November update from your Presidents Team

President - Augusta Chidinma Nnajiofor

The Students’ Union and the University are working collaboratively on three partnership projects, which will be instrumental in improving the experience of our students. These areas include: improving assessment and feedback, building learning communities, and addressing mental health inequalities. If you know any students that would be keen to feed into any of these projects, please get in touch.

I have been exploring new ways that we could offer support to students to enable them to grasp virtual employability opportunities during and after term-time. As part of this work, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Westminster Higher Education Forum Policy Conference, on the role of employers and the Government in supporting graduates and undergraduates into employment in the Covid-19 climate.

The third episode of ‘A Year in Conversation with Augusta’ will be live this Wednesday. This episode features Jamie Hooper, Senior Equality and Diversity Manager at Sport England. Jamie opens up about how he deals with mental health struggles and the ongoing work in partnership with local organisations to support LGBT+ and BAME individuals in the sports and physical activity sector. Please subscribe to The Students' Union YouTube Channel to watch this and the previous episodes.

The Celebrating Black Excellence Arts Competition is running until Friday 18 December. This will provide an opportunity to raise social media awareness through the creative work of students in the form of writing, drawing and any other art form relating to Black History.

We will continue to raise student concerns with members of the University and will provide appropriate support. In line with this, I am feeding into the personal circumstances process and will work with relevant colleagues to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by the current situation. 

 

VP Community and Welfare - Ubong Joseph Ante

As it’s the month of Movember, let’s endeavour to raise awareness of men’s mental health issues. Feel free to donate or fundraise for Movember and always remember to stay safe and look after yourself during these uncertain times.

As the President championing sustainability this year, I attended the just concluded NUS Sustainability Summit. The conference was virtual and took place over three days. This year’s theme focused on curriculum reform, the climate emergency, race and climate justice, and food justice.

It was good to gain more knowledge about sustainability and clearly understand the bigger picture. I’m looking forward to working with The Green Team and the Sustainability Committee on how we can embed sustainability even more into all that we do.

I also had the opportunity to be part of the recruitment process for the EDI Team’s Health University Intern. This internship will create an opportunity for students to gain experience in health and wellbeing promotion, which will target staff and students across UWE Bristol.

This role will support the Staff and Student Engagement Officer on a range of projects, especially Feel Good February. It has been a good experience being part of the whole process from shortlisting candidates to interviews and final selection. It gave me a view of both sides of the coin and allowed me to see students' approach to cover letters/interviews and what interviewers want. It was a well-planned and effective process from the team, which made the recruitment successful.

 

VP Societies and Communication - Samuel Ikpe

It’s been a successful month so far. October was quite a catch, as I had my first event ‘The Debate Night’, which was a collaboration with the University of Swansea as part of their celebrations for Black History Month, and it pleases me to say that it was perfectly splendid. It was great having staff members support me, and it was interesting sharing a platform with students from the University of Swansea.

I also started preparing for my first Societies Conference, which was a platform to get to meet committee members from all societies. It gave me an opportunity to share my vision for the year. It would intrigue you to know just how much students love a good chat.

I have done lots of promotion for society events to improve engagement for societies and to help communicate the great ideas and opportunities to our students.

November is looking great already, and as a Presidents Team, we have set out activities to keep students engaged, especially while we are in lockdown. On a brighter note, we have just got approval for our Tedx license, which is a relief as it means we will soon be able to communicate our first TedxUWE.


In October we launched the Celebrating Black Excellence Arts Competition, which is taking place until the end of the term. There are some great prizes to be won, so let’s see how talented you are in art. Finally, we will also be launching our first video for the language exchange programme, and I can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for you.

Continue following and supporting me throughout this tenure and remember your interest is my interest. Let’s have FUN!

 

VP Sports and Health - Joshua Eseoghene Edje

The month of October kickstarted the year-long celebrating Black Excellence Campaign. I wrote a couple of blogs highlighting specific points in Black History that showcase Black excellence at its core - you can read these on the website.

We also had one of the few physical activities at UWE Bristol before the second Lockdown occurred. The UWE African Caribbean Society hosted their rivals from UOB in a football match over at the Hillside Gardens. Being the motivational coach and spokesperson that I am, I offered to pay for the expenses for this event if the UWE Bristol team beat their rivals.

The score at the end of the match was 6-0 to UWE Bristol. I was proud of my boys, yet I wondered if I even needed to give them that incentive to win in the first place. 

The first Sports Conference was also virtually held in the first week of November. In this virtual meeting, students from Team UWE were elected for the new members of the Student Council. There were updates from myself and The Students’ Union staff on COVID guidelines, which reminded Team UWE to be leaders in their clubs and to stick to Government and UWE Bristol guidelines.

The Presidents Team also had the first Partnership Board Meeting, followed by the Student Governor Forum with the directorates from the University. During these meetings topics including mental health inequalities and learning communities were discussed.