Introducing your Chester Students’ Union

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We stopped by for a chat with your new Chester Students’ Union (CSU) Sabbatical Officers to find out what they have planned for this academic year…

Eleanor Lewis, CSU President.

Eleanor Lewis, aged 21, studied Geography and is your CSU President…

Why did you decide to run for this role?

I decided to run for President, as I felt I could make meaningful changes to enhance the student experience, as I’m quite fiery and do not like taking no for an answer.

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

I am passionate about a greener world and hope to show this through various campaigns I will be taking on.

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

I am keen to champion better mental health provisions for staff and students during my time as President, alongside representing the student voice at the highest University levels.

What advice would you give to our new students?

The advice I would give to new students is to remember everyone is in the same boat as you, so not to worry about making friends – there’s always someone to be friends with. The best thing I did was join a sport and society as they bring like-minded people together, and it definitely made me feel more at home. I can’t wait to meet you all and get to know you over your time at University.

Melanie Hooper, VP for Education.

Melanie Hooper, aged 21, studies Geography and is your VP for Education…

Why did you decide to run for this role?

I decided to run for the role of VP Education as I have always been dedicated to making positive changes and improving the academic experience for students. All of my friends encouraged me to run for the role, and thankfully, I was elected!

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

As a Geography student, I am passionate about improving sustainability and making the University and the SU more environmentally friendly. I also believe that when leaving University, graduates should be provided with the best possible opportunities that will allow them to get into a career of their choice. This is reflected throughout the joint manifesto me and my fellow officers have created.

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

My main target for the upcoming academic year is to improve the employability options for graduates. I aim to do this by liaising with Careers and Employability and helping to improve their Careersfest. Alongside this, I want assessment guidance to be provided earlier on in the term, and to make the process of booking study rooms in the library much easier.

What advice would you give to our new students?

Get involved! Joining a Sports Club at University was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It gave me a great group of friends and allowed me to become more engaged with the SU and University.

Rio Hall, VP Activities.

Rio Hall, aged 21, studied Law with Criminology and is your VP Activities…

Why did you decide to run for this role?

I decided to run for this role as I want to help improve the student experience. I am a confident, enthusiastic and outgoing person, who is not afraid to voice the student opinion. I feel I could make an impact through campaigns, and through developing the recreational opportunities at the University.

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

During my three years of study, CSU always made me feel welcome and a part of the University. By being involved in various sports, I met so many new people and found my closest friends. I want to continue to make this possible for all students!

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

My main target this year is to voice the student opinion to Senior Management through a Dear Vice-Chancellor campaign. I aim to help improve awareness and provision for mental health and wellbeing, and aim to get everyone more active. I also hope to strengthen relationships between campuses.

What advice would you give to our new students?

My advice to new students would be to get stuck in from day one. The best way to meet people is to attend events, join societies and get involved in recreational activities. There is always so much happening across the campuses. Don’t be afraid –  everyone is going through the same thing!

Jack Appleby, VP Warrington.

Jack Appleby, aged 23, studied Community Policing and Criminal Investigations and is your VP Warrington…

Why did you decide to run for this role?

After having what I can only describe as a thrilling first year as an Officer, I felt I had unfinished business and wanted to make sure that I could help more students in some way – whether that be creating new social spaces for students, or liaising with the campus bar to ensure students have something to do.

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

I’m really passionate about equal opportunities and making sure everyone can be part of something, no matter what it costs. This is why I’m looking into how we can help assist some of the costs that there are at graduation.

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

My main targets are to create new student social spaces, as well as pushing to create a Financial Assistance Fund, for those students who struggle to cover the costs of graduation.

What advice would you give to our new students?

University is genuinely one of the most fantastic experiences you’ll ever have – meet new people, try new things and just enjoy your time at the University of Chester! If you ever need directions, advice or someone to talk to, visit us in The Union building.

University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) welcomed its first cohort in 2015 and offers students the University experience in the beautiful medieval town of Shrewsbury. This year the campus elected its first CSU Sabbatical Officer.

Courteney Ayre, VP Shrewsbury.

Courteney Ayre, aged 19, studies Primary Education and is your VP Shrewsbury…

Why did you decide to run for this role?

I want to make sure that the students here at UCS continue to get a high-quality student experience. I also want to help students make their voices heard and ensure UCS continues to be a space where everybody can have their say!

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

I’m passionate about improving the student experience at UCS and would like to encourage all students to get involved with events and campaigns. I plan to work with students on these things to make sure that what we provide is as close to what the students want as possible.

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

I want to work towards increasing employability opportunities for all UCS students, and increase the events based at Shrewsbury, so students can get involved with more extracurricular activities alongside their academic studies. I am also keen to continue to strengthen UCS’s relationship with CSU.

What advice would you give to our new students?

The first week of anything new can be pretty daunting and Freshers’ Week can be quite full on – but don’t panic! You may not talk to anybody in depth at first, but rest assured, you’ll soon have a bunch of new friends who are going through the same process as you – there’s strength in numbers!