The Reading Rep Issue 33

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Farewell 2019/20 Officers! Find Out Their Funny Highlights and Embarrassing Moments That’ll Get You Giggling!

Fill in our Representation impact survey to be in with a chance to win a set of two-month NOWTV Cinema and Entertainment passes! Four to be won on p3

Mental Health Awareness with new Psychology Senior Rep Lucia 1


In this Issue… June 2020


StudentLife Life Student 04

Student Spotlight Stories PCLS Senior Rep Elect Lucia Martin shares all the ways she’s taking care of both her, and those on her societies’ mental health during lockdown and how you can get involved too!


Goodbye Full-time Officers! Sadly, it’s the time of year we have to say goodbye to our current Officer team. They told us their highlights, lessons learnt and future endeavours as they come to the end of their year in office.

Read some of the highlights you’ve told us in the Annual Rep Impact Survey so far.


New Law Senior Rep Elect, Oscar has already proved his dedication to the role during online training sessions and is our fitting Rep of the Month this issue.




This week we give our view on all things green and the series we’ve been loving during lockdown.

What’s your leadership style? With the new RUSU leaders about to take up their positions, we’ve created a quiz to allow you to find out your leadership style, and how you might react in a crisis.

14 Get to know returning MPCS Senior Rep Harrison, as he answers our back page quiz questions on skills, songs and sleeping.



Head to the RUSU website to fill in the Academic Rep survey to be in with a chance to win a NOWTV 4-month Entertainment and Sky Cinema pass bundle!

4x sets of vouchers to grab! Prizes worth £100 Has this year felt Enchanted or

to let us know how we can progress next year. It is a different world we are living in now since COVID-19 and we certainly would appreciate your ideas! And as one last thank you for your year as Reps we’re offering you and four others the chance to win one of four NOWTV Sky cinema and entertainment passes for two months, totally free and totally on us! To help There’s still time to find five get you through what may feel minutes in your day to take a like Groundhog Day (have we quick break and complete our got enough movie references annual Rep impact survey for in yet!), tune out of the news your chance to win a prize really and in to some of your worth bagging. Here at RUSU, favourite movies, new and we’re always trying to improve old, plus some great boxset the experience for our Reps series are now available for which is why we’re asking you to you to get stuck into! So, have your say and answer 13 what are you waiting for?! questions before the end of term was it more like Mission Impossible? Whether it sometimes left you feeling Clueless or made you think I am Legend, there are Billions of reasons you lot love being Reps so please don't tell us any Big Little Lies. This prize is Absolutely Fabulous so get entering our prize draw when you fill in our annual survey now!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS This giveaway is open to all student RUSU members aged 18 or over, excluding employees of the organisation or their families. Voucher is valid for one entry per person. This voucher cannot be exchanged for cash, or replaced if lost or stolen. Please note: Sports and kids passes sold separately. Passes automatically renew at end of two months unless cancelled. Wireless broadband (minimum speed 2.5 Mbps) required. NEW CLOSING DATE: 12/06/2020 at 3pm.

Your Say Check out what students are saying about their Reps and staff. Plus, share your stories with us by getting in touch…

“RUSU has been good at supporting me as a School Rep, especially Fifi and Hannah. I’ve made sure that communication is good across the department. One of my main achievements this year was being awarded Alumni funding which will be used to better the student experience and fighting for the students in relation to new dissertation expectations and making it fair for us all. It’s been a really good and interesting role and my personal development has increased greatly, as well as my public speaking, influencing and leadership skills.” Anonymous 2020 Impact Survey submission

Pick up a prize next month…

Be our star letter in our next issue & pick up one of our exclusive personalised notepads, complete with an inspirational quote!

YOUR REP ACHIEVEMENTS! “I've successfully chaired two Course Rep Consultations, ensuring a good number of Course Reps attended.” “Collecting lots of direct information from student voices in our messenger group chat. This has also allowed for the collection of polls and surveys to feedback to Head of School and other key University staff.”


Mental Health Awareness Week The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week this year was kindness which is extra fitting this year. Not only does it strengthen solidarity and deepen community spirit but it has great effects on our mental health, creating a sense of belonging and optimism. A small act of kindness can go a long way and not only makes someone else feel better but can make you feel better too!

the view RUSU RATES…

Photo of the month!

Killing Eve, Series 3, BBC

RUSU Activities Officer Daisy has been providing us with regular swan updates during her daily walks around Whiteknights lake and these cygnet shaped balls of cuteness never fail to brighten our day.

iPlayer To give us a distraction during lockdown, the producers of Killing Eve have released the hotly anticipated series three early, much to our delight. The tension between Eve and Villanelle is ever growing and if you’ve missed the previous series, now is the perfect time to catch up!

Follow us @rusuphotos

Normal People, Sally Rooney, Positive affirmation of the issue:

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

– Nelson Mandela



Is the staggering amount raised across the UK for NHS Charities together. Over two million individual, groups and companies have come together to show their thanks to our health service as they tirelessly work to help as many people as they can.

Cut down on food waste! Amidst the panic buying at the start of lockdown, the amount of food waste created by UK households has actually decreased. Ways you can cut your food waste could include meal planning, using food sharing apps such as Olio or donating food you won’t use to food banks, supporting those in need. There are also loads of inventive ways to use up leftovers, check out @nadiyajhussain on insta for some inspo!

£8.99, Faber & Faber If you haven’t heard about this book (or the BBC adaptation) by now, we’d be very surprised. As much as we love Marianne and Connell’s experience of first love on screen, we’d argue that the book is even better…

It’s World Environment Day! June 5th marks World Environment Day and this year they are calling for people to give some time to nature. The world is thriving as a side effect of lockdown and many are keen for these benefits to continue. Maybe spend some time thinking about how you can make 5 changes #fornature.

Student Spotlight Stories INTERVIEW : GEORGINA SHAW

In light of Mental Health Awareness Week, we spoke to current Psychology Course Rep, Lucia Martin about her experience of positive mental health in lockdown. She only has one exam to go to complete her second year and is keen to keep her health up top in tip top shape during the stressful deadline season! Currently still at home, she managed to get back to her family before the beginning of quarantine, but a lot of her extra-curriculars have remained active which has been a good way to keep her, and others, entertained. 6


RR: How have you spent your time during the lockdown period? Lucia: Personally, I am the least athletic person you will ever meet, I was always picked last in P.E. But before lockdown I really started enjoying classes at the gym. Obviously, I now can’t go to the gym to take part in sessions but I found a really great instructor online and I keep up to date with her schedule and do those once a day; it’s a great way to feel like you’ve achieved something even if it’s something small – a workout is great for that.

Look after your mental health! RUSU recently launched their Welfare Directory to provide students with quick and easy access to help, support and guidance on a variety of welfare issues, including mental health, find it at:

RR: Have you any TV and movie suggestions Junction11 has been working especially hard or tips for relaxing during this time? to promote mental health and positive wellLucia: I’m a big Netflix fan – I have been being, as music is a great comfort and is using Netflix Party to watch series with good when taking time for yourself. Even friends and family that I can’t see. I’m though everyone has different tastes, and currently getting through a few new series but mostly re-watching all my old favourites – different moods, our Head of Music, Eleanor How I Met Your Mother is a good one; it’s an Knight has made multiple playlists for different genres as well as some seasonal easy watch and I’m very much in love with playlists, and a fab all-rounder ‘Self Isolation Ted Mosby. There’s also so many episodes Playlist’. By creating lots of different and they’re only half an hour so you can fit them into lunch breaks and watch them inplaylists, we are trying to get people more between big tasks. I’ve become slightly involved as well as providing their chill-out obsessed with TikTok too! time vibe. We always need presenters and committee members so they should RR: You’re a part of a few societies; how definitely check us out on the RUSU website have you been encouraging involvement and if they want to know more. being mindful of members’ mental health? I am also part of Child’s JCR and we’ve Lucia: PsychSoc has been super busy been very active on social media trying to because a lot of the committee have had keep lots of the new halls students involved. dissertations and exams to complete, but as We’ve mostly been asking people their I will be President next year, I am already working on things for the new academic year suggestions for keeping busy and sharing those; people have suggested Netflix series, with the upcoming committee. If most of our playlists, books, boredom busting activities content will be online, we are thinking of doing some Zoom quizzes and getting people and even the recipes of their favourite to meet virtually, and hopefully eventually bakes. They’ve been really fun to share so getting to meet physically too. that people of all years can see. 7 Want to get involved? Check out for these societies and more!

In conversation with…

Cheryl Shaw Occupational Health Manager Cheryl talks about communicating about our mental health during COVID-19 and how your feelings are always valid. She asks: How many times have you either asked someone how they’re doing? Or someone has asked you? What did you answer? Most will have said “I’m fine” or “I’m doing OK”. But maybe you don’t think they sound fine, they may be a bit grumpy or cross and they may be accusing you of not trying to help them with their situation - this in turn makes you more uncomfortable, impatient and irritable. Cheryl explains that what we’re going through is similar to the 5 Stages of Grief (KüblerRoss). When written, this theory was originally applied to people suffering from terminal illness, but this was later applied to any form of catastrophic personal loss (i.e. job, income or freedom etc.). This is exactly what we’re all experiencing now…


Denial Most of us would have passed through this stage quite early on in the Covid-19 outbreak. “This isn’t happening to us, everything will be ok, it’s not going to affect us”.

Anger Once we realised that this was real and you can’t continue to deny the facts we start to feel that this isn’t fair, why is this happening to me? This is typically when people look for someone or something to blame.


Bargaining We’ll try to find a way out of the situation, we have hope. We often thing of things we can do, or give, or provide or replace in exchange for the way out.

Depression This is now when we have realised the certainty of what’s going on…we can’t get home; we start to shut ourselves off from on another…we can’t see a way out of the situation, and it feels like nobody cares.




Acceptance When we accept the way things are and we start over. I can’t change what’s happened but it’s going to be ok. 8

We’ve probably all heard the old saying that there’s always someone worse off than yourself; you might not think so when things aren’t going so well, but be aware that everyone goes through these stages at different times, at different speeds and not necessarily in this order. To help open up the conversation and to try to get a feel of how people are doing at any given time the scale by Rising Vibe shows a more in-depth mental health continuum on which people can rate themselves either by number or by words.

So… if you’re day is not going well; for example, you didn’t receive a delivery you were expecting, your laptop is working really slowly and the dog has walked all over your bed with muddy paws - you could probably say that you are feeling frustrated irritated and annoyed (9); once you’ve calmed down, and maybe laughed about it, you might be feeling happy and focused (4). You’ve just joined a meeting… where is that person on the scale? Worried? Resentful? Feeling helpless? Cheryl says using this scale is helpful to understand how you, and others you interact with, are feeling more specifically and helps to improve communication about the mental states we are all in.

Summing up their year: The good, the memorable & the embarrassing! INTERVIEWS: BETHANY BROWN

No one could have predicted that this year’s officers would have to end their year in lockdown, and whilst we’re super sad we aren’t able to give them a proper send off, we caught up with them as they reflect on the year they’ve had in office and what the future holds for each of them… Daisy O’Connor, RUSU Activities Officer 2019/20 How would you sum up your year in one sentence? Busy! What surprised you most about this year? How much goes on behind the scenes! Before I started I only knew about the activitiesfocused part of my role, which actually takes up less than half of my time in my job. If you could relive one moment from this year what would it be? It wouldn’t be anything “special” - in the current climate I just miss sitting in a friend’s office, working, chatting, drinking tea and of course, getting snacks from the Co-op. Who has been the most inspirational person you’ve met this year? Fara Williams, England’s most capped footballer, and Cath Bishop, World Champion rower, came to the University in March for the Women in Sport event. They were both completely unflinching in their views and neither of them hesitated to disagree, which is always wonderful to see in women with influence. What’s next for you? I’m still applying for jobs at the moment, so your guess is as good as mine!

Fifi Bangham, RUSU Education Officer 2019/20 Who has been the most inspirational person you’ve worked with this year? Definitely Clare Furneaux. She's so determined to make continual change to improve the student experience across the university, and campaigns tirelessly on issues that affect all students even if it means learning a whole new topic she's unfamiliar with. She's also very supportive of RUSU and us as officers which is lovely to see. What surprised you most about this year? How easy it is to get lost in Edith Morley- every room looks the same! What’s one piece of advice you would give to the incoming officers? Meet all of the key university staff as soon as possible. We have amazing staff at RUSU and the university that work with us to make change happen to improve students' time at Reading. Without these people a lot of these changes wouldn’t be possible. What is the one moment you’ll never forget? Freshers- getting closer to the staff team and meeting loads of students for the first time (and getting to do glitter tattoos). What's next for you? From September, I am going to teach in a primary school in Reading.

Quickfire Round! Which of the five officers is most likely to: Forget they have a meeting? Gemma Become Prime Minister? Molli Win Masterchef? Fifi Accidentally spill a secret? Zeid Get married first? Daisy Give the best advice? Gemma Own ten dogs/cats in the future? Fifi Spend all their money on internet shopping? Zeid - two words: silk sheets “Find themselves” in Southeast Asia? Molli Survive a zombie apocalypse? Daisy Give the best presents? Fifi Appear on reality TV? Zeid - Love Island Get locked out of their house? Gemma 11


This year has taught me that no matter where we come from, we’re stronger together”

Molli Cleaver, RUSU President 2019/20 What has surprised you most about this year? How much you suddenly get thrown in the deep end. I did an English degree which has done very little to prepare me for dealing with issues like a global pandemic. Yet you’re still expected to step up and deal with it all – don’t get me wrong I love the buzz of being under pressure and it is hugely rewarding but I think at times I’ve felt a bit like an imposter. What has been you most embarrassing moment? I got this REALLY bad tooth infection and my mouth got so swollen I had an awful lisp for about three days. In that week I had to give a speech at the Chancellor Awards in front of 200 staff, students and parents – I got through it but it was not my finest moment of the year. How would you sum up your other officers in four words? Zeid – pub, Gemma – calming, Fifi – sneaky, Daisy – cricket What has been your biggest achievement this year? We successfully lobbied the University to fully divest from fossil fuels! This was a huge win for RUSU, not only because it was something Officers started five years ago but I came into this job with literally no knowledge of sustainability so I’m really proud to have achieved this. What’s next for you? Clearly I’m struggling to let go as I’ll be working as a Junior Project Manager for the University next year in the commercial department.


Gemma King, RUSU Welfare Officer 2019/20 What is the one moment from the past year you’ll never forget? I think it would be going to the Pride of Reading Awards in November (an annual celebration of the unsung heroes in Reading) and watching a girl called Neveah win. She had raised lots of money for cancer research and Berkshire cancer centre as her mum has cervical cancer, as well as volunteering at orphanages and she was only 13-years-old – she was not expecting to win at all so it was so heart-warming to see! How would you sum up your other officers in four words? Inspiring, strong, supportive & influential! What has this year taught you? How important team work is – there is no way I would have been able to achieve anything this year without the amazing team I’ve had around me. What are you most proud of this year? My 1in4 campaign. Raising awareness for mental health issues is one of the main reasons I ran to be RUSU’s Welfare Officer, so being able to do this through my campaign has been really great. What’s next for you? I was planning on going travelling to Mexico but I am having to rethink those plans, so I am going to take a bit of time out to relax, and think about what might be next! I have enjoyed working for a charity so I think I will be spending a lot of time on!

Zeid Sharif, RUSU Diversity Officer 2019/20 What has this year taught you? This year has taught me the importance of diversity in our community. It has taught me that no matter where we come from, we are stronger together. How would you sum up your year in one sentence? There were many tears this year, but most of them were tears of joy. What has been your most embarrassing moment? The most embarrassing moment was when I called the rest of the Full-time Officers “the Fart-time Officers” in the middle of a speech while 500 people were watching. What one piece of advice would you give to the incoming officers? Don’t try to go through this on your own, you’re a team so make sure you stick together. What’s next for you? I’ve just applied for my masters in Reading, so I’ll be around for a little longer.



Take our quiz to find out your leadership style…

Amongst all the bad news over the last few months, there are still some positive updates penetrating the media. Did anyone else read the awesome story about how New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and her cabinet took a pay cut because of coronavirus last month? In a public address in April she said: “I can confirm that myself and government ministers and public service chief executives will take a 20% pay cut for the next six months.” New Zealand has been praised for its response to the outbreak but what legendary leadership this demonstrates!



Now, whilst it might not be possible for every country, government, CEO or business executive to follow suit, COVID-19 has certainly got us here at RUSU thinking about leadership styles. As we prepare to say a very fond farewell to our current officer team and a warm hello to our new Sabbs for 2020/21, we’re asking whose leadership style inspires us? (And our first answer would be Jacinda!) Take our quiz to find out your leadership style and how you might react in a crisis‌ Circle the answer that best applies to you and add up your totals in the table at the end

1. When it comes to decisions: a

I have the final say over decisions made within my group.


I make the final decision, but I accept a lot of input from my team.


I let team members make their own decisions.

2. I consider suggestions made by others in the group: a

Rarely. I'm the most knowledgeable member of the group.


All the time. Collaboration is the key to success.


Always. I rely on the group to decide our direction.


I don't really like to give orders. I just let people do their thing.


They can figure out how to resolve it on their own.

3. When it comes to giving orders: a

I tell team members what to do, how to do it, & when I want it done.


I provide direction, but also offer support & accept feedback from the team.

4. If a group member makes a mistake: a

They need to be reprimanded and punished.


They need supportive feedback and additional guidance.

5. How much do you monitor members of your group? a

I carefully watch them to make sure they are performing tasks properly.


I check in once in a while and let them know that I am available if they need help.


I leave them alone. They know more about their job than I do. 15


6. Which best describes your approach to motivating teams?


People are most motivated by clear rewards and punishments.


People are more motivated when they feel involved and valued.


Group members should motivate themselves.

7. Group members are most motivated by: a

A need for security.


A need for participation.


A need for independence.

8. Do you accept input from group members? a

No. I don't have time to worry about other people's ideas.


Sure, but I retain the final say over major decisions.


All the time! Group members make most of the decisions themselves.


Expect others to solve the problem.

9. When things go wrong, I tend to: a

Figure things out on my own.


Ask others for ideas and solutions.

10. I want the people in my group to feel like they: a

Have a clear list of tasks that need to be accomplished.


Are involved in the process and can add something to the group.


Are in control.


Leaving people alone to do their thing.

11. Leaders can succeed by: a

Giving clear orders.


Helping people reach their potential.

Add up your score!






Mostly A’s: You’re most like Ridley Scott In an industry where box-office receipts measure success, Scott remains one of the few Hollywood directors whose films are profitable and critically acclaimed. A short list of his films includes Blade Runner, Alien, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, and American Gangster. Scott, who began his career as a graphic designer, has a reputation as a perfectionist. Actors are expected to know their lines, positions and cues before the camera starts rolling and he says “I think, at the end of the day, filmmaking is a team. But eventually there’s got to be a captain.” Authoritarian leaders, also known as autocratic leaders, provide clear expectations for what needs to be done, when it should be done, and how it should be done. This style of leadership is strongly focused on both command by the leader and control of the followers. How might you react in a crisis? The autocratic approach can be a good thing when the situation calls for rapid decisions and decisive actions. However, it tends to create dysfunctional and even hostile environments, often pitting followers against the domineering leader. Mostly B’s: You’re most like Barack and Michelle Obama Countless times Obama used “we” when addressing the nation in speeches to ensure he involved everyone; a key attribute of a leader. Michelle has almost overtaken her husband as a leadership icon after the success of her book Becoming, which has recently been released as a Netflix documentary (we highly recommend both). She’s become a female leader in her own right and an inspiration to women all over! Democratic leaders usually invite ideas and input from team members, who take a more participative role in the decision-making process. No decisions are made without consulting with team members, so the outcome is a group effort, and not based on individual desires. How might you react in a crisis? They offer guidance readily, so team members feel engaged in the process and are more motivated and creative. Democratic leaders tend to make those they work with feel like they are an important part of the team, which helps collective foster commitment to the goals of the group. Mostly C’s: You’re most like Queen Victoria Phrases, such “Heaven helps those who help themselves”, were often used to promote the laissez-faire leadership style during the Victorian Period in the UK. This era is also known as the Age of Individualism, as many people worked hard using their own skills and talents to help create one of the world’s richest and strongest countries at the time, with Queen Victoria staying out of business unless it was necessary. Laissez-faire is a French word for “Let (people) do (as they choose)”, thus this type of leadership allows people to use their own skills and talents to succeed, and the leader would only intervene when it is absolutely necessary. How might you react in a crisis? Delegative leaders offer little guidance to group members and leave decision-making up to teams. While this style can be useful in situations involving qualified experts, it often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation. In a crisis, a more hands on approach 17 proves more successful.


ALLS, HOUSE OR HOME: Whatever your housing situation, RUSU Advice has you covered!



With June on our doorstep, now


is the time to start thinking about how to claim your deposit back. If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) your deposit should be held in one of the three government schemes: The Tenancy Deposit Scheme Deposit Protect Scheme Mt Deposits Due to COVID-19 things may change slightly for some, but broadly speaking the basic principles with deposit companies remain the same.

So what should you do? Have you checked that your deposit is registered correctly? This is easy to do. Deposit certificates are sent via email to you individually or on occasion just to the lead tenant. This will have been sent (roughly) around 30 days from when you paid your deposit. Call or log on to your deposit company website and check that your deposit is registered correctly. It should name all the tenants in the property and it is important to make sure that the person(s) who registered the deposit are correct. As a rule of thumb, it should be the person who is named as your landlord on your tenancy agreement and/or the person to whom you pay your rent to. 18


There are some exceptions to this, such as if your accommodation comes with your employment. Please contact the RUSU Advice Service if you need more information on this or if you find a discrepancy with your deposit. WHAT IF MY DEPOSIT IS NOT REGISTERED WITH A SCHEME? Some types of tenancy do not require your landlord to register your deposit with a scheme. Shelter’s Tenancy Checker will help you work out what type of tenancy you have and if your deposit should be held in a deposit scheme: ce/downloads_and_tools/tenancy_rig hts_checker HOW WILL I CHECK OUT? This is where things may change slightly under COVID-19. Ideally you would have taken your belongings from the property, however due to the lockdown, this may not have been possible. There are companies which can aid you in packing your belongings and forwarding them to you (be aware this comes at a charge). CHECK OUT INVENTORY? Again, there may be minor changes with this too. Video technology can be used for a virtual tour with your landlord to check the property at the end of your tenancy. If you did not get a chance to clean your property to the standard of when you moved in – work with your landlord to see if you can employ a cleaning company to do this. Make sure to always get quotes so you know it’s a fair price!

If you can be present during the checkout inventory and it is permitted under government guidelines, please ensure that you stick to COVID-19 guidelines by keeping a safe distance and ensuring good hygiene measures. WHAT DO I DO IF MY LANDLORD WHAT TO KEEP ALL OR PART OF MY DEPOSIT? Do you have a copy of the inventory from when you moved in? If not, ask your landlord for a copy. As long as your deposit is protected, the deposit company will mediate on your behalf. It would be helpful if you have pictures of the property when you check out, so ask your landlord to send you some pictures or record the virtual tour and keep a copy. WHAT ABOUT MY UTILITY BILLS? It is important that you have your meter readings from the property at the end of your tenancy. It would be best to have picture evidence of the meter readings. Contact your utilities companies and either cancel or transfer your utilities provider to your new address.

If you would like further support in claiming your deposit back, you can contact RUSU Advice Service: 19

Celebrating our wins here at RUSU this month!

Huge progress in the coursework resit policy! RUSU Education Officer Fifi successfully lobbied the Uni to introduce uncapped re-sits for coursework! This will have a significant impact on all students, especially those assessed through modules with 100% coursework. She is really pleased that this has been approved and she has been able to make a positive difference for all students.

The RUSU Welfare Directory was launched! As part of her 1in4 campaign, RUSU Welfare Officer Gemma launched the RUSU Welfare Directory last month during Mental Health Awareness Week. The directory was created to give Reading students the ability to get help with whatever they are struggling with quickly and easily, including emergency services numbers, mental health support and advice on a range of issues.

We announce our Excellence Awards winners! Last month the Full-time Officers decided the winners of this year’s Excellence Awards, including our School Rep of the Year Sara Dahash and Course Rep of the Year Leah Logan! All were very deserving winners and you can check out our social media to read the heart-warming nominations as well as what the winners had to say about receiving the awards.

Sports and Societies Awards are a success online! This year the Sports and Societies Awards Balls became shows broadcast on RUSU social media. There were watch parties across the country and over 300 viewers at their peaks! As much as everyone would have loved to celebrate in person, students loved being able to share the experience with friends and family that wouldn’t normally have been able to attend. It was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed all round! 20

Keeping his mind busy: how Law Senior Rep Elect, Oscar is spending lockdown Recent Scrutiny Panelist, Oscar Minto was excited to dive into the virtual Scrutiny Panel training last term. He also gives his top tips for new Reps… RR: What have you learnt so far that you think will help in your upcoming Senior Rep role?

RR: You have attended a few training sessions during the lockdown period. How have those been? OSCAR SAYS: I was really excited to attend virtual Scrutiny Panel training. The session seemed to transfer really well virtually, and I am glad I attended. The session was very effective in explaining exactly what a Scrutiny Panel was and what the student members role is within it. The presentation tasks were enjoyable, and I was just pleased that the session was still possible. It was definitely a nice change of pace to my usual lockdown Wednesday. RR: You’ve just been accepted to a Scrutiny Panel, what can you tell us? OSCAR SAYS: The current Scrutiny Panel I am on is being done entirely online, exclusively through email. I suppose this is very different from a traditional panel, however I am just happy to be part of it.

OSCAR SAYS: The Scrutiny Panel Training taught me how to read programme proposals with a focus on the student experience. This is quite different from being a Course Rep as the focus is on the identification of issues that could make a programme less appealing or difficult for students. These issues could well crop up regarding student workload, or whether the programme aims are clear. Nonetheless, I am using this newly obtained skill in my current Scrutiny Panel and it has also allowed me to start to thinking deeper about the student experience of my own programme.

The University year can be quite stressful even without a global pandemic, so message your cohort occasionally and keep an eye on course group chats for suggestions.”

RR: Any top tips for upcoming reps?

OSCAR SAYS: Teamwork is key; working alongside other reps spreads workload effectively, allows you to get a better picture of important issues and means the same point is never covered twice in meetings! Also, learn from others. Your peers will always have innovative ways of gathering student opinions and interesting ideas on how to better your school. Although the training for Course Reps is great, remember to also listen to those around you. 21

Announcements Senior Rep training dates confirmed for summer term Choose 1 of 6 sessions that will run online (we will send you the Teams link nearer the time!) but please sign up to your preferred date and time on the Doodle Poll below: June - 1st 5-7pm, 2nd 1-3pm

SAVE THE DATE: School/Senior Rep Consultation (handover session) - Friday 5th June 2-4pm Sign up here

UoR Careers team are pleased to announce the first VIRTUAL Graduate Recruitment and Internship Festival, taking place 10-12 June, featuring over 30 organisations with graduate, internship and placement vacancies, some of which are available for 2020 start dates. You can participate in any or all of our activities!

“Why is the rum gone?" ~ Captain Jack Sparrow

Take part in our back page quiz and get a free Starbucks and Academic Rep water bottle!

Sharing a coffee with MPCS Senior Rep… Harrison


Quickfire Q’s Comedy or horror? Comedy Text or call? Text Pasta or pizza? Pizza Insta or Twitter? Neither Apple or android? Android Night in or night out? Night out Truth or dare? Dare Cats or dogs? Dogs Book or movie? Movie Exam or Coursework? Exam Mojos or Mondial? Mojos Early bird or night owl? Night owl

WHAT FILM TITLE DESCRIBES YOUR LIFE? My life is too crazy to align with just one film. WHAT SKILL WOULD YOU LIKE TO MASTER? Speaking Italian. IDEAL DINNER PARTY GUESTS? Gordon Ramsay and his top chefs. FIRST THING YOU DO IN THE MORNING? Go back to sleep.

GO-TO TAKEAWAY? Mr. Cod. CURRENT WALLPAPER ON YOUR PHONE? The Statue of Liberty. TOP 3 SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLIST? Astronomia 2K19 - Stephen F, Iron - WoodKid, Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash.

Psst… Currently I’m preparing for the year to come and how to perform my role the best I can whilst keeping a smile on my face and not letting the current circumstances get me down.