As the new term gets underway, we caught up with your CSU elected officers to hear what they have been up to last term and their plans for 2021.
Eleanor Lewis, CSU President
I hope you all feel well rested after the winter break; I certainly do! Chester Students’ Union has worked really hard during the first term to improve the student experience for you.
Adam and I led on the planning and delivery of a successful Black History Month in October, with the support and guidance of students from the start. We also had our most successful by-elections ever with 77 candidates for 40 positions. Your voices are being heard at Student Council too; we had three ‘Big Ideas’ passed at Council, including urging the University to sign the Race Equality Charter and implementing a University-wide Lecture Capture Policy which we are now working on – have a look at the VC’s response to signing the Charter here. We also created and handed out over 500 Wellbeing Packs across all of our campuses and you can still get one throughout January from every campus!
I’m really looking forward to what’s coming this term. Most excitingly we have our spring elections in February – you might be the next President of CSU! On a more personal note, my work is focussing on a ‘Decolonise the Institution’ report to start implementing changes to make our University more inclusive. Alongside this, I’m working on a ‘Value for Money’ report and spent the end of last term gathering your thoughts on whether you’re getting Value for Money and what would make you feel like you were getting more transparency from the University about where your fees are spent.
I can’t wait for the term ahead!
Jack Rankin, Vice-President Education
Firstly, welcome back and congratulations on completing the first term of this turbulent year. I hope you have taken some time over the last few weeks to recharge, relax and enjoy the holidays. We have seen the University community strive in ways which were unimaginable previously; from all coming together to watch their online lectures, to students picking up food parcels for their self-isolating friends.
We have seen student activism shine through in this new year with the creation of a petition on the safety-net policy with over 2,000 signatures. I will continue to put the student voice forward at the highest levels of the institution, ensuring students aren’t disproportionately affected by the pandemic, asking for the appropriate mitigating circumstances provisions and no-detriment to be enacted. We have made huge strides in this area and some strong, comprehensive packages, which puts students’ academic interests at the forefront and will protect all levels of taught study, are being discussed across the University.
The team and I will look to train new reps to ensure representation happens across all our campuses. I will be finalising our LGBT History Month campaign – body, mind and spirit, which will take place in February with the aim of bringing together our LGBTQ+ community, both staff and students, and celebrating them in the best way we can.
You should all be so proud of the amazing achievements you have had so far this year and reflect on the positive lessons, which can be taken as you move throughout the next two terms. As always, if you have any academic concerns please get in touch with me; 2021 – together we can smash it!
Daniel Forrester, Vice-President Activities
Welcome back to the University and let’s hope this term is a little more interactive…
The last six months of working as your elected Vice-President Activities has been filled with trials and tribulations but also filled with joys and excitement along the way. Some may ask what does a VP Activities do within a world pandemic, with UK Government restrictions meaning there are no in-person activities really going on – and I ask myself this most mornings at 9am! However, this has not stopped our amazing societies from interacting over Teams, Zoom and many other platforms. We have seen so many incredible ideas from them with lots more to come in this new year.
What is coming in this new year, you may ask? We have the chances of Face-2-Face interactions and meetings with the introduction of COVID officers in Societies and Sports. (The COVID officers are there to fill the COVID registers and make sure group sizes are kept to their specific sizes.) We have the virtual reUNION happening throughout January and early February, along with lots of other reintroduction activities happening throughout the term. We also have the possibility of balls and awards throughout the remainder of the year.
I cannot wait to be able to see you all back around your respective campuses and enjoy your University experience to its fullest. If you have any questions feel free to contact myself and I will try to help or if you fancy a chat please do contact me as I’m always happy to listen.
Sam Derbyshire, Vice-President Warrington
Welcome back everyone!
I hope you all had a lovely break and I hope you had an amazing new year. Before we discuss the new term, let’s have a quick summary of how first term was. For Warrington Campus, if you reflect on the first term, it has been okay under the circumstances! I myself, as VP Warrington, have seen many positive things throughout the first term, including student engagement with the in-person activities organised for students including Pumpkin Carving for Halloween; Mamma Mia! Outdoor Cinema and Chalk Wall for Movember.
For the new term, due to Government restrictions, all activity will be moved online until further notice.
However, we are looking to put on as many activities as we can to keep student engagement at a high and ensuring that every student, regardless of whether they are residential or commuting, is happy and pleased to be back at University. For the Warrington Campus, the new year sees the start of the Development Plan, which was based on student research in the first term.
Adam Kerr, Vice-President Shrewsbury
Hey everyone! What a year this has been huh? Over the next few months our lives are going to look remarkably similar to how they did all the way back in March 2020, but don’t fret! At the SU, we are doing all we can to make sure we have your back during this trying time.
To begin with, here is an update on some of the exciting things we have planned for you in the next few months. reUNION is here with a concentration on mental health and wellbeing awareness, which will be completely online with a drive for accessibility.
At UCS specifically, I will be undertaking a dry January campaign, in which I will be cutting out all alcohol, completely changing my diet, and undertaking fitness challenges, such as 100 push-ups a day, on top of a brand new six-day a week work-out regime. Throughout the month, I will be updating weekly on calories saved, money saved, and most importantly, how I’m feeling! I hope this campaign can inspire others to give their lifestyle a bit of a healthy kick!
Finally, we understand that the next few months will be very trying to say the least. We at the SU are doing all we can to fight for you and to help you every step of the way throughout this lockdown, with the biggest aim of securing no detriment and rent reductions, to mirror what the University has done to support students in its own accommodation in Chester and Warrington.
We can’t wait to see you all again when the grass is a little greener, see you soon!