Tag Archives: Edge Hill

“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!

The end is near…..

We’re getting to that time of year again when exams are finishing, and final assignments are being handed in, at the same time many students (and staff!) will have one eye firmly fixed on the impending summer break. (I’m not getting massively excited, we’ve probably already had the best weather we’re going to have all year)

In the background the new halls of residence for September 2013 are starting to take some shape, as is the refurbishment of the performing arts building.

I often find in the academic calendar that this is normally a good time to look back and reflect on what the last year has looked like, and what the year ahead looks like it might hold. So with that in mind, I’d like to explore some possible discussion points and maybe throw a couple questions at you.

This time last year, The Students’ Union was two little offices in the street alongside the likes of the laundrette and the University Club Bar. Now, you’ll find us on the top floor of the hub (I’ll come on to the hub in a sec) in a more open and stylish space. Has this change made the Students’ Union more accessible to you? Or increased your awareness of the Students’ Union?

What about the hub in general? A £14 million pound building at the heart of the campus, what has the hub been for you? Is it what you expected it or wanted it to be? Is there something still missing from campus that you would have liked to see instead or along with the hub?

Next year, first year students at Edge Hill will be paying £9000 for their university experience, what should students expect from increased fees? How much is the relationship between learner and teacher likely to change with increased fees?

Mmmmmm, something to think about perhaps, I feel I’ve gone more philosophical than usual in this blog, but that being said, they are all questions that should be asked. I don’t think anyone is deluded enough to consider that our current HE system is stable, it’s in the middle of probably the biggest transition it’s ever been through, The student voice has never been more important, both Nationally and locally.

I’ve gone on for far too long on this, it’s on the verge of becoming another mini-series, and nobody wants that again! Once is quite enough.

Anyway, as always I’d welcome any comments or questions etc. feel free to leave a comment on the blog or to e-mail/phone me directly with any thoughts you may have, suvpfas@edgehill.ac.uk/01695 657311

Thanks again for reading

Billy

Students and alcohol: The good, the bad and messy.

I think it’s about time I wrote a blog that has potential to be controversial. More than anything, because I love opening up a debate with people passionate about their views. So let’s tackle the whole alcohol thing, especially with the government coming out this morning with their plans to set a minimum cost per unit of alcohol that bars and shops etc. will be able to sell at.

I don’t think that anyone would really argue that there is a strong alcohol culture amongst university students. No not every student drinks heavily or even drinks at all, but a fair number of students do drink, and drink a lot. So let unpick this a bit more. Is it that universities generate an atmosphere with the right conditions for students to want to drink heavily? Is it that Students themselves feel the need to drink heavily as a result of inevitably knowing they won’t be able to do it as often once they leave University, start a full time job, and start to think about settling down? Or is it just because cheap alcohol is so readily available in highly student saturated areas? With local bars and clubs near universities promoting drinks offers that cost the students next to nothing, encouraging them to drink large quantities in a short space of time with the attractive accompaniment of not breaking the bank in the process.

More than likely is that it’s combination of differing levels of all three. But there’s been a lot of pressure in recent times from the likes of the Government and from the National union of Students (NUS) to change the alcohol culture at universities, and reduce the number of students having to be carried home from nights unconscious and covered in sick, mmm lovely.

As a Students’ Union, we along with students’ union across the country, have a duty of care students of our University, and have a clear remit for safeguarding the welfare of our members across Edge Hill, Which is why this year we took the decision to develop a responsible drinking policy with the university. The key aspects being that large external drinking events not run in collaboration with either  the University or Students’ Union, will not be able to sell tickets or t-shirts etc for their events on our campuses. I’m quite sure that those reading between the lines will instantly see this in relation to carnage, and as much as many students may simply see the University being a kill joy or trying to ruin their fun, students should really take the time to ask themselves why companies like this run these type of events? Is it to create an enjoyable and safe event for students to enjoy sensibly and responsible? Or is it to encourage students to drink irresponsibly and dangerously for the sole purpose of making a profit? I think you know which one I think it is, but I’ll let you make up your own mind.

I suppose the question here is, if events like this regularly put students at risk, and have a track record for negative press as a result of well documented incidents that have happened at such events, is that something a Students’ Union should just ignore? And instead choose not take responsibility for the welfare of its students? Or would that make the Students’ Union and the University as equally irresponsible as the companies that run these events? Mmmm interesting thoughts.

I’ll leave you with one final thought. Currently, around 40% of all patients admitted to A&E in the UK are diagnosed with alcohol-related injuries or illnesses, many of which result from binge drinking.

I would be very interested to hear what some of your views are on this so please leave a comment or as always you can e-mail me at suvpfas@edgehill.ac.uk or phone me on 01695 657311.

Thanks again for reading,

Billy

Safety and security on campus

This time last year we had a significant number of students come to us with concerns about the lack of provisions across campus in place to ensure the safety and security of students, especially with the evenings getting dark as early as do at this time of year.

We raised these concerns with the University’s Vice Chancellor and Pro-Vice Chancellors when we met with them in January. The outcome of this was that we as the Students’ Union were to meet regularly with Facilities Management to get updates on improvements being made on the four following areas:

  • CCTV was to be looked at with a view to implementing a new system. This was originally hoped to be completed and operational by September 2011
  • Signage around campus was to be reviewed with regards to increasing crime awareness, especially relating to car crime.
  • Barriers were to be put up at key points on the roads across campus to ensure the control of vehicle access on to the campus especially at night
  • Lighting was to be reviewed following a video produced by the Students’ Union which outlined key areas where light was greatly limited and caused potential for risk to students. This included the possibility of introducing a portacabin on to the back car park which could be used as a fixed point for campus security staff as well as have lights fitted onto the corners to illuminate a particularly dark area of the University.

12 months on from the original concerns being raised, we’re pleased that facilities management has been able to provide extra barriers around campus to control vehicle access after-hours, and that signage has been increased to make car park users more aware of car crime.

The University however are still working towards the implementation of a CCTV system which if approved could be installed by February. On top of this, the previously planned portacabin on the back car park has now been suspended until an outcome on the application for planning permission surrounding that car park has been agreed.

So in short, it’s good to see that the University has made some headway with some of these issues, But I’m sure like me you will be disappointed that other areas have taken (and are still taking) a considerable amount of time to be concluded.

The Students’ Union is continuing an on-going engagement in this process, and campaigning on your behalf to ensure these measures are appropriately seen to so that the safety and security of Edge Hill students is made a priority by the University.

As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail me at suvpfas@edgehill.ac.uk or phone me on 01695 657311

Thanks again for reading.

Billy

Do you think you wrongfully paid council tax in 2010/2011?

An issue was raised with the Students’ Union last year over council tax exemption for students repeating an element of a full-time course on a part-time basis.

A number of students that originally enrolled onto a full time course at Edge Hill University were told they had to pay council tax because they no longer met the required hours of study to be deemed a full-time student, as a result of spending a year completing a few outstanding failed modules. They would therefore not be eligible for council tax exemption until they returned to studying their course in its full capacity.

Students in this situation were left financially disadvantaged as a result of having to make council tax contributions for the 10/11 academic year, which for many students will have a substantial amount.

Since then however, the Students’ Union has campaigned on your behalf to the University with the support of NUS, over the University’s interpretation of the government legislation that surrounds the issue of students and council tax, on which the University has agreed to change their mind by softening their stance on this.

The Students’ Union can now announce that the University will now contact those students, who may have been affected to advise them how to proceed if they were refused a valid exemption.

If you think that you are one of these students, and if you don’t receive any contact from the University regarding this, then we want to hear from you. It is important to us that students who may have been affected by this are properly supported in claiming back any council tax money that was wrongfully paid during this time.

Please note, that this issue will have only affected students living in the area covered by West Lancashire District Council during the 10/11 academic year. However, if you feel you have been affcted by this as a student living in an area covered by another local authority then please feel free to contact me.

You can e-mail as always at suvpfas@edgehill.ac.uk or feel free to phone me on 01695 657311.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks again for reading

Billy