I hope this blog finds you all well, despite the heavy spells of hailstones we keep getting here at the Ormskirk campus. It’s been almost a month since my last blog, so I thought I’d give you as briefer update as possible, on some of the things I (and we here at the SU) have been up to since the beginning of October.
Not long after my last blog I went with some senior members of staff in the University to visit both Chester and Lancaster University’s respective libraries. This is part of a group I am on which is looking at how we can improve the current Edge Hill library (Ormskirk) and what we should be considering if a time comes in the future when we come to build a new one. I actually applied to Lancaster University to do Advertising & Marketing after doing my A-Levels and got in, but pulled out at the last minute for a couple of reasons. In the end I took a gap year and ended up coming here instead to do Primary Education, but going back does make you wonder what your life would have been like had you taken a different direction. I wouldn’t be sat here writing this, that’s for sure. As for the libraries themselves, there were some really interesting ideas which will no doubt play a part in some of the group’s recommendations to the University and Learning Services. If you have any thoughts on the current library facilities, then let me know.
The 10th October saw the launch of our Society Development Grant, which offers our societies the opportunity to get financial assistance from the SU for the first time ever. This was something I was keen to bring in when I was elected President, and although only a small pot of money, we have already been able to assist a number of societies in funding some of their activities and equipment etc. Safe to say, quite a lot of my time this month has been spent looking through applications for grants and deliberating with two of our staff members over what we should and shouldn’t fund and for how much etc.
It was around this time that many of our sports teams began their start to the competitive season with fixtures both home and away. One of the issues which has come up since then is the fact that some students are struggling to play sport on a Wednesday, due to lectures timetabled in the afternoon. We are working closely with the various faculties to try and resolve this, but in the meantime we need to know all courses which are affected. If you are on one of them, then get in contact with your name, course, year and the sport you play.
On the 15th October Her Royal Highness Sophie, Countess of Wessex visited the Ormskirk campus to formally open The Student Hub. I’m very proud to say, I was an integral part of that day, meeting her and the Chancellor, Tanya Byron at Chancellor’s Court, introducing them to some students and their halls and then moving on to the SU and standing beside HRH as she was ‘flash-mobbed’ by the excellent HillStart society and the equally fantastic Edge FWD. After this I was very privileged to be invited to the formal dinner which contained only three other members of staff from the University as well as HRH, her dignitaries, the Chair of the Board of Governors and the Chancellor. She genuinely seemed to be interested in the students and impressed by the campus and I’m pleased to say, the day went pretty much according to plan (minus the weather).
At the back end of that week I was equally privileged to be invited to go and visit one of our first year students who unfortunately has been in hospital since a horrific accident in Freshers’ Week. I was very pleased to hear that he had been moved out of the High Dependency Unit, the day after I met him and as a result the member of staff I visited with and I, are claiming his improvement is as a result of our amazing personalities and levels of interesting discussion 🙂 Since our visit it seems the student is making all sorts of progress and I really hope we get to see him around these parts in the not too distant future!
On the entertainment side of things, Cantina, our live music night every Friday in The Venue, continues to grow from strength to strength and as has become a staple part of weekly entertainment in Ormskirk. The Hummingbirds in particular were absolutely fantastic and I got to have a good chat with the boys afterwards; had a couple of tracks from their EPs on repeat since. This Wednesday also saw more SU-action in The Venue with a special Halloween-Themed Clubs & Socs night. Finally last week we had the official launch of the new Arts Centre, which saw a bizarre array of entertainment taking place around campus including speeding, hipster grannies and a frozen zoo.
In other news I’ve been at one of the NUS Zone Conferences this week which took place in Manchester. Some of you may have seen my tweet and facebook message about the hotel I was in, but safe to say, it was pretty plush. 11th floor overlooking the city and surround by suits and posh décor. The actual conference itself got me inspired once again to do more and filled me with ideas of things we could do here at EHSU. The problem is, the moment you get back, you realise how many things you already have on your ‘To Do List’ which puts pay to any great ideas you had quite quickly. As a result I’ve been in full-steam-ahead mode today to try and get stuff done and boxed off so I can get on with some of the things I want to do and that I think will really benefit you as students.
This week also saw the launch of the first issue of this year’s student magazine, Vibe Mag, which is a Halloween Special. It launched on Halloween (funnily enough) and is available at www.vibemedia.co. You can also find information here on the other media platforms Vibe operates as well as information on how to get involved.
And that just about brings us up to present day. On the 21st November we will be taking up to 30 students to London as part of the NUS National Demo 2012 campaigning against the rise in tuition fees, high levels of graduate unemployment and to bring the issue of further and higher education back onto the national agenda. If this is something you may be interested in, then you need to let us know pretty sharpish. Demo workshops are taking place from this coming week.
Finally, the library are reviewing their service standards and want them to be prioritised in correlation with the services students feel are most important in the library. Obviously in order to do this, they need to know which services students value most and as a result have asked if we at the SU could give our input but would also like to here from some current and active students too. The discussion is at 11:30am on the 16th November. If you would like to have your say and be involved then you’d be more than welcome. Just let me know 🙂
That’s all from me for now folks. I hope you’re all well, not finding work too hard and enjoying your time at Edge Hill, wherever and however you’re studying. As always, any questions, concerns or ideas, get in contact with me via the communication channels highlighted at the bottom of this blog, or simply pop into the SU and see me on the first floor of The Hub.
Thanks for reading
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