Katie Smyth


State of the Union- Oct

First and foremost big welcome to everyone, and special shout out to the sabbs, all of whom (except Pabs), it’s our second council, so take it easy on us newbies. 

Freshers’ week was incredible, shame about the rain during Rudimental, but didn’t stop the fun and for everything that was under our control, it was extremely successful. Organisers led with enthusiasm and determination throughout, and volunteers certainly didn’t let them down. The many hours worth of work certainly paid off, so well done! We found it worked better having freshers’ spread over a 10 day period rather than a week long. It meant that events were better attended, especially our ‘alternative nights,’ but in all honesty think it gave freshers’ a bit of respite amongst the madness. But as always, we’ll be debriefing about what can be improved for next year. 

In terms of sabb engagement, it's so far so good on that front. We got all around campus during Freshers’, including the new Helix Site, which Karina surprisingly didn’t uber to. But a special thanks must be given to Sara for Black History Month. For those of you who attended the opening night last Wednesday, it was a well attended partayyy, and to those who didn’t, you missed out. So Sara, the months worth of organising paid of, congrats and best of luck with the rest of the month’s activities. We have a lot more in the pipelines campaign wise, which I’m sure you’re unsurprised to hear from a group of sabbs. But as a heads up, we’ve got Pablo’s student rep campaign, a climate campaign headed by Eleanor and Grace, the ever-popular SHAG week and housing from Sara, and disability in sport awareness from Joe. We’ll also have plenty led by our liberation officers, so feel free to get stuck in and help out and I’m sure you’ll all be there in support. 

We hope you’re all enjoying the new co-op, and can see what a blatant improvement it is on the old shop. As soon as everything’s a bit more settled we’ll be working on introducing student perks, so that you can retrieve a better discount than you currently can at the shop. Continuing the great work on affordability from last years’ team, we’re pushing the uni to do something about print credits and the cost of dissertation binding, so hopefully we can update further on that next time. 

Moving on, well done and big thanks to Grace and everyone at the Courier for a brilliant first edition, will be ever-appreciative of the tampon article. Which leads nicely onto all things uni, as you’ve hopefully read and witnessed tampon machines aren’t yet in place, but the final design is completed so now it’s just a matter of products, which fingers crossed won’t take too long. Secondly, Pablo and Karina have had many a head of school meeting, where they’ve discussed moving forward and the year ahead, and I don’t doubt microwaves were the HOT topic of conversation, sorry for the pun. Couldn’t possibly have a meeting without discussing the climate emergency, an unquestionably sabb priority for the year ahead. As previously mentioned there will be a climate campaign from us on 22nd November. I’m continually pushing the Uni to reach it’s target of full divestment by 2020, and please do attend the Uni led climate conversation coming up on November 15th where all staff and students’ are invited to discuss current issues and what the Uni is doing moving forward. 

Final words, from all of us sabbs, we’re extremely excited to be working with the liberation officers this year. To everyone at council we hope we can fulfil what we were elected to do, to represent the student voice and hope you can guide us to importantly remember why it was we were elected. Bring progressive and spicy motions, let’s keep it exciting and although there’s no doubting that you will question us as times, discussion is healthy, but let’s be a team and work together in righting at least some of the wrongs students’ are facing at uni.


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