From your Sabbatical Officer team 2020/21....what a year! The fact that it has taken us 11 and a half months to be able to take a group photograph of the team, when usually the group photoshoot is one of the first marks of being a Sabb, shows just how unusual this year has been. We have been working together since the end of June 2020 and none of us anticipated the impact of the pandemic to still be so present in our lives. It has been a difficult time to represent the needs of 28,000 students, but we have done all we can to support students and are really proud of all we have achieved.
From navigating the ever-changing restrictions and what it means for clubs and societies, to pivoting a newspaper creation process to online amidst technical difficulties. From fighting for private accommodation providers to provide rent rebates and securing a safety net for undergraduates and postgraduates, to crafting a report on drug harm reduction and making real changes in university policy. We’ve made it through many Student Council meetings (including the longest Council ever!) and weekend crisis video calls, fueled by Co-Op hash browns and takeaway pizza. There have been tears and tough times. But there have also been so many laughs and moments where we have drawn strength from each other and made so many memories from behind our computer screens or in the near-deserted NUSU building.
We couldn’t have done this without the incredible support of our NUSU colleagues and allies in the University – and we couldn’t have done it without each other. It might sound a little cringe, but this lovely photo shows the bond we’ve created and the friendships we’ve built as NUSU’s first-ever full Sabb team of women. There are definitely some outtakes that we’ll keep to ourselves, but this is a social media-friendly version...
Thank you to all the students who have supported us and trusted us to advocate for you. Thank you to our amazing NUSU colleagues for helping us when it got tough and for lifting us up when we needed the reassurance and confidence boost. Thank you to the University staff we’ve worked with this year for taking our challenges and critiques on board and working with us for the benefit of the students. Finally, good luck to the next sabbatical team, we’re so excited to see what you do and we know you will all do amazing work!
And that’s it from us...It’s been a scream!
SABBS OUT xxx
Dorothy Chirwa, Charlotte Boulton, Sian Dickie, Nadia Ahmed, Hannah Finney, Benthe Tanghe & Ella Williams