Sabbs Update – 03/05/2024

Ed Brooker, Union President

Hi everyone,
I hope you’re all okay and still revelling in our 11th consecutive Varsity victory, I had a great time watching all our club play fantastically! I cannot wait for us to bring it home again, at home, next year!

Last week was Green Week, a joint initiative between SUSU and the University. We hosted many talks and activities all relating to living life in a more sustainable way. It was so nice to see students attending these events, if anything you heard in Green Week has altered your perspective, please get in touch and we can work on more initiatives to make the world a greener place.

Last week, we also hosted the Russell Group Students’ Unions from across the UK (even Queens SU in Belfast flew over!). We had a fantastic networking session where we shared best practice and then had a joint session with the Russell Group Deputy Vice Chancellors of Education and Student Experience. This was an incredibly useful session where we were able to, in a safe space, speak about anything we’ve wanted to say all year in front of everyone.

You’ve all done so well this year, and best of luck in any exams or assignments you’ve got coming up!

Rebecca Would, VP Education and Democracy

Hello Everyone, and congrats to James Baines for being April’s Rep of the Month, James has worked particularly hard on increasing industrial relations and opportunities within Maritime!

A particular highlight of my week has been the Academic Calendar Review Workshop, where I joined several staff members from across the university to look at how we can improve the balance of semesters and the overall year. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts please complete the form to opt to join a Teams meeting next week or share your ideas here: Academic Calendar Student Consultation.

I have also helped look at new cyber security training, written some new guidance on how to be a rep in different meetings (email for an early look ahead of next years rep training), and had the final Senior Rep Forum of the year. Next week is looking slightly quieter, with discussions on SSLCs, University Research Ethics, and the most exciting, Academic Awards!!!

You also have 1 week remaining to nominate yourself or Suggest a Friend in our Summer Elections! This is the time for you to elect volunteer leaders in your schools, and across the university. School/Department presidents, Student Officers and Faculty Sustainability Officers work directly with us (Your Sabbs!) in SUSU, and support you experience at university in the ways that matter most to you.

Voting will be open from Wednesday 15th – Friday 17th May! 

Amy Moir, VP Activities

Hi friends! Last week was probably the busiest I’ve had since Freshers so I hope you’re ready for a hefty update.

As it was Green Week, I joined in with planting some wildflowers in the planters at the interchange and attended sessions from University lecturers on the subject of sustainability. The Uni also held its EDI Symposium, including sessions on the Race Equality Charter and the Mental Health Charter, which I found valuable. 

I joined a panel of students at Sir James Matthews building to answer questions from prospective international students and enjoyed attending the Photography Society’s Wildlife Photography Awards, where I contributed by (ironically) providing some quite poor photography. Thanks again to the society for a great event with some beautiful photos. 

Although I left the serious side of the Russel Group SU conference to Ed and Rebecca, I still found time to meet and chat with the other Sabbs from across the UK (and naturally joined in the networking at Trilogy). 

On Friday, I was joined by four of our most inspiring students, Sabbs, plus students from Bournemouth and Portsmouth universities, to speak on BBC Radio Solent about all things student life. It was such a fun experience and the conversation is available on BBC Sounds for anyone wanting to listen! 

Friday was also a very important day – Lesbian Visibility Day 
❤️I did something a bit different and wrote a blog, which you are welcome to read here Lesbian Visibility Day: How to not make lesbians feel invisible – SUSU if you like. That brings me to Varsity – a very long and tiring but amazing weekend!! I loved every second of cheering on our incredible sports teams to an 11th consecutive win. So proud of you all. 

This week, among several meetings with students (always love seeing you all), I have continued with the planning of the Student Experience Awards, including the all-important shortlisting (really enjoyed reading all your nominations) and a trip to St Mary’s Stadium to plan the decor. For the remainder of the week, I caught up with the Outer Avenue Residences Association, helped facilitate a student Co-Design Panel, attended an Away Day with the staff of Turner Sims and as per tradition got ‘gunged’ for charity courtesy of RAG. So all-in-all a really fun fortnight. I am off on annual leave for all of next week so please go to the other Sabbs or the Activities Team if you need anything, and I will see you all when I’m back on the 14th

spent a lot of time working on rewriting the SUSU Expect Respect policy and discussing the future of the SUSU Safe scheme. I have worked on producing guidance videos on how to access and use several important forms, including the Report and Support tool, which I hope will be useful for future committee trainings and general use by students. I met again with the Winchester Violence Against Women and Girls Strategic Group – thank you to all who filled out our safety survey, it will be really helpful for the Police and Council staff based in Winchester.

Finally, I have been very excitedly preparing for the exciting upcoming events, namely Varsity next week and the Student Experience Awards in June. Thanks everyone who nominated for the awards, I am looking forward to choosing the winners. 

See you all back next week for a busy start to the summer term. Lots of love 

Marina Stasi, VP Sports

Evening Champs,

Ah, what a time to be alive. Varsity week has been the highlight of my year thus far. I had the time of my life witnessing Team Southampton’s 11th consecutive Varsity win against Pompey (womp womp). Never in doubt while bleeding burgundy!

A big shoutout to every single one of you who contributed, whether you were out there playing, cheering from the sidelines, or supporting from afar. I wish you all a speedy recovery from the Varsity celebrations as Team Southampton Sport Awards are just a week away. I have personally taken my recovery very seriously, chilling in sunny Cyprus as we speak.

Your Union President and I can’t wait to see you all at St Mary’s next Friday to celebrate all your achievements this year. You have made us all so incredibly proud!

Last but not least, Sports Pass discussions are being finalised and you should all be receiving your refunds by the end of May. Make sure to keep an eye out for more updates next week.

Best of luck ‘academic weapon-ing’ during exam season, I have no doubt you lot will smash it as per usual:)

You Make Change Updates

We had a great question in the last couple of weeks about supporting students voting, particularly ahead of a General Election within the next year. Ed has been working with the University Public Affairs team on a campaign for students to register to vote while also lobbying for an auto-enrolment system for students. I hope you got your practice by voting in local elections yesterday! As always please send any ideas or questions our way!

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