As the term is drawing to a close, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on some of the positives that has come out of a rollercoaster of a semester (yes you read that right, GOOD things). Although it may seem like a time when we're only thinking about all things COVID, we have in fact managed to make some headway in other things, despite also balancing three changes in student group regulations in the process!
We have done quite a lot of work on the website to make it easier for committee members to navigate and also improved the functionality. Firstly there was a much-needed clean up of the whole committee hub and we removed old pages that were no longer needed, updated information and added in other useful things for example an inclusivity and accessibility hub which includes specific information on things like Alcohol Awareness, accessible online content and how to reduce member anxieties when joining a student group.
You can now email members who have purchased tickets to your events and made it super easy to update your committee (which consequently makes our lives easier too!). We've introduced more ring-fenced grants this year and made the criteria for applications a bit clearer - and not to forget we finished off this term with a Winter Fund for clubs and socs to provide members with something nice over the winter break! We had some pretty wholesome applications for this, so thanks to everyone who has taken up this opportunity.
We've also had the biggest uptake in Buddy this year, both in terms of those volunteering, and new students signing up to Buddy. We secured more social spaces on campus thanks to Campus Kitchen, and as of next term reduced the number of approvals needed for finance claims (from 3 to 2).
We have some exciting things planned for next semester - January welcome week will be branded as #UEAyourWay which is a campaign aimed at promoting clubs and socs, and also all the other things run by the Opportunities team including Buddy, volunteering and Do Something Different, and recognising that if you haven't got involved with any of these yet, that its not too late. I HIGHLY recommend you do as they're full of amazing people, and a great space to be part of!
We're also launching an interclub competition called Clash of the Clubs which will reintroduce the competition aspect back into sport whilst the plans for BUCS are still being figured out. We're looking to do something similar for societies, of which the initial planning has started recently, so keep your eyes peeled for some more news there!
So all in all, despite being a little preoccupied with a pandemic, we have managed to do some of the things which have been needed for a while such as updating the website, but also planning exciting things for next semester! That said, if you have any further things that you'd like to see changed or improved, then please feel free to get in touch with me!
Have fun, and much love,