Time flies by when you are not clock watching. I have been The Students' Union President for two weeks now, and I must say I am incredibly humbled to have the opportunity to represent you during these interesting times.
I have received an immense number of good wishes from both staff and students, and I am so grateful for the welcome messages. For the past few days in office, I have had internal meetings with different teams within The Students’ Union, board meetings with the University, and also training sessions that are equipping me with the right skills and information to know how best to champion your views this year.
At the moment, it feels like so much has happened within a short period. With working from home, I am learning to adjust my working pattern, and although there are pros of working from home, the cons also exist. Also, I have to think innovatively on how things can be done differently in this 'new normal' virtual phase to ensure that we stay engaged with the student community and consider how we can enable our students to thrive still.
Hence why I will continue to work towards building that sense of community amongst us and will continue to work with the University to communicate changes much faster to you and mitigate any detrimental impacts.
People are feeling alone, depressed and are scared of the unknown. I want us to recognise the challenges a lot of people are facing during these times and remind us to be 'KIND' to others. It is essential to look after your wellbeing and check on your friends. For those still writing coursework and preparing for exams, do try to find time to do something you love – something that brings that inner peace and happiness.
There is so much going on – fighting against all forms of racism, internet poverty, cluster phobia, loss of jobs, financial loss, communities suffering from food poverty, those experiencing challenges with housing; just to name a few.
This time is going to be a huge learning curve for myself, the University, many individuals and organisations on how things happen in the future (i.e. technology, flexible working, budget allocation, resource needs and priorities). One thing that is crucial for me this year is ensuring that the President's Team are individually able to achieve all of their exciting plans for you still and that we can deliver on our team objectives in the coming academic year.
I know so much is going on for a lot of people, but I will like to urge everyone to try their best to stay positive and remain motivated to pursue all you intended to achieve this year. I know this may sound 'cheesy' as it is 'easier said than done' so if you require any support at all, please contact the right support services. There is a lot that UWE Bristol offers, such as the Crisis Textline, Shout, and The Students’ Union Advice Centre - check out our website or University website for more information.
Stay beautiful and reach out to me for any ideas you want to see to fruition.