Hey everyone, so the time has come to write the blog post I have been dreading the most! My leaving Blog! As some of you may know this week was my last week before heading off on maternity leave but do not stress, I am leaving you in the very safe hands of Tammy and the Student Union Team! Firstly, I would like to thank everybody who has supported throughout my presidency I couldn’t have done it without you, and I am proud to say I have done something for each of my manifesto points! I decided that I would give a brief overview of all the things I achieved while being your Carmarthen Campus President!
Starting with the ‘Mental Health Weeks’ during my time as president, working alongside Tammy and James I rolled out two Mental health week Campaigns! As a Sabb team we are eager to help raise awareness for mental health among the students especially during a year as hard as this has been. These two weeks launched in October and January were used to highlight to students the support mechanisms we have in place for you.
Next, we have ‘Study Aid’ This campaign was put on alongside our second mental health week and was used to push out a range of resources to help students with assessment deadlines and exams, we used the student union website to push out online as well as blog posts written by both myself and Tammy on keeping organised, and what brain foods will help to keep you focused. We also pushed out resources on how to manage stress and coping with the new restrictions that were put in place. There is also a new tab on the website labelled study aid so that students can access these resources whenever they need. We also hosted an Instagram competition in which students submitted pictures of their notes and workspaces this was well received, and all submissions were shown on the Instagram stories via the union account.
Moving onto ‘Accommodation’ This was something I was working closely with Kelly Williams and the accommodation Team on at the beginning of the year however due to the ongoing restrictions with the pandemic it was decided that it was best to put these improvements on hold and focus on providing a safe environment for the students who wish to remain on campus and prioritise things such as rent rebates to the students. This was a win for us, and we also worked with the university and pre-wrote letters to private landlords and halls to help lobby them to significantly reduce or write off student rent!
We worked with the university to provide students with a safety net with their grades during the ongoing pandemic. This was pushed out to students on both social media and via email and there are a range resources to help students get a better understanding of what the policy is and how it affects their courses personally.
For “Halloween” we asked you to get involved and submit your pumpkin carvings, Halloween costumes and Flat decorations and oh did you excel! We had some incredible submissions, and I can’t believe how much talent we have throughout our student body! This was launched alongside Tammy’s “housing horror stories” Campaign.
Next, we have “Mr X 2020” In December 2020 I fronted the MR X campaign, which took place at Christmas. Staff and students take a tag with a child’s name and age on it and then purchase them a present. I worked closely with Laura-Cait and the marketing team to find a safe and positive way to do the campaign while COVID 19 was still a worry, instead of collecting their tags, emails were sent out to staff and students with the child's age and name. Overall, the campaign was a massive success and lots of staff and students got involved helping children wake up to a present from Santa! As a un-ion we have been doing MR X for over 10 years! And even during a pandemic we were able to help 150 children!
I have been working closely with Taz, who is the head of membership services and their team, to help provide more support for student parents. Being something, which was part of my manifesto before getting elected it has become clear to me that now more than ever these students require an extra level of support as they are juggling the priorities of teaching and caring for their children from home as well as studying themselves. This has meant that they have struggled to dedicate any time to their own assessments without severely impacting their mental health and physical well-being, I am currently in touch with a range of different types of student parents and it is interesting to see that even with a range of different circumstances the pandemic has affected them in similar ways. A common complaint was not knowing what support was in place for them or where to find it, so we have now launched a dedicated space which is a one stop shop for all the information you need!
Finally, I am concluding my role as president with a “Welsh Campaign” We launched on 1st March 2021 (St Davids Day) and it has been great to see so many of you get involved, The Campaign itself is in place to help promote not only the welsh language but also to take pride in our Welsh Heritage. On Tuesday we had a free welsh lesson session with Dan from Yr Atom, every day we have had a different welsh word pushed out on out social media and we have encouraged people to guess what it means. I also made a traditional welsh cawl for the first time and recorded the process!
It has been a pleasure to be your Carmarthen Campus President this year and I hope come September we can meet in person when I am back in University completing my final year! Please don’t be afraid to reach out and get in touch with anyone on the student union team while I am gone. I will miss talking to you all daily!