It has been such a pleasure and honour representing over 30,000 students at UWE Bristol. This time last year, I was presented with this huge task, which no one exactly prepares you for but with guidance, support, determination, passion and a curious mind, I was able to achieve so much.
Building and maintaining positive relationships is key to this role and I am very happy to have made a positive impact during my time here. This was by far one of my best experiences. Yes, it presented various challenges, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way because challenges are what makes us stronger, and if I could describe this feeling, in a nutshell, using an African proverb, I would say that
“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”
I have been involved in hundreds of meetings throughout this year and that is not an exaggeration! However, having completed 100% of my manifesto, I can gladly say that most of these meetings definitely had positive outcomes, including those highlighted below:
- Successfully lobbied the University to significantly reduce laundry cost by 65% resulting in a cost of £1.00 per wash and £0.50 per dry.
- Initiated and launched the Black Hall of Fame celebrating the successes of our Black students, staff and Alumni.
- Worked on the development of UWE Bristol’s 2030 strategy, ensuring there is student voice during the development stage.
- Worked with the Estates and Facilities team to extend post-graduate students accommodation period to last until the end of their course.
- Worked with my team and The Students’ Union staff to remove the £3 minimum card limit.
- Worked on providing sleeping rooms on campus, which includes a nap pod which should be ready for installation post lockdown.
- Collaborated with the United Nations and UWE Bristol to organise dialogue sessions with UWE Bristol students in celebration of #UN75.
- Raised awareness for male mental health.
- Successfully lobbied the university to review its zero-tolerance policy.
- Working to embed anti-racism discussions into Block Zero induction program for all students.
- Led on this year’s Black History Month. You can view the report here and/or see the photos here.
- Worked with my team to start discussion forums, a platform for students of colour to come and voice their concerns.
- Working with the university on an ongoing project focussing on a sexual education guidance page.
- Increased student engagement and involvement in physical activities.
- Ensured there is support for international students in the areas of language, job and visa.
- Worked from other UWE Bristol campuses encouraging co-creation and increasing satellite campus visibility.
- Worked with the university to ensure students safety before, during and after the build of the NHS Nightingale hospital.
- Held My Fro and Me. This is a natural hair visibility event showcasing the beauty in natural hair.
As well as many others
As well as Monthly Newsletters sent around to staff, over the past year I have kept a record of my activities to share with you all on a monthly basis. For easier access, please find below a link to the monthly updates.
July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June.
The Students’ Union Involvement (Advice for students and staff)
To students: The Students’ Union has so much in store for you, so please do get in touch. My interest in the union began from being a member of a society to a leader of two societies to becoming a student representative and then yearning to do more than that. So please do give yourself the chance.
To staff: Involve The Students’ Union in your conversations and value their input as they are most likely to better understand the students’ needs and will actively drive actions.
I couldn’t thank everyone enough, from the students that voted me in, to those that didn’t but have worked alongside me this year:
- The Students’ Union CEO, Tim Benford, who has been a solid rock!
- My Vice Presidents: Joey, Jane, Evan and Josh, who made it such a wonderful and worthwhile experience.
- The UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor, Steve West, who has been really good at listening to us.
- Jane Harrington, Jo Midgley, Chris Abbott, Noor Nixon, Valerie Russell Emmott, Suzanne Carrie, Mark Walker, Rachel Colley, Josh Castles, The Students’ Union Marketing team and many more.
I could keep going, but the list is endless and I honestly cannot thank you all enough! My family has also been a huge support system throughout this entire process.
I have had the honour and pleasure of serving and representing you as your Precious President. If you wish to stay in touch with me, you can do so via LinkedIn