November / December reports Zahid Raja | Students’ Union President | FULL TIME OFFICER In my President role: Pole Fitness - Sorted out the two month-long mess: brokered a resolution between the executive committee proposals and the Pole Fitness society committees proposals. Institutional Review: - We’ve began analysis on large data sets from previous NSS / SES / PTES / PRES surveys and anonymised data from the Students’ Union Advice centre to strengthen the student submission. - To triangulate our data, we’re putting on focus groups between 9th-13th December. - I’ve built a website specifically for the institutional review: http://bigswanseareview.com/wordpress/ FTO / PTO Support - Secured a new online platform (for free) for the executive committee so each member of the committee is able to see what everyone is working on with a view to improve communication. - Organised a Full Time Officer away day to promote more collaboration between Officers. Student Village Sale - The University has assured me that amenities used by students will be protected and this will be a contractual obligation. I am due to put out a joint statement with the University on the matter. Second Campus - Secured an agreement on timetabling that says that students will not have to commute between campuses in the same day for lectures. - Secured an agreement that there will be free travel for students who need to travel between campuses for their course. 3rd December Strikes Supported lecturers and support staff during the 3rd December strikes following a 12% pay cut for University staff across the UK. Along with other Union leaders, we’ll be asking the University to donate savings made from the strike to the hardship fund for students. In my Academic Affairs role: Subject / College Reps - I’m working on the design of training that will be delivered through Blackboard for Subject Reps. - Worked on the contents for the 2nd annual Subject Rep conference (22nd January) - Started work on creating student representation for courses taught to students abroad Curriculum Review - The International Officer and I have lobbied the University to review how it delivers courses with to give every student at the University the opportunity to either go abroad / take an industrial placement. I’ve spoken in favour of this at University Learning & Teaching committee and Senate. Extenuating Circumstances - Successfully lobbied against proposals to reduce the number of days students have to report extenuating circumstances. Currently this stands at 5, some academics wanted this to be 0. Timetabling - I’ve spent the past year and a half lobbying the University for personalised timetables that notify students when lectures are cancelled / moved. Following some successful trials in the University, I am due to receive a statement from the University on the rollout of this for all students. School of Management There have been some major issues in the School of Management relating to economics students. I’ve derived a campaign to evidence the impact of these changes with Level 1, 2 and 3 Economics. Reps. I’ve also built a website for these reps to outline the progress of their campaign. November / December reports Rebecca Grimes | Welfare Officer | FULL TIME OFFICER Hiya! So this much has been busy! I was once told by Tom Upton that you spend the first 4 months not having a clue what you’re doing, but the rest of the year gets better – and this is certainly true! A project that I’ve mentioned a lot recently is pledging on Time to Change, which is now officially happening! We have a provisional date and the university are really keen to pledge with us! I’m taking all the work that’s been done so far to the Healthy University Group meeting next week where it’ll hopefully get endorsement and we can pledge to this amazing campaign early next year. I helped the incredible Tori-Ilana Evans with Invisible Illnesses Week as much as I could, and couldn’t really be prouder of anyone ever and was astonished with the amazing response and just so pleased to be even slightly involved in a campaign as great as that! I attended the SAILS Management Board meeting where a commitment was made to improving the standard of Personal Tutors across the university due to the importance that this has in recognising students who are struggling and need a little extra help. The university were very lovely and didn’t need a lot of persuasion, if any at all actually, which is nice I’ve also attended meetings about Athena SWAN, a talk on entrepreneurship from Terry Matthews, Extenuating Circumstances, community meetings, meetings with the council about all things studenty and preparing for campaigns which are happening in the near year, some of which are with Swansea TSD. If anyone wants to come chat about anything, give me a shout, I can tell you better in person about what I’ve done than on paper because I have the worst memory!! November / December reports Eva Donoghue | International Officer | FULL TIME OFFICER - Got approval to rewrite the hate crime reporting form for the Council and Police, will be working in collaboration with Swansea Met to do this and change how hate crime is reported across Swansea. - sat on various meeting committees - Started organising the International Christmas Dinner and organised over £1000 in sponsorship to subsidise it for international students. - worked in partnership with Pro- Vice Chancellor Hilary Lappin-Scott in helping organising Global Entrepreneurship Week. - ICWS joined the subject rep system and now have their first ever college rep. I have worked in partnership with the Director of the college to ensure these reps have enough support to adapt to the system. - Met with PVC Hilary Lappin-Scott to discuss employability week for January. - Looking into how the University selects external partner universities to send students to and whether there is adequate student support available. I will be working in partnership with the International Development Office in looking into this which will then look into how we can improve student experience for students that have gone abroad. - Attended a meeting with the Senior Management Team of the University. - Started planning the International Welcome for new students arriving to ELTS in the village in January. - Organised a focus group for international student, looking into employability and what they hope to achieve in terms of employability skills during their time in Swansea. This information will then go on to Careers who will use it to shape employability sessions for international students. - Ran #strikeaid with our President during the strikes 3rd December delivering breakfast, tea, coffee etc to the strikers! - Attended NUS Black Students Winter Conference in London. - Celebrated Chanukah with Jewish Society. - Working with Sheikh Mohsen and seeing how we can improve experiences and representation for middle eastern students. - Working with our student voice co-ordinator to run a focus group for students who have been abroad. - Got the academic registrar to purchase screens for the exam halls to check students wearing hijabs are not hiding anything in their head scarfs more privately and discreetly. November / December reports Ceinwen Cloney | Societies & Services Officer | FULL TIME OFFICER Dear All, First of all I wanted to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you've all enjoyed the first term, especially those of you who are new to Swansea! One small word of advice for your return to Swansea in January, you may not even want to think of it yet, but do remember to bring wellies back with you, if you think you've seen Swansea rain already think again! Anyway on with my report. This month I have : - Organised our second societies forum and Wednesday afternoon training sessions. - Organised further furniture to be delivered and constructed in the hive! - Met with both the Hellenic society and the Nigerian society to organise their AGMs and Pole Fitness to fully re-register them with the Union. - Helped organise, promoted and worked with Konetics society to ensure that Global Entrepreneurship week was a success. This included having dinner in a group with Sir Terry Matthews Wales' first billionaire and a Swansea alumnus - he was a truly delightful chap! - Attended an NUS FTO team day at NUS Wales HQ in Cardiff. - Driven to Aberystwyth (I mention it as it was mildly traumatic) and attended the NUS Wales Zones conference as one of your elected delegates. I attended a very informative session on devolution and made contacts with local FE colleges! - Been to many University meetings, including Student Affairs Committee, a recruitment and open day meeting and University Senate among many others! - Been to many Union meetings including the Costcutter management board at which we reviewed the fantastic performance of the flagship joint service which we run along with the University! Well done to all involved! - Attended the Union annual audit and trustees committee meeting, the Union AGM and the Union institutional review student written submission working group. - Contributed to the University's first Internet Awareness working group meeting and learned a lot about our behaviour and learning style changes in the new internet era. - Held our monthly Societies Executive Committee meeting where we approved 7 new societies and allocated over £1000 of funding! - Set up the Typhoon relief effort by the Union and facilitated us raising over £500 for the people of the Philippines. - Organised and hosted the Union and University Armistice Day Remembrance Service which was fantastically attended by all. Thank you to those Societies that got involved. - I have also held meetings to look towards setting up an end of term shuttle bus and have started planning employability week, societies awards and societies Re-Freshers including a fantastic social! That's all I think! Phew! November / December reports Charlotte Peters | Sports Officer | FULL TIME OFFICER - Attended numerous meetings regarding Varsity- Operational Group and Promotions included. - Assisted with the running of BUCS Regional Swimming Competition, inputting scores and places throughout the day. - Attended IPC Legacy Group. - Met with the managers of Peppermint and Bambu to see how their relationship with clubs can be best utilised. - Had multiple 1:1s with clubs. - Met with Rugby Medics to see how we can integrate them with Sport Swansea. - Allocated funds in conjunction with the Sport Swansea Executive to those clubs who submitted finance requests. - Finalised club photos and organised an additional day for the new year for those clubs without kit. - Met with Professor Noel Thompson (Pro Vice Chancellor) to discuss further sporting opportunities within the university, and how the current sporting climate is developing. - Accompanied clubs to Fairwood and ensured the smooth running or operations during its first two consecutive weeks of usage. - Proposed joining with Trinity St David, Swansea Campus to deliver a disability sports day and to introduce inclusive sport within the university (as a club or branch of a club). This proposal was accepted by the Sport Swansea board, and is currently being considered as an additional day sport for Varsity. - Met with the Dean of the School of Management alongside The Waterfront to discuss the direction they are taking and how students shall be effected. - Begun work on renewing the Sport Swansea kit tender for the upcoming academic year. - Attended a NUS away day at their headquarters in Cardiff with the rest of the FTO team. - Chaired the first Sport Swansea disciplinary case of this academic year and followed up the actions to be taken. - Liaised with I Love Tour and got the group booking up and running. - Attended University Council. - Attended an Ospreys update meeting with key partners within the University and the Club to assess and confirm the direction plans are taking. - Attended and gave input in the Student Affairs Committee. November / December reports Rosie Inman | Women’s Officer | FULL TIME OFFICER This month I managed to complete one of my manifesto points that I was most excited about – liberation forums! This means we now have dedicated forums for students who define as women, LGBT+, BME, and disabled. These forums are only open to students who define into these groups and act as a safe space to share experiences and work to combat the sexism, homophobia/biphobia/transphobia, racism and ableism that they can face on a daily basis. I chaired the Women’s Forum on Monday (and the liberation PTOs have chaired their own forums the rest of the week) and the conversation that came out of the group was really positive, with everybody contributing to the discussion! Though we had a few hiccups with marketing, which meant not as many people as I’d have liked came along, from the feedback I received, I think everybody who came found it interesting and useful – even those who were initially very sceptical that they’d enjoy it! If you missed this month’s forum, don’t worry – they’ll continue after Christmas, where the Women’s Campaign will hopefully be holding some fun events in conjunction with our newly-approved Feminist Society! This month also saw Swansea SPARKLE, a celebratory transgender community event which coincided with the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, at which we had a stall. The event is organised by the Tawe Butterflies in conjunction with the Swansea Bay LGBT Forum and the police, and this is the second year the event has been held! It is one of the only transgendered events to be held in Wales, which we were very pleased to be a part of. It was a long but successful day and our wonderful LGBT+ officers and the president of the LGBT+ society helped me on our stall, where we got to meet many brilliant members of the community and tell them about the work we do at Swansea University. The Athena SWAN annual lecture was held this month with Dame Athene Donald attending as the keynote speaker – it was a brilliant celebration of the work our institution and colleges have put into Athena SWAN. As well as attending all of the usual strategy group meetings and the annual lecture, I will be further working in conjunction with the university to hold some exciting events for International Women’s Day, which is less than ten working weeks away! Another fantastic event for the promotion of women in science was the ScienceGrrl launch held this month – a grassroots network for women in science, the launch event was attended by a fantastic amount of people; more than 60 staff and students came along to get involved! I’ve also been involved in NUS’ work with Community Organising. We are lucky enough to be getting our very own Assistant Community Organiser here in Swansea (paid for by NUS!) who will work with us to engage students in wider issues including getting students interested in and registered to vote, something I’m very passionate about! As well as this, I’ve had the usual waves of meetings to go to and students to help – second campus development, helping with our Disability Officer’s fantastic Invisible Illnesses Week, Night Bus updates and continuation, and all that sort of fun! November / December reports Alex McKenzie | General Secretary | PART TIME OFFICER Since last student forum I have chaired two meetings of the Officers Responsibility Group, which seeks to evaluate the behaviour and work of FTO’s and PTO’s. Both of these meetings have been highly informative; they have highlighted some issues that we seek to receive clarity upon with future meetings, while we have also formulated some strategies that are to be presented to the executive committee in due course. I have also been part of a committee that has set out to improve communication with students who are maybe unaware of what the Union does. We are looking to introduce an informal meeting point in the library (similar to Study Aid) where some FTO’s and PTO’s will be available to talk and inform students about services we provide and how they can engage with us (through student forums etc). Hopefully this will be running up until Christmas, with tea and coffee available for those stuck in the library cracking on with their dissertation and coursework etc As well as suggesting ways that we could enhance student participation in our forums to the executive committee, I have written a blog on how they work, and how students’ ideas can become constitutional. My hope is that it is encouraging to those who think that their voices don’t matter when it comes to student democracy; this is something that I will be actively pursuing throughout this year. November / December reports Meg Ball | Community & Housing Officer | PART TIME OFFICER Due to many, many deadlines this month I'm afraid my officer role took a back seat, however now like back and fighting to your housing and community issues with a vengeance. I, along with Rebecca Grimes, went along to the student Accommodation Services' first talk on finding a house for you 2nd or 3rd year. It's was full of useful tips about what to look for and how to deal with landlords. The most important factor to take away from it was that you have 24 hours to look over any kind of contact, and that the Students Advice Service can also look over it for you too. So don't feel pressure to sign anything with having it looked over first! Your disability officer, Tori, last week organised a fantastic week of events dealing with different invisible illnesses. I was fortunate to help out on Friday afternoon where I got the chance to speak to many fascinating people. It was a brilliant week organised by Tori, and one that will be repeated in the years to come, as I feel that it gave the student body the chance to think and talk with others about something which they've been dealing with themselves. So, what next? In January I'm going to launch my blog with fortnightly updates about local businesses and community groups. Telling you all about hidden gems which you might not know about already. If you have a business or a local group which you think would be useful for the student population to know about, then please do email me November / December reports Lewys Aron | Welsh Affairs Officer | PART TIME OFFICER Having only been elected in the last week of October, I haven't long been in my post as Welsh Affairs Officer. Despite that, I've already started working hard to fulfil my manifesto pledges and making plans for the year ahead. Since being elected I have made enquiries with the relevant people about establishing a report system for lack of Welsh language provision and breach of the bilingualism policy. In particular, I'm keen to make sure this is made an easy to use and is an effective way to make sure that the standard of Welsh on campus is improved. I am aware that the students union are experiencing problems in regards to the website at this present time which has lead to a delay in discussions in regards to the establishment of this service. But rest assured, I am like a dog with a bone and will work tirelessly to achieve this manifesto pledge. I have since met with a representative from residential services and we have discussed the issues in regards to Welsh language accommodation. More on this soon! One thing that has occurred to me lately is the establishment of residential blocks on the new campus. I have made it a priority to ensure specific accommodation for Welsh speakers on the new campus for students that have their courses based there. My Welsh language strategy is currently still in development and I hope to launch this after the new year! along with the booklet of frequently-used words and phrases from society emails with their Welsh translation (that I talked about in my last report). The goal is to make it so that societies don't have to wait so long for translation before sending basic translations to their membership. Why wait for translation for times, days of the week, and place names that you use regularly over the course of the year? Any progress made on those issues or any other of my work as WAO will be relayed to students via the Students' Union website (Once I get my blog..) motivate anyone! Some students raised valid concerns about losing what little contact hours they sometimes have, so I'm glad that we on the Union exec and the NUS nationally tried to support the strike in a way that didn't disadvantage My excitement at the prospect of improving the state of the Welsh language at the union hasn’t faltered and I’m relishing the challenge! Finally, if you have any ideas, or would like to meet and discuss anything you think I should be doing as Welsh Affairs Officer, please feel free to contact me through twitter: @Lewys120 or [email protected] November / December reports Rachel Hodgson | LGBT Officer (Women’s Place) | PART TIME OFFICER Coffee Mornings The Women Only coffee mornings have continued throughout this month. The object of these events is to provide a safe space for all self identifying LGBT students who self-define as women where they can meet up in an informal and welcoming setting. The primary format of these events has in the past been coffee mornings. However, after feedback from students who have attended they have now included film nights, and plans for other socials are currently being organised. LGBT Mental Wellbeing Awareness Campaign Earlier in the month I launched the LGBT Mental Wellbeing Awareness campaign within the Invisible Illnesses campaign, launched by the Students with Disabilities Officer. The campaign looked at bringing to forefront how self-identifying as LGBT, as a student, could have an effect on your mental wellbeing. The campaign looked at issues such as depression and anxiety, coming out, and bullying. We employed various interactive methods to get our message across including: Mental wellbeing reality cheques The mental wellbeing reality cheques asked people who came up to the stall to fill in some information about themselves, and if they could give an example of when their mental wellbeing had been affected by their sexuality or gender orientation Free Zines The Zines gave information on how a student’s mental wellbeing could be affected through self-identifying as LGBT, and gave information of where they could find help if they needed it – both off and on campus A lego poll The lego poll was a simple interactive exercise in which we asked people to put a certain coloured lego brick into a jar, depending on whether their mental wellbeing had ever been affected through their sexual orientation and/or gender identity Video The video that we launched for the campaign was by far the most successful aspect of the campaign. The video sought to show just how the mental wellbeing of LGBT students at Swansea University has been affected. The video opened with giving the viewer generalised statistics of ill mental health within the LGBT community, in particular that of students. The second half of the video gave viewers a chance to read of some of the ways in which our mental wellbeing has been affected through such things as bullying, harassment, and abuse. The video received a lot of positive feedback from viewers, expressing that it was really powerful as they had never really thought about what it meant to identify as LGBT in regards to mental health. If you would like to watch the video, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CMdj6E3dTM If anyone would like to talk to myself or Joel about anything that we’re doing this year, or if you would like to suggest something that you think we should do, or even if you think we’re doing something wrong, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Rachel Hodgson November / December reports Joel Gascoyne | LGBT Officer (Open Place) | PART TIME OFFICER NUS LGBT Wales Training: In November I attended a training event in Cardiff ran by NUS Wales. It was a great opportunity to learn some valuable campaigning skills and meet Officers from NUS UK as well as fellow activists from Welsh universities. LGBT+ Forum: I recently chaired the liberation forum for students who self-define as LGBT+; the session led to some great campaign action points to work on next year and it was a great opportunity to gauge student opinion. I look forward to working with the soon to be formed forum committee. Swansea Sparkle: I was lucky enough to be among the contingent representing the Union and University at a local transgender awareness event. The day was most enjoyable and I met many inspirational people from across Wales and the wider UK. Terrence Higgins Trust: I have begun talks with the local health promotion officer from the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), an excellent HIV and sexual health charity. Both myself and the Trust are extremely keen to create a partnership and I look forward to inviting them for talks/workshops and to start some joint campaigns. Stonewall University Guide: I have contacted Stonewall with regards to correcting our 'gay by degree' score from the current 8 to our entitled 9/10. I hope to convince university management to satisfy the requirements for 10/10 by next year. November / December reports Tori-Ilana Evans | Disabled Student’s Officer | PART TIME OFFICER What I have done - Invisible Illnesses Week – Sadly it’s all over now but for the majority of this month I have been planning my lovely Invisible Illnesses Awareness Week alongside Mental Wealth. Between Monday 25th of November and Friday 29th I looked at Eating Disorders, Anxiety and Phobias, LGBT wellbeing (that wonderful day was ran by the lovely Rachel Hodgson), Depression and Bipolar and Chronic Illnesses and Autism. Every day there was free tea, coffee and hot chocolate which plenty of people came and got. We had a gingerbread man giving hugs, lots of games and information, a massive whiteboard which people could answer the question of the day and cake sales. The week was a success. I’ve had plenty of lovely people emailing me since, sharing their inspirational stories and everything so I’m thrilled with how it went. It’s rewarding to hear people say that the week has helped them and I’m truly honoured to be in a university where so many people care. - Blogs – I’ve been blogging a few times. Already done three and only had it a few weeks. I constantly want to write more blogs but I fear too many will mean that people don’t read them. So far I have written an introduction blog, a blog about invisible illnesses week and one thanking everyone for all the support I received during my first awareness campaign. Going to get a few more blogs written up before too long. - Time to Change Wales – I’ve been researching the feasibility of training with time to change wales. They offer free sessions where you can train in mental health issues (something that I am keen to do myself and to promote for others to as well). After you are trained, you are then able to train yourself so I’m looking into potentially getting a training program up which in turn will help my volunteering plans. - Disability Forum – I’ve planned the disability forum which will take place on Thursday 5th December. I have made the decision to not invite students as I want the students to join the forum themselves as it is open to self-defining disabled students and I feel I would be crossing a boundary if I were to presume who should come etc. In this space I want people to tell me what they want from me. I get a lot of emails from my students but this is a specific space where you can ask and question what I am doing for the university. To be Done - Website!! – I’ve mentioned this briefly to some of the Exec but I plan on trying to look into setting up a website that offers advice and a safe environment for disabled students to access. This would hopefully be connected to the SU-Union page in that you could get to the website through it but it’d be separate so…it would work! - Disabled Sport – Charlotte Peters has talked to me recently and things appear to be looking positive. Going to have a meeting before too long with herself and Cardiff’s sport and disability officer. - Volunteering Program – Still need to look into this. As I am looking at training I am unable to go further with this idea until that has been sorted. Really hopeful though :] November / December reports Ilana Cohen | Postgraduate Officer | PART TIME OFFICER I’ve run a survey focusing on the postgraduate student experience. The survey asked postgrad students from across the university how they found the application process and enrolment onto their course. I also asked them how they are finding the course, how finances are affecting their studies and the student experience of being a postgrad officer. These results will be used to enhance postgrad student experience in the near future. I have had meetings with the Postgrad Advertising and Marketing department, discussing student experience and ways to use funding to improve many different aspects of postgrad life. These include more funding information, university information and course guidance. Furthermore, focus groups are to be arranged in the new year to help the this department address the issues facing postgrad students. In addition, I will be assisting the department in debating whether the university should have a graduate College. I have addressed, and will further address, the need for the university to be standardised, thus allowing better consistency and coherent communication. I have began to introduce College postgrad socials. The first social will be Arts and Humanities next Tuesday, and others will follow in the new year. I am currently working with Zahid Raja (President) in getting all Postgraduate Research students individual emails prioritising those who teach. I’m also working with Zahid on office conditions for postgraduate students. November / December reports Nish Patel | Part Time Students’ Officer | PART TIME OFFICER (try saying that after a few!) So since September I have been on a hospital placement in Withybush Hospital, Haverford West, which means I have missed all the happenings in the SU (boooo!) However, I have had some rather amusing emails, texts and snapchats to keep me amused. Whilst I have been away, I have realised that this is exactly what it feels like to be a part-time student, we miss out on events because we are not there. I am currently in the process of writing an email asking for the Student Executive Committee meetings to be held after 5pm, meaning that anyone on a placement can attend. What do I plan to do this year? Timetables In my last report I discussed timetables and how we, as part-timers, normally have a placement/exams/lectures coinciding with landmark University events. After discussing this matter with the Human and Health Science college (my college) I understand that it seems to be a decision for the college admin staff to make. For example, I have now ensured that not one person in my college will have a Housing I have yet to discuss housing with the University Residential Services as well as Rebecca Grimes (Welfare Officer) so I can ensure accommodation for Part-time students is appropriate and economical. Regular meetings for part-time students From January I also hope to have monthly meetings with part-time students to assess what else needs to be examined and adapted for us. I was thinking JC’ coffee side with lots of cakes and coffee. YUM! Any questions - please feel free to get in touch with me [email protected] November / December reports Matt Johnson | Mature Students’ Officer | PART TIME OFFICER Dear Student body, Firstly I would like to say it has been a pleasure meeting all of the new faces on campus this year. From cups of tea at Ty Beck (thanks for inviting me!) to meetings will student parents, thank you for getting in touch. I hope you are all settling in well. In terms of some efforts made from me within this first semester, the following areas have seen progress: Talks with the local council to publish a list of free activities for mature students to the benefit for us and others within our local community. This scheme is in discussion and will likely launch in Feb next year. It will be similar to the already published family orientated press releases from them. Welcome week – starting Uni can be tough, especially for mature students who leave a perhaps already established lifestyle behind. To support you within this I was on hand to welcome new guests at Ty Beck and Horton. Im glad I got to meet with so many of you. Ty Beck drop in session – In early November the first drop in session was held. Thanks for all those that attended and raised points around education and welfare issues. Student union communication – One issue that I’m very keen to tackle is the way that the union communicates to mature students. Around 30% of students here are classed (under UCAS) as a mature student so a tailored approach to communication needs to be formed. People always have varying interests so we need to make sure the right information is being made available to the right groups of people. If you have an input on this matter then please do get in touch. Mature students newsletter – By working with the University, we are close to forming a register of mature students which can be contacted with relevant news and information. Watch this space! I hope that you have settling in well or for returning students, are doing well in your studies. If you need anything then please do contact me via the email below. Matt November / December reports Chris Whitty | Ethics Officer | PART TIME OFFICER Living Wage I held a meeting earlier this month to discuss plans for the future of the Living Wage Campaign at Swansea University. Initially I thought it would be a long hard campaign just to schedule a meeting with the University management, but Councillor Mitch Theaker informed me that a meeting was already scheduled for the very next week! Unfortunately, the conditions of the meeting were that there would not be any representatives from either Unison or the Students Union which I was incredibly disappointed at. On the brighter side, I’ve been informed the meeting went very well and the prospects for Swansea University becoming the first University in Wales to pay a living Wage are looking brighter than ever! #Strikeaid Unfortunately, due to personal issues, I was unable to support UCU, Unite and Unison on the picket lines during their strike for a reasonable pay increase on the 2nd of December. However, I confidently left the organisation in the hands of Welsh Affairs Officer Lewys Aron and International Officer Eva Donoghue, and from what I’ve heard it was a resounding success! Electronics Watch I was lucky enough for People and Planet President, Rob Abrams, to invite to a Skype conference call with various other People and Planet University Societies to discuss setting up an ‘Electronics Watch’ organisation; akin to the Workers Rights Consortium but specifically focusing on electronics sweatshops. The confeance call went incredibly well and lots and fantastic ideas were suggested and are in preparation to be executed. Campaigns Forum The details for the campaigns forum have been finalised, but due to the heavy load of essays and exam preparation that students are currently going through, we’ve decided that it would be best to hold the first campaigns forum after exams. I have also begun working with President Zahid Raja on creating a Campaigns Budgetary Committee so that campaigns funding is distributed fairly, evenly and openly. As always, if you would like to contact me about any issue with the Union or Universities ethical practise; please email me at [email protected] or tweet me @ethichris November / December reports Chris Wilde | Environment Officer | PART TIME OFFICER Green Impact Excellence Award This year for the Green Impact award we have to do something new and innovative, which we have decided to combine with some other SU values…employability and community. Working closely with our PR department and the Welfare Officer, I’ll be trying to roll out the concept of green impact into local businesses that cannot afford there own audits. There will be training through NUS for student auditors (similar to the training auditors receive via the Uni Green Impact Awards) which will provide some brill employability skills for CV’s (and counts toward the sustainability award). The students will then head on out to some local businesses and charities (who we are in the process of recruiting) and audit them, giving them a brief outline as to how they could be more energy efficient, save money and be sustainable champions. This project is still in the early stages of planning (with dates to come) and I am looking for people who want to help out. Give me a shout if you have any suggestions, ideas or are interested in becoming an auditor. Sustainability Award The Sustainability Award helps to develop the specific knowledge, skills and values that will be required in the green and low carbon jobs sector. For more information hit up: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/sustainability/sustainabilityaward/ Audit Committee Every three months the audit committee meet, and in the past meeting the statement of financial accounts was presented. Switch Off for Christmas Campaign I have set up the switch off for Christmas campaign (ready to be launched next week), that encourages all students to switch off anything that doesn’t need to be on when they leave for Christmas holidays. Part Time Officer Awareness Campaign As two returning officers, myself and Rachel Hodgson (LGBT+ Womens) have decided to run a campaign to highlight what the Part Time Officers actually do. More details will follow. Merry Christmas and a jolly old new year everyone! And good luck in exams if you have any. Also like to congratulate Tori (Disabilities Officer) for her amazing campaign, highlighting invisible illnesses.