From working on campaigns to attending University meetings, your Sabbatical Officer team have been working hard to make student life better at Royal Holloway.
It’s been a busy two weeks!
This week, we have been celebrating SHAG (Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance) Week! This campaign has been all about confronting taboo topics and getting clued up on STIs (sexually transmitted infections). On Tuesday, we were at the library and SU with freebies and myth-busting some taboo subjects surrounding sex. Some of my favourite things I’ve overheard included ‘They give out free condoms, oh slay’ and ‘Is that a penis?’. There’s still time to enter the guess how many condoms in the jar competition to win a £30 Ann Summers gift card. Message me on Instagram to take part!
Some of the students from the NeverOk student working group and I organised and delivered a session called ‘Consent and Active Bystander training’. The session covered consent, boundaries and communication, inclusion and belonging, support and report as well as building leadership skills to create safer and more inclusive campus environments.
The Sabbatical Officers and I also had a visit from NUS Charity’s Peter Robinson. We discussed NUS Charity’s work and how they support students’ unions across the country.
I also attended a variety of Wonkhe policy sessions including Accommodation, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct and Cost of Living. They were all incredibly insightful and it was helpful to network with other people involved with students’ unions and to hear what they were working on regarding these topics.
The Sabbs and I have been heading out onto campus with our Student Voice team for our SU on Tour events. This Speak Week, we asked you “What’s one thing you would change to improve your first few weeks of term?”
We had an overwhelming amount of responses from you, ranging from cost of living, study spaces, housing and much more! We now take all these responses and collate them into data which will aid our conversations with the University Senior Leadership team, helping us show your student voice!
Nisha and I have been working with Careers to promote their Summer Skills Placement Programme! Keep an eye out for our blog to find out more!
The first of the Staff-Student Action Meetings occurred and it’s been great to see our Academic Representation System flourish and see your reps make positive change. The results of these have helped us understand how you’re looking for us to support your academic interests this year!
Overall, it’s been a great few weeks!
I have been involved in meetings to set up a new initiative called 'Conversation about Race'. This initiative would provide a safe space where students and staff can have the opportunity to share their lived experiences together.
Hannah and I are in the early stages of planning our Alcohol and Drug Awareness campaign which will be in January!
I am continuing to run Coffee Catch-Up sessions with the Wellbeing team and Advice Centre. These sessions provide a safe space where people come together, it's also a way of bringing the Wellbeing and Advice teams to you. Check out our Events Calendar for dates and come along for a coffee!
Sharanya and I have been working on promoting the Careers Services Summer Skills Placement Programme which is aimed at underrepresented groups of students. We have been promoting it through social media, promotional video content and soundbite recordings. We also attended their celebratory networking event last night.
I have also been out and about on campus for Speak Week where we asked you guys for feedback on the first few weeks of term. We have also been out for SHAG Week - don’t forget to check out her Sexy Pub Quiz on Sunday!
I have also started to have conversations with Sport (ALS) about making the gym more accessible to women and people with disabilities. We are in the early stages of producing a plan to get feedback from students on what they would like to see changed.
I've been trying to get out and about as much as possible outside of my meetings, and it was great to be able to meet so many committee members face-to-face at the first Committee Cafe earlier this term.
For societies, I'm looking at how we can offer more flexible day-time bookings, in order to provide them the opportunity to offer events when people are on campus, especially those that commute and can't make it to the later evening sessions. I've already been able to get some limited options on Wednesday afternoon, with hopefully more to come.
I'm also exploring options for how we publicise events to the student body. The most exciting idea is creating some sort of student group events calendar. There are always loads of opportunities to get engaged with groups on campus, but it's often a little tricky to find out what's on!
Sports have been crazy so far as well, and the Bears have been absolutely smashing it both home and away. I've been down at the Sports Centre every Wednesday to support. If you ever fancy getting involved in the action, we'd love to have you down there as well!
I'm in conversation with Sport about how we can best create a community and platform for sports content/info and have some exciting projects in the works. I've been raising the question of facilities to the University, and seeing what options we have to enhance the space. I've also begun organising a focus group to gather feedback from captains later this month, so keep an eye out for that...
Registered charity no: 1141998
The Students’ Union, Royal Holloway
Egham, TW20 0EX