Olivia Gabriel

Music Department President

Lockdowns and social distancing have made this a very difficult couple of years for the music department. Minimal on-campus activities have significantly impacted students’ university experience. Many of the previous music-making opportunities have been cancelled and it will be important to get people re-engaged with the department early in the new year. As Academic President, I would hope to introduce informal music making, encouraging students to bring instruments to play together for pleasure. Additionally, I would encourage peer support when students are performing. I believe there should be a calendar where students can enter events they’re involved in, and for concerts involving the department and societies.

Isolation has taken a toll on mental health recently. We need more avenues for support, where students can bring their worries to one another. I would dedicate a couple of hours a week to relaxed coffee mornings on campus for students to share academic and social concerns to aid stress and feelings of disconnection. Although many enjoy the drinking culture at university, some students feel that they’re missing a significant part of uni life if they don’t drink. I would therefore open opportunities to socialise that are not necessarily alcohol focused.

COVID restrictions have impacted the lives of all students and new entrants. The current buddy system should be applied to all freshers to support them if they’re having difficulties settling in. Through these ideas I would aim to bring the music department together to help all students to settle back into university life.