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Annual Report 2010 / 2011

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Introduction Welcome to the Students’ Union Annual Report for 2010/11. This report reviews the successes and impacts of the Solent Students’ Union. 2010/11 was a vital year for me, the Union and students both current and future. For me, an important task was putting Solent back on the map both with NUS and the wider community. The results of these were obvious and still evident today with Solent winning many project bids with NUS and L.O.C.O.G. In 2010 as President I spent a lot of time in the media on radio and television discussing topics that impacted all. The fight for fairer funding of higher education. The Union’s priority campaign alongside NUS. The campaign dealt with the Browne Review into how universities would be funded. The tuition fee vote and the Government’s White Paper on what students should get from their university. Alongside all of this, the Union is now a registered charity following a process that took a year to complete. This was the result of new laws by the Charity Commission. In the same year we reviewed our constitution the governing document or rules of how the Union operates and is run by students as it has been 5 years since we became a University and Solent Students’ Union was renamed from Southampton Institute Students’ Union (SISU). All of this gave us an opportunity to find out what we need to do to better students’ lives and better represent all 17,500 of you. In September 2010 we began a survey of over 2000 students to find out what is you want the Union to do for you and what a union should exist for. After completing the surveys and focus groups we put this all together to create the Union Plan, a 5 year plan of what we will work towards to better the Union. The other outcome of the review was to look at what we need to do better to campaign and fight for a better education practices and more student feedback and involvement both at East Park Terrace and Warsash campuses, but more of this can be found inside this review here.

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Solent Students’ Union


So, take a look at what we’ve done over the last year and look out for the Union Plan and where we go from here. Daniel Prendergast President & Chair of the Trustee Board 2010-2012 The past year has been one of significant change for Solent Students Union - we became a registered Charity and the prior discussion around governance regarding the new Charity Law requirements prompted us to welcome Trustees from outside the SU onto our Board and review our governance arrangements as a matter of best practice; this resulted in the reform of our governing document, our structures and decision making processes. We now have an accessible structure that empowers students in the activity and development of their SU. More than 2000 students were involved this year in a project advising us how they wanted their SU developed in the coming years - their in-depth feedback through surveys, face to face meetings and events led to the completion of our Union Plan - a 5 year blueprint of the ways we can improve the SU for current and future Solent students. We have also seen changes to our building - after our students requested that the spaces be more vibrant and interactive we refurbished our lounge area with redecoration, new flooring and furnishings and introduced a Get Involved wall and You Say, We Do space. Due to the changes in use of our Top Bar a student ran a ‘Use it or Lose it’ campaign, the results of this coupled with student feedback has seen us commit to a refurbishment of that space that will create a resource that will enable more students to develop their own activities through the SU. It has been an exciting and challenging year but one in which has shown just how much can be achieved with our students, Officers, staff and University all working together - we look forward to seeing the SU grow and our students enjoy the benefits of these changes in the coming year. Anna Clodfelter Chief Executive

Annual Report 2010 / 2011

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Snapshot

AGM ANGELS BUDDY SYSTEM

The Annual General Meeting is the most important open meeting for students as it gives them a great opportunity to give their ideas and opinions of the SU’s future. Angels are student volunteers who assist the Students’ Union throughout the year, but primarily over the Freshers’ Fortnight.

Dan Prendergast President

The Buddy System is a new support initiative that involves second and third year students mentoring first year students in every aspect of university life.

ECO ERNIE GOATS

Eco Ernie – ‘the greenest milk float in the South’ – is Solent’s very own awardwinning community volunteering project.

Ayumi Okada

VP Student Support

GOAT stands for ‘Go Out And Talk’ – a new initiative that gains qualitative student feedback. Students are hired as GOATs to go out and talk directly to students about a whole range of topics.

KNIGHT BUS

The SU Mini-bus is used every weekday evening as the Knight Bus – a free student mini-bus service from the Library to the Halls of Residence, enabling students to travel home more safely.

Stephanie Hobbs

VP Student Development

Other achievements ► Staff and officers of Solent SU visited 17 Students’ Unions in 2010/11 ► The President was a member of the business and enterprise committee of NUS Services

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Laura Smith

VP Communications

Solent Students’ Union


Some of our Successes

RAISE & GIVE (RAG) ► Solent students and the RAG Cash Cow are still raising money for charity. ► The Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation was the SU’s RAG charity– fundraising campaigns included a 24-hour Rowing Marathon and Radio Sonar’s 37-hour broadcast. The RAG Cash Cow is a reoccurring feature at many SU activities throughout the year.

£841.64 WAS RAISED BY RAG FOR THE WALLACE & GROMIT’S CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION

ELECTIONS ► Another successful election with all Sabbatical Officers elected. ► There were multiple candidates for a variety of positions, giving more control for students over their SU. For the first time, the SU and the University worked in collaboration to promote the election across campus and in halls. New initiatives were brought in such as using Eco Ernie outside the library, at halls, and throughout the student community to heighten awareness.

“I WANTED TO GET INVOLVED IN THE SU, TO HELP TO GET STUDENTS INVOLVED IN ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO AND AFFECT THEM” SU Officer Candidate

LANGUAGE SWAP ► A new volunteering project to introduce students to a range of new skills and opportunities. ► Language Swap was set up to gather a variety of students in order to learn new languages from one another, to gain experience by volunteering, and to make new friends. A range of languages and cultures are represented by the students involved. A day-long event was organised at the SU for students to experience other cultures.

OVER 50 PEOPLE JOINED LANGUAGE SWAP’S FACEBOOK GROUP IN THE INITIAL STAGES Annual Report 2010 / 2011

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Partnership Working

Strategic Review ►A

three to five year plan that aims to actively ensure the best student experience possible The strategic review of the SU, also known as the Union Plan, took more than 12 months to deliver with student consultation being the primary focus. Discussion with staff and Officers, the University, and external stakeholders contributed to the formation of the five main themes of the Union Plan which will inform the ways that the SU will work with students now and in the future.

THE UNION PLAN WAS APPROVED BY THE TRUSTEE BOARD AND STUDENTS AT THE AGM

Community ► Improving

relationships between students and local residents

Work in the community has increased with events and campaigns such as the Cops and Robbers Burglary Prevention, development of PCSO drop-ins on campus, and the delivery of our multiagency awareness campaign involving the Police, Fire, Ambulance, and local Council. Staff and Officers also attend a monthly residents meeting to discuss ways to improve the lives of students in the community.

COMMUNITY WORK INCLUDES EVENTS SUCH AS ‘WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD’

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Solent Students’ Union


Environment ► Carbon

footprint reduced and Silver Award achieved

For the first time, all staff and Officers were focused on environmental issues in their day to day activity. For example, introducing local produce choices for students onto our menu and reducing power usage to increase our energy efficiency rating from a D to a C grade. This resulted in the SU winning Silver at the NUS Green Impact Awards. Initiatives such as Go Green Week, Student Switch Off and Green Impact engaged with large numbers of students. “Over the past 12 months, the Students’ Union and University Estates department have worked closely together, making a significant contribution to progress the University’s Environmental and Sustainability objectives.” – Martin Walton, Environmental and Sustainability Manager

Events ► Student

event offer improved by working in partnership

As a small organisation with limited resources, we found that the SU was unable to deliver events that matched students’ expectations. Having listened to student feedback, we have begun working in partnership with external providers to deliver an exciting and vibrant events package.

2,500 STUDENTS PARTICIPATED IN THE WEEKLONG FRESHERS EVENT

Annual Report 2010 / 2011

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Communication

Rebrand ►A

new identity, putting students at the centre of our work

solent

students' union

The SU has reworked its logo to highlight that students drive the work of the Union. In response to feedback, the SU underwent a transformation – by installing large external signs, banners and flags in the outside area, and adding graphics to the Knight Bus, the SU is not only heightening awareness, but is identifying that all the work is student-led. “The new logo design has really refreshed the SU. The signs outside make the building stand out so more students are aware of the SU.” – Scott, Solent student

Go Out And Talk ►A

new initiative to gain student feedback

The SU employs students (known as GOATs) to gather the opinions of Solent students on a range of SU services, through focus groups and surveys. The SU’s Vision statement was voted on through discussion with students via the GOATs. Future developments include using iPads to gather information, and greater work with the University.

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OVER 2,000 STUDENTS WERE CONSULTED ABOUT THE STUDENTS’ UNION IN 2010/11 Solent Students’ Union


You Said, We Did ►A

new project that actively communicates how students’ ideas drive the work of the SU The SU has taken a pro-active approach to student feedback with the You Said, We Did project. We are able to directly communicate the actions that the SU has taken from suggestions that students offer, including changes the SU has made to the Shop’s products and the menu in the Bar, how promotion works and even the design of the SU building’s decoration was informed by student feedback. “This project shows that the SU is there, not just as a bar and a shop, but to listen to the suggestions that students have and to work on them for everyone’s benefit.” – Joe, Solent student

Solent students voting in the AGM

Annual Report 2010 / 2011

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Relevant to our Students

Sonar Media ► Four

student-led societies that cover all areas of media

SONAR MEDIA IS THE HOME OF STUDENT CREATIVE OUTPUT AT SOLENT STUDENTS’ UNION

Sonar Media is formed by four societies: Sonar Magazine, which became a society this year; Sonar TV, which filmed in venues across Southampton; Sonar Film, which has access to the only University-owned 3D cinema; and the I Love Student Radio’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to Student Radio’ award-winning Radio Sonar.

Volunteering ► More

opportunities for student-led activities to heighten the student experience

Volunteering opportunities have included placements with the SU Events team, participating with the Eco Ernie at the student changeover, and working with Southampton City Council. We recruited more than 80 additional Angels and around 40 remained engaged throughout the year. Music Production students were involved in delivering events in the Top Bar. We introduced V-Inspired for our students for the first time.

“The SU is not like other volunteering placements – you move around and work in many different areas. I’ve met so many new people, and gained a lot of great skills.” – Jenny, Solent student and SU volunteer 10

Solent Students’ Union


Societies ►A

more student-friendly structure with even more societies

THERE ARE OVER 1,000 STUDENTS INVOLVED WITH THE SU SOCIETIES

There has been an increase in both the number of societies from seven to twentyfive, and the number of participants is now more than one thousand. Much work has been done to make it easier for students with similar interests to get together and create a society. For the first time, society members were recognised at the University’s Volunteering Awards.

Bar, Shop & Cafe ► Reinvesting

profits back into student activities

STUDENT FEEDBACK HAS DIRECTLY SHAPED NEW CAFE PRODUCTS INCLUDING THE WEDGIES AND SALAD MENUS

The performance of the Shop has improved throughout the year with an extension in the range of products in response to student and faculty feedback – the overall profit of the Shop was better than anticipated. The Cafe has continued its growth for the second year running, helped by student feedback, and the Bar has continued to buck the decline on the High Street, has won the NUS Best Bar None Bronze Standard Award and has been accredited by the city Best Bar None awards.

Annual Report 2010 / 2011

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Best use of Resources

Board of Trustees ► Changes

to the structure of the SU have led to changes in the Trustee Board

With developments in the governance of the SU and the completion of charity registration, there was the requirement for the formation of a Board that included external Trustees for the first time. This involved appointing external Trustees with diverse experiences to work with the Sabbatical Officers and an elected Student Trustee.

“Our new structure empowers students and officers and our new Board brings a fresh prospective on the work of the SU.” – Anna Clodfelter, Chief Executive

Best Value ► Our

duty to deliver all of our student services effectively, economically and efficiently

BEST VALUE PRINCIPLES:

CHALLENGE, COMPARE, CONSULT & COMPETE

The adoption of the Best Value principles across the year improved the quality of service delivery by instilling a culture of benchmarking, comparisons, consultations with all our stakeholders, and ensuring a competitive offer for our students. The added benefit was a significant cost-savings amounting to more that £20,000 across the organisation which we can reinvest into student activities.

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Solent Students’ Union


Space ► Using

student feedback to shape the design of the Students’ Union

“PAINT THE WALLS, MAKE THINGS BRIGHTER, MORE VIBRANT” Solent students

In response to our students’ requests to improve the physical atmosphere of the SU, a programme of decoration and refurbishment took place resulting in a brighter, more interactive space on the first floor. We launched a ‘Use It or Lose It’ campaign (designed by a current student) to encourage student-led events – this confirmed that the second floor space should be redeployed and this project is due to take place next year.

Newly designed 1st floor lounge

Annual Report 2010 / 2011

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Representation

Governance ►A

new Constitution and structure of the SU to define how we operate

Our students informed our new Mission, Vision, and Values then we consulted with other Students’ Unions, the Charity Commission, the University, and NUS to form a new Constitution and Governance Structure which was acknowledged by NUS as innovative and forward-thinking. There was a full review of Officer responsibilities resulting in new Sabbatical and part-time Officer roles.

“The new structure is an exciting development in the history of the Union. It will allow Solent SU to focus greatly on the needs of students and improve their experience at the University.” – Tom Jackson, SU Student Trustee

Course Reps ► 450

Course Reps assisting the SU to understand key academic issues

THERE ARE 450 COURSE REPS OVER THE THREE UNIVERSITY FACULTIES

A massive research project was undertaken involving students, Course Reps, and NUS national research data to produce an evaluation of the current system and a subsequent action plan. This involved an agreement with the University for more defined responsibility, and a new communication structure. One of the successes was to bring in Turnitin, an online submission facility to receive legible feedback and increase accessibility.

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Solent Students’ Union


Campaigns ► Students

The priority campaign for the year was the campaign protesting against on tuition fees. The SU activity included hosting talks on tuition fee rises and campus, lobbying MPs by organising a student letter-writing education cuts movement, and arranging 200 people to march in London during NUS’ national DEMO on education cuts. Policies passed at AGM asked the SU to campaign on 24-hour library opening, and to create student Hall Committees who will campaign for better student rights in halls.

“This is only the beginning. Solent is making its voice heard and will continue to stand up for students’ rights and be the change” – Dan Prendergast, Students’ Union President

Solent students marching at NUS DEMO

Annual Report 2010 / 2011

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Finances Where our money comes from Source

%

Block Grant

45%

Trading

34%

Other Funding

10%

Fundraising Activities

8%

Events

3%

Where our money goes Spent on

%

Student Led Activity

23%

Trading

31%

Events & Communications

12%

VAT

17%

SU Operation

17%

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Solent Students’ Union


► The main sources of income to the SU are grants received from Southampton Solent University and surpluses generated by non-trading activities. The main expenditures of the SU consist of the provision of student services and operative expenses. ► £53,208 was generated by the Students’ Union to reinvest into student activity and development. ► The SU Commercial Services (Bar / Shop / Cafe) contributed an additional £5,540 towards funding the work that we do. 2010 - 2011

Actual

Target

Trading GP (through shop / bar / catering)

52.26%

49.00%

Non-Trading revenue (excl. Grant)

£114,192

£89,720

+£53,208

-£27

£4.80

£5.40

Variance to agreed budget Income per square metre (based on commercial areas over 165 trading days)

HEADLINES FOR 2010 / 2011 Finance Overview

► Surplus of £53,208 ► £28,600 saved on support costs from last year ► £222,913 spent on student led activity

2010/11

2009/10

Incoming Resources

£862,377

£862,063

Resources Expended

£809.169

Surplus / (Deficit) Balance Sheet

2010/11

2009/10

Stock

£31,248

£27,427

£870,382

Debtors

£115,233

£80,975

+£53,208

(-£8,319)

Cash at bank & in hand

£324,042

£287,893

2010/11

2009/10

TOTAL

£470,523

£396,295

Creditors

(-£85,303)

(-£77,976)

Net current liabilities

£385,220

£318,319

Net Assets

£408,412

£355,204

Fixed Assets Tangible Assets

£21,932

£35,625

Investments

£1,260

£1,260

£23,192

£36,885

TOTAL

Annual Report 2010 / 2011

Current Assets

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Our Future

OUR GOALS 2011 / 2012

Having listened carefully to the 2000+ students that gave us their views this year; the Students’ Union has set some goals to achieve in 2011/12. Staff and Officers are committed to making sure that these goals are met and deliver meaningful outcomes for Solent students. More details about the longer term aims of the SU can be found in our Union Plan. Please keep an eye on our website for an update of how we’re doing....

Increase elections turnout by 50%

Offer new development opportunities for students every term

Achieve all democratic meetings at quoracy

Increase in overall student responses by 10%

Complete consultation with students on how we should engage with them

Increase student volunteers on Eco Ernie project to 40%

Achieve 60% of Course Reps trained

Reduce waste marketing collateral by 10%

Increase volunteers by 10%

Achieve Gold Award in Green Impact

Build better relationships with the local residents in the Say Hello campaign

Change usage of the Top Bar

Increase advocacy delivery by 15%

Achieve Bronze Award in the Students’ Union Evaluation Initiative

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Solent Students’ Union


Annual Report 2010 / 2011

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Solent Students’ Union

East Park Terrace, Southampton, SO14 0YN 023 8031 9571 www.solentsu.co.uk www.twitter.com/solentsu www.facebook.com/solentsu Solent Students’ Union is a registered charity (number 1142382), all revenue generated is invested back into services for our students

Solent SU - Annual Report 2010-2011  

Annual Report on the activities of Solent SU for 2010 to 2011

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