It's been a busy year! Here is a round-up of the 2017/18 welfare and liberation campaigns.
Every year, students panic and sign up for the next year's accommodation in term one; some students do this just weeks into the academic year. Housing Week aims to change the culture of early sign up and to inform students on the dos and don'ts of renting in the private sector.
The Housing Fair
Although mainly an agents event, there was a great area with welfare stalls. SAC/Community Reps/Welfare and Equality/Electoral Services/City Council Environmental Team/Newcastle University Case Work Team/NUStudent Homes/Northumbria Police/Keep Jesmond Clean all got involved.
Marks Out of Tenancy
Marks out of tenancy, online rating platform, are pro-tenant, but not anti-landlord. They remove anything defamatory and while bad landlords will see their business take a hit, good ones have a chance to shine.
‘At NUSU, we praise our ability to support and inform our students on crucial matters which affect our students, and with housing contributing as a key area which affects students, we wants to make information as transparent as possible. Through utilising resources such as Marks out of Tenancy, students’ can make true and unbiased property decisions based upon the rating of the landlord/ provider, the local community, the house and experience to inform future tenants.‘ - Sarah Craggs
‘Newcastle University Students’ Union have introduced the Your Guarantor Scheme to support students who don’t have access to a UK based guarantor when renting in the private sector. This is a resource which will significantly benefit our students who are usually expected to pay for their rental accommodation up front. At NUSU, we want to help our students with a reputable and reassuring partner, one that has established official relationships with various other UK universities; and who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
YourGuarantor acting as the students’ guarantor is a fantastic option which will mean they won’t have to pay for their rent upfront, which has created barriers for many students in the past' – Sarah Craggs
Drug and Alcohol Awareness
Between 9-13 October, Sarah Craggs, the 2017/18 NUSU Welfare and Equality Officer, hosted Drug and Alcohol Awareness week, which was a one week campaign that looked to limit the impact of drug and alcohol across the University and in the local community.
Tackling issues including harm reduction, mental health difficulties and how they relate to alcohol and drug abuse and an end of Freshers’ community clean-up of bottles and broken glass with student volunteers.
S.H.A.G (Sexual Health Advice and Guidance)
S.H.A.G Week came back by popular demand. Sex, relationships and body hang-ups are important issues for our students in some shape or form.
S.H.A.G week aims to inform students, support health services and put an end to sexual health worries. Motivating and creating confidence in students to tackle the stigma in medical screening and create positive lifelong habits in routine screening or when health matters arise.
Working with New Croft we gave straightforward information and support on sexual health, sex and relationships to Newcastle students.
The annual Clubs and Societies STI testing came back. Clubs and societies can win up £200 by getting tested. The Club or Society with the highest percentage of their members getting tested win - First Prize £200, second prize £100.
With 509 tests completed the competition continues to grow (2016/17 tested 267 students) 59 Clubs and Societies took part in the week long competition.
Food for Fuel
Food for Fuel Week was a collaboration between Sarah Craggs (Welfare) and Clara Pettitt (Athletic Union) focussing on healthy eating and understanding food. Free healthy breakfast, cookery demonstrations and a session on understanding relationships with food were all part of the week long programme.
The Wellbeing Fair aimed to give students information and advice in the keys areas known to improve wellbeing.
- Keep Learning
- Give Back
There were range of mindful activities and revitalising stallholders including;
- Watch You Head- Go Volunteer
- University Student Wellbeing
- ASK Writing Development
- Sports Centre
- Give it a Go
- The Courier
S.O.S (Stressed Out Students) January and May - To help with your revision and to relieve stress.
Sarah Craggs created a handy study planner that also listed all of the events arranged to help students treat themselves throughout the stressful time period. Free fruit was available every day to encourage a healthier way of snacking during revision. This year we had more activities to help battle your stress, including massages, henna, and table tennis, and sports classes.
An annual event taking place during the exam period, Dog Days raised £635 for Guide Dogs UK. A massive thank you to all who donated to meet a guide dog.
15 minutes was never enough!
Sarah campaigned to have the 15minute library break extended to 30mins.
The Library listened to your thoughts and from the 16 April the break time was extended to 30 minutes across all University library sites. Giving you 15 more minutes before your computer logs off and to give you a chance to take a decent break. We think this small change will make a massive difference to your wellbeing and study time.
We know that finance and budgeting are a key concern for students, from how to save money when buying groceries; to budgeting for monthly bills-, we had your back!
National Student Money Week aimed to give you all of the information you need to make your money matter more!
NUSU Affordability has saved students over half a million pounds this academic year. Free graduation gowns, half price food, rent freezes, free travel and placement free proposals have all been ways in which NUSU have tackled the cost of living for thousands of students. In the context of the recent NUS Poverty Commission, this cost cuts make a big difference.
Inspiring Women Conference 2018 #PRESSFORPROGRESS : A free conference dedicated to empowering women in reaching their full potential.
100 years ago, Women in Britain were first guaranteed the right to vote, and rightfully so! This democratic theme was just right when the first keynote of the day was introduced. Chi Onwurah MP. The day continued with a variety of options depending on what delegates wanted to gain from the conference. Imposter Syndrome, Writing for Progress and Feminists in film are just a few of the sessions to mention. The conference ended with an open discussion. The topic ‘How can women progress in a world of double standards?’ sparking an insightful and interesting debate.
Read all about the day here.
Disability Week - Disability Advocacy Week’s purpose was to educate the wider student body and beyond about how they can become better disabled allies and show the positive contributions disabled people have given to our society.
LGBT+ Week - The purpose of the campaign was to give LGBT+ students the opportunity to showcase what about the community and the history interests them, with talks, panels, and interactive stalls.
Trans Awareness Week - A week long campaign, from the 13th - 20th November, raising awareness of the experiences and struggles of trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming/variant people in Newcastle and beyond
Carers Rights Day - 24th November was Carers Rights Day. This is a national campaign ran by Carers UK, which focuses on carers rights in the workplace.