What have you done this term?
Festival of Culture
The main project for this term has definitely been organising and carrying out the Festival of Culture (week commencing 17th May).
On the Monday and Tuesday, we had a really successful Food Market, ran by some of our cultural societies who made some v delicious scran from all over the world. Each day we had over 300 people come to the market, and it was a lovely feeling to bring students back onto campus and it was good vibes all around.
We also had some fantastic events throughout the week too, mostly online due to government guidelines and restrictions still in place. But again, this couldn’t be done without our amazing societies and the love of my life Sarah Stephenson, who runs the Give It A Go programme.
Pride of Newcastle Awards/Society Awards
The other major part of my life over the last couple of months has been helping organise the Pride of Newcastle awards which will go live on the 18th June, and the Society Awards which went live in early May.
Pride organisation included sifting the winners of the Celebrating Success Awards into the right categories, ready for the Pride judges to choose a winner. We did the judging last week, and it was so difficult as each nomination was worthy of the award.
We’re filming the ceremony on the 20th and 21st May, so if you see me on campus ridiculously overdressed please say hello :)
AGMs and Handovers
As we get to the end of the year, we working with societies to get them handed over ready to a fresh set of officers. The Activities Team have took control over this really, so I don’t know why I’m putting it in my report but there you go haha. AGMs and handovers are happening and there’s regular drop ins with Conor for any societies who need help or advice with the process.
What has been your biggest achievement?
I don’t know if I’m saying this because it’s literally the freshest thing in my mind, but I’m so happy with how the Festival of Culture is going.
Usually it’s a celebration of the arts, but this year I wanted to make the different cultures we have in our student community the focus of the week. It’s also been great to finally meet some societies who I haven’t really had the chance to interact with much this year. I love them alllllll
What could you have improved on?
There’s been a couple of times in the year where I’ve said yes to too many things at once, and taking into account the admin stuff that I have to do each week, and the trillions of emails I get, I’ve just not had time to do everything at once. This term has been a prime example hahahaha
So if I could turn back time like Cher, I’d definitely say no to a couple of meetings or little projects and put more focus on the projects I wanted to organise all year.
What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?
Like the above, I’d tell Haris to feel comfortable saying no - not every meeting the university does needs a sabb, and not every event they do needs the Activities Officer’s advice. Focus on the things that interest you and you’ll enjoy the year and stress out a lot less that way.
I’d also say get involved with societies, go to their events and get to know them. I did miss that chance this year with a global pandemic being on and everything being online. But in the last couple of weeks where I’ve been able to see students face to face, I’ve not enjoyed the job more.