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As the first term of this academic year draws to a close, we’ve seen some big wins for student democracy at Royal Holloway. These wins wouldn’t have been possible without your passion to make changes on campus and without your sabbatical officers championing your ideas and priorities. With that said, here’s a recap of our successful first term for improving student life at Royal Holloway.
The closing of the back gate at night was an issue that you guys have raised for as long as we can remember – when you’re heading home after long library visits and SU nights, the walk via Egham Hill can feel like a marathon.
Amazingly, after three generations of sabbatical officers working to make this happen, it was finally confirmed that work to implement secure 24-hour opening of the back gate was to start from October 2017.
With work to actively lobby this to College happening since November 2015, the outcome was the product of years of work - from students calling for change through petitions and our Bright Ideas platform, to sabbatical officers having productive discussions with the College to make this happen.
From now until Sunday 7 January, the gate will be open during the following times:
Then from 7 January, for a trial period, there will be 24 hour access using your college card.
Your VP Welfare and Diversity, Willow Wong, ran in the SU Elections last year with the promise to students that printing credits would be distributed equally, regardless if they were home/EU students or international. After lobbying the college to fix this policy, she has been successful.
As a result, all students will receive the £10 printing credits per term throughout their studies here at Royal Holloway, regardless of their background. This means all students will automatically have £10 credit to print out assignments at the library, with effect from the start of term two in January 2018.
Your VP Societies and Media, Pippa Gentry was at the helm in representing student groups, to ensure that your needs are heard on how the Storage Inn should be shaped.
For those of you old enough to remember it, you will probably have fond memories of Stumble Inn’s homely and rustic, if not a little dated, wooden décor. Following extensive flooding in the summer of 2015, we were forced to close the much-loved pub and replace it with Stumble Out.
Student groups were consulted in extensive one-to-one meetings, where many of you told us about the lack of high-quality storage spaces on campus. This resulted in the decision to transform the area into what we now know it as, Storage Inn.
Recently this term, an online petition was started by a current student at Royal Holloway, which called for the campus health centre to improve its services.
Incredibly, it received over 1800 signatures and over 100 individual testimonies, which told us that the health care services on campus is an important issue for many of you.
Since the petition has been published online, VP Welfare and Diversity, Willow Wong, has been working together with the student that started the petition and Professor Bob O’Keefe, the Vice-Principal of the College, to look into how the health centre can be improved to meet the existing demands of our students.
This resulted in the first Health Centre Users Group meeting taking place, where an action plan was developed to help the health centre improve its services, as well as for students to better understand how the health centre operates as an NHS-funded clinic.
Great news, this one has been implemented quite recently - you can now get free tampons from the Advice Centre! Tash Barrett, your Union President, has been working hard to make this happen. We understand that having free sanitary products should not be a luxury, it is a necessity for all women, so they should get it for free.
This has happened after the idea was suggested on our Bright Ideas platform, so remember - if you have any good ideas that you feel will improve the student experience, put it up on there as it may well become reality. Also, don't forget that we're still giving condoms and attack alarms for free as well, so feel free to grab them.
That concludes all the big wins we've made this term! Remember guys, elections for the next generation of sabbatical officers open on the 8 December. If you want to drive change on campus and be at the forefront of improving the student experience at Royal Holloway, just like these guys have, nominate yourself and stand as a candidate.
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