Author Archives: SU VP Faculty of Arts and Sciences

About SU VP Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Codie Louise, Vice President Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Edge Hill Students' Union

Food Donations!

We’re always hearing in the news about how more and more people are relying on FoodBanks and Soup Kitchens, so myself and Lorna from the Edge Hill Chaplaincy decided to work together to collect donations for our local services.

After contacting the FoodBank, we were told that there is a lull in donations around this time of year, which tied in perfectly with students’ going home for the summer. We decided we would collect any donations and, with the FoodBank requirements being slightly more strict than the SoupKitchen, we knew that everything would be given a home.

We promoted the project to students and staff, and started the collection from May 1st. Everyday we were gifted more bags of food, from baked beans and rice pudding to pasta and biscuits. We even had special deliveries from our colleagues at another EHU campus!

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Myself and Lorna headed over to Southport on 11th June to drop off the food to both Southport Soup Kitchen and Southport FoodBank.

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The Soup Kitchen were really grateful, and as it was during their opening times, we even got to chat to some of the service users who were very thankful too.

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We headed over to the FoodBank where some children from a local school were helping out. We were given a tour around the facility (much bigger than the SoupKitchen) and told how the system works to make it fair and useful. Our donations weighed up to 41kg and will go to feed a lot of hungry people!

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A huge thank you to everyone who helped out by donating food and drink – it will be very gratefully received. It’s easy to think that you will never be in a position to need to use a FoodBank or Soup Kitchen, but after speaking to people who use the service, you realise how easily these things can happen.

We are still collecting for the rest of June, ready to take another box of donations to Ormskrik FoodBank this time, so if you have anything left in your cupboards of going spare, please drop them at the SU reception desk!

Finally a huge thanks to Lorna and the Chaplaincy for working with us on this project, enabling us to collect a huge amount of food and make a big difference in the local community.

 

Student Led Staff Awards!

Sometimes, Uni is hard. I know, I’ve been there. Often, there is someone, if not a few someones who help get you through the rocky days. For me, it was Gemma Roberts who sits on the Box Office in Performing Arts. So I, along with a whole load of other students who felt the same, nominated her for a Student Led Staff Award! There are few things as rewarding as feeling appreciated for your hard work and for everyone to recognise the effort you put in every day.

That’s the reason behind the Student Led Staff Awards. The SLSA’s give you, as students, the chance to thank those members of staff who help make your time at University, wether than be an inspiring lecturer, a supportive personal tutor or a wonderful member of support staff. If they work here, they’re eligible for a nomination! Even if they don’t win, it’s a great way of us highlighting best practise and encouraging others to do the great things that staff were nominated for!

The awards are not given based on the number of nominations, but on the reasons behind the nomination, so the more evidence you can provide, the better! You can nominate someone in each of the categories – so get thinking!

http://www.edgehillsu.org.uk/slsa

 

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I said ‘Hey! What’s going on?!’

Wow, so much has happened since I last wrote a blog! President Kayley recently wrong a blog covering some of it, but I think it’s about time I caught you all up on some other happenings!

Last Wednesday was University Mental Health Day! It was so stressful to organise (ironically!) but it was really lovely to see so many students engage in conversation about such an important issue. Uni can be really hard, particularly on ol’ mental health, so it’s important to ask for help when you need it. I made a little video with some footage of the day, including some support pledges by faces you may recognise:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A4oXnLoFDg

Elections coming to a union 2x2Elections

So at our AMM on Monday, a motion was passed that meant our officer positions have changed! We will still have a president, but also VP Welfare, VP Activities and VP Academic Welfare. You should absolutely run – it’s the weirdest, best thing you will ever do! All the info you need can be found on our website: http://www.edgehillsu.org.uk/suelections   Bring on Elections Fever!

 

 

 

 

 

STLA 800 x 200 pixelsIs there a member of staff you think is great? Nominate them for the Student Led Staff Awards! Whether it’s a lecturer, personal tutor or member of support staff – anyone is eligible and it’s always nice to tell someone they’re doing a good job! It’s a super simple, super quick application, just follow this link: http://www.edgehillsu.org.uk/slsa    (Don’t forget, Students’ Union staff are eligible for nomination too! ;))

We are holding a Swap Shop! Any old clothes, in good condition, that you no longer want, bring along to our reception desk in the next week, and receive tokens! The tokens can be swappScreen Shot 2015-02-19 at 10.39.26ed for clothes at our big Swap Shop event on Friday 6th March in The Quad! 11-4pm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that’s just a few things I’m working on right now! There’s a lot more, of course, but if I don’t stop writing this now, I won’t have time to do all the things! (Catch 22 situation!)

If you need anything, as always just drop us a Facebook message, or come up to the office and say ‘Hi’!

Lots of rainbows and smiles,

Codie

The end of term? When did that happen?!

And just like that it was the end of the first semester! I don’t know about you guys but that went so quickly! (I imagine, however, that if your semester was full of assessments, revision, late night LINC sessions and the odd night out (& subsequent recovery!) that maybe it didn’t speed by quite as fast as mine!)

So as we whizz off into the first big holiday of the academic year, and prepare to make some ill-advised resolutions to ourselves during the fireworks of New Years’ (which are often broken amongst used party poppers and the first hangover of the year) it seems like a perfect time to reflect on your first academic semester & my first term in office!

Freshers seems a million years ago, but I am not ashamed to say that I have the picture of the team with Hodor on the wall of my new apartment – despite still having not actually seen the show! There is so much planning that goes into Freshers’ week, from the moment The Quad closes it’s doors on the last event of one year, the team are already thinking about how to make next year even better!

For those of you who don’t know, Refreshers’ Week kicks off when everyone is back in January, as a chance to celebrate the start of the new term and we hold a Refreshers’ Fair (Tuesday 20th!) to give you chance to sign up to the societies you may have missed at the beginning of the year!

This year we launched our Student Book Club which is a highlight for me! We kicked off the first meeting with’The Five People you Meet in Heaven’, followed with ‘You Before Me’ and have chosen ‘The Shock of the Fall’ for the meeting on the 20th January. Everyone is welcome to come along – there are some snacks and refreshments and really great conversations. I’ve just finished the book and it really is worth a read! This would be the perfect one to join as you have the holidays to read the book and maybe, if you have been good all year, Santa may bring you it!

The EHSU <3 Consent team have been busy, and are ready to kick things up a notch in January – keep a look out for our new materials and workshops, and if you want to get involved, or have any ideas let me know! suvpfas@edgehill.ac.uk

I’ve been training course reps left, right and centre and it’s so great to meet so many of you who want to be a voice for your course! If you don’t know who your course rep is – find out! They are the people whose job it is to listen to your comments about university and take them to the people who can make a change!

We had our Liberations and Sections Officer elections and have successfully elected; Black Students Officer, Faye; Womens Rep, Kiah; Post Graduate Students Rep, Alex; Disabled Students Officer, Shannen; International Students Officer, Pedro and LGBT Officer, Shaun! They are all working on various campaigns and we will be hearing from them much more next term!

Don’t forget about our Rate Your Landlord survey! (bit.ly/ehrateyourlandlord) It is your chance to tell us all about your landlord and student house, anonymously! We use this information to help improve the accommodation for students in the future, so it’s really worth doing!

And that’s only half of it! It’s been a really busy and successful semester, but as we welcome in 2015, we can make it even better! Remember that this is your Students’ Union and we welcome your comments, suggestions and ideas!

Have a really great Christmas if you celebrate it, Hannukah if you celebrate that, and enjoy the time off if you don’t celebrate either! See you in 2015!

What do you even do?!

This is a question that I am asked often, by students, staff members and my proud-but-not-sure-why family. I figured it was time for a blog to explain what our purpose is at the Students’ Union and honestly, why should you care?! Quite often, thanks to old episodes of Hollyoaks, students think that ‘The SU’ is the bar on a campus. Sure, the SU Bar and the Quad are part of the Students Union and we are rather proud of it. But in terms of what we are all about, events are just the tip of the iceberg! Generally speaking, the whole point of a Students Union is to make life better for students. Sometimes that is running campaigns (Such as EHSU <3 Consent and Rate your Landlord) and sometimes it is representing student views on panels and committees (and boy do we sit on a lot of these!). The SU consists of the four elected officers – a Vice President of each Faculty (Education, Health and Social Care & Arts and Sciences – Me!) and a President, plus a whole host of full time staff who work behind the scenes on things like volunteering, societies, advice and all the things that go into our events and campaigns! Representing a whole host of students is a hard job. We have introduced some new part-time liberation and sections officers this year to help us with that and they’re already doing a great job! We have to get feedback from students to know what needs changing, and we do this through our network of course reps, surveys (like the NSS!) and just from individual students with something to say. A union can evoke change. One student with a passion, an idea or an opinion can make a difference and we in the SU are here to facilitate that. We have a pretty amazing Advice Centre who offer impartial advice about housing, benefits, academic issues, (I can’t take any credit at all for this!) who have helped a huge number of students. The SU is, even if I say it myself, pretty damn amazing!

I’ve noticed recently that I am working harder than ever, but because it’s not all on something visible like a campaign or an event, it may seem as though I’m doing nothing. I am sat on various committees and steering groups full of Big Cheeses within the university, representing the student voice where it counts. I’m in a group who are working on the best ways to support students in order for them to get the best degree they can. I’m in talks with a whole bunch of people discussing how we can improve employability, and I’m even working on something of my own to help with this. We are all doing Periodic Reviews, which is a big, official process in which all courses must be reviewed every few years by a board to ensure it is working efficiently. I am trying to train over 100 course reps and taking in feedback via these guys on what to work on in the next few weeks. I meet with so many different departments in the university, FM, Academic Registry, Teaching Staff, Learning Support, everyone to see how we can work together for you the students. Those things are not fun, or attractive, but they are necessary and I’m weirdly enjoying doing them! This job is never the same two days in a row and it makes for interesting “work”. But the whole thing, our whole purpose, is for students. So get involved! We are here to listen and help change things for the better, whether you drop a Facebook message about a campaign idea or come up and chat about academic issues, it’s the only way we know what to work out – from you!

Don’t forget that these roles will be up for Election in March (eek!) and you could have my job! If you want to know more about this, or anything at all we do in the SU, please ask!

“A whole lot goin’ on!”

I really had intended to write these blogs every week, filled with all the wonderful events and campaigns we are running – the problem with this, however, is the more content I have, the less time there is to write about those things! Catch 22!

I have however, decided to set aside some time on this surprisingly sunny November morning to write a blog (which happily goes towards my target of writing 50,000 words this month! – You can follow my progress on my personal website, www.codiekinz.co.uk) updating you all about some pretty exciting things that have been going on!

Firstly, you are looking at (or reading…) a fully qualified Mental Health First Aider! This is a really exciting course that myself, President Kayley and VP Education Tami got to attend with one of our lovely advisors, Esther (VP Health Thomas was busy with various panels but luckily will be able to attend in the next few months!) and resulted in a shiny badge and a certificate. The course is based on the fact that every work place is required to have a certain amount of physical first aiders – but what about our mental health! Depression is more common than dandruff, but we never seem to talk about it! 1 in 6 people in the workplace experience depression, anxiety and/or stress -university and the changes that come with it, can be a catalyst for this. That’s why it’s important for as many people as possible to be trained in this. We are not taking the place of councillors and other professionals, we are merely a knowledgable link between.

Another exciting thing that happened last week, was Trick or Eat, our collection for Southport Soup Kitchen and Ormskirk Food Bank. More people than ever are having to turn to food banks for their family’s food so instead of filling up on sweets for Halloween, our wonderful team of volunteers asked for odds and ends from people in Ormskirk – who were incredibly generous! It’s crazy how much stuff you have in your cupboard that you’re probably never going to eat (so many packs of microwave pasta and tins of baked beans!) but that will make a really great meal for someone in need. We’re going to be collecting behind the SU Desk (near the Community Bookshelf!) until the 6th November, so if you have anything to donate, please pop along!

Speaking of the 6th, this Thursday marks the very first ever Student Book Club, in association with the library, and we are reading my favourite book, The Five People you meet in Heaven. It’s short, so there’s still time to devour it before the book club (refreshments will be proScreen Shot 2014-11-03 at 11.23.59vided!) and last week I got to do a super cool interview with Helen downstairs in Creative Edge, you can hear that here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9_zvLZqrNc&feature=youtu.be

So there you have it! A short insight to what I, and the team, have been up to the past week! No two days are the same, and that’s what I love about this job – that and getting to speak to you guys and call it work! </cheese>

Thank you for another wonderful month of adventures, and I can’t wait to see what November brings, starting with a whole load of Course Rep training today! 🙂

“The book of love”

It’s been a busy first month in the job! I can’t believe it’s only been a month! We finished our training and managed to meet a lot (but no where near all!) of the staff we will be working with this year!

This week, your VP Health Thomas and I began work on the EHSU ♥ Consent campaign which is due to launch in Freshers’ week! More on this in a future blog, but if you fancy getting involved in this, or any other campaign just drop me an email or come to the office and say ‘Hi!’

One of my proudest achievements thus far is the unveiling of our community bookcase. The idea came from a meeting in the Business School where President Kayley & I saw some books ‘Free to a good home’. We wanted to make a place where any student, or staff member could come and pick up old text books or pre-loved novels for free. The idea is that people donate old books, that can be enjoyed by someone else, thus recycling (even the bookcase has been lovingly donated by Directorate!) and giving people a chance to discover a new favourite author. It’s open and ready now and can be found at the top of the Hub, across the bridge, right where the SU offices are!

Bookcase

Modelling the bookcase like Daisy Lowe. Sort of.

Finally, a big focus has been on the General Election in May and how important it is for students to vote so their voices are heard! This year, you need to re-register to vote online, even if you’ve voted in the past. So, you’re on a computer now, why not click the link and it takes less than 5 minutes to register!

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Have a great week, & I’ll update you soon!

Codie

Ps. Well done to Kyle Hughes for correctly guessing The Zombies as the artist for the title of the last blog, anyone have any ideas for this one? Tweet me!

“This Will Be Our Year”

Hello, hola, welcome! As you may be aware, EHSU has a new sabbatical team in town, (cue dramatic music!) and I have taken over the role of Vice President Faculty of Arts and Sciences from EmJ, and boy are they big shoes to fill – But I’m willing to try!

I graduated in July with a first class honours degree in Dance and Drama with Design and spent a lot of my time taking advantage in all the stuff that Edge Hill has to offer. I was the President of Amnesty International Society, and a presenter on both VibeRadio and VibeTV, as well as a writer for VibeOnline and Senior Co-Ordinator for VibeMedia, I was a Student Guide and worked Front-of-House at the Arts Centre! It’s been a busy 3 years but I’ve totally loved it!

You’ll often see me walking around in my (odd) socks, wearing dresses in the rain, or with paint on my face. Either way, feel free to stop me for a chat at anytime!

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If you are a returning student, I’m sure you have some ideas of things you’d like to change at Edge Hill, or ideas you have for events and campaigns – in which case, let me know, I’ll do the best I can! If you’re a Fresher, the fun is just getting started! The Student’s Union is here for you, the students. Our job is to represent you in anyway we can, running events and campaigns, giving advice, helping you join, or start a society, and so much more.

We’re located over the bridge in the Hub, or you can drop us an email if you want to chat!

Follow me: @EHSUvpfas   (and send me a little tweet if you can identify the song in the blog title!)

I See That Delegate There….

Good morning lovely Edge Hillians!

I’m gracing you all with 2 blogs this week as I just can’t not tell you all about NUS National Conference!

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So, your 4 elected NUS Delegates (Alex Prestage, Kayley Wilson, Makaz Ahmed and me) and your SU President (Gareth Dowling) went off to NUS National Conference 2014 in Liverpool on Tuesday till Thursday of this week (8th-10th April).

For me, it was an amazing experience – we voted on a number of policies, heard some pretty intense debate speeches on topics such as: free education, ‘Cops Off Campus’, fair representation, fighting against racism and many more from zones such as: Welfare, Union Development, Societies and Citizenship and the NUS Annual General Meeting report.

Now, to some of you, that might seem incredibly boring – it did involve a lot of sitting around, but it was really quite empowering to be able to sit with sabb officers and delegates from all over Britain, with the officers who work for the union that specifically represents you on a national scale and have our opinions be heard. Lots of people from lots of different universities got up to speak for and against the motions (I didn’t as I was too nervous!) and it was great to be a part of the support teams that everyone had when they delivered their speeches.

In between all the voting on motions and policies, we also voted for the new NUS officers. To put it into perspective, the NUS elections are like the Edge Hill SU elections, but on a scale about a thousand times bigger than ours! People from any university in Britain can run for an NUS position and (if I’ve been correctly informed) the candidates get £400 to spend on their campaigns (which is an incredible difference from the £50 I got to spend on mine!)

There were lots of great candidates in the elections this year – some are first time candidates and others are returning officers. Your NUS Team this year consists of: Vice President of Higher Education – Megan Dunn (first time candidate), Vice President of Further Education – Joe Vinson (returning officer), Vice President of Welfare – Colum McGuire (returning officer), Vice President of Union Development – Raechel Mattey (returning officer), Vice President of Societies and Citizenship – Piers Telemacque (first time candidate) and President – Toni Pearce (returning officer).

There are 2 lots of elections for which the results haven’t yet been announced – these are: Block of 15 and NUS trustee. The NUS trustee position works exactly like the trustee position here at Edge Hill. The elected delegates will sit on the trustee board and discuss policies, finances and what direction NUS should move in next. Block of 15 consists of 15 delegates who are elected to keep an eye on the elected Vice Presidents, hold them to account for their actions, make sure they are doing what they’re supposed to and are making the right decisions for students like you! these results are announced on Monday and your very own SU President Gareth has run for the position of trustee, so all the best of luck to him!

NUS President Toni Pearce was re-elected by a landslide

NUS President Toni Pearce was re-elected by a landslide (photo courtesy of NUS)

I was absolutely over the moon when Toni Pearce was re-elected as President – although I’ve been aware of who she is for a while now, we actually only first met back in August when, along with the other sabbs, I went to my first ever NUS Conference, Lead and Change. This was an incredibly profound couple of days for me, as I’d kind of lost my way a bit. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself as a sabb – whilst it was the best feeling ever that I’d won VP FAS, now that the time had come to actually do the job, I didn’t think I was good enough. I had a lot of chats with SU staff and they encouraged me to go to Lead and Change and talk to the NUS officers, which I did. I spoke to Toni about my anxieties and she smashed every single one of them. I wouldn’t say that I was thinking of quitting the VP position, but I was thinking I would shift responsibilities onto others as I didn’t think I could do a good enough job. After talking to Toni (along with other NUS officers) I can honestly say that she was (and still is) one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. She’s gone up against some incredibly tough issues and fought to support students and Students’ Unions throughout Britain. Toni is the reason that I want to work for NUS one day and if I end up being half as inspiring as she is, then I’ll consider myself to be a great success.

That’s all for me this week – I’m off to catch up on e-mails, work with the other sabbs on the April in-take Freshers’ Events and try to readjust to not being on the conference floor!

Bye for now!

Em-J
Vice President of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Contact Us!

E-mail

SU President (Gareth) – supresident@edgehill.ac.uk

Vice President of FAS (Em-J) – suvpfas@edgehill.ac.uk

Vice President of Health (Christian) – suvphealth@edgehill.ac.uk

Vice President of Education (Kayley) – suvpeducation@edgehill.ac.uk

Twitter

Gareth – https://twitter.com/EHSUpresident

Em-J – https://twitter.com/EHSUvpfas

Christian – https://twitter.com/EHSUvphealth

Kayley – https://twitter.com/EHSUvpeducation

And The Winner Is…….!

Gooooooooood morning lovely Edge Hillians!

I hope you’re all enjoying the first day of your Easter break whilst your dedicated sabbs are sat freezing in the SU (due to the fact that VP health, Christian, thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to fling the window open at every opportunity!)

Anyway, I’m back to sum up the frantic state that was March/is April!

Obviously, quite a bit has happened since I last posted (work has been stressful so I just haven’t found the time – my sincerest apologies).

Obviously we had the SU Elections around the middle of March – this was the second elections that I’ve participated in and whilst I actually rather enjoyed it this time, I’m super glad I won’t have to do it again! A metric tonne of you (just over 1900) voted for your new sabbatical team, which consists of: Kayley Wilson as President, Codie Austin as VP Arts and Sciences, Tami Giles as VP Education and Thomas Hurdsfield as VP Health and Social Care. I’m super proud of what we all achieved and just want to thank everyone who voted – it’s really important that you engage with the SU and I’m sure the team will have the best time representing you all from August onwards.

L-R: Thomas, Tami, Kayley and Codie

L-R: Thomas, Tami, Kayley and Codie

Along with the regular sabbatical positions, you also elected your 4 NUS Delegates, which are: Alex Prestage, Makaz Ahmed, Kayley Wilson and me! As your delegates, we’ll be off to NUS National Conference tomorrow (Tuesday April 8th) until Thursday. I’m stupidly excited for this, as I’d like to end up working for NUS one day. Essentially, the point of conference is to gather sabbatical officers from all over the UK together with NUS officers to discuss policies, vote in the NUS Elections and take part in motion debates. It all sounds pretty daunting to me, but I’m sure we’re all super psyched to be representing Edge Hill (and you guys!) on a national level.

Moving on from elections, last week was Awards Week! This included the Sports Awards, Course Rep/Volunteer Awards and the Landlord Awards. For us sabb officers, this meant lots of meetings with the Marketing and Volunteering teams to make sure that each event went smoothly. As can be expected from our lovely staff members, everything went great and we were able to recognise an extremely large amount of impressive talents from you wonderful bunch of rogues! Having been a course rep and volunteer myself during my student days, I was really proud to see so many people being recognised for their hard work and dedication to helping others. Let’s keep it up and see if we can do more next year!

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A bit of a touchy subject now, but last week was also Varsity against UCLan. This was my first time watching and working on Varsity and I got completely taken in by the great atmosphere and the excitement of all the matches! I’m not a particularly big sports fan, so it was actually a great opportunity for me to see exactly what it takes to make a great team. I was strolling about with the other sabbs, keeping an eye on the scores and updating the Team Edge Hill Twitter and I had an absolute blast – although I won’t be around as a sabb next year, I’ll definitely come along to show my support! Unfortunately, we didn’t win (boooo! We were robbed!) but everyone put in an amazing amount of effort and they all achieved something great – we can use this as fuel to beat them next year!

Now, let us look into the future, to the Student Led Staff Awards! This is essentially a set of awards which revolve around you nominating a member of staff who has stood out for you – it could be a member of teaching staff who has offered you extra support with assignments, someone from catering/FM/the accommodation team who’s helped you in a difficult situation OR even a certain faculty Vice President who has represented you and given you awesome blogs to read over the last few months *COUGH COUGH*

If you’d like to nominate someone, just follow the link and fill out the form – it’s as simple as that! www.surveymonkey.com/s/6Q7Y2HG

That’s about all I can think of now, I’m sure I’ve forgotten something (as I always do) but there’s always room for that in the next blog.

I hope you all have a great Easter, enjoy time seeing your family if you’re going home, finally get through your dissertations/assignments if you’re staying on campus and come and see your sabbs if you’re feeling bored.

Bye for now!

Em-J
Vice President of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Contact Us!

E-mail

SU President (Gareth) – supresident@edgehill.ac.uk

Vice President of FAS (Em-J) – suvpfas@edgehill.ac.uk

Vice President of Health (Christian) – suvphealth@edgehill.ac.uk

Vice President of Education (Kayley) – suvpeducation@edgehill.ac.uk

Twitter

Gareth – https://twitter.com/EHSUpresident

Em-J – https://twitter.com/EHSUvpfas

Christian – https://twitter.com/EHSUvphealth

Kayley – https://twitter.com/EHSUvpeducation