News from Chester Students’ Union

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WE caught up with your Chester Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers to find out what they have been up to last term and what their plans for the New Year are…


Eleanor Lewis

Your CSU President

What did you achieve last term?

Last term I achieved a fair few things. The biggest thing I achieved was putting together a Hustings event at the University for staff and students to attend, with all the Cheshire West and Chester candidates attending. This gave our staff and students the opportunity to ask questions and hear what their representatives had to say.

What has been your proudest moment in your role so far?

I think my proudest moment was working through the last six months to recruit for a new CEO. Coming into the role with no experience in this job, to leading the CEO recruitment for CSU is something I’m very proud of. We ended 2019 with a new CEO in place and we are very much looking forward to 2020 and beyond.

What are your plans this term?

This term, I am looking to focus on student wellbeing. I have a good relationship with a number of key stakeholders at the University to ensure student wellbeing is at the forefront of everything we do. I’m looking at encouraging free fruit initiatives, and ensuring students get the opportunity to participate in events with our support. I’m also working on some sustainability initiatives, namely Go Green week, that will be held in February.

How can students get involved with CSU?

There are a number of ways you can get involved. We have over 80 societies, from academic societies to things like Disney Society. This year we are launching our ‘Give it a Go’ initiative, where we are putting on various events and encouraging students to try something they never have before, whether that’s something CSU put on, or existing societies they have considered joining.


Melanie Hooper

Your Vice-President, Education

What did you achieve last term?

Last term I attended numerous committees where I was able to present a paper on keeping feedback on a students Moodle page and proposed the idea for a portfolio to be added to the Moodle page where it keeps all past feedback and learning materials. I was also involved in the launch of a new working group for an inclusive curriculum and started the process of getting lecture capture introduced across the university. 

What has been your proudest moment in your role so far?

I think my proudest moment so far has to be the training and recruitment of a new team of Student Experience Reps (SERs). Getting out and talking to the reps has allowed me to gain a better insight into different departments and allowed the student voice to be heard. 

What are your plans for this term?

This term I have a PAT campaign launching where my aims are to increase the awareness of the PAT system and highlight the importance of attending PAT meetings. There are also numerous events that myself and the Academic Rep Coordinator at the SU are putting on for SERs, one of which is the SER academy in February.

How can students get involved with CSU?

There are so many ways for students to get involved with CSU. We have a ‘Give it a Go’ initiative launching where we are actively encouraging students to try something they never have before. Elections for the next Liberation Reps and officer team will be coming up soon. (Liberation Reps are people who represent certain groups of the student body. They tend to be the underrepresented groups, so the Reps we have are: BAME; Commuting Students; International;

LGBTQ+; Open Seat 1; Open Seat 2; Postgraduate; Visible Disabilities; Invisible Disabilities; Mature Students and Women’s Rep.) Running in the election is a great way to get involved and widen your experiences. 


Rio Hall

Your Vice-President, Activities

What did you achieve last term?

Last term I achieved many things! Highlights for me would include free societies, cheaper memberships for sport and the launch of our new campaign Dear VC.

What has been your proudest moment in your role so far?

The proudest moment for me has to be the change and development within student activities. I came into a role expecting one thing, to then realise that there was a huge change about to happen. I facilitated the move of sport from CSU to the University of Chester Athletics’ Union. This move has enabled sport to be better funded and the student experience to be better than ever before. I created free societies and managed to see our student groups through the freshers period, to the best of my ability.  Today we now we have a Head of Student Opportunities and a Student Intern working within Activities at CSU. It’s now time for societies and sports to flourish!

What are your plans for this term?

This term we are launching our new ‘Give it a Go’ programme, an initiative that aims to get students involved in all things creative, active, skill developing and social. There are also lots of events happening over this term including Re-freshers, society showcase and Varsity. It’s going to be an extremely busy term!

How can students get involved with CSU?

There are a number of ways you can get involved, such as societies and our new Give it a Go programme. In the Re-Freshers period, Sports and Societies are offering free taster sessions… so come and get involved.


Jack Appleby

Your Vice-President, Warrington

What did you achieve last term?

Last term I revamped my Movember initiative, from a minimalistic campaign around showing off a moustache I grew and speaking to students last year, this year I took the campaign ‘by the tash’ and turned it into a proper student-facing men’s health campaign. This year included giving out fake moustaches to students to wear and, to raise awareness of men’s health, we launched a FREE barbershop to all male identifying students. A complimentary service from a fantastic CH1 Barbers in town helped us create what was only an idea into real life. We had over 30 students come for a free haircut and CH1 Barbers extended their offer back at the Barber Shop once they’d left the SU. A fantastic month and – thanks to the support of students, friends and colleagues – we managed to raise over £275 for charity.

What has been your proudest moment in your role so far?

My proudest moment so far has to have been being the lead on this year’s officer induction to CSU. Rio, Mel, El and Courteney joined CSU at its most hectic time. Being given the honour to induct and educate them about CSU and what it is and learning from them was inspiring. As a team we are very strong and I think the way in which we’ve helped each other has put us in the strong position we find ourselves now.

What are your plans for this term?

This term is very exciting not only because we have just recruited a brand new CEO but also it marks the end of my officer career with only six months left in the role. This gives me such a drive to leave an imprint on both Chester SU and the University of Chester. I look forward to designing the strategic plan for the union. Creating the pathway by which Chester SU plans to impact students over the next three to five years is so exciting and will have such a massive impact on our current and future students. I also look forward to elections where I will find out who will continue the Warrington VP legacy and all it beholds.

How can students get involved with CSU?

There are so many ways to get involved and if you’re not involved already DO NOT WORRY! It’s never too late to get involved. We have over 80 societies and that number just keeps on growing. If a society doesn’t match what you’re looking for just set up YOUR OWN it only takes two members to set up. We also have fantastic volunteering opportunities, such as Bazza Media, we’re constantly looking for new recruits to write about what students are up to. Honestly, don’t miss out!


Courteney Ayre

Your Vice-President, Shrewsbury

What did you achieve last term?

In Shrewsbury, three brand new societies have been set up within the first few months, with strong attendance and student engagement!

What has been your proudest moment in your role so far?

Securing a brand new student space in Chester alongside my fellow officers!

What are your plans for this term?

I’m working hard to deliver a quality, informative LGBT+ History Month in February 2020 across all campuses and look forward to celebrating the rich history of our diverse country.

How can students get involved with the SU at UCS?

So many ways! The ever growing SU is always on hand to help you do something you love, whether that be joining a society, setting up a new one or joining in with our many volunteering opportunities – there’s really something for everybody!