UNIVERSITY OF CHICHESTER STUDENTSâ€™ UNION BOARD OF GOVERNORS NOVEMBER 2010 UNION PRESIDENTS REPORT 10/11 (First Quarter) 1.0 CAMPAIGNS The main focus for campaigning this term so far has been centred on cuts to HE and tuition fee rises. 1.1 National Demonstration The biggest event has been the national demonstration in Westminster which took place on Wednesday 10th November. This involved mobilising students to take action against government cuts. UCSU took 217 students and were also joined by 10 academic staff. The demonstration took place to highlight student dissatisfaction with cuts to Higher Education and proposed rises to tuition fees. An exciting week leading up to the day involved students designing and decorating their own placards and banners. It is unfortunate that the headlines were stolen by a small minority that caused violence on the day, however we are pleased to report that our students behaved impeccably and the majority were unaware of the unfortunate events that were unfolding. Most found the day a worthwhile experience and would happily get involved in any future demonstrations. 1.2 Browne Review UCSU has passed policy opposing the proposals laid out in the Browne Review. The 17 point policy outlines that the union rejects these proposals on the basis that it will deter students from low socio-economic backgrounds from entering Higher Education and will not result in an improvement to standards but effectively charge students three times the amount for the same quality of education they currently receive. We are meeting regularly with the university to discuss the proposals. 1.3 Greening Campaign We are working alongside the university to get students involved in the greening campaign. Students have signed up to the campaign and will be co-ordinating achievable tasks to make the institution a green community. The campaign currently works with small communities such as villages to encourage residents to take small actions such as decreasing their washing temperature, turning off lights and walking to work. University of Chichester is the first university to be involved in the scheme with the first phase focusing on BOC campus halls of residence. We hope the success of the scheme will allow it to be rolled out university wide in the next academic year. 1.4 Sustainable Travel UCSU are taking an active role in looking at transport arrangements for our students, working with Elizabeth Thackray (Travel Co-ordinator), Maggie Field (Environmental Officer) and WSCC. The union has helped promote a survey on student travel and is part of a sub committee that will explore sustainable transport policies going forward. We are looking at providing rail discounts for studentâ€™s talks with Southern at an advanced stage.
2.0 DEMOCRACY AND REPRESENTATION The Studentsâ€™ Union successfully employed a new Representation and Democracy coordinator. Tom Wood is an ex student union president from Coventry University. 2.1 Course Reps The union has successfully increased the number of talks to classes about course reps and has been involved in running elections in some course areas. An advanced training course has been created for those who have previous rep experience. We are working with subject areas to ensure we have details of all reps as early in the term as possible as it has been a struggle to train some reps in time for their first programme board. At student forum we agreed to again provide specialist training around the importance of the NSS and use reps to help promote the survey. 2.2 Governance Following on from the approval of a new constitution at the extraordinary general meeting last year the executive committee is moving on to the final stage of the governance review. This has involved approving the bye laws for the new constitution. Two bye laws have been approved so far; election regulations and disciplinary proceedings, both of which give the union a clearer, fairer and more democratic set of regulations for these important areas. Progress is ahead of schedule and the union expects that the remaining bye laws will be approved by the end of the semester, in preparation for charity registration early next year. 2.3 By Elections In October the union successfully held three by elections. We quadrupled our turnout in this years by-election compared to 09/10. We are delighted to welcome Julia Young to the committee as part time studentâ€™s officer as well as appointing two new faculty representatives and an NUS delegate. 2.4 Campus Forums Two campus forums are scheduled for early December. The forums have been designed for students to turn up and raise general issues. We hope to use this as an effective way to identify the biggest problem areas and focus our campaigns. There will be a forum held on both BOC and BRC campus. 2.5 Annual Monitoring November has seen union officers and students involved in the annual monitoring process.. The process has highlighted that the SU needs to do more outreach work to collaborative partnership programmes. Our first aim is to send a student representative to the IOW college as this is an area the union has lacked engagement with in the past.
2.6 Academic Regulations The Union has created student friendly leaflets on the issues of malpractice, appeals, harassment and complaints. These have been well received by subject areas with many including them in student induction packs at the start of year. 3.0 START OF YEAR The union has worked closely with the university to ensure new students are settling in well. 3.1 Halls of Residence Arrival’s Day Arrival day was a huge success and well co-ordinated. The fresher’s crew were incredibly helpful and gave a positive impression to new students. A compulsory UCSU training course on customer service and health and safety was attended by all reps before the day. 3.2 Off Campus Reception This year’s off campus reception on Saturday 18th September was our most successful since its inception in 2007. The event is designed to integrate students who don’t live in halls of residence and was attended by 170 students. This was up by 80 compared to last year. It was pleasing to see students travel from BN and distant PO postcode areas to attend an event that is usually attended by those living only in Chichester and Bognor Regis. The event featured a talk from the SU president about the union’s services followed by engagement sessions with our welcome reps and a quiz. We are working with accommodation and student support services to see how we can involve different university departments and create an appropriate induction for these students. 3.3 International Reception Our second international student’s reception event at the Mack Bar built on last year’s success. The evening in partnership with student support featured food, karaoke and Ice breaking games from our welcome reps. We have followed this up with two joint informal induction fair events as a number of students were late arriving into the country and starting their course. 3.4 Non Alcoholic Events In the first two weeks for new arrivals the union held a number of non bar orientated events. The events included film nights, games nights and quizzes. The events generally had low attendance, though the quizzes were popular. We are looking at how we can best provide these events in future to ensure that union activities aren’t solely bar focused. 3.5 Welcome Representatives The first cohorts of welcome representative’s have been hugely successful in their role.
A compulsory weekend training course featured presentations and advice from the students’ union, student support services, local police and accommodation. The event was followed by a team bonding day. The engagement sessions on the first day were well received and we are awaiting the results of the survey from students to measure the schemes success. As well as facilitating activities, the reps visited students in their halls twice weekly to pick up on key concerns new starters were having. Regular meetings with the SU and accommodation were held to highlight these concerns. Many of the reps have gone beyond their remit and have been outstanding dealing with difficult student issues. Events they organised including bowling trips, a day out in Portsmouth and a sports event on BRC were popular. The SU is hoping to roll out its own hall rep scheme for semester two in a bid to increase the student voice. There has been some confusion from students with this position and the hall rep role and we will be working with accommodation to help give more clarity for next year. 4.0 UNION PROJECTS, COMMUNITY AND RAISING AND GIVING The union is making fantastic progress on community and charity projects this semester 4.1 RAG The executive committee have chosen LARK (Linking Arms with Rescued Kids) as it’s charity of the year. The charity set up in 2002 leads a project in Eldoret in Kenya housing up to 250 children. The centre aims to rehabilitate and educate them – initially in the early childhood development class and in the primary school (6-14years) in the Centre. Many then go out of the Centre to the local primary and some to secondary school or to vocational college. If possible children are reunited with family members or settled back into their community. Younger children may be transferred to a permanent childrens home and the older youngsters are helped to find work and accommodation before they leave the Centre. •
Saturday 16th October saw our first charity fundraising event of the year, RAG Fest 5, an all day music festival at the Zee Bar. Money was raised by selling wristbands and badges and through a raffle and face painting. Our target amount to raise for the day was £1,000 which was easily reached, in total collecting around £1,200 after expenses.
The annual naked sports Clubs Calendar will be shortly on sale, and expects to raise over £500 for this year’s designated RAG charity.
Fundraising events in the pipeline include RAG Dodgeball and a follow up event to Ragfest.
4.2 Beatz Break Barriers Within the community and volunteering zone we have created a pilot project called BBB (Beatz Break Barriers). The project is a workshop based project that brings students and the youth within the local community together. The workshops consist of dj, MC’ing (rap) and street/hiphop dance classes, eventually culminating in a public showcase. 4
The project has a number of different partners including West Sussex County Council, Chichester District Council, Outset Youth Action and Hyde Plus. The project, that will, run over a 5 week period and has a number of benefits for those involved. For our students it provides volunteering opportunities both inside and outside of their courses, personal development and gratification as well as official accreditation from Outset Youth Action (a charity organization). For the youth involved the project provides them with transitional skills and engagement in constructive activities as well as working with the Arts Award which helps them earn UCAS points to get them back into education and show them that there are creative avenues, not just traditional academic options in HE. We are working with the university to embed the project into subject modules. There is also discussion of the possibly combining with an official volunteering module and a â€˜Chichester Awardâ€™. 4.3 Working Groups The Union has also been involved in a number of university working groups these include the moodle evalution group, module handbook group an the IT wireless project. 5.0 STUDENT ACTIVITIES AND ENGAGEMENT 5.1 Societies This year we have improved our society handbook to give societies greater guidance. More societies have been created with fourteen now in existence, we anticipate to have at least twenty by the end of the academic year. We now have more politically focused societies such as Amnesty, AHA (Agnostics, Humanists and Atheist) and Labour Students. Whilst more course based societies have been set up including Music, English and Dance society. Society events have included lunchtime music concerts in the chapel, our annual Multiplicity event celebrating cultural diversity and weekly gaming events. 5.2 Student Events The union has increased links with university departments. We have held events organised and run by students for their course modules such as events management and the music department. We continue to seek new opportunities to increase links with university departments. 5.3 Sports To date student sport has seen a productive & successful start to the semester with a number of projects & initiatives. The annual Sports Tour takes place in Easter and will see over 100 students travel to Spain in the Easter Holidays to compete in a number of tournaments. TP & the Sports Federation Committee are also working on the organisation of the annual Sports Awards Event. SU sports Clubs currently stand at 19 with new Clubs increasing more non-BUCS activities such as Equestrian. The Ultimate Frisbee Club once again has won the bid to host the South East Qualifying Competition that last year saw 24 teams compete on the Bishop Otter Campus. With regards BUCS Teams we now have 27 Teams across 10 sports competing every Wednesday (an increase of 3 teams from last year), to date several teams in the 5
Premiership South & Tier 1 have started strongly and look good prospects for Silverware. To aid several of the higher placed teams Performance Planning introduced 3 years ago has worked effectively and complements, the Gifted & Talented Scholarship Programme ensuring the best athletes are encourage and supported to compete for the University. The Sports Federation continues to work in partnership with the community, and to seek new opportunities. Existing partnerships are in place with Chichester & Bognor RFC’s, Chichester Hockey Club, Chichester City Women’s Football Club, Chichester Harriers Netball Club, Worthing Thunder Basketball Club and a number of regional and National Governing Bodies. The Worthing Thunder partnership is one of the most exciting project the Sports Federation has embarked on to date; the National Division 4 Team acts as a feeder team for BBL (British Basketball League). Worthing Thunder has started strongly again winning 3 out of the opening 4 games. There are several outcomes for this year including, student recruitment for the University resulting from the increased profile from being linked to a BBL Club as well as the local and national exposure associated with this project and is improving the players abilities and experience, & provide placement opportunities within Worthing Thunder for UoC students. Discussions are ongoing with a number of University departments including Widening Participation, Marketing & Schools Liaison on ways to maximise this project. The Ultimate Frisbee Club has completed its Sports Unlimited funding project successfully delivering coaching sessions in schools in the Sussex area. The Men’s Lacrosse Club will complete their Sports Unlimited funding project in April 2011. The Men’s & women’s Rugby Clubs have again submitted their Higher Education Rugby Development Plan and will receive substantial funding from the SRFU this year. The Union has been working with the dean and other colleagues on a funding bid from Sport England’s Active Universities fund; to date the initial bid has reached stage 2 and if successful will see a member of staff employed for 3 years to focus on raising the number of students actively involved in sport at UoC. Our proposed Sports Strategy is awaiting a University response to proceed further. As a number of Clubs develop there is an increasing desire to create community sections to meet a local demand this can be seen in Australian Rules Football, Lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee to name but a few. The Sports Federation Clubs & Teams continue to provide countless volunteering opportunities ranging from Club Official roles & coaching to specific Work Placements. The Sports Team Therapist Scheme continues to excel with over 30 level 2 & 3 students from Sports Therapy degree programme working with over 17 teams providing first aid & gaining experience through injury rehabilitation. The Performance analysis module for Sport & Exercise Science has been adapted and 6 Sports Teams have been used as “projects” to study and research. the annual naked sports Clubs Calendar will be shortly on sale, and expects to raise over £500 for this year’s designated RAG charity