WARWICK STUDENTS’ UNION
CONTENTS OUR MISSION OUR VALUES INTRODUCTION REPRESENTING STUDENTS & CAMPAIGNING TO ACHIEVE CHANGE PROMOTING A STRONG & VIBRANT UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY SUPPORTING & INFORMING STUDENTS ABOUT ISSUES TRANSFORMING STUDENTS’ LIVES & ENHANCING EMPLOYABILITY DELIVERING A STRONG, EFFECTIVE & SUSTAINABLE ORGANISATION
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“WARWICK STUDENTS’ UNION – CREATING A BETTER EXPERIENCE FOR STUDENTS AT WARWICK.” Warwick SU Mission Statement.
OUR VALUES... DEMOCRATIC
We are student-led, member-focused and representative.
We are the independent voice of Warwick students.
We are fair, principled, transparent and environmentally sound.
We are friendly, vibrant and entertaining.
INFORMATIVE We are supportive, knowledgeable, responsive and useful.
ENRICHING We help students develop, we nurture their aspirations.
We are diverse, welcoming, tolerant and inclusive.
INTRODUCTION 2011/12 was an extremely successful year, particularly in terms of broadening and deepening engagement with the student body. For the first time, we produced Welcome videos for Freshers and international students, as well as co-running the International Orientation programme with the University (which resulted in increased international student participation in Union activities across the board). We spent the year being flexible and reacting quickly to student concerns, from developing the Union building to pushing forward with plans to improve SUHQ. In terms of Union-University relations, the SU developed a draft student charter, successfully mediated between the Occupy Warwick group and the University for two weeks, encouraged sports centre development, influenced decisions about on and off-campus study spaces, co-organised the Warwick Integration Summit (which discussed internationalisation and integration on campuses across the country), and helped develop an action plan for student activities within the Warwick-Monash Alliance framework.
LEO BØE WARW 2011-2012 LEO BØE WARW 2011-2012 LEO BØE WARW 2011-2012 LEO BØE WARW 2011-2012 LEO BØE WARW 2011-2012
A particular highlight of the year was raising awareness to the University of the detrimental impact of hidden course costs, and how they can be a barrier to having a successful and positive experience at Warwick.
LEO BØE WARW 2011-2012
All in all, 2011-12 marked a fantastic year of moving the Union forward in line with student culture and the changing higher education landscape!
LEO BØE WARW 2011-2012
WARWICK SU PRESIDENT 2011-12
ANNUAL REPORT Every officer, trustee, member of staff and volunteer here at Warwick SU is committed to our mission – creating a better experience for students at Warwick. We recognise that our membership is diverse and that each student has different needs and expectations. Our aim is therefore to ensure we have a positive impact on students’ lives. We represent students, help students campaign and campaign on their behalf; we advise, support and provide students with information; we create and facilitate development opportunities; we give students space to debate and discuss issues; we entertain students and give them somewhere to chill out and to reflect. Doing all of this can put strains on our resources, and balancing delivery of our members’ expectations with the aim to be here for the long haul, financially sustainable, achieving excellence and being effective, is challenging. Our members have been clear with us that achieving academic excellence, enhancing employment prospects and providing quality value-for-money services are their priorities. As you will see from the review of 2011-12 on the following pages a great deal has been accomplished, whether it is improving our financial position, successes in representation, winning change for students, supporting outstanding development activity, supporting campaigning or impacting positively on the local community - but there is also no doubt that we must continue to improve. We have confidence for the future and you can be assured that we will go forward with determination and enthusiasm, inspired by the examples set by our members. Our members’ experience at Warwick is all that matters to us!
WARWICK SU CHIEF EXECTUTIVE
Warwick SU Annual Report 2011-12
REPRESENTING STUDENTS & CAMPAIGNING TO ACHIEVE CHANGE Representation is at the very heart of your Students’ Union. We will be your independent, strong and well-informed voice, taking your views to the key decision-makers at the University, at a local level and on the national stage. We will also support you where you see a need to campaign for change. Your Union, Your Voice.
OFFICER ELECTIONS VOTER TURNOUT
6,346 members voted in the Officer Elections - a record turnout!
STUDENT-STAFF LIAISON COMMITTEES
66% of students were aware of who their SSLC rep was, leading to over 37,000 hits on the SSLC section of the SU website.
WARWICK SU CAMPAIGNS
Warwick SU gave back £364,029 to its members by campaigning on issues that matter to our students.
INTERNATIONAL & PG VOTER ENGAGEMENT Over 30% of International students and 15% of Post Graduate students voted in the Autumn Elections.
ANNUAL BIG FIVE SURVEY
We received over 800 responses to the Big Five - our annual all-member research survey.
HUNGRY FOR FEEDBACK? This year saw a significant victory for the SU in the area of feedback which students received on their assessed work. Previously, students could be kept waiting indefinitely for written feedback on exam papers or coursework they submitted for assessment, since there were no specific timelines set by the University or even a unified or consistent approach across the various individual faculties and departments. As a result, many students felt that their ability to improve upon their existing academic performance was being hampered by inadequate or untimely support from their tutors. Under the direction of Education Officer Sean Ruston, the SU ran a campaign via our website entitled Hungry For Feedback?, in which we invited students to sign a petition lobbying the University to provide prompt feedback on all written and assessed work within a designated timeframe. We also offered a checklist of 10 key ‘Feedback Tips’ designed to help students improve their understanding of how to attain quality feedback, and invited them to share their thoughts or stories regarding inadequate assessment they’d received in the past as a result of extended timespans. This information was collated by Sean and presented to the University at the end of the campaign’s submission period. As a result of this information and continued lobbying by the Sabbatical Officer team, it was announced in the 2012-2013 academic year that the University and SU had come to an agreement in which feedback would be provided within a maximum turnaround period of four weeks from the point of submission.
PROMOTING A STRONG & VIBRANT UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY University life is about much, much more than just your academic experience. We will do our utmost to ensure that you feel welcomed into Warwick’s lively, diverse and exciting University community no matter who you are, where you come from, where you live or how you study.
COCA-COLA TORCH RELAY
Over 500 spectators, 10 societies and more than 50 performers attended an Olympic-inspired festival on the Piazza when the Olympic Torch came to Warwick University in September 2011.
ONE WORLD WEEK
One of the largest student run events of its kind attracted over 200 student volunteers who delivered an extensive programme of activity over a week of global debate, music, performance, culture, food and sport.
Over £950,000 was invested in support for student societies and sports clubs.
INDIVIDUAL SOCIETY MEMBERSHIPS
CREATION OF THE PG OFFICER POST From the SU’s various feedback drives and the amount of engagement with our various facilities and services from Postgraduate students, it became apparent that many Postgrads felt that the SU either didn’t adequately cater for their needs, failed to represent their views or oftentimes simply didn’t even figure in their engagement with student life. With Postgraduates representing nearly 40% of the population at Warwick, this was identified as a major representational shortfall in the SU’s service provision for the entire student body. As a result of this discrepancy, we created a new Sabbatical Officer position which could be voted for during the February election period by all students. In the 2012 Officer Elections, Anna Chowcat was duly elected as the first-ever Postgraduate Officer of Warwick SU with a significant majority. Working together with the University, the Postgraduate Officer has since played a key role in the creation, development and publicising of the new Postgrad-only study space on campus, the PG Hub, together with the Wolfson Research Exchange – a dedicated area of the Library used exclusively by Postgraduate students. Anna also acts as a main point of contact at the Students’ Union for Postgraduate students who may be experiencing problems with their studies, need advice on funding teaching issues, or would simply like more advice on how they can better get involved in student life via the SU.
Over 34,400 individual society sign-ups were undertaken, from over 8,700 Societies Federation memberships.
90% of Warwick SU Hall Societies had full exec teams, leading to 35,000 hits on the Exec website pages.
Warwick SU Annual Report 2011-12
SUPPORTING & INFORMING STUDENTS ABOUT ISSUES Life is not always easy – sometimes we face challenges we can’t handle alone. As a student you may need support, advice or simply access to information which may be able to help you out in a time of crisis. We will ensure that you are able to get this information and assistance when you need it.
STUDENT ADVICE CENTRE
Dealing with 5,860 cases covering topics including academic advice, housing, immigration and employment rights, our advisors helped clients save or win more than £63,000.
WARWICK SU FACEBOOK PAGE
More than 8,000 members ‘liked’ the SU Facebook page.
RELAX HOUSING CAMPAIGN
A new campaign to dispel housing ‘myths’ saw significant success, resulting in the best-ever attended Housing Day in January and ensuring fewer students rushed into contracts.
FEEL GOOD CAMPAIGN
Our advice-centred campaign, all about keeping students healthy and sane during the exam season.
6 GUM (Sexual Health) Clinics in the SU this year meant 330 students have been able to get tested - more than ever before.
CASE STUDY The Student Advice Centre deals with a wide range of enquiries, all of which require an individually-tailored approach. These are often dependent on the student’s own personal circumstances, together their ability to deal with and understand their own problem. Some students will easily comprehend the way forward with a short explanation, but others will need a fuller explanation – for example, how our legal system works to imply terms into any tenancy agreement, and the fact that these terms cannot be excluded by the landlord. We aim to support all students whatever their question, either by helping them find the solution or by signposting them to other agencies for the appropriate help. Our main areas of advice are housing, academic problems, immigration issues and money difficulties – e.g. problems with Student Finance England. With regard to housing advice, we deal with all different aspects of accommodation, from looking for properties to advice on the final check-out and supporting students in recovering the right amount of their deposit.
was recovered for a student who had initially lost a deposit of £2100.00.
An example of the type of case we see regarding the recovery of a deposit is where a group of students moved out and trusted the landlord to do the right thing, only to be presented with an invoice made out to the landlord for work amounting to the full deposit of £2100. We supported the students throughout the negotiations and dealt with the agent - they successfully recovered £1400, with £700 being applied to outstanding bills which hadn’t formed part of the original calculation. The students therefore went from losing their deposit of £2100 and having to pay an extra £700 to receiving £1400 back.
TRANSFORMING STUDENTS’ LIVES & ENHANCING EMPLOYABILITY Life-changing experiences: vital skills which might mean the difference between getting the job you have always dreamed of at the end of your course or simply getting a job. We are here to provide you with chances to truly widen your horizons and open your eyes to opportunities that may never have considered or even thought possible.
CASE STUDY Xananas, the Union’s restaurant, employs many students as members of its staff team. Beyond providing an opportunity to earn money, working at Warwick SU also has wider benefits for students. Key transferrable skills are learned, in turn enhancing their employability for the future.
EMPLOYMENT AT WARWICK SU
During 2011-12 Warwick SU employed over 480 students, putting £644,951 into their pockets.
More than 2,400 students registered with Warwick Volunteers and undertook projects in and around the local community.
SPORT CLUBS Overall, the Students’ Union supported over 700 active sports club exec members and aided clubs with their events on campus.
250 events were run by members of 225 societies all supported by Warwick SU.
RAG raised £312,384.22 which was given to a variety of registered charities selected by students both individually and as part of a society.
2ND YEAR POLITICS STUDENT
2ND YEAR LAW & BUSINESS STUDENT
Having originally applied for Xananas to earn extra money, it quickly became clear that the skills I was learning would help me immeasurably after University. Improved organisational skills and the ability to work and remain calm in what can often be a stressful environment are two particularly helpful areas, while the restaurant’s wide cultural appeal has allowed me to interact and engage with the diverse mix of students at Warwick. Perhaps the most valuable benefit I have received though has been a notable improvement in my understanding and delivery of good customer service - mixing with students, members of the public and senior members of staff has significantly increased my confidence and aided my ability to thrive comfortably in any environment!
Here’s Megi’s story: Working in the SU seemed like the perfect way to earn some extra money alongside my studies, knowing that I would be supported in the best way possible. I’ve learned how to manage my time well and think it has been an invaluable experience which will benefit me in both the short and long-term. I have gained a variety of organisational and interpersonal skills, in addition to meeting students and staff from all over the world. I have also really appreciated the internal support I am offered by the staff, who have helped me grow in confidence when dealing with customers - a key skill that I will definitely be taking with me to my future employment.
Warwick SU Annual Report 2011-12
DELIVERING A STRONG, EFFECTIVE & SUSTAINABLE ORGANISATION We will ensure that your Union has the capacity and resources to deliver on all the aims we’ve set out to achieve in our Strategic Plan. Good governance, good people, strong finances, fit-for-purpose buildings and IT systems and good communication are all critical to our efforts to be an effective Students’ Union.
WARWICK SU WEBSITE
During 2011-12 there were 380,826 unique visits to the Warwick SU website. 98% of students rate the website as average or above.
TARGETED ALL-MEMBER EMAILS
We introduced targeted all-member emails to communicate more effectively with specifically identified target user groups.
GREEN IMPACT AWARD
Warwick SU achieved Gold status for the third consecutive year.
People are at the heart of the Union and Warwick SU has over 420 employees both full time and part time. Staff are supported with a variety of training to give them the best skills set for their jobs.
ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIP
We brought in nearly £150,000 through media sales activity which is re-invested into Union services for all its members.
GOLD IN THE GREEN IMPACT For the third consecutive year, we are proud to announce that Warwick Students’ Union was awarded Gold for its environmental efforts in the national Green Impact Awards (GIAs). This is a huge achievement which reinforces our commitment to sustainability, the environment and green living. The Green Impact Awards is an accreditation scheme set up by the NUS to help Students’ Unions play their part in helping to the environment. To date, over a million students nationwide have seen environmental initiatives put in place in their Unions as a result of the awards process - this year, nearly 100 Students’ Unions took part and only a handful were awarded Gold, so we are very proud that our commitment to building an ethical, sustainable and environmentally-responsible organisation has been recognised once again! Regaining this title continues to be an ongoing key objective of Warwick SU, and we will endeavour to ensure that our efforts in the area of environmental impact and reducing our carbon footprint are sustained throughout the coming years!
WARWICK SU FINANCIAL REVIEW WARWICK SU As a not-for-profit organisation, all revenue that is generated by our commercial activities (for example, through our nightclub events, food & beverage outlets or sponsorship and marketing revenue) is directly reinvested back into the student experience here at Warwick to ensure that we are able to provide a wealth of services which directly benefit our members.
WE RAISED... £2,491,194
FOOD AND BEVERAGE ACTIVITIES
SPONSORSHIP AND ADVERTISING
UNIVERSITY BLOCK GRANT
CONFERENCES AND VACATION LETS
VENUES, EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
£520,532 OTHER COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES
£471,339 STUDENT ACTIVITIES INCLUDING SPORT
RENT FROM TENANTS
£54,710 GRANTS, INTEREST AND FUNDRAISING
Warwick SU Annual Report 2011-12
...WE GAVE BACK £1,851,117
FOOD AND BEVERAGE FACILITIES
MEMBERSHIP SERVICES, ADVICE AND SUPPORT
£1,126,275 VENUES, EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
£953,742 SUPPORT FOR STUDENT SOCIETIES & SPORTS CLUBS
£364,029 CAMPAIGNING ON THINGS THAT MATTER TO STUDENTS
£304,345 OTHER COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES
£31,987 GOVERNANCE COSTS
BUILDINGS FOR STUDENTS TO MEET PEOPLE AND DO NEW THINGS
£644,951 WAGES EARNED BY STUDENTS WORKING FOR THE SU
SURPLUS FOR THE YEAR Surplus for the year was £214,353, which was
£165,696 ahead of the budget. This money is set aside in a reserve fund for future development.
92% of students who completed the Big 5 survey say the SU has contributed positively to their time at Warwick SU First ever Post Graduate Sabbatical officer elected ISB satisfaction with the SU 93.5% Highest ever voter figures- 6346 We won Varsity again, 22 times on the trot! The Union beat a host of other Unions to win the national Ernst &Young ÂŁ10,000 tagging competition NSS Question 23: 74% of students surveyed were satisfied with the Union 8769 Society Federation Memberships
STATISTICS AND ACHIEVEMENTS 34,480 individual Society memberships 11,000 Warwick Sport Memberships Over 51,000 hits on Advice Centre pages Over ÂŁ63,000 saved or won for clients of Advice Centre Number of students registered with Warwick Volunteers 2454 Over 380,000 unique visitors to the SU website, over 5 million hits a year Awarded Gold Green Impact Award for third year 8500 members of the SU Facebook group
Warwick SU Annual Report 2011-12