After the Union's by-election last month, Chloe Whyte has now taken on her role as Union President. The entire Sabbatical team look forward to continuing their work to Make Students' Lives Better.
The team have been busy in the last few weeks on a host of issues, campaigning and representing for students at Stirling. Here is a quick run down of what's been going on.
The Union had an excellent election period to fill the vacant Sabbatical Officer and Part-time Officer posts. We had great student engagement, surpassing the turnout from the previous by-election in 2018. Chloe Whyte was elected as the new President, Jamie McDiarmid will be the new Non-Traditional Students’ Officer, and our four NUS delegates are Lily Climie, Joshua Muirhead, Hope Murray and Daniel Deery.
A huge exciting piece of news was the Union announcing Carbon Neutrality – this was done through a photo with the Minister of Finance and Economy, Derek Mackay MSP, as well as the Principal. It should be noted all the hard work that has gone into this achievement. We also had a very exciting and engaging Scottish Climate week, including a petition for more water fountains that got a staggering 752 responses from staff and students, this was led by our Sustainability Officer, Hannah. On top of this, at the General Meeting (which was really well attended), we declared a climate emergency. Josh, VP Communities, also recently presented at the University Court Strategy Day on Sustainability.
Challenge Yersel is back. This is a big collaborative effort from Communities and Sports. This is a month long (November) challenge to encourage our students to “challenge” themselves through means of physical activity. We have identified that the key themes of this month long campaign are Creativity, Engagement and Inclusivity.
Clubs and Societies - We’ve approved 5 new societies in the Communities Zone (Nature Society, Red Stirling, Swing Society, The Great British Bake-Off Society, and Yoghurt Appreciation Society of Stirling or YASS).
Sports – BUCS leagues are back in full swing. We have no indication of where we sit in league tables currently due to the new BUCS Play system. This has been an interesting learning curve and the Sports Union Team are working hard for students to ensure that the students are getting the necessary support. The teams have led on a few campaigns such as Green Ribbon, #PegTalk Campaign and there has been work for Breast Cancer Awareness – these have all been successful and great to see clubs taking initiative.
RATE 2020 will be the 10th Anniversary of our teaching excellence awards, we are planning for this to launch in mid-November and are currently finalising the details of which Awards will be edited or added this year. We have provisionally booked the 22th of April for the event itself and we look forward to celebrating the hard work and dedication of individuals across the University. We are thrilled that the funding for this has been confirmed to ensure we have yet another fantastic RATE Awards in 2019/20.
Brexit response - The International Officer recently invited students concerned about Brexit to come together, chat and get support at the Brexit Info Café. This was an informal drop-in session supported by the Students' Union and the Pioneer Ministry Investment in Community Building Fund. The Citizens' Advice Bureau Stirling and Clackmannanshire and Gurjit Pall, an Associate at Thorntons Law LLP specializing in immigration law, also joined the event to offer support.
Capital Investment Projects
Campus central – currently there are some potential delays to this phase of the project, due in part to the flood damage during the summer break, and to do with underground cabling. However at this stage the completion date of the project remains the same at November 2020. The atrium will be re-opened at the beginning of the Spring semester and I’m sure the students are looking forward to having the atrium back as much as we are!
Sports Redevelopment – The sports redevelopment is in a very exciting phase just now. The main building reinforced concrete frame is complete, and removal of the temporary steel props has now commenced. Preparation of the ground floor slab is progressing and this will be poured in this period. The structural steel to the plug is now complete and the envelope steelwork has now commenced. In the coming period we will see installation of the first sections of curtain walling, starting with the East elevation. This will continue over the next 2 months. The Principal Designer (AECOM) completed a site welfare audit on 28th August. A score of 100% was awarded and no issues raised. Everything is on schedule for completion and on budget for summer 2020. The development will be a welcome addition to the sporting provision for all sports members and in particular those in the Sports Union.