Issuu on Google+

 

St Mary’s Students’ Union Annual Report 2010

   


C Co on ntteen nttss Introduction Summary What is the Students’ Union? So, what have we been up to lately? Clubs and societies Events and entertainment Representation Communication Income generation and finances

Highlights SIMMStock Student voice Student sport SU Societies Politicians on SMUC Radio SU shop

What next? A word from your sabbs… Ben ‘Solman’ Solomon, SU President Iain ‘Killakat’ Killoughery, SU President

Financial review 2009/10 Block grant Freshers’ Week Christmas Ball RAG Week SIMMStock Other income and expenditure 2008/09

SMSU constitutional aims Our mission Our vision

Thank you!

Page 3

4 5 6 6 6 8 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 11 11

11 11 11 12

13 13 13 14 14 14 14 14 15 16 16 16 17

Appendix I — SMSU audited accounts 2008/09

2 | P a g e  

 


IIn nttrro od du uccttiio on n Welcome to SMSU’s first ever annual report. It’s been such an amazing year for us that it’s quite scary to write this in case next year’s report looks poor in comparison. The current Students’ Union President, Ben Solomon and Athletics Union President, Iain Killoughery, have set the bar for the standard of SMSU sabbatical officers extremely high and your Executive Committee and Student Council haves been more functional and representative of you than ever. We welcome newly elected sabbaticals for 2010/11: SU President, Siobhan Bellot and AU President, Jonathan Miller, who will be taking forward SMSU’s work in what we hope is now a settled and stable organisation. As an exempt, soon to be fully registered charity, it is important that you as our beneficiaries have a good understanding of what we’ve been doing and what we aim to do in the future on your behalf. In this report we explain some of the things we’ve been up to during the year. On pages 13 and 14 (and Appendix I) you can see our financial report. Everything we do at the SU should contribute directly to our constitutional/charitable objectives (please see page 16 below) which aim to make your time as a student at St Mary’s the best it possibly can be and it’s important for us to be open and transparent so that you can see what income we have received and exactly how we’ve spent it on you. All St Mary’s students are members of our students’ union. We hope you think we’ve been doing a good job. However, it must be remembered that the SU is run by students for students and is thus only as good as the sum of its parts — that’s you! If you think we could be doing things differently/better, then it’s up to you to make the change. You know where we are — and you are always welcome!

3 | P a g e  

 


S Su um mm maarryy 

It has been an excellent year for SMSU. This year we developed and implemented our first ever strategic plan and believe we have managed to achieve the objectives we set ourselves for the year.

For instance, we now have a brand new shop with a new range of merchandise, a brand new radio station, a brand new newspaper, a brand new website (www.smsu.co.uk), new industry-standard DJ equipment, a new student hub and a fantastic new SIMMStock music festival!

Student representation has been better than ever this year. We helped to train student programme board representatives, resulting in the recruitment of new members to our student Council and Executive Committee. Our Executive Committee has taken on a more active and responsible role in running and governing the SU. We have been better at collecting and raising your views, through new media channels, undertaking focus groups and surveys for the Quality Assurance Audit and have improved student engagement by ensuring that more student representatives attend university college committee meetings to put forward those views. We have also made a start on developing a new constitutional structure for the SU as part of our preparations for charity registration in 2011.

The SIMMStock Music Festival has to be the highlight of our year. The idea began as a desire to include a major event in the SU’s calendar that embraced and promoted the cultural diversity of our students. With a main stage and an acoustic stage, over 800 students enjoyed a continuous schedule of many different styles of live music. The spirit and atmosphere of the day was fantastic and the feedback we have had from students and staff alike is consistently that it was ‘the best day at St Mary’s ever’!

We have improved our support of clubs and societies and implemented new terms of conditions of membership and a code of conduct for club/society officers and members. We have also begun to work in partnership with the university college and Sport St Mary’s on developing a strategy for improving the infrastructure, support for and performance of student sport.

We have improved communication with students through new databases, Facebook, Twitter, our new website, new newspaper and SMUC Radio.

We have introduced new financial protocols, recording and reporting systems fit to meet our auditor’s requirements and achieve financial stability. We have made efficiency savings, such as holding the Christmas Ball off campus in order to avoid it making a loss and have increased income generation through our new shop merchandise, which we hope will contribute to meeting our cut in our grant funding from the university college.

All of our activities have benefitted greatly from one-year funding for an internship for a Radio, Media, Marketing and Communications Manager and we hope to be able to raise funds for this role to continue in the future. 4 | P a g e  

 


W Wh haatt iiss tth hee S Sttu ud deen nttss’’ U Un niio on n? ? SMSU has a number of functions:  Formal representative structure — our Executive Committee, Student Council and Annual General meeting allow us to collect and feed students’ views directly into the university college authorities and staff, through committees such as the Student Experience Committee, and promotes and encourages participation in democracy.  Sports clubs and cultural societies — adding value to the student experience through extra-curricular educational, cultural and social activities, widening horizons, providing the opportunity to compete in sports teams at a high level and to take an active part in maintaining and improving sport at St Mary’s.  Social events and entertainment — annual and weekly events helping to create a close community within which friendships are made and important networks are formed so that St Mary’s students can support each other through their uni years and beyond.  Volunteering and charity opportunities — RAG Week, for instance, involves a large proportion of St Mary’s students and annually raises £6-7,000 for charity.  Support for disciplinary procedures — advising and supporting students through disciplinary procedures and guiding them through the complaints process.  Other front-line, student-facing support services — providing NUS and travel discounts, shop, launderette services etc. Student participation in our activities provides important learning opportunities in terms of life-skills, achieving a good work/life balance, as well as employability skills such as teambuilding, leadership, coaching, time-management, organisational and financial management skills etc. The benefits of the SU are not realised by the students alone. Our activities contribute directly to the achievement of St Mary’s overall strategic objectives. Our facilitation of student engagement helps St Mary’s to maintain and improve education and student services and to demonstrate the fairness and transparency of its decision-making and quality assurance processes. The success and good reputation of the sports clubs maintains and enhances the uni’s reputation as a centre of sporting excellence which helps marketing, recruitment and retention of students. Feedback from our focus groups also confirms that the community spirit and social life of St Mary’s is also a crucial factor in recruitment and retention.

Staffing SMSU’s officers are supported by the following staff:  General Manager, Sarah Carney (full-time)  Office Administrator, Linda Sherwood (term-time)  Finance Officer, Shakil Caunhye (part-time/term-time).  Radio Station/Media, Communications and Marketing Manager, Dave Hayes (intern, funding for one-year only)

5 | P a g e  

 


S So ? o,, w wh haatt h haavvee w wee b beeeen nu up p tto o llaatteellyy? For the first time this year we have developed and implemented a strategic plan. Here’s some of the things that were in it and some of the things we’ve achieved during 2009/10.

Clubs and societies What we said we wanted to do:     

Improve financial and administrative support to clubs and societies. Introduce a contract of agreement and code of conduct for clubs/society members. Introduce on-line membership subscriptions for clubs/societies. Implement a new contract with Kukri Sports Ltd for the supply of sports kit to clubs. Work with the Careers Service to train members in how to exploit the employability advantages of new skills learned undertaking SMSU activities.  Work with Sport St Mary’s and the university college on improving our student sport infrastructure and performance.

What we did:  Introduced new financial protocols, produced a handbook for, and held one-to-one training sessions with club/society officers.  All club/society members signed up to our new contract and code of conduct which outlines what we do for members and what we expect in return. Early in the year, it was necessary to conduct disciplinary procedures against a couple of sports clubs because of misconduct among our local community leading the Executive Committee to issue penalties such as community service and fines.  We were unable to launch our on-line membership subscription service in time for Freshers’ Week because our website company went bust two days beforehand. However, we now have a new website which includes an on-line membership subscription service.  The new sports kit contract with Kukri has been successfully implemented.  The Careers Service provided training to our Student Council and club/society officers.  Meetings have taken place with Sport St Mary’s and the university college and a partnership approach to the development of an improvement strategy for student sport has been established.

Events and entertainment What we said we wanted to do:  Revitalise Wednesday fundraising nights and rekindle the old St Mary’s community spirit  Foster partnership working with the university college and bar staff to better plan and improve SU events  Improve marketing of events  Try to make social events more inclusive and reflective of the diverse St Mary’s community.  Build on our ‘social responsibility’ policy to encourage responsible drinking of alcohol and promote good behaviour and strengthen links with the local community and the Safer Neighbourhood Police team to create a better understanding of SMSU and students generally. 6 | P a g e  

 


 Introduce a new ‘St Mary’s Carnival’ to celebrate cultural diversity together.  Investigate the feasibility/affordability of employing a full-time marketing and events coordinator to improve our events and social services to allow the SU President more time for student representation and support.

What we did:  Better planned and marketed an advanced schedule of Wednesday night events run by club/societies. The selling of tickets to our rival, McClusky’s, was banned on campus and clubs/societies helped to support the SU by making sure members attended fundraising nights. We raised awareness of the fact that McClusky’s makes a profit from students for its owner’s personal sake whereas the SU needs income to fund our activities and give back to our members. An average of around 200 people attended the SU on Wednesday nights and clubs/societies were able to raise (once security costs were deducted) an average of £281.00 to support their activities. New Friday night and Sunday afternoon entertainment was also introduced.  Held regular meetings with and worked in partnership with bar staff and conference and catering to improve communication and better plan our events and entertainment.  We were lucky to receive one-off funding for year-long intern. Former St Mary’s student, Dave Hayes, has been running the SMUC Radio Station as well as our communications, marketing and media. Our marketing has greatly improved through our Facebook pages, our new database and website. As part of his workplace placement, Moiz Munir also helped us to build a new student database to improve our communications.  During Freshers’ Week we included more non-alcohol related events, we have diversified the entertainment provided at SU events, for instance to include more live music and dance performances. As a result of holding several student focus groups, we have plans to introduce new evening events in the Dolche Vita targeted at specific student groups such as international, postgraduate and mature students. Because of our limited time and resources, we are hoping to do this in partnership with other university college departments.  A ‘Shhh’ campaign was launched to try to minimise disturbance to our neighbours late at night and we have been working with the Safer Neighbourhood Police team on other initiatives to try to combat student misconduct in the community. Awareness has been raised among our members of the need for good conduct as a courtesy to our neighbours and also as a benefit to our students whose future professional lives are dependent on the good reputation of St Mary’s. Although we have still had to deal with many, timeconsuming complaints from the local community, the local police and Safer Neighbourhood police continually tell us that we are ‘so lucky’ to have such well-behaved students in comparison with other local institutions.  We are investigating a number of options to try to continue to employ a SMUC Radio station/communications and media manager.

7 | P a g e  

 


Representation What we said we wanted to do:  Improve student representation and create better links with student programme board representatives.  Review the SMSU constitution in preparation for registration with the Charity Commission.  Increase the SMSU election turnout.  Develop a ‘Code of Conduct’ and ‘Equality and Diversity’ statement to accompany the SMSU constitution.

What we did:  Introduced and delivered a new training programme for student programme board representatives, held several focus groups of different student groups, launched an online student survey in order to collect data for the Quality Assurance Audit, developed new, active roles for Executive Committee members, co-opted a student specifically to represent international students and used new communication methods to collect feedback and involve and engage more students. We are now in regular contact with programme board representatives which has resulted in wider and better student involvement in our Executive Committee and Student Council. We have improved student representation on university college committees, such as the new Student Experience Committee and the Equality and Diversity Committee and have been able to collect more students’ views to feed into these fora. Our Executive Committee has been more functional this year than ever before and has plans for future development. Our Student Council has also taken more responsibility, has benefited from the involvement of programme board representatives and has been involved in making important decisions for the SU — even passing its first resolution!  The Executive Committee designed the following new roles for its members:  Vice-president (representation) — George Harris  Vice-president (entertainment and events) — Samir Idriss  Vice-president (fundraising) — Laura Cunniffe  Vice-president (communications, marketing & media) — Nick Reynolds  Vice-president (welfare & advice) — Niall Stewart  Vice-president (Board of Trustees) — Libby Povey and draft proposals for the constitution of a new Board of Trustees were developed.  SMSU already has one of the highest proportions of students voting in student elections (22.5% in 2009 compared with the 13.8% national average). We used new communication methods to ensure all students were aware of the elections and the candidates’ manifestos as well as advertising the facility for email/telephone voting for those unable to vote in person on election day due to placements etc. As a result, 30 April 2010, 60 more students voted than in 2009.  A ‘Code of Conduct’ was developed for club/society members which will be used as the basis for a similar document for the general membership. One of our members took on the role of ‘Equality and Diversity’ representative and will be helping us to develop our Equality and Diversity statement during 2010.

8 | P a g e  

 


Communication What we said we wanted to do:  Refurbish the SU office space and build a new shop and communal area for, a new office for the Executive Committee and club/society officers and a new home for SMUC Radio.  Launch a new website.  Encourage more student content and involvement in the SMSU newsletter.

What we did:  The SU refurbishment work was completed in 2009. The new shop space has allowed us to introduce a wider range of merchandise for sale to students, the student hub has a free lap-top and wi fi service and has provided students with an alternative space in which to meet and work, and SMUC Radio now has a permanent home. Now that the radio station is an integral part of SMSU we are benefiting from the involvement of a more diverse range of students.  We have a contract with a new website company and Dave Hayes has designed and developed a new, interactive and dynamic website. We are now able to sell tickets for our events online and all clubs/societies have their own pages.  Ranako Daley and Dave Whitehead pre-empted our newsletter objective by developing and implementing a brand new newspaper, SIMMS News, which is an entirely studentrun newspaper (albeit with a great deal of initial support from Ruth Mellor from Marketing and Reprographics!)

Income generation and finances What we said we wanted to do:  Launch a new range of ‘St Mary’s’ branded leisure wear from Fairtrade cotton.  Work with NUS Services Ltd ethical purchasing consortium on the most effective way of expanding our merchandise range and making the most of our retail trading opportunities.  Look into alumni sales opportunities in collaboration with the university college.  Work with our auditors to ensure our new financial processes and reporting systems will deliver the requirements of our annual audit.  Ensure financial management systems meet charity law requirements.

What we did:  We launched our new range in summer 2009 and have recently added several further lines to the range.  We have worked hard on sourcing and pricing a wide range of goods.  We have worked with the university college on improving sales of St Mary’s goods to alumni students. Our little shop now stocks a good range of products, many of which are aimed at the convenience of students who live on campus as well as staff who may have difficulty finding time to get to local shops.  We have redesigned and restructured our accounting procedures and implemented new controls and protocols across the organisation. Our financial reporting systems now meet our auditor’s requirements and we have achieved and maintained financial and accounting stability.  Undertook an in-depth investigation of charity law financial requirements and the implications for a charity of our size and income. 9 | P a g e  

 


H Hiig gh hlliig gh httss SIMMStock The SIMMStock Music Festival has to be the highlight of our year. The idea began as a manifesto promise made by the SU President to include a major event in the SU’s calendar that embraced and promoted the cultural diversity of our students. It was a major feat of planning, negotiation and organisation and included the involvement of a wide range of students from conception to delivery. With a main stage and an acoustic stage, over 800 students were able to enjoy a packed and continuous schedule of many different styles of live music. We have had to deal with complaints from a few of our neighbours and the borough’s Environmental Health office about the noise levels and we hope a change of location to the Priest’s Lawn may solve this problem in future. However, the spirit and atmosphere of the day was fantastic and the feedback we have had from students and staff alike is consistently that it was ‘the best day at St Mary’s ever’! Student voice SMSU’s representative work has greatly improved. Our constitution makes provision for student programme board representatives on our Student Council. In the past we have struggled to get in touch with these reps to encourage them to get involved. This year, we developed a training session for student programme board representatives in partnership with the university college. As a result of this session we have recruited new members from among them to our Executive Committee and Student Council which has greatly improved the function of these bodies and student representation and engagement with the university college overall. Student sport This time last year the confidence of the university college and the Board of Governors (on whom we rely for our funding!) was at an all-time low. The misconduct and dysfunction of a few members of some of our sports clubs contributed to our poor reputation. The new terms and conditions of membership, financial protocols and disciplinary procedures introduced this year have improved the running of our clubs and societies and proved that the SU is truly able to be run for students by students. We are also now working in partnership with the university college and Sport St Mary’s on a student sport strategy which aims to develop a support infrastructure and secure an excellent sporting record for St Mary’s for years to come. SU societies This year has also seen the introduction of new and more diverse societies, such as the Interfaith, Community Arts and Newspaper societies etc. Many of our existing clubs and societies have also been more active, for instance Mixed Martial Arts and Windsurfing have this year been actively competing.

10 | P a g e  

 


Politicians on SMUC Radio Politicians have been queuing up to be interviewed by Tarik (Paxman) Habte and the other presenters of the current affairs show. We’ve welcomed the Minister for Education, David Lammy; the Irish Ambassador; local MP and Vice-chancellor of the Exchequer, Vince Cable; Conservative election candidate, Deborah Thomas; and even a representative of the Monster Raving Loony Party. SU Shop We just had to mention it again, because we just love our new shop!

W Wh haatt n neexxtt? ? Over the summer we will be working on the student written submission for St Mary’s Quality Assurance Audit as well as improving the handover for the new sabbs, training and teambuilding for new executive members and presidents of our clubs and societies and continuing to work on developing the student sport strategy. We will be drafting a strategy for the 2010/11 year and beyond for development by our new sabbatical and Executive Committee. A flavour of some of things we aim to do in the future follows:  Better representation — build on the success of 2009/10 and make better and stronger links with student programme board representatives.  Charity registration — we have to register as a charity by June 2010 and will be working in consultation with the NUS, the university college and ALL students on a new constitution and representative structure.  Training for club/society officers.  Encourage more student involvement in the running of the SU, not just in sports and social events.  Improving the experience of international students at St Mary’s.  Student awards and student-led teaching awards.  Student sport strategy.  ‘Idiot’s/Rough Guide to St Mary’s’ for freshers. If there’s anything you think should be included in our strategy — then please let us know.

A Aw wo orrd d ffrro om m yyo ou urr ssaab bb bss… … Ben, ‘Solman’, Solomon, SU President 2009-2010 Having learnt so much in one year is proof that this experience is invaluable to an individual moving into the big wide world. Before taking up this position I had no real direction, but coming towards the end of my term I feel I now have the confidence to achieve anything I put my mind to. It has proved to be one of the most demanding challenges I’ve ever faced, but at the same time the most rewarding.

11 | P a g e  

 


The year has gone so fast but we have achieved so much in such a little time. I have loved being part of a team that is constantly pushing to improve the services they deliver. Sometimes it has been difficult, but we have really shown our value this year and we trust that the incoming sabbaticals will be pro-active in maintaining/increasing our reputation.

Iain ‘Killakat’ Killoughery, AU President 2009-2010 I started at St Mary’s in 2006, and I knew that being at this university would be a life changing time for me. I have had many experiences here which have taught me so much, and made me grow into the person I am today. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to stay at St Mary’s for a further year, to experience things from the other side of the fence and see whether I can contribute to the lives of students here. In my first year, I lived on the same corridor as the AU President, Jason Kearins, who I am still friends with today. He was the person who informed me of what the role of AU President was about and he was the reason I became interested in running for it. I felt I identified with the position and could do well at it. However, it was not until third year that I decided to run. I was not sure if I would win, but I knew that I would be a better, stronger, wiser and more assured person for running regardless of whether I won or lost. Being AU President is a demanding job, and requires a great deal of organisation and problem-solving skills. I have always tried to keep ahead of things and come up with the best solution. My year in office is coming to an end, and my job role will soon change to ensuring that the new AU President has the best handover possible so that he can hit the ground running. I hope that then, the SU can go from strength to strength.

12 | P a g e  

 


F Fiin naan ncciiaall rreevviieew w 2009/10 Block grant For the years 07/08 and 08/09 the university college had increased the SU’s grant from £122k to £160k to promote stability after a period of dysfunction and high staff turnover. The present SU team were unaware that this arrangement was intended to be temporary. In June 2009 we put in a grant bid of £170k. We were not asking for additional money, just the funding to meet our basic running costs usually funded by the university college which had increased. Our basic running costs actually totalled £190k but we had agreed to fund increased hours for our part-time office administrator and the hours and scope of work of our part-time finance officer from the surplus made from our main social events. However, the Staffing and Finance Committee resolved to cut the SU’s grant from £160k to £140k. The 08/09 and 09/10 presidents (Mark Woods, Jason Arday, Ben Solomon and Iain Killoughery) gave a presentation to the Board of Governors in July 2009 and the new president, Ben Solomon, submitted a report to the Board of Governors in September in the hope of influencing the Staffing and Finance Committee to change its mind. The report highlighted, for instance, the fact that SMSU is more dependent on the grant because we have less opportunities for income generation than other SUs (eg we do not own bars, cafés, night clubs or large trading concerns). We also raised the fact that the student services we provide are excellent value for money considering we have 33% less sabbatical officers, 89% less full-time staff and 60% less part-time staff than SUs of similar-sized universities1.. On 19 November 2009, the Finance and Staffing Committee decided that it would increase the SU’s grant from £140k to £155k on a match-fund basis as long as the SU agreed to generate around £15k more income than it usually does. 1.

Data source: the Association of Managers of Students’ Unions (AMSU) 2008 survey.

This makes our financial situation for 2009/10 look like the following: Budgeted (expected) income Budgeted (expected) expenditure Shortfall

£ 28,100 £219,000 (£191,300)

Grant from uni Shortfall

£140,000 (£ 51,300)

Additional (temporary) funding from uni Net shortfall

£15,000 (£ 36,300) 13 | P a g e  

 


The net shortfall shows the amount of surplus income the SU will need to make during 2009/10 in order to avoid a deficit. It needs to be borne in mind that the university college does not usually include our income from social events when considering our grant bid and we had already been asked to commit £20,000 of this income to our extra staffing costs. SMSU is therefore being asked this year to make cuts of, or generate around £16,000 more income than usual. Our aim was to generate extra income in order to make improvements to the SU and in the hope that we could employ at least one additional staff member to support our activities. Now any new income we generate will need to go towards meeting our usual basic running costs rather than on improvements to our service and function. Freshers’ Week 2009 In 2009 we spent 36% more money on Freshers’ Week and made 4% less surplus than in 2008. 08/09 09/10 Cost of Freshers’ Week £ 8,383.13 £11,426.83 Income £27,940.06 £30,174.11 Net surplus £19,556.93 £18,747.28 Christmas Ball 2009 The Christmas Ball usually makes a loss and so this year as an efficiency saving it was decided to hold the Ball externally at the Hippodrome in Kingston. The differences in income and expenditure between 08/09 and 09/10 were as follows:

Cost of Ball Income Net deficit

08/09 £12,473.55 (836 tickets sold) £10,973.91 (£1,499.94)

09/10 £ 7,539.00 (742 tickets sold) £ 9,678.00 £2,139.00

RAG Week This year’s RAG Week events raised £7,000 for the following charities: MIND, CWS, (Child Welfare Scheme), Act!onAid and the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice. SIMMStock Festival We are still awaiting a detailed breakdown of the income and expenditure from the SIMMStock Festival. Preliminary results show a surplus of £3,000 which is dependent on the university college meeting the costs of re-locating the event (£6,416.63) from the Priest’s Lawn to the Training Pitch which was necessary to avoid disruption to a wedding reception taking place on campus. Other income and expenditure This year we launched a new range of merchandise for sale in our new shop. As we have not yet had a full year of trading and have had to spend a lot of money on stock, we are not yet able to forecast the impact of this on our income. So far, however, things are looking good, particularly in terms of our new range of leisure wear. 14 | P a g e  

 


The cost of refurbishing the SU space to build a new radio station, shop, student representatives’ office and student hub was £18,029.70 to which the university college made a contribution of £2,731.25. We are hoping to be able to offset this amount as capital expenditure against our reserve surplus.

2008/09 Appendix I is a full copy of our audited accounts for the 2008/09 year. On page 3 of the report you will see that the auditors have placed a ‘qualification’ on the opening balance of our accounts. The way in which SMSU accounts were set up, recorded and reported in 2007/08 did not comply with accounting standards which meant that the auditors did not have the required evidence of the validity and completeness of our accounts for that year. During 2008/09 we completely redesigned our accounting structures accordingly but because the opening balance is brought forward from 2007/08, the qualification on that balance alone remains. Page 4 of the report shows all our income and expenditure for the year. Here you will see that we made a deficit of £4,265 during 2008/09 compared with a £4,351 surplus during 2007/08. We did raise additional income of £20,000 but our expenditure amounted to £28,000 more than in 08/09. One of the reasons for the deficit is that we contributed £10,493 (see note 7 of the accounts) to the university college which was half the cost of the refurbishment of the SU bar. Our auditors would not allow us to offset this cost against capital expenditure because we do not own the bar and thus cannot expect a return on the cost as an investment. We also spent more on security and our affiliation fees to the National Union of Students (NUS) and British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) were greatly increased. At the same time we made some savings on administration costs and reduced the deficit made by our clubs and societies by 44% (and aim to reduce this further year-on-year). We have a reserve surplus to act as a contingency against any significant problems or deficits in the near future and will be working with the university college on developing a policy for using this to achieve our plans to increase staffing and improve and widen our services to students.

15 | P a g e  

 


S SM MS SU U cco on nssttiittu uttiio on naall aaiim mss The SU/AU presidents and Executive Committee have a responsibility to ensure that the SMSU constitution is upheld and implemented and its aims achieved. The union’s aims are written in the constitution and are soon to become SMSU’s official charitable objects: 1. to advance the educational experience of its members and students of the university college 2. to represent the interests of its members and act as a channel of communication with the university college and other bodies 3. to develop the student community through the provision of entertainment and the promotion, encouragement and coordination of student clubs, societies, sports and social activities 4. to promote and protect the welfare of its members by helping students who may be encountering problems with student life and to minimise the likelihood of these problems occurring. These aims and objects are practised without discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or disability and in line with the union’s Equality and Diversity Statement. These aims shall be achieved through an open and democratic structure, and effective communication with members with emphasis on continual improvement to all services.

Our mission To support, develop and represent the students of St Mary’s, to make their time with us the best it can possibly be – a positive, self-defining era providing a firm foundation for the rest of their professional and personal lives.

Our vision By 2012, St Mary’s will be a student-centred university and SMSU will be making a positive impact on the lives of every student and providing dynamic, member-led services which deliver the best possible student experience of all the small universities.

16 | P a g e  

 


T Th haan nkk yyo ou u!! Team SMSU would just like to thank all the staff and students at St Mary’s for their help and support throughout the year. We would particularly like (in no particular order) to give a BIG THANK YOU to:  Liz Coombs, Director of Workplace Learning, for helping to secure an internship for us. We have been incredibly lucky to have Dave Hayes working with us, stepping into the very large shoes left by Eamonn McCrystal. It’s difficult to know how we will cope without him.  Magdalen Attwater and the Careers Service Team for providing training for our Council members and giving us some excellent partnership-working opportunities.  Ruth Mellor for being so helpful and supportive to staff and students alike — and to all of her team who cope so patiently with our many demands and many many posters!  Kevin Germaine for making our vision… more visionary and for helping to realise our dreams.  Michael Hayes for his advice and support to the sabbatical officers and for fighting our corner in high-level meetings.  Richard Barry and the SIMMS security team for watching out for us and all St Mary’s students.  Fr Gerry for his continual help and advice.  Tarik Habte, Mark Jones, Laura Woodcock, John Sharp and Ryan Comerford and all the other SMUC Radio presenters for making it the BEST student radio station.  George Harris for being the best ever student representative at St Mary’s.  Ranako Daley and Dave Whitehead for our lovely new student newspaper.  Clayton White and all the team at Provide SESS for giving us peace of mind and making us feel safe and secure during all our events.  Brian Traylen for fencing, fun fairs, ‘catering units’ and for just being wonderful.  Paula Keane for keeping us mentored, trained and developed.  Andrew Reid-Smith and Tish for helping student sport keep on track (and field!).  Peter Hyde and his team for meeting our many demands and tidying up for us after events.  Alistair Milne for sorting out our sound system.  Steve Gallagher, Lesley McGill and Nikhil Santos for helping us to make our events a success.  Kenny Edge for keeping us positive and for his uncanny ability to turn up just at the exact moment we need him the most.  Wendy Griffiths for establishing our values and creating the soul of the SU. And thanks again to everyone else in St Mary’s Village for all your help and support.

17 | P a g e  

 


Annual Report