One of my objectives this year is to work on making your Students’ Union (SU) more transparent. I’ve already planned lots to start doing this, including weekly updates on what your officers are upto on a day-to-day basis, monthly manifesto updates showcasing how we’re doing with our objectives and more information on the governing structures, how decisions are made and developments of your SU and University on the SU website.
Another aspect will be keeping you up to date on what goes on in SU trustee board meetings. As chair of the Trustee Board, I’ll be continuing what my predecessor, Ismail started by informing you of what we discuss in the trustee board meeting every quarter throughout the year.
What is the Trustee board?
You may be wondering what a trustee board is, well I’m here to explain it to you! In the most basic terms it is the highest decision making body of the SU. Each quarter of the year we meet to see how your SU is doing, make decisions on funding, areas we need to do more work on and to hear more about what you want.
What did we discuss this time?
How we’re doing – This wrapped up everything from last year. Overall we’re doing pretty well with a lot of improvements in SU services, thousands more students getting involved, and we now have more say over things happening in the University. I’ll be reporting in more detail on how last year went and our future plans going forward at the Annual Members Meeting on 1 February 2018.
Our New Strategy – You’ll have heard about the SU ‘5 year strategy’ in the monthly #UnionRefresh updates; this year we’re moving into the final year of our current one and are in the middle of planning and researching for the next 5 year strategy. We’ll be needing your input to better understand what is it that students want from your SU. In the Trustee Board meeting we saw an excellent presentation on what future students may want and need from the University. We’ll be collating all this data to create the next 5 year strategy of 2018-2023, to make the best student experience and find out the major priorities you want to see focussed on.
International Students – Around 27% of UoN students are not from the UK, meaning that international students count for over a quarter of our student community. The Union has some great offers for international students but there is still room to improve. The Trustee Board have allocated £22,500 this year to improve international student opportunities and we’re currently speaking with the University to match this so we can really make a positive impact to international students’ experience at the SU. This is in addition to the £55,000 that was signed off last year to help us look at better wellbeing and welfare support for students. We’re also using £2500 of that on improving how you can find support when you’re house hunting to make it easier.
Portland Redevelopment – Phase 3 of the Portland Redevelopment is nearly complete! The Trustees had a tour of the Portland Building and we’re really pleased with such significant investment by the University. The new Portland Coffee Co. is fabulous, and being run by students for students which is fantastic! As well as this the new Welcome Zone has just opened where you’ll find reception and the Officer’s new home, so you can find us more easily! However, we’re frustrated on the works still happening, I’ll be in discussions with the University about how we can be more prepared for the beginning of the final, and biggest phase to be completed by September 2018.
Living Wage – Following the referendum last term, Ellie Mitchell your Community Officer talked about the living wage and what it means for the Union, and the University. We will be exploring and discussing this more fully at our December meeting.
For now that was about it! It would be great to hear from you if you have any questions or comments. Definitely send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on Facebook.
Alan Holey - SU President