VP Welfare & Diversity
Well, I think it’s safe to say that this year has not gone as planned for any of us! We started the year off well, only to find that we were up against UCU strikes, a general election, and our own preferendum, and that was just Term One!
Of course, Term Two became dominated quite quickly by coronavirus, and we all know what has happened since. It’s been a hell of a year, but I can say for certain that I am immensely proud of all of the work that I have seen you all achieve, from the new Collectives running campaigns on sustainability and mental health, to running workshops on women in academia, disability and so much more!
Not to forget all the work of the societies and sports clubs, and each and every one of you who have focused on your studies and got through exams and assessments under the most trying conditions.
This last year has been a rollercoaster ride of unexpected events and trials and I have to say that this year has not gone anything like I expected it to. However, there are many things that I will miss about being VP Welfare & Diversity, primarily the people.
It has been an honour to hear all your stories, worries, and successes, and to stand behind you all and see how amazing you all are. I will also miss the rest of the Sabbatical Officer team, and SU staff who have become more like family and it is honestly really hard when I think about not seeing them on a regular basis anymore.
My ‘Sabblings’ have been the most incredible support and I could not have got through this year without them.
Despite the difficulties that this year has thrown at us, I would not change it for the world. Being a Sabbatical Officer has taught me a hell of a lot, it is intense and emotionally draining. But standing up for students, and pushing for real tangible change has been a unique gift that I could not have found elsewhere.
There’s so much more that I wish I could have done, but I know that the next Sabbatical Officers will continue the fight and always do their best for students.
Like many graduates, I am entering the job market and looking to the next thing. I’m unsure as to the future at this current time, like many other people, coronavirus has disrupted my plans but I’m looking to the new opportunities that this presents, and options I had not previously considered.
If you’re thinking of running to be a Sabbatical Officer, or even running for a committee position, I would tell you to absolutely go for it.
The experience of being a representative for other people is an amazing one, it can be stressful at times but is more rewarding than you can imagine, and nothing worth doing ever came easy.
The skills that you learn in these roles are rare amongst other young people our age, and is one of the opportunities that you cannot get elsewhere.
Registered charity no: 1141998
The Students’ Union, Royal Holloway
Egham, TW20 0EX