Phoebe Crook, 2018/19 Students' Union Community Officer

Asha Sutton

Welfare Officer

As Welfare Officer, Asha represents the Students' Union in all community engagement and welfare campaigns.

My plans for the year: 

I want students to feel they have support and help at the university. I want to have a positive presence online, on social media. Having the safe space to talk, rant or chat is very important in times like this, so that will be something I would like to do. I want to share inspiring quotes online so that it is uplifting. I think that in times like this, I want to be active and recognisable online, and I want to give the spaces for support and guidance.

I also want to look at the impacts of the pandemic on students, and give full support on this wherever they need it. 

 

Manifesto Points

My manifesto points are very important to me. These are the things I want to do:

Bringing societies together

I want communities to come together more. I want to give opportunities for more people to meet and socialise. Setting up social events and meetings will allow more connection between teams and socials. I think this is a great chance to build up more of a community at the university.

 

Implementing the buddy system

I think support in the academic environment is crucial.  I want there to be more mentoring and a chance for 'buddies' to exist in an academic school, where support can be easily accessible. 2nd and 3rd years can mentor 1st years who are finding their feet and adjusting to university life. They can therefore speak to someone who is relatable and on their wavelength a bit more.

 

Support sessions

I want those with a mental health issue, physical health issue and those with a disability to know they have somewhere to go for help, a 'safe space.' Setting up tea and cake sessions, or due to the current situation, a space that can be accessible on teams, will give individuals the chance to talk to others who can understand and be relatable. 

What Hope Is Working On

Monthly Updates

July/August

  • SU officers had a discussion on campaigns and our aims for the year
  • Learnt more about our feedback tool, SIMON and how to use it effectively to reflect on student comments
  • Had a meeting with the accommodation team about shared concerns for students and how we could best work together on this
  • Welcome 2020 planning meeting, to talk about welcome events for students
  • Had a discussion with the now Post Graduate Experience Officer, Daniel Clark about a potential buddy scheme for master’s students
  • Had my first Q&A on Facebook Live, where I introduced myself and my plans for the year, and also answered live questions from students
  • Had a chat with various lecturers from the Media school and students from the photography course about a buddy scheme
  • Discussed Humanities, and how we could best help/support with this subject matter, and voice concerns of students
  • Worked on updating the content in the ‘Advice’ section of the SU website, and also added a COVID section
  • Having a consistent social media presence for students, posting at least 3 times a week

 

September

  • Welcome Fayre planning/meetings
  • Meeting regularly with accommodation to raise student concerns 
  • Attended a Mature Student induction event, where I met lots of new students and was able to introduce myself and my role
  • Attended the LGBTQ+ network meeting
  • Welcome Week. Being involved in events including outdoor cinemas, songs and sunset, the Welcome fayre and virtual events
  • Hosted the online Bingo session and met some great students
  • Helped put together some world Mental Health day imagery for social media
  • Was a part of Luc’s ‘In conversations with’ video, as part of his ‘Get involved’ campaign 
  • Caught up with all societies, and shared some of their content on my social media, to help with promotion 
  • Officers began preparing and discussing content for Black History Month
  • Started planning for my November campaign, a checking in week for students

 

October

  • Attending a campaign committee with the university to see what each department is up to 
  • As an SU, we looked at our events calendar and what we could put on for the academic year
  • Spoke to external charities about suicide prevention, and training
  • Attended some inclusive behaviour training at Oxstalls, hosted by the Equality and Diversity manager
  • Throughout the month, doing further planning for my campaign week, ‘How you getting on @ UoG’ 
  • Had conversations with a mature student regarding a potential Nightline opportunity for students, this is still ongoing 
  • Met with Sussex and UEA about their Buddy Schemes, to help gain inspiration with piloting our own this year
  • Was part of the ‘Big 100’ events, led by Luc. We went to Over Farm and Gloucester Cathedral. This was to show students things they could do in Cheltenham and Gloucester
  • Attended an international student experience group to see how we can work to improve their student experience 
  • Looked at our Christmas events and what we could put on for students
  • Met with the dodgeball society at their session to introduce myself and talk about what I do and how I can support students, should they need/want it

 

November

  • Launch of my campaign, ‘How you getting on @ UoG’ which included drop in sessions by student services, goody bags, chaplaincy events and social media posts and top tips
  • Taking on board SIMON feedback, and passing these on to the relevant areas, such as the Welfare and accommodation team. We then had a discussion on how we can work and reflect on these comments
  • Regularly met with the university to review and enforce the rules of face coverings around campus
  • Met with the university to reiterate the concerns and issues surrounding student loneliness and isolation 
  • Met with Experience officers, Katy, Anna and Chloe, to go through their ideas, and help them with their projects that they want to achieve in their roles
  • Attending regular FCH community meetings to discuss issues and plans for the campus and wider neighbourhood 
  • Continuing to have a strong social media presence on my social media channels.
  • Continuing to mentor and support the Disability and Mental health, LGBTQ+ and FCH officers with their projects and future campaigns
  • Attended Gambling awareness workshops from an external charity for students to attend
  • Communicating and meeting with the International students society about how we can best support and promote them and their cohort
  • I filmed and created a video for the Buddy Scheme to go out to students. This was an introduction to the scheme, a bit about the roles of mentor and mentee and how to get involved. 
  • I attended a ‘Leading Well’ training day, led by Student Minds and Coole Insight. This was learning more about student mental health and how to practice self-care. This helped develop me as an officer in how to look after both myself and the students.

December

  • The Buddy Scheme in the Business school launched. We put out promotional content to recruit students and worked on setting up some mentoring training from the Your Future Plan team.
  • Met with a member of the Equality and Diversity team to plan how we could work more closely together. We also looked at how we could collaborate on a campaign in January on the themes of the awarding gap, digital poverty, racial inequality and issues for BAME students within the university.
  • I had some sexual violence training from an external charity. This has helped develop my awareness of this, and how to support a student should they come to me for help.
  • Working on SIMON feedback, and in mind of the student voice, trying to action them as best way as possible so they feel they have been heard.
  • Worked with some students who have been working on a well-being app, answering and supporting their questions related to mental health, isolation and the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Gathering common student concerns that have been arising from student services and the SU, and catering these on our social media, to further support students with helpful posts, videos and photos.
  • Writing up updates for my officer section of the SU’s newsletter. This includes things like events and training I have attended, successes and achievements, reaction to SIMON feedback and working for/against the university on certain student issues and problems.
  • Attending the LGBTQ+ network meeting, discussing topics like the LGBT History month, as well as external partners updating all for their plans and projects for LGBT issues. There are also discussions on events for this cohort of students.
  • Attending a student Q&A with Michelle Donelan, the university minister, where myself and the Education Officer asked student questions on their behalf and listened to Michelle talking about student testing in January, student mental health and tuition fees and rent reductions.
  • Further developments with the Nightline, the student led project, where meetings with the university have occurred and things are all going in the right direction.
  • Being present and involved in discussions in the BAME network, including working on racial harassment at the university.
  • Meeting with a member of the business school to discuss next steps and starting the matching system for mentors and mentees, ready for January.

What Hope Is Working On

Contact Us
  • 01242 714360
  • su@glos.ac.uk
  • The Park, Cheltenham, GLOS, GL50 2RH
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