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VP Communities Blog #4

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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?

This past week definitely passed in a blur, with graduation taking a fair bite out of my time. However, we still managed to slot in meetings and activities around it – ceremonies or no ceremonies!

The week began with an interesting day of further conversations with colleagues at Sparqs and the University of South Alabama, as part of our Global Students Leadership Network. We were introduced to the new Student leadership team across the pond, who were keen to work on transnational campaigns and issues – particularly around engaging students in politics more generally, and what effect cross-promotion between our Clubs and Societies could have on this issue and wider afield.

Alban, Jess, Rebecca and I attended an early morning meeting on Tuesday with Mailboxes to finalise the designs for our GIAG leaflets. We decided to go for the truncated version, expanding the Give-It-A-Go period to two weeks (Presidents, applications now open here!

Week 1 will concentrate on Clubs & Socs and Sports Teams, then Clubs & Socs and Volunteering on Week 2. This year we’re making a real push on student volunteering, both from an employability perspective, but also from the position of fostering a wider sense of community spirit and consciousness here in Stirling. By expanding the GIAG period to two weeks, we can reduce the chance of schedule clashes, and give students a greater chance to find out what they’ll love to do.

Later on in the day, Alban and I had an in-depth chat about the forms page on the website – I’m excited to report that the page has been fully refreshed, taking into account the user experience. We reduced and decluttered the necessary paperwork needed for Clubs and Societies to function, based on feedback from numerous Club leaders. We want Committees to spend their time doing awesome things, and less on needlessly convoluted forms.

I spent Wednesday in two graduation ceremonies. The stage was extremely hot and almost uncomfortable, especially in a three-piece suit with heavy black robes! Between each ceremony I was grateful to have been invited to the Chancellor’s Lunch, which James Naughtie led. Astrid, our Union President, graduated in the morning ceremony, whilst Rebecca, our Sports President graduated in the afternoon. Matt, our VP Education, oddly suited his robes, doing his best Harry Potter professor impression.

Thursday was my very own graduation ceremony, and I felt infinitely better knowing exactly how it would go. It was a surreal experience to think my undergraduate experience at Stirling has went by so quickly, or the ridiculously amazing friends I came to make on the way. It doesn’t feel like 4 years have passed since I first stood in line for an F-Pass as an awkward 17 old!

The garden party afterwards was quite nice, a great opportunity to get some last minute photos with old faces. I also went along to the Faculty Reception in Pathfoot, and was grateful to say goodbye to Peter Lynch, Paul Cairney and Tim Peace – just some of my lecturers from across the years.

Friday and Saturday approached unapologetic (another Saturday working!) – it was time for the annual ‘War Room’, where the Union Sabbatical Team bunker down and forge our top shared priorities for the year, as well as honing our own personal ambitions. The experience was long and tiring, but ultimately worth it. On Monday we presented to the Coordinator Team the vision of what challenges and opportunities lie in store for the University, the Union and ultimately our students over the upcoming year. We’ll be hoping to publish and publicise this very soon, and take the first positive steps to our 2017-2018 goals.

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

-Jamie

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University of Stirling Students' Union
The Robbins Centre
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FK9 4LA

email: theunion@stir.ac.uk
phone: 01786 467166

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