Find out more about what your 22/23 Presidents have achieved this year.
As we come to the end of the 22/23 year, let’s look back at the amazing year our Presidents team have had, and take a look at each of their top three ‘wins’ of the year…
In October, Rania launched the Speak Up Pledge which aimed to acknowledge the struggles that students experience, in particular students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds, and recognise that this must translate into deliberate action. The pledge was signed by Vice Chancellor Steve West, and during Speak Up Week students were invited to learn more and sign the pledge too.
Along with the President of Bath Spa’s Students’ Union, Rania co-founded and co-chaired the South West Sabbatical Officers Network, making it easier for students unions in the region to communicate and unite on campaigning about matters that affect students. Rania has co-chaired multiple meetings throughout the year where they have discussed a wide range of matters including rent, transport, industrial action and the ways they are supporting students
Rania was selected out of thousands of international students to represent the international students voice at a national level at this year’s UKCISA Fest and approached the UKCISA’s CEO in person about improving the international students experience across the UK, not just UWE. Additionally, she led the UWE delegation to the annual NUS National Conference, where they influenced national policy, debating topics such as cost of living and housing. She has also served as a Commissioner on the One City Living Rent Commission to defend student tenants’ rights, and has given evidence to the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee on the work of the Office for Students.
On 22 March, Doha brought Varsity back to UWE! The event brought together four universities in a day packed full of sport across both UWE Frenchay venues and at Lockleaze Sports Centre. We saw over 400 players and over 550 spectators cheering the teams on throughout the day, and ultimately the UWE teams were successful in bringing home the coveted UWE vs USW trophy!
Doha set up the Sports Swap Shop to encourage student athletes to get involved with sustainability and think about second hand clothing as an option when they’re looking for kit. Students were able to drop off unwanted sports clothes and equipment, and in return could select an item from our collection. This also provided a more affordable option for student athletes.
Following the positive feedback from the livestreaming during Varsity, Doha has put together a livestreaming package for sports teams to use for their games next year. She has bought a Veo Sports camera which sports clubs can borrow during their games for livestreaming, meaning that even more people can support TeamUWE and we can further spread awareness for all of our TeamUWE clubs.
Lily led the launch of the Celebrating Culture Hall of Fame in October. The Hall featured UWE students and staff from ethnically diverse backgrounds who have achieved great success in their various fields, overcoming racial biases, and have had a positive impact on society. The launch also featured the new edition of the No More Silence Zine.
During exam season at the beginning of the year, Lily initiated the distribution of over 1,000 Exam Destress Bags to students. The bags contained healthy snacks, head massagers and more to help brighten students’ day and reduce their stress levels while studying. The feedback received from students was great!
Lily organised Human Library days at all three campuses, these events allowed students to listen to people from a wide variety of backgrounds tell their story. They were a great success, with students being intrigued and inspired by the stories shared during the day.
UWE Bristol’s Got Talent, organised by Bethel, was an amazing display of the wide range of talents and skills among UWE students. The competition was fierce, with auditions held at all three campuses before the final ten performers were selected for the Grand Finale, where they battled it out for one of three cash prizes.
Bethel was the President lead for the Celebrating Black Excellence campaign for Black History Month. The campaign featured events across all campuses, such as movie nights and mental health workshops. Along with Doha, Bethel also organised Sports ‘n’ Colours events which consisted of friendly games of football, basketball and volleyball to encourage Black students to try a new sport and meet new people.
Most recently, Bethel organised TEDxUWE! With 13 speakers from a wide range of backgrounds and professions, all delivering talks on the topic of ‘Bags and Baggages; Building a sense of belonging’, it was an insightful and extremely interesting event.
Rahul invited Mental Health Trainer and TEDx speaker Amber Cowburn to The Students’ Union to deliver workshops across all three campuses. These workshops taught students basic tactics and daily routines for developing healthy mental health as well as ways to balance their studies and self-care.
While representing The Students’ Union at UWE at the Westminster Higher Education Forum, Rahul discussed drug use in higher education. He presented to a panel to showcase the work we have done through our Drugs and Alcohol Impact Accreditation, with the panel discussion focusing heavily on how a harm reduction approach will enable better welfare outcomes for students.
Throughout the year Rahul worked closely with the Terrence Higgins Trust to deliver sexual health workshops where students learnt about consent and the sexual health services available to them. They also held stalls at each campus for students to gain even more knowledge about sexual health, as well as access free testing.