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VP Communities Blog #2

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This is a regular blog series by your Vice President of Communities Jamie Grant. He has responsibility for Clubs & Socs, Employment, Environmental, Charities and Volunteering, as well as aspects of Housing. Find out more here.

Going Global, Great Gardening

Since I entered office on Thursday June 1st, the team and I have been working hard to settle in, find our feet and set agendas into action. So how have I been working for you?

Volunteering and Third-Sector

The other Sabbs and I met with Natalie, a leader at Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise, about how we could best cooperate with third-sector players within the community, in terms of volunteering, employment and a joint-approach to the City Deal. My push to get our students into schools and helping the local education scene was warmly welcomed – there’s definitely scope moving forward to start involving these stakeholders in our activities.

Global Players

The team and I also held a Skype conference with our American colleagues within the Global Students Leadership Network, discussing how Stirling’s Union and their respective student organisations could build on links from Southern Alabama‘s visit to Scotland last month, and further grow the membership of the network. Over the summer, Alban, I and others will begin formation of a framework of cooperation.

Astrid and I have also met with the newest addition to the INTO Stirling team across at the Airthrey Castle – Lorraine, who actually used to be a Sabbatical Officer at Forth Valley College! After a tour of the complex, we discussed the collaborative relationship INTO has with the Union over student support, welfare and representation. We’re keen to deepen ties with INTO students this year, and facilitate their full involvement in their Student Union – particularly on opportunities in housing, engagement in Clubs, Societies & Sports, and set-piece events.

Sabb Reunion

I’ve worked on parts of the Sabb Quiz for the Big Sabb Reunion this coming Friday; Sabbs stretching all the way back to the founding of the Student Association have been invited to attend the evening event, as part of the University’s wider efforts surrounding the 50th anniversary.

Alban and I also took an hour or so to pour over some old copies of Brig, our student newspaper, for the Sabb Quiz. They’re still going strong after all this time! For the picture round, Astrid and I went on a brief photo tour of the campus – it’s looking beautiful in the summer, and will look better still come September.

Engagement

I also had the pleasure of chatting to a student interested in starting up a Disabled Students Society – this goes to show student engagement doesn’t stop after exams, and amongst the summer planning and meetings the Sabbs still play a vital role in serving you, the students. Wednesday was spent drafting correspondence to some of our Fresher partners, helping keep those productive business relationships strong and stable to support our Fresher’s Week.

Critical Communication

The Sabbs and I met with Amy, our Democracy and Research Coordinator, as we began to piece together what we’d like to accomplish over the coming year – and making preparations for War Room at the end of June (where the four of us work out our joint top priorities for the year ahead). Nick and Lauren, our Communications & Marketing team, also delivered a fantastic workshop on the importance of engaging communication, and how we can best launch our campaigns.

Green Fingers

This week I found some time to spend in our community garden with Astrid and Audrey, our Chief Executive. Our team have been breaking extraordinary ground (quite literally) in getting our garden space up to scratch and ready for the incoming season.

We spent our time planting Kale, which will eventually be used in our smoothies. Growing that green circular economy, building a sustainable community and taking time out for your mental health – for me, that’s what gardening is all about.

#AreYouStirling?

Saturday (I know right?!) was the June Open Day for the University. The Union had a large presence, along with a few our flagship societies – massive shout-out to Brig, Politics Society, Armed Forces Appreciation and the Labour Society for showing up in force, and helping the Sabb team and I showcase the best of what the Union offers.

We chatted to dozens of students - some looking to apply in the 2018-2019 cycle, and some actually coming in September. Overall it was a long but rewarding day, and I’m looking forward to the next one. Shout out to Suzie, Head of Events, for hooking us up with some complimentary lunch vouchers for our time!

University Court

Astrid, Matt and I also went over the numerous papers for University Court – over 200 sheets – which took me by surprise. Astrid and I were suited and booted on Monday for University Court. It’s here we take our places at the very top of the University, to put forward our thoughts and views on the various papers presented, and advocate on behalf of the best interests of the student body going forward.

Remember you can email me with issues or questions at communities.union@stir.ac.uk

-Jamie

 

See Jamie's other blog posts here:
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