Written by: Emi Dowse, UPSU President 2021-2022 https://www.upsu.com/representation/representatives/president/
As I come to the end of my time as a Sabbatical Officer, I wanted to reflect on the past two years and look at just how far we have come.
Back in February 2020, before the world changed in so many ways, I ran for the role of Vice President of Education. One day while campaigning in Portland Square, I came across a quote printed on one of the stairs which said, "She said she really really really really wants to make a difference". On results night, When I gave my acceptance speech, I reflected on that quote and said, "The other day, I read a quote which reads she really really really wants to make a difference, and that is what I am going to do.". and looking back now I can honestly say that is what I did for students.
When I ran for the role, I had no idea what the next two years would hold. Finishing my degree and starting the role in a pandemic was a challenge no one could have foreseen and trying to represent a student body from my bedroom led to many creative and somewhat embarrassing ways to try and communicate with students. It also meant the need for representation was much greater, whether it was campaigning for an academic safety net, calling for better wellbeing provisions or lobbying for accommodation support. The student's voice has never been stronger. This year we have also seen multiple crises within the city, which we have continued to support our students through on an individual and student body-wide perspective.
Some of the things I have worked on during my time as a Sabb:
And much, much more! The pandemic meant that we had to be very reactive as a team, and there were things we or students wanted to do, that we were unable to do. I hope that next year's team will have more stability and can be more proactive in their approach. But I am proud of my team for how much we were able to achieve in the circumstances we were provided.
Coming back to campus this year meant the return of major SU events such as Freshers, Varsity, The Students' Union Awards, The SSTAR Awards, and The Summer Ball. It was amazing to see our students back on campus and enjoying the University experience again, and importantly winning back the Varsity trophy!
It's now time for me to hand over to Daniella and the incoming officer team. Having spent the last two weeks handing over to them, I have been able to learn more about their plans for the year, and I am so excited to see what they do.
Finally, I want to thank the Student Union and SU staff who have supported my team and me over the past couple of years and to all of the students who have filled in surveys, sent in emails, and taken part in the SU this year.
If you are reading this and think you would make a good student representative, then I would encourage you to look into our part-time representative roles.
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