Contents: 1. President 2. Vice President (Membership, Clubs and Societies) 3. Vice President (Board of Management) 4. Campaigns and Charities Convenor 5. Convenor of the Current Student Representatives 5.1 Fay Pennington 5.2 Mitchell Welsh 5.3 Anoushka Kapoor 6. Events Convenor 7. Publications Convenor 8. Social Convenor
pg. 3 pg. 9 pg. 13 pg. 17 pg. 26 pg. 29 pg. 30 pg. 31 pg. 34 pg. 38
1. Report of the President: 1.1 Executive Responsibilities 1. Provide guidance, motivation and training to the Board of Management and their committee (as appropriate). I believe I have always been supportive to the board of management. I have not had regular meetings with board members individually but always make myself available when anyone has had any issues or concerns. I also informally check in when seeing board members. 2. Support and advise other members of the executive I believe I was supportive to both Mata and Una Marie when it was needed around their university time tables and support during busy periods. In events such as fresher’s week it is very clear that there is not a large set out role for the President so I just ensured I was able to help and do whatever Una Marie needed when asked. 3. Encourage involvement in the Union by ordinary members. This fresher’s week I organised our first QMU fair trying to show off our committees and the board of management in one place. This went relatively well however there are definite improvements that could be made to make this event more engaging. I also think it would be beneficial to take sign ups during this time so that they can be emailed and reminded about the committees. 4. Communicate with the membership. Along with the general manager and past president we created a new job role Marketing and Communications Co-Ordinator and hired someone to take on the responsibilities of social media, website and PR along with sponsorship. This has increased our presence online however this is not translating into attendance of events. The PR and branding of the union is now more consistent. 5. Establish and evaluate regular and long term goals for the executive. Our main focus this year was increasing the value of membership. 6. Generate policy for submission to the Board of Management for approval. Did not have anything to contribute for policy for approval. Would have liked to have changed discipline however due to unforeseeable circumstances could not do this as the process cannot be changed whilst in use. 7. Be a member of the Appeal Committee to hear staff appeals in accordance with the Staff Grievance and Disciplinary procedures – No appeals made it to this stage this year. However once a staff representative was elected I met with them every other week to talk about any issues had and took them to the appropriate channels to resolve. 8. Be a member of the Staffing Committee to discuss all issues relating to staff. Regular meetings with the general manager ensured I was involved in all issues and particularly as we had two new roles this year was very involved in the process of hiring. 9. Attend all Exec-Convenor meetings, Finance and Staffing Committee meetings where possible. Only missed one or two. 10. Submit an Annual General Report to the Annual General Meeting – Here you go. 11. Oversee all aspects of Convenorships including authorising expenditure I believe I was very supportive with all the convenors meeting with them all regularly and particularly when they had budgets to submit ensuring that I helped them and I was happy with their budget before going to finance committee.
12. Be a member of the Health and Safety Committee and ensure the Union complies with the responsibilities of the Employer under current legislation. – No significant incidents this year 13. Maintain appropriate archival of union related material – Archived a lot of stuff in the office 1.2 Presidential Responsibilities 1. Represents the Union on all public occasions and at social functions and business meetings, and speak on behalf of the Union – Attended dinners and ceremonies. Only missed the rememberance service and carol reading however Una Marie acted as representative. 2. Convene all meetings of the Board of Management. – Missed one due to illness. Generally think that I was a good meeting chair, board meetings were productive and kept on topic and much shorter ranging from 45 minutes to an hour generally. 3. Normally take the chair at the General Meetings of the Union – No general meetings held in my term 4. Act as designated officer in terms of the University Code of Practice – No incidents. 5. Communicate with various external organisations on behalf of the Union – Acted as President to the Northern Services buying group. Discussed issues with other student Presidents. Dealt with the Glasgow Guardian. 6. Oversee and be responsible for the creation and maintenance of online content –This is not quite the same as before as we now have a paid member of staff doing this however I worked closely with them but generally I allowed them to do their own thing and I would just approve. The instagram and snapchat was mainly handled by the board of management and I and I think this worked well. Our website was updated which every president for the past few years has spoken about and never achieved and now it looks amazing. We are looking to expand it and have members only portal, online bookings and a visual calendar. Plus a society home page. 7. Contribute to the planning and control of capital and maintenance projects – Reviewed past complete report on catering, did a SWOT analysis of the union as a whole and each individual department. This will be passed along to Mata however I do believe we need an external to come in with experience in student unions to do an evaluation. 8. Provide hands-on management when required and in association with the departmental managers and the General Manager – Regular bar committee meetings not so regular catering committee meetings however I did pop in to the kitchen and cafe to chat with the managers almost every day. I believe they were encouraged by my enthusiasm. 9. Liaise with the General Manager on a daily basis – Met pretty much every day. Worked well together – especially in the period of no events manager we together absorbed the role which meant even more communication. I took a very hands-on role on the business aspect of the union so made myself available to talk about bookings, fees, staffing concerns opening hours etc.
10. Participate in the recruitment and selection of staff with the General Manager and Dept. manager where appropriate â€“ Was involved for events co-ordinator and communications co-ordinator generally all other staff left to each manager of that department 11. Be a nominated key-holder for the building and second named person of contact by the alarm company or the police. â€“Was contacted however never had keys to lock/unlock the building As with any year it was filled with achievements and challenges below I will list and detail the achievements and challenges from the year. Not every little thing is detailed however these are the priorities I believe there to be. 1.3 Key Achievements 1.3.1 Increased relationship with the Glasgow international college The relationship with the GIC has grown this year and we still host their welcome and graduation events. We are now also included in their tours and have sent our own PR down to the college and co-hosted an event with them. I believe this can still be built upon and is a route that the next exec should make a priority. 1.3.2 Commercial area deals Worked with departmental managers to ensure that prices were as low as we could afford and make a membership menu on things such as drinks. We also introduced Brunch on Fridays at Scran which are working very well. Do not think this would have much uptake on other days but if the union ever got to a stage where they could open more outlets on the weekend would recommend. Introduced different drinks in the bar and rather than having themed cocktails for every event pushed the members menu which also includes nonalcoholic drinks. The cafe has started doing a meal deal which the uptake on has been large and we have more deals in food factory. I believe that these services need to have more PR outside the building and facebook pages have been made for food and bars however they need to have more content more regularly. Something which is going to be worked on over summer. 1.3.3 More external gigs which has increased our revenue This year the number of external gigs that were held at the QMU was more than double what it was in the year 2016-17. With over 30 gigs booked in. This was beneficial for our revenue however it has made clear that our technical equipment is very out of date. Subject to our funding in the next year technical equipment should be a priority to update as it means more promoters would use us as they wouldnâ€™t have to hire in equipment and increase the quality of our own events we put on.
1.3.4 Got rid of swipii to make membership more valuable Although not the most popular decision due to the inability to get wine for free I believe that with the Swipii point system this was devaluing membership. There was no way to link the swipii points system with membership and as we were at the end of our three years we did not renew our contract. This has meant that we have introduced more member deals. It would still be beneficial to have a points system with membership cards however in order for this to be plausible our till system needs to be upgraded. This is another thing that should be a priority over summer. It was not possible to do this last summer and I didnâ€™t believe launching a new points system in the middle of the year would be beneficial. 1.3.5 Online presence The website has been updated and now is much more modern and up to date. Having a Marketing and Communications co-ordinator has made this possible and much easier to manage. They also manage the facebook and the twitter. Although I still oversee and Approve most posts I do believe that this role should be kept to a paid position. The plans for the website include having an online calendar which clubs and societies can access and a membership portal. These are being explored and should be implemented over summer. 1.3.6 Clubs and Societies This year we have managed to offer more spaces to clubs and societies. This is mainly because we have not had a Friday club night on. There is no question that our relationships with clubs and societies could still be improved however I do believe we have been a lot more accommodating than in previous years. Una Marie will speak about this more in her report however in terms of hosting shows etc we have had over 40 clubs and societies paid bookings in Scran, Qudos and Jims bar.
1.4 Key challenges 1.4.1 The works in the learning and teaching hub The works of the learning and teaching hub has undoubtedly affected our performance. The demolition process up until fresher week made the noise around the building extremely loud and closed University Gardens. The noise of the pile driving up until now has meant that it can be heard in cafe 22, champions, scran and the general office which has affected bookings we have had. The GIC had booked in semester 2 to have Qudos booked every Monday for 7 hours for teaching however after two weeks they had to cancel due to complaints from both teachers and students about the noise. Although we were still paid in full it lost us about 300 students every Monday that would have been exposed to the building. We have also had complaints from societies about using the building during the day using the committee rooms about noise. In a survey which was circulated in early April out of 200 responses so far 30% of respondents said that the noise level of construction has impacted them coming into the building. We have been very vocal with the University about how these works have affected us and hopefully this will be reflected in our funding granted.
It is the case that we need money to survive whilst the works are under way but also the ability to update our services so that next to the learning and teaching hub we do not look out of date. 1.4.2 Declining attendance at committees Committee attendance this year has been at the lowest I have ever seen it. A lot of the times committees can be made up of board members only. C and C and Pubs are still doing relatively well however attendance has been declining over the past few years. I do think that the fact we do not have the funds to support many new projects does impact people attending. Our events schedule has been a lot less therefore this has impacted the number of shifts committees such as tech team. Each committee I believe needs more PR for the committees themselves and although I believe one of the biggest benefits that sets us apart from other bodies is you do not need to apply to be on a committee there does need to be more work to register interest. 1.4.3 Declining attendance of events Key events this year had a low attendance. Late late Hogmanay, Drag Friday even Halloween and St Patricks day. As there are less people using the building this is translating into attendance of events. Despite research and passion from committees and interest online the numbers at events are dire. A survey was circulated and hopefully this will give us more of an indication of why attendance of events and also just the building in general is so low however off the cuff I imagine it has to do with our reputation and atmosphere. From early results of the survey it seems that people believe that Jims bar is more welcoming.
1.5 Tips for the year ahead -
A strategic review and plan needs to be made for the union. I have one made which I will pass on to Mata for reference however it cannot be conducted internally. We need to spend the money to get someone who has done these for student unions in and make a 3 or 5 year plan Review of staffing structure of the building Out of all the catering outlets food factory needs to be focussed on. In its current capacity it is under performing. It looks old and run down and cutting costs is not a possibility anymore Look for a way to turn Jims bar into the main bar. Jims bar has the most variety of drinks and we should look at a way to have that bar open even if it means not having champions open Continue the improvements to the website. Having an online portal for members and clubs and societies would benefit us
We cannot just turn into a venue hire building. Something needs to be for lack of better words ‘our thing’ that is clearly not a clubnight.... it could be live music or something else but we need something semi regular otherwise I fear we will turn into just a building with a small amount of people that care about its history Don’t do a clubnight unless the university is going to pay for a renovation. We have cut costs as much as possible this has led to inconsistent opening hours and confusion from customers. This has not always been our own fault but we need to have more consistency Change discipline
1.6 Thank you and good night..... It has (most of the time) been a pleasure being the President this year. There have been ups and downs and I will miss the place. Thank you to all the board members I have worked with this year. You have all put in a tremendous effort and I do appreciate all your hard work and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Thanks to all my convenors we really showed them who run da world. Thanks to JAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK for dealing with my presidential messages and questions and frustrations. U a babe. Thank you to all my honoraries who make me think about things I wouldn’t have done. It is greatly appreciated. Especially Anne Anderson. Thank you to Terry who has trusted me a lot this year and for all your time and effort you put into this role year on year. Thank you to Mata and Una for supporting me always and for making up #execugals. Its been an honour. I think we have probably all wanted to tear our hair out at times but at least we did it together. Mata good luck next year I’m sure you Charles and Courtney will make a great team. Unanananana thanks for being my ROOOOOCK this year. THANKS BILLY B FOR ALWAYS BELIEVEING IN ME AND ADDING ME ON YOUR OTHER SECRET FACEBOOK. In the words of Ice Cube Bye Felicia.
2. Report of the Vice President (Membership, Clubs and Societies): 2.1 Freshers’ Week Organising Freshers’ Week this year without an Events Manager was challenging and we had a few issues along the way but, overall, I was satisfied with the line-up that we ended up with. We had an act drop out last minute which was very disappointing and made for a stressful couple of days trying to secure a replacement but, given the circumstances, I think we managed the situation well. When Alyssa Edwards had to cancel, we were concerned that this would not be well received and that people who had purchased passes based on the original line up announcement would be disappointed, but we faced very little backlash. I believe that is down to how we managed the announcement and the high calibre of the replacement, Peppermint. We had tried to book female acts, but unfortunately, we were met with a lot of unavailability or fees that were out with our price range. It is worth continuing to try first and foremost to book women and I have recommended this to the new Freshers’ Week committee which has already met. We had 120 Freshers’ Helpers this year, including Tech Team, Board Members, and the Publications Team. We received around 200 applications and had face to face and skype interviews. These numbers are relatively similar to last year. We removed the part of the application asking people to include a photograph as I felt that this was inappropriate and potentially intimidating. Our Helpers were a fab bunch and I am incredibly appreciative of all the work they put in. We elected to have fewer but larger teams this year than in the past. The idea behind this was that if people dropped out during the week that we would still be able to manage with the numbers we had. We roughly had eight teams of twelve helpers, excluding pubs and tech team. I think this system worked well and meant that we didn’t have teams without anything to do, as has sometimes been the case in the past. We sent teams to local subway stations this year in an attempt to reach out to students not living in the West End or in Halls. I think this is worth doing again, though it could have been advertised better and further in advance. I would also suggest that it be done more frequently. We continued including Sexual Violence Prevention and Pronoun Pledge training in the Helper Training schedule, and I would certainly recommend that this continue. We also added preferred pronouns to the Helper Passes for the first time to ensure that where possible nobody was misgendered. Our Pass Only events were once again rated very highly in the Freshers’ Week Survey, with 4 of the top 5 events being ours and the most popular being the Paint Party on the Friday, which was our cheapest event to run and I would highly recommend that we do again. We sold 2869 passes, including tickets sold on the door here and at the GUU on Thursday and Friday. This is down on last year’s pass sales. It is time to have a discussion with the Cross Campus Freshers’ Week Committee about the feasibility of the pass system going forward. It does not provide any of the student bodies with the greatest possible return, and it is consistently criticised by students in the Freshers’ Week Survey as not being good value for money. Bar takings were down 19% over the course of the week. This is part of a continuing downward trend, with bar takings dropping for us for a few years now. Jim’s was consistently quiet throughout the week so going forward we might need to rethink the events taking place here.
One of the reasons we were nominated for the Best Bar None national award for social responsibility was in part because of the work we do during Freshers’ Week. I’m incredibly pleased about this, but the credit must go to the helpers and the board who do all they can to make the union as inclusive as possible. 2.2 Clubs and Societies This year we have 65 clubs and societies affiliated to the union. Although slightly fewer in numbers I believe we have been able to provide more for them. We have managed to on average to accommodate 100 hours of room bookings a week. This year we offered the café out more in the evenings as a last resort when all the committee rooms have been booked to try and provide as many spaces as possible. We have also seen increased society usage in Jims, Qudos and Scran-having over 40 events in these spaces. I believe Priya talks a bit about this in her report, so I won’t duplicate the information. Jamie, the Communication and Marketing co-ordinator, has been looking at the feasibility of having an online calendar because the updated website can facilitate much more than the previous one. There are some logistics that need to be looked at, but we are hopeful this can be done relatively soon. This will be massively beneficial to cutting down the back and forth between the VPMCS and societies when it comes to available times for bookings as the information will be accessible online. We will need to pay a small monthly fee, around five pounds which is definitely worth it, but feasibly we could have all committee room booking done through the website and it would be the job of the VPMCS to monitor and keep an eye on conflicts should they occur. It might take a bit of getting used to a new system, but I believe will definitely be worth it in the long term. Communication is still a problem at times, primarily due to the fact that I am a final year student and have work and other commitments outside the union so cannot be constantly on emails. I did have an out of office on for the majority of semester one advising people to wait upto 48 hours for a response, but also included the presidents email address so that they could reroute their emails if they needed a prompt response. Hopefully having the calendar on the website in some format will elevate the mass of emails that the VPMCS receives, and therefore giving them more time to focus on other things as opposed to room bookings. This being said, I have received some very positive and lovely feedback from societies who have been pleased with the service and help they have received when booking rooms and planning events. Although affiliations are now online, I believe having a specific online benefits package document with information on all areas of the building would increase service usage across the building. I will be working on this before the end of my term. 2.3 Membership At the time of writing the membership number stands at 4119, in comparison with 3291 in March last year. On Monday the 9th of April, we sent out a membership survey, which has already received around 200 responses. As an incentive for filling it out we have offered the chance for one member to win £100 and some £25 Scran vouchers are also up for grabs. From a brief look at the current feedback it would appear that around 30% of the members have been put of from using the building due to the noise disruption that is being caused by the creation of the Learning and Teaching Hub. We have voiced our concerns with the university about the impact that the noise pollution is having to trading and hopefully there will be an
acknowledgement of this reflected in the allocation of the block grant for the student bodies. As in previous years there are drinks deals in the bars for members and in addition this year, there is also 10% off in Scran for members. I have discussed having different food deals in Scran during the week for members and hopefully this is something that will come to fruition before the new intake of students in September. We have had one like a share Facebook competition for members to win tickets for them and a plus one at a gig. The response wasnâ€™t incredibly high, but this is something I think should be utilised more often next year, extending this to the bars and catering offering members the chance to win free food and drink as well as entry into specific events. The more publicity we can get, the better and it is also an additional perk that you can only get through virtue of being a member. I opened online membership briefly in the run up to the general election, but only 21 people signed up for online membership this year, which is way down on the number last year-181. This will be primarily because of the lack of contested categories in this years election. We have had a couple of issues with clubs and societies not coming in for room bookings so I would recommend brining back a sign in sheet for them in whatever format my successor thinks will work best. I decided not to use one this year because I wanted to start afresh and give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but it is incredibly frustrating for rooms to be left empty when there is so much demand for them. 2.4 Life Membership We have had around 50 new life membership applications this year, either through the online google form, by emailing myself or by speaking to me in person. This is the same as the figure for this time last year. Last year there was also an event for Life Members during International Womenâ€™s Week which had a very low attendance and mainly included current board members and the speakers themselves. While it was a really informative event and I had a great time drinking prosecco with some old board and life members, the poor numbers has made me cautious about what type of event to run this year. A new facebook group has been set up with the hope of eventually phasing out the old page as a group offers the space for more people to interact and have discussions with one another. For Life members to be able to vote in the election, the University had to make them a temporary GUID so that they can access the voting portal, we had about twenty life members sign up and two people ran for the position of Non-Student Member. In previous years it has mostly been recent graduates who have run for the position, but this year there was interest from people who had graduated a while ago. It is evident that Life Members do still want to be engaged in the union. However, Life members are not a homogenous group and it is hard to guess definitively what people want and how they still wish to be committed to the union. It is my opinion that the next survey we send out should be aimed at our Life Members. In the lead up to the 130th in two years, there is an excellent opportunity engage with the history of the QM and also bring with it the possibility to host a large-scale event such as a dinners or ceilidhs; planning for which should probably start towards the end of next year. 2.5 Staff Representative Elections In the first instance, we had a contested election with two candidates running for the position. Voting turnout was 58% with 30/52 eligible staff members voting. I was very
pleased with the level of engagement in the election, in compassion to previous years but unfortunately there was a tie, and in accordance with CBP it meant we had to have another election. As it was just before the Christmas break, we had to wait until the start of the second semester as there was not enough time for a nomination and polling period. Before the end of my term I would like to update by-laws and policy so that if this happens again in a staff election, we open polling again instead of the whole nomination period. In the second election, we had one candidate and the polling numbers were slightly lower with seventeen votes being cast. 2.6 Final Note I have a list of recommendations for moving forward as long as my arm, but most of these will be passed onto Courtney in a handover document closer to the time. Just wanted to say a quick thank you to all the fab people that I have gotten to work with during my term; especially the staff and the board of management. And last but not least, good luck to the new exec! May the odds be ever in your favour. Peace and love and all that jazz x
Report of the Vice President (Board of Management):
3.1 Elections 3.1.1 Autumn By-Election – 12th October 2017 Total packs taken out were 10, with two that were never returned. One of those was a first year. Position CSR A (year long) CSR B (6 months) 1st Year CSR A 1st year CSR B FSM
Seats Available 3 2 2 1 1
Number of Candidates 4 3 0 0 1
Obviously having no first years run was incredibly disappointing. I honestly believe that it was down to having the election so close after Freshers’ Week. I made the decision to have the election on the same day as the SRC – the year before, we had our by-election the week after and turnout was impacted. In hindsight, I would certainly have had the election later, even if it resulted in a lower turnout. It would have given us enough time to properly advertise the positions, and would have relived a lot of pressure off of me. I sent out at least 2 emails to life members, as well as multiple posts on the Life Member Facebook group. This did not translate into nominations however. Two of the life members who were interested did tell me that they would instead run in the General Election (which they then did). Hustings was fairly well attended, compared to previous years. The number of questions was not excessive and I did not have limit them – only one question was guillotined, as the Returning Officer felt it was inappropriate. Overall, there were no problems with Hustings. Polling opened at 9 am and closed at 5 pm – an hour shorter than previous years. This was due to the SRC’s polling times – discussing it with Anna, it was easier for her to close polling at the same time as the SRC. I set up a polling booth, which was used. In my board report after the election, I mentioned that the majority of people who came to the booth had questions about voting and did not know that voting was online. I preferred to have the booth for this reason, as well as it made it easier for people to find me in cases of emergencies. We had 13 Life Members sign up to vote – since the voting is done online using the University’s system, they had to let me know in advance so I could sort them out with a temporary GUID. However, out of those 13, only 5 actually voted on the day. This could be for various reasons – they may have not have received the login details or lost the email, they may have been too busy on the day to take the time out, or they may not have been interested enough.
Altogether, there were 288 unique voters – this is up on Andrew’s year (which was 245), but down on Jack and Celia’s (who both had 296). Considering that not all positions were filled, which would lower interest in the election, and that polling ended an hour earlier than usual, I am quite happy with this. I would have preferred more of course, but still happy with this. General Election – 7th and 8th March 2018 Priya (President 17/18) was the Assistant Returning Officer for the General Election, due to the fact that I was running in the election. Position President Vice President (Membership, Clubs Societies) Vice President (Board of Management) Campaigns and Charities Convenor Events Convenor Publications Convenor Social Convenor CSR A (year long) CSR B (6 months) 1st CSR B (6 months) NSM
Seats Available 1 1
Number of Candidates 2 2
1 1 1 1 1 4 3 3 1
1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 2
Engagement across campus was down – the numbers of contested seats were certainly down from previous years, which was of course disappointing. Attendance for both Hustings and President’s Debate were poor – this is understandable due to the low number of contested seats and the fact that the strikes were on, meaning that fewer people were on campus generally. However, it was reported that the live-blogs qmunicate did for both received good stats, showing that although people weren’t on campus, it appears that people were still interested in what was going on. The original days for polling were the 28 th February and the 1st March, however due to severe snow on the original days of polling, the decision was made to postpone all the elections that were supposed to take place for those days. There is nothing in CBP that states what we are supposed to do, and Priya made the right call. The weather was far too much for the candidates to attempt campaigning. Without the SRC’s polling being open too, there was not much point. So, polling was instead postponed until the 7th and 8th of March. 3.2 CBP 3.2.1 Elections On the recommendation of the previous VP Board, I set out to review the Bye-laws around elections. My original plan was to sort it out for after Freshers Week, but with the byelection straight after Freshers, it was put off until the next semester. Before the Christmas break, I arranged a CBP committee, which was poorly attended. I received notes from both Andrew Brown, the previous VP Board and Tom Frost, the Returning Officer for all the elections for 2016/17, which was used in the review. 14
The consensus from the CBP Committee was having something along the lines of a separate code that candidates need to follow. Proposals were taken to a board meeting, but as the meeting was unusually long, when we got to discussing the amendments, the board decided to postpone to another meeting. Since it was just before the calling of the General Election, I decided to leave it until after the General Election. Hopefully, I will arrange another CBP committee to discuss the amendments that I wrote, so that we don’t need to spend an hour in a board meeting talking about it. With the delayed election, and looming deadlines, I have not had a chance to properly organise this yet. 3.2.2 Discipline I’ve been wanting to do a review of the Bye-Laws for Discipline for a while, but unfortunately, have not had the chance to organise anything yet. I do have a few ideas, but I also know that there are a few board members who are also wanting to change a few things, so I am wanting to have another CBP committee. If I don’t have time to sort this out before handover, I will write my recommendations to pass on to my successor, but it’s certainly something I think should be worked on next year. 3.3 Training 3.3.1 Level One Training I continued the way Andrew did Level One Training – with an ‘on-the-job’ training session, and a training session going through things in more detail. I didn’t find anything wrong with this format – it allowed board members to get a refresher on emergency procedures and meant that they knew they had a chance to directly ask me any questions they had. 3.3.2 Level Two Training Recently, I updated the training checklist that we use for level two training. There were a few things that were outdated, and some of the language was confusing and a lot of the time, trainers would not be sure about what they had to teach. Other than that, there’s not much that I changed in regard to training. Instead, my focus has been on making sure that the training materials I use have been up to date. I was hoping to change the board handbook, to update it mainly, but again time has not been on my side for that. 3.3.3 Other Training As we were needing to retrain the staff in First Aid, Bill and I agreed that if there were any spare spaces, they would go to board members. In the end, there were only two spaces available for board members, and only one of those ended up being taken, as it was an allday course and many board members had lectures and so couldn’t make it. I was also able to arrange EvacChair training – I was hoping that we would be able to have it before Freshers Week but it was quite difficult to get the trainer here before then. Instead, we had the training a couple of weeks after Freshers Week. It’s certainly useful to have but I
wouldn’t say it is an essential training for board members to have. It is certainly good to think about getting it for staff, however. 3.4 Other 3.4.1 Emergency Contacts This year, I introduced forms for board members to fill in immediately once they join board. The reasoning for this was there were a few board members who weren’t known by many others before they joined (first years are a big example) and therefore in the case of an emergency, board members may not know who to contact (whether that it’s their parents, next of kin, or flatmates). This way, we have all this information, and there’s no need to worry or search through someone’s social media in order to find a contact for them. It also gave us a chance to collect dietary requirements – as someone who organised socials roughly knowing allergies and dietary requirements without needing to ask every time helped me a lot, and is a useful thing to have, as well as other medical information. The only thing is worry about is how long to keep this information. I would recommend adding a box or a section on the back asking whether they want us to remove their info once off board, or whether they would like us to keep it for the rest of their university career. 3.5 Recommendations Organise Autumn By-Election during summer ideally Delegate more – not everything must be done by the VP Board. Do not be afraid to prioritise 3.6 Thanks A big thanks to Priya and Una Marie for being a fantastic exec – it’s been an honour to share an office with you. Thank you for putting up with me for so long, and I’m very sorry for scaring you by hiding under my desk. To Andrew, Celia and Jack, thanks for being amazing predecessors. Especially Celia – thank you for putting up with all my messages and replying to every single one. To Emily, John Briggs and everyone else who helped with Black History Month – thanks for helping make my dream come true. Here’s to next year! To Megan and everyone else who has helped by just being a friend – I don’t think I would have made it this far without you. You’re the real MVPs. And to all my wee board beans – it has been a pleasure working with you all. I am so proud of all of you, and am so excited to see what you do next. Good luck to everyone next year – I am really looking forward to working with you all, and I cannot wait to see what we can do together.
Report of the Campaigns and Charities Convenor:
4.1 Overview: In a year that the union as a whole has continued to struggle, I am incredibly proud that the Campaigns and Charities Committee has managed to have such successes. For the past three years the committee’s fundraising total has been decreasing; from £8545.97 in 2014-15, to £5322.93 in 2015-16, to £3,152.69 in 2016-17. This year our current total is £4413.83, and whilst that is not the highest amount the committee has ever raised, I am thrilled that we have managed to improve on last year. We have also had a great year of campaigning. We introduced huge changes to our free condom scheme and began a free sanitary product scheme, both of which are incredibly popular. Being able to distribute these much-needed items to students has a huge positive impact on health and wellbeing, and I am very proud that the QMU is leading the campus in this area. Much of this report focuses on areas for improvement, because those are the areas that need addressing, but the year as a whole has been really positive. The committee did an incredible job, even when faced with challenges, and I cannot express how grateful I am to have worked alongside such a dedicated group of people. 4.2 Fundraising: 4.2.1 Cause of the Month: Last year Megan changed the Campaigns and Charities Committee from a Charity of the Year system to a Cause of the Month system, which I have retained. Fundraising for a different charity each month allows committee members lots of opportunity to nominate causes that matter to them, and means that we can support a wider range of charities. It allows people to get involved with a cause they care about without feeling pressured to commit to the whole year, and motivates us to keep our fundraising consistent. I have made only one change to this system; we voted on charities for September to March, rather than September to May. Trying to organise worthwhile fundraising during exam season last year was extremely difficult, and I did not want future convenors to feel pressured to put fundraising above their exams. 4.2.2 Fundraising totals since the last AGM: April 2017 May onwards 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017
StreetDoctors Glasgow Marie Curie Scottish Refugee Council ActionAid UK StreetDoctors Glasgow Terrence Higgins Trust Marie Curie NSPCC National Autistic Society
£287.35 £67.45 £2232.61 £354.70 £395.66 £470.57 £146.01 £354.32 £60.04 17
International Women’s Day TOTAL
Rape Crisis Scotland
Note: The money for Red Ribbon Ball is included in the December Terrence Higgins Trust total, even though the event was held in November. 4.2.3 Overview: Our fundraising totals are higher than last year’s in every month except March, which I am obviously very proud of. I think the main reasons we’ve managed to improve on last year are firstly, that the committee has had a core group of very dedicated volunteers who work extremely hard, secondly, that we are more used to the Cause of the Month system now, and thirdly, that we focused on several small events with low cost. Since the loss of a weekly clubnight in the 2015-16 year, C&C has not been able to do regular weekly fundraising, so I tried to plan small events like bake/books/clothes sales that we could manage more regularly. This does take up a lot of the convenor’s time, but the committee members have been wonderful this year, and their hard work and dedication made the year a lot more successful. Amongst the best fundraisers this year were the October book sale (£180.29) and the February sponsored stair climb (£204). 4.2.4 Strengths: Events based around “selling” worked really well this year, like book sales, bake sales, clothes sales, tea parties, wine and cheese nights. These events are relatively easy and as long as volunteers are happy to provide items/bakes, do not cost anything. Reaching out to local businesses for free wine and cheese worked really well, as did approaching Oxfam Books for excess books, so I think that approaching local businesses for support is perhaps something we should try more often. Our biggest strength was by far the dedicated volunteers who turned up consistently, put in lots of great new ideas and who simply dedicated a lot of time to getting jobs done. 4.2.5 Weaknesses: Apart from Fresher’s Week, very little money was made by fundraising at QMU events. As a union, we held far less events this year, and those that we held were less well-attended. It is incredibly difficult to sell glowsticks to a half-empty room, and despite the best efforts of some dedicated volunteers, we did not make very much at the Christmas end-of-term event or Late Late Hogmanay. Halloween did slightly better, with a popular lucky dip and a generous costume competition winner, but in general I don’t think C&C can count on QMU events as a fundraising opportunity. There is also not a lot of opportunity to fundraise at Social events. Popcorn at film screenings has become a regular staple, but since film screenings started struggling we’d often only make a couple of pounds, or nothing at all. When we tried out a video games/board games day in Champs, people came but didn’t necessarily donate. When we tried an Easter Egg Hunt, the only donation I got from outside of QMU members was severely underwhelming. Another issue this year was, honestly, the 18
weather. Events like clothes sales and book sales that had previously gone well did not see a lot of interest when the weather was bad and we had to move inside. There is very little to be done about this, except for increasing foot traffic inside the building. 4.3 Campaigns: 4.3.1 Collections: One of my manifesto goals this year was to encourage ways of supporting charities without giving money, and so I tried to get the QMU involved in as many collections as possible: -In October we ran a food collection for Glasgow North East Food Bank. -In December we got involved in the cross-campus “Santa Sacks” appeal, collecting food and gifts which the city council then distributed to elderly people, and the GU Red Alert Washbag Appeal, collecting toiletries and sanitary products which the GU Red Alert Society distributed to women’s shelters. -In February I organised a space for GRASS to host a collection of food/clothing/cooking items for Mobile Refugee Support. -In March we ran an underwear collection for Smalls For All, who distribute underwear to women and children in poor areas of Africa. I think all of these collections were successful events, and I think giving people the opportunity to donate something other than money is really valuable. 4.3.2 Black History Month: I helped Mata to run some Black History Month events this year in October. We arranged two speaker events (one of which was cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control), a film screening, and a BAME Glasgow Marrow drive (with the GU Give Blood society handing out info). These were not all particularly well-attended, but considering that the QMU has never celebrated Black History Month before, I think we had to start somewhere. People seemed to really enjoy the film screening and the speaker event with Councillor Campbell, so I would recommend films and speaker events again, but the Glasgow Marrow/Give Blood event did not gain much interest. 4.3.3 LGBT+ History Month: For LGBT+ History Month we had two speaker events in association with gulgbtq+, a film screening, themed FUQ and themed music bingo, (which were cancelled) and a themed karaoke sheet. Honestly I was really underwhelmed by our contribution to LGBT+ History Month. I am a cisgendered straight woman and therefore wanted more input from committee members who actually identify as LGBT+. Although I did get some input, there weren’t necessarily any committee members willing to take on their own projects, and time was pressing, so I was limited to smaller events that we’d run before. I have no doubt that Rose will do a much better job organising interesting events for next LGBT+ History Month, but I would recommend starting the organising over Christmas, because January is not
enough time. Cross-campus had a shared calendar for LGBT+ History Month this year, which was useful for avoiding clashes or repeating events. 4.3.4 International Women’s Week: For International Women’s Week we held a film screening, a collection for Smalls For All and a female-led QMU Live event. The film screening was small but nice, and the collection for Smalls For All went quite well. Most of the committee’s efforts went into QMU Live, which was unsuccessful for a number of reasons: -Firstly, we could not secure acts for a long time, which delayed everything else. A lot of this was my fault- initially I was contacting all of the acts and several of them kept me waiting for confirmation for a long time. Chasing up bands takes a lot of time and energy that I just did not have. -Secondly, although everyone involved on the project was working very hard, and I have no complaints about anyone in particular, having myself, Ruaraidh, Jamie and Angus all organising the event was confusing. There was a lot of missed communication, confusion over who was responsible for which jobs, and confusion over budgets. In future, events like this should either have a clear leader in charge of the project, or at least a much clearer division of labour. -Finally, the event took place after the snow storm that closed the university, meaning that physical PR had not made it to us and there was no-one on campus to see it anyway. The student elections were also rescheduled to the same day- 8th March, so a lot of people’s time and energy went into elections rather than this event. Several of our own board members chose to celebrate the election by drinking in Champion’s Bar, rather than coming through to Jim’s Bar for this event. The idea to support women in the music industry and raise money for Rape Crisis Scotland was a great idea, the acts were good, and all of the people involved did work very hard, but unless we manage to revamp QMU Live as a brand, I would think carefully before running this event again. In future I think a panel or speaker event might be a better way to celebrate International Women’s Day. 4.3.5 Free Condoms: For the past few years we have struggled to secure NHS condom training, but this year I finally managed to get in contact with the correct person. We had an information session about free condom schemes which we invited GUU board members along to, and where we learned that the NHS were reviewing a lot of their free condom schemes and emphasising ease of access. Although the QMU has traditionally always had volunteers or staff supervising the distribution of condoms, we made the decision to develop in line with the NHS, and introduced unsupervised condom boxes in some of the bathrooms. This included a small bucket of individual condoms and sanitary products by the sinks, and larger boxes containing 12-packs of various condoms, with a condom key stuck to the wall. The new scheme has been incredibly popular- we have given away over 23,000 condoms and 5,000 lube sachets in the bathrooms since November, compared to over 5,000 condoms and 1,200 lube sachets given away at the condom booth since September.
Originally we had these boxes in the gender neutral bathroom, and the men’s and women’s toilets on the ground floor. However, on multiple occasions the staff found the men’s bathroom covered in condoms and lube. This is an unacceptable waste of products, so we removed the box. We also noticed people wasting products on gig nights, and so we have begun to remove the other ground floor box when there are large external events on. I’d recommend this be the case for Fresher’s Week as well. I also noticed that a lot of people opened packets without taking condoms when we first introduced the scheme, so I wrote huge “Free Condoms” labels for the boxes, which has reduced this happening. This scheme requires duty board to check and top up the boxes every night, which they do not always do. However, given that the bathroom scheme has become more popular than the condom booth, it might be worth reducing the hours of condom booth and instead asking C&C volunteers to take responsibility for the condom boxes. 4.3.6 Free Sanitary Products: Spearheaded as a CSR project by Heather Valentine, the free sanitary product scheme is one of the best things Campaigns and Charities has ever done. The Scottish Government has promised to introduce free sanitary products in schools and universities across Scotland in the next year, but I am really proud that the Queen Margaret Union has started our scheme early. The aim is to make sure that people who menstruate who cannot afford to buy sanitary products, or have simply forgotten to bring them that day, have a way to conveniently and discreetly access what they need. Heather and I researched the cheapest and most convenient way to buy sanitary products, and in January began the scheme properly, with a Tupperware box full of products in each stall of the women’s and gender neutral bathrooms. The project has been really popular, and we have given away over 600 tampons and over 500 pads so far. The scheme has received a lot of overwhelmingly positive feedback from QMU members and other student bodies. Lots of people have commented that it’s really lovely, and that it’s really reassuring to know that there are always sanitary products here. I wrote a report on the scheme for Vice President Student Support of the SRC, with the aim that the SRC and the University could refer to it when planning their own free sanitary product scheme. We have had only two problems so far. First, people have been taking away the Tupperware boxes from the Qudos ladies bathroom, but we are working on other ways to store the products so that this stops happening. Second, the system requires duty board to check on the boxes every night and to top them up, which they do not always do. Given that we might reduce the hours of the condom booth in the future, it might be worth having C&C volunteers take responsibility for the free sanitary products instead. 4.4 Red Ribbon Ball: The Red Ribbon Ball, held every year around World AIDS Day in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust, is one of the highlights of the QMU calendar. It is always a night filled with incredible talent and fun, and it has allowed us to build a strong relationship with Terrence Higgins Trust, a wonderful charity who are always a joy to work with. We raised money through
ticket sales, a raffle, selling red ribbons and a couple of lovely volunteers did henna designs for donations. We raised £429.01 at the event, which I believe is an improvement on last year. This year I chose to maintain a similar structure as last year, a cabaret show in Qudos followed by a karaoke afterparty in Jim’s Bar, but moved the event a few weeks earlier, holding it on Friday 17th November rather than the traditional early December. Even though this moved the event away from World AIDS Day on 1st December, I think it was the right choice. December brings deadlines and exams, so moving the event earlier made it easier for students to come. Red Ribbon Ball had a similar attendance to last year, but given that every regular QMU event this year has seen a decline in attendance, maintaining similar numbers is actually more impressive than it sounds. We started the event at 7.30pm but included a drinks reception until 8pm in the hopes that it would draw people in before the show started. (Last year Megan had to delay the show because people were arriving late.) Although the free drinks reception did help to some extent there were still late arrivals, so it might be worth thinking about holding the event later in the evening next year. The drinks reception was freely provided by Red Bull and Larios gin though, so well worth including it in the evening as an added bonus. A few people recommended that next year we have Scran open, or serve food at the event. I am not sure what this would cost, but it is worth investigating for next year. I would also add that helium is probably more expensive than it is worth, especially since you can make a balloon arch without helium. The compere of the evening, Markee, also pointed out that although she and fellow performers were happy to work for free, she would have appreciated an offer to cover travel costs. Although I did have some budget for this I was inconsistent in offering it to acts, so it should be made very clear next year that we are willing to support the acts’ travel costs. All of the acts we ask to perform at Red Ribbon are wonderful, professional people, and it is important to maintain good relationships with them, so I think it is well worth offering them what we can. 4.5 Elephant in the Room: Elephant in the Room have continued to plan interesting events this year, including a Mental Health workshop, a themed Open Mic and several Creative Sessions. Although these events have always been thoroughly enjoyed, they have not been very well attended. Priyanka has worked incredibly hard and I have no doubt that she will continue to give the job her all next year, but her committee has been very small, and I think this has clearly been a big problem for the campaign. Given that Elephant’s engagement online is still very good (a post we put up at Christmas about helpline numbers reached over 38,000 people), it might be worth focusing more on online campaigning. The cross-campus Look After Yourself campaign, which Elephant and C&C have continued to be engaged with, also experiences a disparity between online engagement and attendance at events, so the problem is clearly not limited to the QMU. Further online projects, like the upcoming Look After Yourself website/blog, may be a productive way of campaigning that puts less strain on Priyanka and her team.
4.6 Fresher’s Week: Fresher’s Week continues to be an excellent time for C&C. This Fresher’s Week our charity was Scottish Refugee Council, who were incredible to work with. They offered me a tour of their office so I could learn more about what they did, and I dedicated a section of the Fresher’s Helper training to passing on that information to the Helpers. Understanding and appreciating what the charity does definitely motivates people to put more effort into fundraising. Scottish Refugee Council was also the charity chosen by the three other student bodies, but I have to say that I was incredibly disappointed by them. The other bodies failed to respond to me when I tried to engage them in fundraising plans, and did not contact the charity even when I passed along details for my contact. I have also yet to find how much money the other student bodies raised, or whether they have even paid it to Scottish Refugee Council. It was a lovely idea for the whole campus to support the same charity, but if we are to do the same again next year we need to put a lot more pressure on the other student bodies to do their part. We raised £2124 during the actual week, which is slightly lower than last year’s total of £2222.43, but we continued fundraising until the end of September, raising a total of £2232.61 for Scottish Refugee Council. In terms of fundraising methods we had our traditional glowsticks, and face paint, and I purchased some glitter as well this year which proved popular. I continued the competition structure from the past few years, offering a prize for the team that raised the most money and the individual who raised the most money. I decided to count the money every day so that at every evening briefing I could announce who was winning the competition, and encourage people to beat them. I think the competitive aspect works, especially when a whole team works together to win the team total. We also held dedicated fundraising events. The Scavenger Hunt that was incredibly popular last year was very underwhelming this year, thanks to appalling weather. The Morning Zumba session was, again, mainly attended by unhappy Helpers, but those who did participate really enjoyed the event. We also added in a couple of extra fundraisers during the week when the opportunity presented itself; a raffle to meet Peppermint on the Wednesday and a sponsored waxing session during the Sunday Post-Party. Both raised approximately £100, so it is well worth looking for extra fundraising opportunities throughout the week. We continued to run the Get Home Safe scheme this year, which I think continues to be helpful. I updated the posters to include information on the SRC’s Safe Taxi scheme and a reminder that our staff and helpers are willing to help if something goes wrong on a night out. Although this is technically meant to be a cross-campus campaign, the other student bodies have always failed to put the posters up, and I think it’s time we rebranded it as QMU campaign rather than a cross-campus one. We also held a Charity Shop Fair, which did not raise any money for our chosen charity, but instead invited several local charity shops to set up stalls in Qudos. I think this event has many advantages: students could find all the charity shops in one place and either buy things or ask about volunteering opportunities, and the charity shops could make a little
money, mingle with other local charity shops, and hopefully gain a few new student volunteers. 4.7 Recommendations: This year I experienced a lot of frustration and confusion about budgets. Everyone in the union does their best to ensure that Campaigns and Charities does not have to spend more than they need, for which I am incredibly grateful. However, there were still a lot of instances where I got conflicting advice about whether I was responsible for a cost, or whether the money could be found from other budgets. A related problem was the lack of record-keeping about money spent and money raised from previous years. At the very beginning of my term I found a lot of charity money that had been left in various places around the building, some of it several years old. This prompted me to start keeping detailed records of how much was raised at each C&C event. I also started keeping track of what we spent, and it became obvious that the budgets C&C submits often donâ€™t resemble what we actually end up spending. My provisional budget submitted for the year and the ones I wrote for events like Red Ribbon Ball and QMU Live were based on previous years, but because of the budget confusion I often ended up spending the money in different ways to what was planned. This year I would recommend that we continue keeping detailed records of what was raised and what was spent. This should prevent money from being lost in the building, provide useful data for the future on what our spending actually looks like, and give some indication about which events are most successful. I would also recommend that for big events the Campaigns and Charities Convenor only make budget changes after speaking with the General Manager, and/or Finance Committee. This should reduce confusion, and prevent any situation where the convenor has to take more money than they thought out of the fundraising total. My final recommendation applies to the whole union, not just C&C. I recommend that we are kinder and more encouraging to our volunteers. There is a tendency to reward board members but exclude other volunteers, even though many of them work just as hard or even harder to keep this union running. Tech Team in particular are really underappreciated, but I believe this is true of committee members too. I was a volunteer before I was a board member, and I still remember when I was offered a free tea for doing a bake sale, or when I was allowed to use the Board Flat and Cons Office, or when I was given a certificate or prize at a Committee Night In. Lots of people made an effort to make me feel included, and their kindness and encouragement is what pushed me to run for board. Our volunteers are what keep this union running, and we should not forget that. 4.8 Thank you:
To Priya, Una Marie and Mata, thank you for running the union to the best of your ability and being truly incredible execugals. In particular, thank you to Priya, for putting up with me walking into your office with a request at least three times a day. To Bill, thank you for always doing whatever you can to help Campaigns and Charities. Please take more breaks. To Maggie, Clare and Ruaraidh, thank you for being great convenors- you all did a cracking job and you were a lot of fun to share an office with. To Molly and Sophie, thank you for your unwavering devotion and support, and for somehow making everything work smoothly, despite the fact that all of the QMU equipment is old and/or broken. To Jennifer, Gemma, Louisa, Ashleigh, Courtney and Mitchell, thank you for sitting in the condom booth, making posters, running bake sales, bringing me books, scarves, clothes and gifts, and generally being wonderful committee members. To Grace, thank for taking the plunge to be a CSR! You are going to do such a good job, and I’m thrilled to have you as a leftie. To Priyanka, thank you for being such a fun leftie, and an incredibly dedicated Elephant Convenor. Your passion for mental health is wonderful, and I know you will go on to help so many people. To Heather, thank you for being my leftie, thank you for reminding me of everything I’ve forgotten, and thank you for your dedication to free sanitary products. I can’t wait to see what project you take on next. To Emma, Lucy and Megan, thank you for setting such a wonderful example over the past three years. You are all strong, competent, caring women and it’s a joy to have followed in your footsteps. Thank you all for making C&C my favourite place to be. To Rose, thank you for being my condom queen, and thank you for loving C&C as much as I do. It’s such a pleasure to hand the committee over to you, and I can’t wait to see you improve it over the next year. And a huge thank you to everyone else who helped along the way!
5. Report of the Convenor of the Current Student Representatives 5.1 Fay Pennington 5.1.1
Hi everyone, I was CCSR from March to October 2017 during the second half of my year long term. This meant my time was mostly during exams and summer with only a few weeks either end during university term times. This makes the role of CCSR very different to how it is during the other half of the year. While there are some requirements of the position, a lot of the role of CCSR is down to the individual and how what they want to do with how they interpret it. I personally felt the role was about support for the CSR's, in helping them in their own roles and all that comes with it. This meant I made sure to have constant interaction with the CSR's as much as I could - which was difficult at times, like over the summer - so they had a trusting relationship built up with me. For this report, I want to talk about the requirements for the role of CCSR that were in place when I got the position: the meetings, PR and Fresher's week committee. Then talk about what the role means in terms of internal management of the board and changes I would like to see to the role in the future.
Meetings and PR
The role requirement of having bi-weekly CSR meetings was set up by my predecessor, as well as the individual welcome meetings between new CSR's and the CCSR. I met with all new CSRs that joined the board which is useful for the new CSR's to get information about how being on board is going to be and how they should start their manifesto points. Mostly, these meetings give the new CSR's an instant relationship with the CCSR. I made sure they knew from the get go that I was there to help them in achieving what they set out to do and that if they had any problems that there was a system in place to support them and help solve the issue. During the term, I did have bi-weekly CSR meetings and managed to have two over the exam period. I feel these meetings are important as it gives the CSR's to have constant, regular chats with the CCSR has they might not get otherwise and allows for the CCSR to get information and feedback. It also allows for the CSR's to build a relationship as a group that they might not have otherwise which I believe is good for their overall experience being on board at the QMU. Another part of the job of being CCSR was overseeing PR for the CSR's, which was one element of the position that while always been part of the role, is in my view the most challenging part of the role. PR is something that the QMU, as a whole, needs to look into changing and has been a staple of CSR manifestos for as long as I can remember. This is why the idea of having the CCSR making sure all the CSR's get out and spread PR around the university has been a cycle of different schemes - from points to buddy systems with varying success - has overall made little effect. I believe that until the overarching PR issue as a union has been addressed, a small group of volunteers spreading posters on a regular basis is only going to do so much. I for one, do not have the answer for this but when it comes to getting 26
CSR's to do PR, it depends on the group on what system works best. I personally feel a 'buddy' like system is the way to go, as it gives the CSR's a chance to build relationships with fellow CSR's that they might not usually get and also gives them a social obligation to do the PR.
The time of year I was CCSR meant one of the biggest parts for me was Fresher's week and being part of Fresher's week committee, which I enjoyed immensely. CCSR's attend Fresher's week committee as representatives of all the CSR's but how much they can tell the CSR's is dependent on the executive and how much they want the CSR's to know. While I was on the committee, it was decided that the CSR's would be more involved than they have been previously, only holding back confirmed headliners from their knowledge until closer to the announcement of the line-up. I also organised for the VPMCS to attend an CSR meeting so they could personally talk to the CSR's and answer any questions as well as get feedback directly. As CCSR, most of my role was getting ideas from the CSR's on possible acts and events for fresher's week and bring them to the committee. This meant once things had been confirmed I felt pretty useless, I attended committees with my convenor updates just being what the CSR's where doing on their holidays. I became an observer just voicing opinions when required and I feel the CCSR position could be more utilised during the fresher's week process. How and what that would entail I think would be mostly down to the executive at the time, just as it is down to them on how much the CSR's are involved. Some basic idea's I have would be giving the CCSR an event or two to run, for example social is often organising multiple things a day and giving a few events to the CCSR would enable them to have a break and perhaps even a day off, similarly for C&C if they have a lot going on. One thing in particular I think could definitely become a event for the CCSR to organise is the QMU fair, if it were to continue.
Internal Management and the role of CCSR
When I was asked what Convenor of the Current Student Representative's does, I always answered it was internal management of the board. In this metaphor, the CCSR is your shift manager, while the CSR's are your customer service assistants and VP Board of Management is your store manager. And because it is this mid-level management role, it means what the CCSR actually does is constantly debated. At first, then this position was first made, it's role very vague and had no real responsibilities other than the PR and keeping the board up-todate on CSR progress. With the addition of the meetings talked about in 5.1.2, it gave the role what I felt was a needed more defined responsibility but these additions mainly held true during the university term time. It left what the role was for most of the time I had the position, other than representing the CSR's on Fresher's week committee, just as vague as it has been. During the exams and summer period, I found myself just posting on the facebook group about fresher's week committee and possibly arranging a few meetings. Perhaps a
more active role in fresher's week committee would remedy this, especially during the summer. At the moment, the CCSR is left with what the role entailed before the regular meetings were added, PR and support for the CSR's during the exam period. Therefore, I think that just like how the meetings were added to the CCSR responsibilities during the term, there should be an equivalent for what the CCSR should be doing during exam times. This could just be having 2 CSR meetings and bi-weekly check-ins just via facebook to make sure the CSR's are coping with exam stress, maybe even trying to arrange a chill social for the CSR's to de-stress and get to know each other better. Having it set what is expected from the CCSR during exam time I think would benefit not only the CCSR in knowing they are doing the right thing but also the CSR's in having someone check in on them as students are known to be overwhelmed during exams.
Conclusion and Thanks
Overall, the role (who else is sick of that word?) of CCSR has evolved over the last two years and while is still going through some growing pains, I think within the next year will be a solid addition to the board of management and will have its own place to the point that it wouldn't make sense not to have it. To refer back to my AGM report last year, I hope that I did have a group of CSR's who felt like they achieved what they set out to, or at least were in the process of doing so by the time I came off board. Mostly, I hope that being a CSR was a valuable part of their university life because I know for me it definitely was. I have made those magnificent experiences and memories with an astonishing group of people and I can confirm that it is still a blessing to have been CCSR. Thank you pals!!! <3 xx
5.2 Mitchell Welsh 5.2.1 Introduction: Being CCSR had been a rather different experience to what I imagined, in that I expected people to have a high standard of what I should be doing as CCSR, and ended up being told you can essentially 'do what you want with it'. Technically being a convenor, it has had its advantages in that I got information about the state of the union before some other board members, as well as information not everyone was privy to. However this has also led to the realisation that the role of CCSR is flawed in many respects, which I will go over. 5.2.2 The perception of the role: One of the biggest problems with this role is that most people do not take it seriously or consider it a real convenorship. As CCSR I tried to play into this, acting as an informal sort of relay between those higher up and some staff as well as a leader, which in hindsight was a mistake. This is because it strengthened the idea that the CCSR was essentially an unnecessary middleman, as suggested in previous AGM reports. I believe the best way of fixing this problem is to cut out the middleman and have the exec and staff interact directly with the CSRs. The role does not have any real power to enforce its main tasks, like getting PR out of the building. Furthermore, my role in the building has been mistaken on a few occasions with members of staff, who have either not known I was CCSR or thought I was a different convenor entirely, which only further illustrates how this role can be seen as just a title. 5.2.3 PR: In terms of getting PR out of the building, I mistakenly tried to do this as a casual part of the CSR's tasks, which only led to it not being done consistently enough by all CSR's. The only time when everyone went out to do PR together was when I organised it more formally towards the end of my term, and pushed PR on people whenever the opportunity arose and whenever it was readily available. The best way to change this in my mind is for PR to be done more formally. Not as a rota system as such, but more in the same vein as quota, in that it has to be done a certain amount of times, or that it becomes a weekly/bi-weekly outing of CSRs. 5.2.4 Conclusion: Overall, I have enjoyed my time as CCSR in that I have felt more involved in the board of management in terms of what I got to be privy to. Realistically however, the position needs its responsibilities to be dispersed to positions which are taken seriously. This could be something like having CSR meetings and introductions done by the VP of the board of management (who is sent all of the reviews and such anyway by the CCSR to review, and is in charge of doing mid-term reviews), and having PR dispersal and shifts controlled between our PR manager an VP board or president, which would improve board connections with our staff. I will honestly say that at the end of my term the only reason I could think of someone wanting to be CCSR is for the extra bit of information you get on the union's current status
which is not enough to justify it as a position, as it ads very little to the board of management.
5.3 Anoushka Kapoor 5.3.1 Introduction: Hello everyone! Mine will be a short report this time as my role as CCSR hasn’t been too eventful. I was elected only last month (19th March) and have only 2 other CSRs with me currently. I met with Mitchel, who was CSR before me, shortly after I was elected to talk about the role. I am excited to see what I can do! Here is what I have done so far and what I plan to do in my capacity: 5.3.2 CSR Meetings So far, I have only conducted one CSR meeting; since it was only 2 other people besides me, it was rather informal. My plan for the following meetings is a little different. I have noticed in the past most CSR meetings focus on project progress. I would like to talk to the CSRs about what they plan to do once they’re on board and how they wish to carry workings of the unions forward, in addition to their personal goals/manifesto points. For example, I would like to chat about everyone’s ideas about how can we improve ways to PR, pass along more information about how the board of management works, how you can get involved, why you should get involved, etc. It would be a mix between discussing project progress and some brainstorming. 5.3.3 PR In my time on board so far, I have seen a few PR techniques us CSRs have tried, and I think the most recent one, that Mitchel made us do, worked out best: if maximum CSRs meet up in QMU, divide PR and the university buildings between themselves and head out. In roughly two hours and among about 6-7 CSRs we were able to get a decent amount of PR out. I recommend doing this fortnightly, between the board meetings. Additional PR can be given out at the board meeting/other meetings, and distributed to the CSRs who can send a picture proving they have put the PR up. For times when this can’t be done, as long as we remember to refer to the list of university buildings (that Polly kindly made last semester, and is on the CSR facebook page) and make sure we cover the most relevant ones, if not all, is an alternative.
6. Report of the Events Convenor 6.1 Thank You So this is goodbye but also hello again of course. It has been an interesting challenge being ad-hoc events convenor over the last few months and I am very excited to be taking up the role again having actually been elected to it! My committee has been amazing this semester and I owe a massive thank you to everyone for not only keeping me right and showing me the ropes but also for all your input to discussion over the year. Particular thanks needs to go to my right hand woman MaĹĄa who has been an absolutely fantastic lefty and has been so helpful to me in my role. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Molly and Sophie from tech whose insight has been truly invaluable and who I look forward to working well with next year. I promise to get tech specs in on time! Finally our President, Priya has been such a great support to me and helped me with anything I was unsure of and so thanks to her too. So hi and thanks once again, let's hope we see a lot of fresh new faces on committee next year. AGM reports typically reflect on manifestos and how convenors fulfilled them however as I never originally ran on the convenor ticket it I can't really comment on my manifesto so instead I will just discuss my focus and work in the role this year and how I plan to address the issues I encountered this year. I will also outline events that happened before I was adhoc convenor that I have done with the help of Priya and she can help me answer any questions as I obviously was not involved them and so am not able to comment very well. 6.2 Spectrvm We tried to launch a new club night this year. It was pitched to the finance committee that it would be run in associated with LGBTQ+ Society however there was very little in put or responsibility with the society. I do not believe this is down to the society at all but that we were both being told different things about the involvement. The finance committee allowed four to go ahead with a review after the fourth. It was clear after the third one that it was not a success so we never made it to the fourth. There was not as much investment into this night as there was into launches such as magic so financial losses were minimal however there is damage done by having an empty Qudos and does not look good for our reputation. This night was not launched in freshersâ€™ week and in future any new event that is launched should be. However I do not believe the QM and club nights go in hand anymore. 6.3 Flux This was a very labour intensive event to put on and there did not seem to be as much passion from the committee from when it first began last year. Our technical equipment made this event difficult to run and difficult to book DJs although this event did not run at a high cost the numbers were low and after two it did not run anymore and the finance committee was not prepared to support it anymore as it mainly fell to the marketing and communications co-ordinator and the president and tech team to organise. If we ever were to go forward with club nights a Jimâ€™s style event is a lot less pressure however I would not suggest we even entertain this idea until our technical equipment is up to scratch. 6.4 Halloween
Numbers for Halloween were only at about 200. Last year they sat at around 600. We ran the event on actual Halloween however a lot of people went out at the weekend as the day was a Tuesday. I do not believe we can look at that as the main reason people did not attend however it certainly did not help. Based on this indication it is difficult to see how it can be justified doing any big events in qudos next year as this year has just proved embarrassing. It may be worth at looking at doing events like this only on the first floor as karaoke this night was busy and if it is only attempting to fill up Jims and Champions it is a lot less pressure and reduces finances as we do not have to pay an act in qudos, staff and decorations. 6.5 Drag Friday This year we had a much smaller budget for the event we ran on the same day as Daft Friday. The event was great however it did lose us money and attendance was under 100. It did not look as empty as there were tables and chairs set out and people did not see the event was quiet and left. This is still obviously not acceptable and once again we should possibly just look at having a first floor event. 6.6 QMU Live The only events that the committee has organised under my tenure have been the two QMU Lives. With a previously well established reputation as a venue and a long history of A-list stars I felt strongly that we should capitalise and focus on these events and draw on my particular experience in this field. Both events were one off events for Refreshers and International Women's day respectively. Both events were unfortunately losses for us which was particularly disappointing for the latter as it was a charity event. There has been a steep learning curve from these two events that has taught us a lot about what works and doesn't and what we need to work on within the committee and as a union. In particular PR and communication have emerged as major issues for running events in general. We are very lucky to have two purpose built gig spaces in our Union both of which have the potential to become regular hotspots on the Glasgow Live Music scene. To achieve this we would like to run live music fortnightly and tackle issues we found with PR and attendance by getting the bands to sell tickets and we have drafted an effective financial plan for it in the next semester. We think that we will have to run regular student-led events if we are to remain relevant and effective as a union/student body and live music can be a lot cheaper and low risk than clubbing. 6.7 The Committee Since I have led the committee we have kept a fairly consistent attendance of between 7 to 12 members. The Committee have been really fantastic in supporting me and organising events. However, the vast majority of those attending the committee have been Board or exBoard members. While it is of course good that the board are heavily involved in Events it is also unfortunate that we have been unable to attract other members of the Union and student community. Having enthusiastic people who are passionate about organising live music and other events would really help this committee improve and grow. Many on the committee do not see small scale live music or go clubbing regularly so more specialised knowledge and experience would be a real asset to us. I have not looked into ways to tackle this issue in my tenure as adhoc convenor but moving forward into next year I will pursue options such as PR to improve our attendance and make the committee not just for the board but for all members of the QMU.
6.8 Communication One of the biggest issues I have identified in my time as Convenor has been communication between departments. This is a union wide problem that has had serious consequences on the success of our events in this semester. When planning events we should not have to tailor it so it's passed by finance and thus have it wrongly or under budgeted. This has been particularly damaging for us given the decision this semester to have all events passed through finance regardless of budget which significantly delayed our events being passed. We have also experienced issues with PR not arriving on time. I have attempted to tackle this issue myself by building good relationships with the staff, board, committees and tech team and even organising collaborating on events with the Charities committee. We will seriously need to consider how best to approach this in the coming year as organising events can be a bureaucratic nightmare rn. 6.9 Closing Comments My first term as adhoc convenor has not been ideal due to various mitigating circumstances that have emerged in the union however it has been a very valuable experience for me to draw upon in the position. There are some problems that we certainly need to focus on in terms of member engagement, communication and the structure of the events we put on but we have the time and the dedication to work on these things over summer and get the next term booked out well in advance. I am lucky to have had not only this experience but also the benefit of support from so many people across the union. The biggest lesson from this semester has been that simply throwing money at big ticket events can't work for us and we need to focus our limited funds nor only on making the union a nicer space but on small scale regular events to build our reputation up again. I believe we can achieve this through hard work and so onwards and upwards to a hopefully more successful year of events!
7. Report of the Publications Convenor 7.1 The Publications 7.1.1 The Freshers’ Handbook We printed 4,000 copies of the handbook at a cost of £1,015 in August 2017. This is 2,000 fewer copies than in previous years, which made us a small saving and didn’t impact distribution, as we still have a few boxes of undistributed copies. We secured advertising from Urban Eat, Endsleigh and Securigroup which came to a total of £1070, so we actually made a small profit from the handbook. There were some problems with proofreading – two of the convenor email addresses in the handbook were incorrect and had to be corrected by fresher’s helpers handing copies out, so I would advise proofreading very closely on next year’s copy. Additionally, we had some errors with the adverts when printing, in which one advert (securigroup) came out lower quality in the print copies, so I would check with the printers that everything is formatted correctly before printing. Otherwise, the handbooks were a success – they looked fantastic and the design was very popular, and we only have a couple of hundred copies left, as opposed to several thousand last year, so 4,000 seems to be a much more reasonable number of copies to print. 7.1.2 The Freshers’ Week Zine To save money we decided to print 1000 copies of a single sixteen-page zine at a cost of £299 through mail boxes etc., instead five of daily 8 page zines, in an effort to save money. The zines looked fantastic – they were ready on Monday lunchtime and we distributed them at the fresher’s fair and QMU fair and got a lot of complements and interest in them. They were very popular, and we managed to distribute all 1,000 copies by the end of week one. The move from daily zines to one weekly zine was a great success – we not only saved money; it also considerably reduced the pressure on team pubs and the pubs convenor in particular, as I know making the daily zines was a very high workload. We were still busy during fresher’s week as we produced a large amount of online content (5+ articles per day), which was promoted through our zines and got a lot of engagement online, and we had a lot of fun making it. Working on a single print zine also gave us more time to produce the zine and make sure it was the best quality it could be. 7.1.3 qmunicate magazine Due to the significant reduction in our budget we haven’t been able to produce eight issues per year, as previous convenors have. However, through self-funding, we were still able to produce five issues, two of which were online-only and three of which were printed. The first online issue was due to a budgeting error by last year’s team which meant we couldn’t afford to print our first issue; the second online issue was our NSFW edition, which has traditionally been online every year. By moving to a new printer who offered us a better deal and by fundraising, we have a been able to produce three print issues this year, which I am very proud of. We’ve had a significant design change this year, which has looked absolutely beautiful and has been a great chance to promote fantastic artists and photographers on campus (we
were even nominated for the award for Best Student Photographer at the Student Publication Awards!). The writing has also been consistently excellent, as it always is, and we’ve written some fantastic articles covering a variety of issues affecting students. I’ve received a huge number of complements on the magazine this year, both on the quality of the design and of the writing, and I am very proud of what we’ve achieved. The editorial team have done a fantastic job this year and I am immensely proud of them. 7.1.4 New Editorial Positions – Photo and Illustration Editor and News Editor I created two new editorial positions this year; a Photo and Illustration Editor, which was proposed in my manifesto, and a second News editor, which I introduced after reviewing editor applications. The photo and illustration editor was an enormous success, allowing us to focus much more on the look of the magazine and on sourcing images from creative students. Our photo and illustration editor this year also chose to manage the design of the magazine, meaning we had a new, more cohesive and fresh look. Whether future photo and illustration editors will wish to continue designing the magazine remains to be seen, but the position has been an excellent addition to the team this year. The decision to take on two news editors was less successful; I initially made the decision as the two editors I took on applied as a team, intending to cover different aspects of news. While they both did an excellent job, there just wasn’t the level of interest we had hoped for from contributors in the volume of news articles we were pitching. 7.1.5 The Podcast I was unfortunately unable to produce the podcast I had promised in my manifesto. This was due to a number of reasons; I initially intended to work with a member of tech team on the podcast, who subsequently left the QM as a volunteer. We decided to work on the podcast independently as a member of the editorial team had access to the needed recording equipment, and we recorded our first episode. We later ran into a huge number of technical problems, and the editor in question subsequently moved, meaning we lost access to the recording equipment we had used. Additionally, I was unaware of the change in qmunicate’s funding when I ran in the election, and once I took on the position my priorities shifted away from the podcast and towards fundraising for the magazine. Additionally, there wasn’t the level of interest from contributors in the podcast that I had hoped, so the idea was eventually abandoned. 7.2 Engaging the membership Attendance at the meetings has been good, although it seems to be down slightly from last year on average. We had around 25-30 people at most meetings, including editors and board members. The meetings have always been engaging and generated a lot of discussion, and the majority of pitches which have not been taken in meetings have been taken online. We have made facebook events for a large number of the meetings the weekend before, and these meetings were almost always better attended than those we didn’t advertise on Facebook, so I would definitely advise continuing to do this in future. Due to our new photo and illustration editor we have gained several new contributors in the form of photographers and illustrators, who had never worked with qmunicate before. Many of these contributors engage with us online rather than in meetings, so I am not too concerned by the slight drop
in attendance, as we seem to be gaining contributors who work with us more through Facebook than in person. I’ve received a huge volume of positive feedback on the magazine from people who are not otherwise involved with the union, and I truly believe it to be an excellent ambassador for the union and a great way to get people involved. I put out a survey in the qmunicate contributors’ facebook group asking about other ways they engage with the union: most contributors reported using union services such as café 22, Scran and the bars when they come to qmunicate and using our food and bar services multiple times a week.
7.2.1 Website We upgraded to a more expensive Wordpress package at a cost of £68 which gave us more options to customise the site and the possibility of hosting adverts. Our photo and illustration editor completely redesigned the website and it looks absolutely fantastic. We also introduced an option for our readers to donate and support the magazine online, which has been a great success. 2017 was our most successful year online, receiving 75,303 total views, almost 5,000 more than the previous year. Our most popular articles have been the liveblogs of hustings, and coverage of events and issues on campus. 7.2.2 Journalism Mixer In February we had our second journalism mixer in Jim’s Bar with journalist Robert J. Somynne as a speaker. This event was a huge success – Jim’s was packed and we had attendees from GUM, G-You and Glasgow Guardian who all said they really enjoyed the event. The incoming G-You editor has said he would like to host another mixer in the GUU, which would be fantastic. We also managed to raise an extra £10 towards our printing costs. 7.2.3 Launch Party I decided to host a launch party for our first print issue in October in an attempt to raise money to fund the printing of later issues. This was an enormous success – we raised £373 from the event in donations, entry fees and via selling posters provided to us by the printers for free. This allowed us to entirely fund the printing of our second issue and contributed greatly to funding the printing of our third. I would have liked to host more of these events, but university commitments got in the way, and the two later issues arrived during exams or at the very end of semester, making it impractical to organise another. I would definitely recommend these as a fundraising method and also a fun social for contributors; we hosted two spoken word poets and two musical acts, all of which performed for free and went down really well. 7.3 Finance 7.3.1 Budget We had a considerable cut to our budget this year, as the previous team were given the funding for eight print issues, while we were given a budget of £500 which could not be spent on printing costs. Initially I was encouraged to move the magazine to an online-only enterprise, however I was determined to continue to produce print issues as I believe them to be a vital part of the union. We managed to secure a deal with ESP Ltd. Printers which
gave us our first issue for free, second for £280 and third for £400, instead of costing around £600 per issue with our old printers. I arranged to print three more issues with this printer, at a cost of £400 of the next issue and between £400-600 for the subsequent two issues, which I’m sure my successor will continue with. We pursued fundraising though a number of avenues, including the launch party, bake sales, and donations via our website, and have managed to fundraise almost £650 via these methods. These allowed us to pay in full for the printing of our first two issues, and meant the third issue only cost the union around £50. Unfortunately, we did not succeed in securing advertising this year. I was told that attempts to find print advertisers had been unsuccessful in previous years, so I sought to source advertising via the website instead, upgrading the website for this purpose. This has unfortunately not been a success, however we certainly did not pursue this avenue as much as we could on account of the success of our other sources of funding, so this may well be a viable option for future publication convenors. Our £500 budget has remained largely unspent; after upgrading the website and renewing the domain name we were still left with over £400. We were advised to spend this money on things which could generate further revenue, but we struggled to find anything worthwhile to spend it on. I would advise using this budget to cover printing costs next year, as I believe the magazine provides excellent promotion for the union as a whole. 7.4 Final Thanks and Acknowledgements I’ve had an absolutely fantastic year and want to say a big thankyou to every editor, contributor and board member who helped make it so fantastic. I’d especially like to thank my brilliant team of editors, in particular Imogen, who took on a huge volume of work making the design of the magazine so beautiful, and everyone with whom I shared my time on board, who have been so supportive, helpful, and all-around fantastic to work with this year. Best of luck to the fantastic Amy Shimmin who is now officially qmunicate editor in chief and QMU Publications Convenor! I’m so excited to see where she takes qmunicate in the coming year and have no doubts that she will be absolutely brilliant. And best of luck to all the new board – I have every faith in such a fantastic bunch of people, and hope being on board is as much of a delight for you as it’s been for me!
8. Report of the Social Convenor It has been a hell of a ride folks, and yet again the curse of the social convenor has been broken! Me and my committee have put on wide range of events, some that worked and some that didn’t but all in all its been a grand old time and I would like to profusely thank my committee plus those involved at the QMU for helping me through it. 8.1 Committee performance: Social committee is small but by far the hardest working bunch of people I have ever meet. Who have always gone the extra mile for social and I couldn’t have done it without them. Work is still need though to pull in people especially Freshers so that social can continue this high standard of dedication seen this year. 8.2 Freshers’ Week: Event 1st FUQ
Home Student Quiz Film Screening Really Useful Quiz Pool Tournament Simpsons Screening Speed mating Open Mic Gaming tournament BWNPQ Music Bingo Language Cafe Aloud Ricky and Morty Screening 2nd FUQ
Attendees 70 120 50 175 60 20-40 160 80 (15 signups) 80 365 50-60 45-50 40 45 120
Numbers compared to the previous Freshers + + na + = na + = + (up from two years ago) na ----na +
Overall the social line up for freshers was highly successful and numbers are generally up compared to last year. People love quizzes, all were well attended and with BWNPQ being sponsored by Jaeger there is a potential to get other quizzes sponsored for next year and see a similar spike in numbers. Changing the home student mixer into a quiz worked well, along with non-physical prizes (i.e vouchers and 2 for 1 meal deals) as the home students were encouraged to stay in the building longer. The length of Speed Mating was cut down from last year as suggested by the previous social convenor, however this year there was a jump in attendance and with the second speed mating not being put in the University’s Freshers line up the event became slightly congested in its running. I would suggest a capacity to speed mating of around 100 people.
The gaming tournament was a lot of work with little return, I would recommend doing an open session style gamming event rather than a tournament to keep things calmer. Music bingo: download the playlist before the event! because the WIFI in Jim’s isn’t great.
8.3 Weekly events: 8.3.1 Quizzes:
BWNPQ’s numbers have been erratic throughout the whole year, with numbers dropping off immediately after Fresher’s Week. This may be due to there being no grand incentive (Large Jaeger prize in freshers) the next week to pull people back. This year Jaeger sponsored the BWNPQ, with a grand prize in Fresher’s Week and some merchandise throughout the year however interaction with Jaeger had dropped off and no further big prizes were sent out. BWNPQ has experienced several cancellations due to low number especially in semester 2, were it seemed that quizzes were only attended if there was a theme or a big prize. The introduction of the Coors sponsored Beer for a year was a big success in refreshers with around 360 in attendance. There was however a drop-in attendance of the beer for a year/ VK for a year quizzes after the first one with 60 people attending both. I would suggest working with Coors next year to have these specialised quizzes in semester 1 when numbers have traditionally been better. A £1 entry fee was introduced to BWNPQ starting in semester 2 to see if this would add an incentive for individuals to return to win a jackpot prize. The change was accepted with no bother to those attending. However, this £1 entry maybe linked to BWNPQ’s small numbers, but this drop-in numbers has been seen each year with the quiz and with the poor performance of the quiz in semester 1 I don’t believe this is the case. Thus, the entry fee maybe be viable to continue next year, possibly passing it over to FUQ. FUQ saw consistent number throughout the year of 20-30 people each week, with cancellations only due to bad weather and conflicts with gigs. Themed quizzes and quizzes in conjunction with societies work better with FUQ. A number of different societies and charities worked in conjunction with both quizzes and overall improved numbers, these bodies include; Coopafeel, LGBTQ+ Staff Network, GU Harry Potter Society, First Aid Africa, GU Tech society, SWiTCH and the GU Simpsons Society. Specialised Quizzes BWNPQ
Semester, Week and theme
S1 WK 5 Rick and Morty S1 WK 9 Simpsons S2 WK 1 Coors Beer for a year S2 WK 4 VK for a year
50 40 360 60 50 41
S2 WK 8 Harry Potter S1 WK 10 Friends S2 WK 4 Disney S1 WK 8 St Paddy’s Day (Coors beer for a year)
50 20 60
8.3.2 Aloud: Aloud was moved to a monthly basis at the requests of the hosts and didn’t damping numbers as Aloud saw a consistent turn-out of 40-50 people per month. Yet again attendance of the hosts to social committee was poor resulting in a few instances of miscommunication, this will need to be worked on for the next hosts. 8.3.3 Pool League: The league was moved to every two weeks to keep numbers consistent, which worked with around 20 regular coming every two weeks. There was a concern that the league didn’t make much money for the bar as some players prefer not to drink and with two of the pool table reserved for the league with free play, there was seemingly a deterrent for others to play. To solve this only one table was available for free play and specifically for newcomers to try out, regulars were happy to pay the 60p to play the other tables. The pool tournament needs more outside advertisement around campus. 8.3.4 Screenings: The film screenings didn’t go too well as numbers rarely made it over 15 people. The set up for the screening was double feature, but most people seemed to leave after the first film. I would recommend reducing screenings to only a few times a semester rather than every two weeks as this would give time for people to get excited, along with showing big titles as some of the screenings we did this year were a bit niche. Tv screenings worked well as de-stress events providing good background noise in Champions Bar; screenings were less successful in Jim’s Bar and should be held in Champions bar. I don’t know the logistics, but there is a potential to run a weekly screening of upcoming tv show as this has been done in the past and has pulled in large number such as seen with Game of thrones. 8.3.5 Language Café: I ran a few cafes in Semester 1 but numbers never topped 10 people. I believe there is too many other cafes around campus run by the language schools and societies already, causing numbers to be spread too thin. The café is still a great event to run in freshers and should be continued then. 8.3.6 Karaoke: As always karaoke is a very popular event, this year it was run as a weekly event with good numbers in semester 1. However, during semester 2 there was huge inconsistencies with dates, with karaoke being cancelled several times due to conflicts with gigs and other events in Jim’s bar. This needs to be worked on as well as establishing a better network of hosts for karaoke as each week it seemed to be falling to the same people. Karaoke has become the Friday night at the QM and I think this should be capitalised on making it into a more rounded out night, potentially getting drinks/cocktail deal and working with societies (i.e. GU 42
Disney Society and the Nordic Society). Finally, a huge thankyou to Polly, Mitchell, Courtney and Fay for always stepping up to host. 8.4 St Patrick’s St. Paddy’s had a mixed success this year with numbers much lower than last year. St. Paddy’s Day was taken on by social this year as the events throughout the day fell under social. Champions bar was busy throughout with the rugby playing in the background the day, but only 10 people came to sit in Qudos for the big screen. Therefore, the Trad band was moved to champions providing a better atmosphere and were well received. The quiz brought in 60 people to Qudos, less than expected. I think the problem experienced with St. Paddy’s is that there is too much competition with other bars and clubs especially since St. Paddy’s was on a Saturday this year. Moving on from this I would recommend having all our events for Paddy’s next year to be held in the two bars upstairs as not to spread our numbers to thin throughout the build and providing a better experience. 8.5 Moving forward: From my time as, social convenor I have a few recommendations for next year. Karaoke should be worked into a more rounded night and potentially have two regular host like the quizzes. FUQ I believe would work better starting at a later time of 6pm. A better PR scheme is need for the Pool League; changing the Facebook group into an open page for people to interact with easier. BWNPQ would work well to be scaled back and concentrating the Beer for a year Quizzes in Semester 1. Hosts need to attend Social committee more regularly to ensure there is not miscommunication with events and other committees. 8.6 Thankyou: I would like to thank all those who attended and helped with social this year, as well to the exec for your advice and giving me my own social team during Freshers, that was neat. A thanks to all the quiz hosts Mitchell, Mike, Rachel, Caitlin and Jonathan, to John, Declan and Sophie for running the pool league, Courtney for running the screenings, Bethany and Shannon from Aloud, Tech team for just always being there to lend a hand and finally a huge thanks to Mitchell and Courtney for going above and beyond as social lefties, you guys have saved me. David, I wish you the best of luck for the upcoming year, you’re going to do great!