Introducing your Chester Students’ Union

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Our new Chester Students’ Union (CSU) Sabbatical Officers are here to explain what they have planned for this academic year…

Eleanor Lewis is your CSU President…

Eleanor Lewis
Eleanor Lewis, CSU President

Why did you decide to run for this role?

I ran for a second term as President as I absolutely fell in love with the job and the students the role serves. Having settled into the role, I could see better where changes needed to be made, and just how I could go about making them, so I decided to run again… then COVID-19 happened and well, there’s a spanner in the works, but we will make it work for you!

What are you passionate about and how will you reflect this in your role?

Over the last year my passion and understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion has grown. It featured heavily in many ways on my second term manifesto, and I have since focused my ideas around this, with BAME students and disabled students a focus. Also, featuring heavily on my priorities is value for money. I felt at this moment in time, ensuring students feel like they are getting value for money is important. I was invited to sit on the Value for Money committee in January so I am well on my way, working with the members of that committee to ensure our students are informed properly by the University.

What are your main targets/objectives for this academic year?

This year my main target is to make the student experience work in a COVID-secure environment. Whether that be in person or online, we will adapt to suit safety and the needs of our students. This will be a very different year, but we want to make it as ‘normal’ as possible and offer as many activities and societies as possible! We will be developing CSU’s new strategy over the year and will be getting feedback and input from as many students that want to be involved; we can’t create a strategy for students, without students!

What advice would you give to our new students?

Don’t worry! Everyone who has been to University understands the concerns and worries you have about making friends, finding out your timetable, learning about the local area and starting to write like an academic, but don’t worry, the University and Students’ Union are here to support you with all of that. Ask as many questions as you need until you find out an answer that you understand, and throw yourself into anything that’s put in front of you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, that’s what university is for.

Daniel Forrester is your VP for Activities…

Daniel Forrester
Daniel Forrester, VP for Activities

Why did you decide to run for this role?

I wanted to help the wider student body and rectify issues that I had witnessed along my journey while at the University of Chester, for example, students who were unable to participate in sporting activities because of their financial situation.

I also wanted to build upon the great work of my predecessors of the role I am currently working under to develop the experiences you gain whilst being at university.

What are you passionate about and how will you reflect this in your role?

I am a great believer that social interactions whilst going through this stage of life at university is a great way of experiencing new things and encouraging a wider range of individuals.

I will reflect this in trying to suit events and experiences to the wider student bodies while also attending as many events which students have organised throughout the year. 

What are your main targets/objectives for this academic year?

To create more opportunities for EVERYBODY to be able to participate within and create a society forum and bring them up to the same level as sport with engagement, whether that may that be more time in the limelight or other ways. 

What advice would you give to our new students?

Be you, do not try act like someone who you are not.

Engage in as many opportunities as you can and be the best person you can. 

Become an integral part of your community. 

Jack Rankin is your VP for Education…

Jack Rankin
Jack Rankin, VP for Education

Why did you decide to run for this role?

I decided to run for VP Education because I’ve had the best three years at Chester and thought I had a few good ideas on how to improve the student experience. Also, a few of my mates pointed out that I spent all my time in the library and would be good for the role.

What are you passionate about and how will you reflect this in your role?

Being a Law graduate means I really enjoy problem solving. This year is going to be like no other and I am excited to try different things to solve as many of the challenges which are going to affect education over the next year.

What are your main targets/objectives for this academic year?

My main target over the next year is to make the educational experience as accessible to everyone as possible. Also, I am really keen to work with Careers and Employability to continue and develop their work in preparing students for life after university.

What advice would you give to our new students?

I’ve got two ha ha:

  1. Get involved! Whether that is joining a sport or society, attending events, or going to talks held by your course! You will make friends for life and will enjoy every minute of it. 
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Transitioning to university is one of the biggest changes in your life. Whether that be academic, mental or financial there is always someone who can help you.

Adam Kerr is your VP Shrewsbury…..

Adam Kerr
Adam Kerr, VP Shrewsbury

Why did you decide to run for this role?

Following my work with the previous VP, Courteney, at Shrewsbury, I loved the idea of being involved directly with the student experience. Over my final year as a student, I helped Courteney plan the Halloween event, ReFreshers and an LGBT+ night and that gave me an insight of what working with the SU might be like. Deciding to run for this role, for me, was largely about what I love about the student experience and life, specifically at UCS, and how I could help students further live the student experience they deserve. The idea of collaborating as much as possible with the rest of the CSU family to really amplify what UCS life could be is something I really want to bring to UCS.

What are you passionate about and how will you reflect this in your role?

I’m most passionate about is bringing UCS more into the CSU family. I’m passionate about our little UCS family and what is so unique about our campus and our way of life and I think just having a bigger voice within the wider CSU with more campaigns and opportunities happening for us at UCS will go a long way into giving these students the best experience they can get. Additionally, giving a voice and support to the protected groups (BAME and LGBT+) and support to those going through mental health difficulties is a fundamental target for me and something I consistently consider during my work.

What are your main targets/objectives for this academic year?

  • Have more campaigns and opportunities for students here at Shrewsbury.
  • More engagement between UCS students and the SU, including elections, campaigns, student led/run events.
  • Revitalise the relationship between UCS students and Shrewsbury town businesses.
  • More inclusive events.
  • Increased society care.

What advice would you give to our new students?

Take your time, enjoy yourself, and no problem is unsolvable.

Sam Derbyshire is your VP Warrington:

Sam Derbyshire
Sam Derbyshire, VP Warrington

Why did you decide to run for this role?

The reason I ran for this role was because, as a former student at Warrington Campus, I believed that there were many things from a student’s perspective that can be done to improve the campus as a whole. Plus, many of my friends motivated me to go for it.

What are you passionate about and how will you reflect this in your role?

I am passionate about improving the Warrington Campus and making it a friendlier place for the students. Within my role, I will reflect this by being the students’ voice at Warrington Campus, expressing their concerns and hopefully making them feel happier in the future.

What are your main targets/objectives for this academic year?

My main objectives for the upcoming year are to increase the amount of societies on Warrington Campus; increase mental health awareness across all campuses, not just Warrington; ensure accommodation buildings are all up to the same standards and increase the amount of social events on the Warrington Campus, including events that do not just revolve around alcohol.

What advice would you give to our new students?

From a personal perspective, my advice would be to make your accommodation feel like home; this includes simple decorations. I would also recommend that you speak to people as soon as you get here. This will ensure that you are in a friendly environment. I would also suggest you either join a sports team, or a society that Warrington Campus has to offer!