VP Societies & Communication

VP Societies and Communication

Hi! My name's Evan Botwood and I’m your VP Societies and Communication.

I'm on the committee of four societies and I’m an active member of the Student Council, which provides me with a deep understanding of societies and The Students Union.

As part of my involvement in societies at UWE Bristol, I’ve organised trips, socials, debates, outreach, cross society events, as well as being on a BUCS team. I am also the sustainability lead for this year's Presidents. This involves sitting on UWE Bristol's Sustainability Board and working with The Students' Union to ensure sustainability is embedded in all they do.

Societies have enhanced my university life so much, and I want to ensure that others get the opportunity to enrich their university life too. This can only be done by tackling the challenges that people in societies face, such as lack of funding, attendance, overbearing paperwork and so much more.

I am here to listen to any concerns that you have and to fight for your cause.

 

Click here to see what I’m working to achieve this year and my progress so far.

VP Societies and Communication's Blog

The Results of this year's Societies Awards

The Society Awards took place online this year, and I’m so glad that the hard work and achievements of our society members were recognised!

 
A big win for the Presidents Team!

After weeks of hard work and meetings, President, Precious Onyenekwu Tatah and the rest of The Students’ Union’s Presidents Team is delighted to share an update on their campaign to support students who may be struggling to meet the financial demands of accommodation payments, due to the impact of COVID-19.

 
COVID-19 Accommodation Support - Letter to landlords from your Presidents Team

We know that the recent COVID-19 developments have had a big impact on the UWE Bristol student community, and as a Presidents Team we are working hard to ensure that we are supporting you and voicing your concerns.

 
Evan - August monthly review

I've been working hard this month to achieve results for societies and students. Here are some of my highlights!

 
Evan - July Monthly Review

Hi! Here are a few highlights from my first month as your VP Societies and Communication. It’s been a great first month and I can’t wait to see what next month brings!

 
 

EVAN's manifesto objectives

 
 

Rearrange Societies Conference so that it is facilitated by societies.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Arranged meeting with Opportunities Manager and Societies team planned for end of September
02 Oct 2019
Met with Opportunites Manager and Societies team at the end of September.
27 Nov 2019
Successfully introduced a 'feedback' section to Societies Conference, whereby every society wrote down ideas and what they wanted to see improved. I have now begun working on this feedback, such as by taking them to Jo Midgley (Vice Chancellor Student Experience) and the Opportunities manager at the Students' Union.
07 Feb 2020
I planned and hosted the second Societies Conference. This included an engaging quiz and an activity to plan a inter-society event within teams of five. Societies were also invited to speak to myself or the coordinators about any issue, while enjoying pizza. I also arranged the conference to incorporate the feedback from last conference (by having a section on finance, making it more engaging etc.).
 
 

Dedicate time to discuss your issues with me across campuses.

 

Status: Updated 27/11/2019

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Have increased pressence at Frenchay and Glendside Campuses.
02 Oct 2019
Regular hours at Frenchay. Attended Glenside and Bower Welcome (Freshers') Fairs as well as inductions across campuses. Spoken to Community Manager and Glenside Campus Coordinator about the best times to go and feasability. Commited to being based at Glenside every Monday morning (9:00-12:00). Spoke to every society at the Frenchay Welcome Fair.
27 Nov 2019
Ensured I'm open and available during the time when we have few/no society coordinators. Including taking on new society training.
27 Nov 2019
I've attended my office hours at Glenside for the first term, and continuing this into the second term. I have also spent at least a day on Bower Ashton a month, and attend the 'City Campus Committee' which brings together societies and other key stakeholders at City Campus. I regularly liaise with the City Campus Coordinator regarding any issues with City Campus societies.
 
 

Encourage roundtable discussions to share points of view, and encourage a sense of understanding amongst groups.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Met with Coordinating chaplain and NFI Society coordinator to discuss ideas and the feasibility. Started planning for Inter-Faith Week with other Presidents and chaplaincy.
27 Nov 2019
Organised the celebration of 'Inter-Faith week' which included advertising existing Faith society events, a workshop by the Union of Jewish Students and a series of activities on Friday as part of the 'Fun Day Friday' including a yoga/meditation session.
07 Feb 2020
Organised and facilitated a session in Societies Conference, where societies got into small groups to plan their own inter-society session as a group. This was started with a fun quiz, which was enjoyed by those who attended, and there was high engagement with both activities.
 
 

Facilitate forums to reveal issues that many NFI societies face, which can then be tackled.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Met with Coordinating chaplain and NFI Society coordinator to discuss ideas.
27 Nov 2019
Supported NFI societies on an individual basis, and started planning for further feedback.
07 Feb 2020
Feedback from NFI societies has been facilitated through what I have mentioned above.
 
 

Arrange more themed SUesdays with more exclusive guests, costume competitions, and decorations.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Met with The Students' Union Commercial Services Director about Students' Union bar events
02 Oct 2019
Further meets with the Commercial Services Director to plan some of the future SUesdays and enhance them through working with different SU areas including RAG.
27 Nov 2019
Worked with the Hallslife team to arrange face painting before the Halloween Suesday event.
07 Feb 2020
Worked with the Community team to explore options on how to staff the Late Night Do It Right Scheme. Worked with RAG and the commercial services director to host a charity SUesday.
 
 

Provide tea and toast outside the The Students' Union afterwards.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Conversation with the Fundrasing and Community Coordinator.
02 Oct 2019
Conversation with the Fundrasing and Community Coordinator. This provision will be provided, will review in January
07 Feb 2020
Ensured the continuing of this, through working with the Community team to explore options on how to staff the Late Night Do It Right Scheme.
 
 

Lobby the University for Committee access to its new 'Mental Wealth' reporting system (Learner Analytics, or StREAM).

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Conversations with The Students' Union CEO, UWE Bristol Healthy University Coordinator.
07 Feb 2020
My Engagement has now rolled out and conversations were had with other Presidents about the feasibility and usefulness of this. I ensured Mental Health is a priority amongst societies.
 
 

Create an awareness campaign #YourHealthIsOurHealth amongst societies.

 

Status: Updated 02/10/2019

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Discussions with the Fundraising and Community Coordinator and other Presidents, I'm now leading Movember from a societies perspective, and other charity activities.
02 Oct 2019
Leading on charity activities (Sleep out, Abseil, Jailbreak). Held and attended meetings with SU and UWE staff about World Mental Health Day.
 
 

Enact sensible deregulation and streamlining of accessing society money.

 

Status: Updated 27/11/2019

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Oct 2019
Discussions held with the Opportunites Coordinator, Finance Manager, and the IT Manager, and the possibility of a finance app to simplfy and streamline has emerged. Further discussion will need to be had with all the above.
27 Nov 2019
further discussions about the possibility of a finance app to simplfy and streamline has emerged. More discussion will need to be had with all the above.
 
 

Constant dialogue with societies and students for feedback about real concerns, and decision making.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Oct 2019
Maintained an active social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, publishing updates on FB. Committed to writing and uploading a monthly blog to The SU website, as well as prioritising emails from societies and meeting with them face-to-face.
27 Nov 2019
Supported societies with the day-to-day running of their society, due to both Society Coordinator roles being absent.
07 Feb 2020
See above, plus I also collected society feedback concerning the External Speaker policy, and arranging a meeting with the University amongst the relevant societies. I provided societies with a space in the Refreshers' Fair booking form for their own ideas and feedback, the majority of which were made real in the Fair (Advertising, Maps, Domino's and others). I made sure to speak to as many societies as possible at the Refreshers' Fair, as well as arranging one to one sessions with them. Access to the booking system, half-term memberships, societies on The Students' Union Instagram have come from this feedback gathering, as well as other items mentioned.
 
 

Ensure new committees have sufficient training.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Poll put out to society committee members to see what they want training in. Meeting with Society Coordinators to arrange a refresher training and facilitate these needs.
02 Oct 2019
Advertised training through email and personal direction to new committees. Held society refresher training, with time afterwards for people to ask questions to myself and the Society Coordinators. Held feedback discussion session with the Society Coordinators about the session. Looking into singular committee training meetings for any future new committees.
27 Nov 2019
Taken on the training of new society committees, and have ensured that they have received all the training required.
07 Feb 2020
I have ensured that the new society coordinators are able to give sufficient training to new committees'. Currently planning for new society committee training post committee elections.
 
 

Commit to leading and pushing sustainability at The Students' Union.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Commited to being SU Sustainability Lead alongside Precious (President). Attending sustainbility training with the Community Manager and NUS Sustainability.
02 Oct 2019
Active promotion of sustainable practise via Welcome rep inductions, programme inductions and social media. Promoting 'Green Fest' and sustainable societies using the SU Instagram.
27 Nov 2019
Committed to attending the UWE Bristol Sustainability board, meeting with the Sustainability Officer and liasing with the Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Sustainability and Environment. Working on an optional commitee role: 'Sustainability Officer'.
01 July 2019
Represented the student voice at the Sustainability Board, worked with the Sustainability Officer on 'Divestment', actively promoted sustainability via The Students' Union channels, including supporting World Tree day and putting on vegan discounts on World Climate Strike Day. Also worked on various schemes to make the University and Students' Union more sustainable, including the use of balloons.
07 Feb 2020
I presented The Students' Union Sustainability Board Report, opening up conversations between the Green Team and prominent UWE staff, as well as collaboration with staff trade unions. I've also ensured the promotion of the Zero-Waste shop through The Students' Union channels, as well as the MyUWE email and through my own social media. I attended a session on how to run sustainable events, and will use this knowledge in future. Currently looking over a joint events plan between The Students' Union and UWE, that should ensure both parties have sustainable events. I made sustainability a priority of the Refreshers' fair, vetting the commercial stalls and encouraging societies/sports clubs to be as sustainable as possible. To do this, I consulted the Sustainability Committee.
 
 

Embed sustainable practise into societies.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Talked with The SU Student Sustainability Engagement Coordinator, as well as The SU Community Manager and the Opportunities Manager about implementing a 'Sustainability Officer' as a committee role.
02 Oct 2019
Discussed the democratic process with the Representation Manager. Arranged a meeting with the Opportunites Manager and societies team at the beginning of October to discuss the Societies Conference, where this role will be launched. Speaker forms have also been published online, with additional forms going up in the future to reduce paper and ease the process.
27 Nov 2019
Explained and promoted the Greener Futures Accreditation, and sustainability, to all new societies, and promoted sustainability via The Students' Union channels. The Sustainability Officer role was launched, but due to some issues, this will be relaunched when it comes to February committee elections.
07 Feb 2020
The Greener Futures scheme was explained and advertised again to societies through societies conference, including the promotion of Sustainability Officer as a role in the committee.
 
 

Fix Next of Kin issue when buying society memberships.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Attended multiple meetings with the IT Manager, Opportunties Manager and Societies Coordinator, to find the right solution to solve this problem, which prevented people from buying society memberships. Worked with Marketing to produce NOK details.
02 Oct 2019
The solution was implemented with NOK details being input when buying memberships, and some minor issues flattened out. Received feedback from Opportunities team that they now receive far less queries concerning NOK details. Societies have also provided feedback regarding the ease of purchasing a membership.
27 Nov 2019
Increased membership of societies since last year.
07 Feb 2020
From the memberships bought due to Refreshers' Fair, there has been no issues with Next of Kin.
 
 

Streamline processes for Glenside and City Campus societies.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Communicating with Glenside Societies through Glenside Welcome fair and other events.
02 Oct 2019
Meeting had with the SU Glenside and Bower Ashton Coordinators, and the Academic and Special Interest Societies Coordinator. Discussed the best solution to ensure the relavant UWE Bristol and SU processes were followed.
27 Nov 2019
Held further discussions with the Campus Coordinators about the process. A City Campus society meeting has occurred, and I have received feedback from this to action further.
07 Feb 2020
I continued my Glenside hours, which are now paired with the new Society Coordinator attending Glenside every week. I've liaised with the City Campus Coordinator regarding any issues with City Campus societies and the process's.
 
 

Easier to put in regular amounts to society accounts (standing orders etc.).

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
02 Sept 2019
Talked through this with the SU Finance Manager.Ddiscussions needed with getting the communication out to students.
27 Nov 2019
Communicated with students about how to do this, on a case-by-case basis.
07 Feb 2020
Planning to communicate this to societies, and have done on an individual basis (including briefing coordinators on this).
 
 

Mental Health Awareness campaign for societies.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

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01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
01 Sept 2019
Held discussions with the Fundraising and Community Coordinator and other Presidents, which resulted in looking at Movember from a societies perspective, and leading other charity activities.
01 Oct 2019
Leading on charity activities (Sleep out, Abseil, Jailbreak). Held and attended meetings with The Students' Union and UWE staff about World Mental Health Day. Have also committed to various activities on the day to promote mental wellbeing.
27 Nov 2019
Actively promoted Movember through the Students' Union social media channels, as well as encouraging the University to do the same.
07 Feb 2020
Active involvement in the planning and execution of Feel Good Feb, including RAG Week activities. Promotion of Feel Good Feb and the mental Health Awareness course held at The Students' Union.
 
 

Enact sensible deregulation and streamlining of accessing society money.

 

Status: Updated 07/02/2020

arrow pointing down indicating opening

01 July 2019
Created Manifesto
01 Sept 2019
Discussions held with the Opportunities Coordinator, Finance Manager, and the IT Manager, and the possibility of a finance app to simplify and streamline has emerged.
27 Nov 2019
Decided not to pursue the idea of a finance app, primarily due to the expense associated with it, which would impact on other areas of society support. I've been working with the Students' Union Finance Manager on an excel budget spreadsheet that should help societies with their finances.
07 Feb 2020
Ensured training to make sure finances are as easy as possible, and planning more for new committees. Had a section in the Societies Conference on finance, and on an operational level, have helped societies with their finances (paying invoices, etc.)

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