that included:
· Our original statement
· Template letter for students to send to their local MP
· A letter that I sent on behalf of students to Aaron Bell MP
· The response that we received from Aaron Bell MP All of which could be found here.
Throughout the election period, I helped with the promotion of the elections. This year, we made a big push for voting and used a space on the SU ground floor for an ‘Election Cabin’ where we bribed students for votes with free vouchers and candy floss during voting week. The promotion seemed to have worked as we were up by more than 400 votes from last year
5.3 Chancellor & Pro-Chancellor appointments
I am now able to announce our next Chancellor, James Timpson OBE. James is currently the CEO of the Timpson Group (that place where you go to get shoes repaired and key cuts). He will be taking over from Sir Jonathon Porritt.
I am also able to announce our next Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Mike Farrar CBE who will be taking over Dame Jo Williams from 1st September.
5.4 Votes for Goats
I’ve been planning my Votes for Goats campaign to encourage more of you guys to register to vote and take part in the upcoming local elections. If you're registered to vote, you'll be able to vote in local elections on Thursday, whether you live in Keele or Newcastle, or somewhere else in the UK holding local elections. If you live on campus, you'll even be voting in person at the Students Union building! So come along to the petting zoo between 12pm-3pm on the forest of light on Thursday 5th May to pet some animals (not just goats). We’ll also be giving away boats, quotes, notes, and tote(bag)s, all to celebrate votes.