Last Thursday, I took several Guild Officers to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the lovely people of the Shakespeare Institute. This was the result of several months of planning and moving things around in diaries. To make the visit effective, I asked the SI student rep to raise the proposed visit at their meeting, as well as speaking to other students. Eventually I got a list of officers they thought would be beneficial to speak to. I managed to get all but three, due to work commitments (Kelly has a degree to do, Emily is extremely busy with her degree also and Mark was in Nottingham on business).
So, off to Stratford skipped myself, Adam (SSO-elect), Noorie (International Students Officer), Dan (LGBTQ Officer), Fliss (VP Activities and Development) and Hugo (VP Democracy and Resources). We offered mini eggs and biscuits and the chance to discuss anything with the Guild Officers. Whilst I’ve visited the Shakespeare Institute many times before and Adam had a meeting there during the elections fortnight, it was interesting to see the reactions of the officers who were previously oblivious to the differences of living and studying at Birmingham but outside of main campus. Many action points were made, several of which have already been completed.
This was the first time in several years that the Officer Team has reached out to the Shakespeare Institute and I have high hopes for Adam from July to keep in touch with all the satellite sites and encourage the next officer team to continue the excellent relationship that now exists between the Guild and them. Several students commented on the efforts made by myself this year which made particularly the attending sabbatical officers realise how important, and rewarding, it is to engage with Hard to Reach students. Maybe some time in the future we’ll even get a student from the Shakespeare Institute running in the elections? Or attending Guild Council? They’re very passionate people, I see no reason why they wouldn’t be encouraged to get more involved.
As it’s the Easter/Spring vacation period, I’m offering a ‘hidden easter egg’ treat. Anyone who emails me to let me know they’ve read this post will receive a box of tea and a biscuit. Offer ends when I re-locate to Stratford on May 6th (unless, of course, you’re located in Stratford in which case enjoy an extended offer until June 10th).
Satellite Sites Officer
I just wanted to include a note to say that voting has closed and the Officer Team elect stands as:
President – David Franklin
Vice President (Democracy and Resources) – Leander Jones
Vice President (Activities and Development) – Ollie Cosentino
Vice President (Education) – Simon Furse
Vice President (Housing and Community) – James Robertson
Vice President (Sport) – James Hughes
Vice President (Welfare) – Katherine East
Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism Officer – Hannah Skolnick
Community Action Officer – Sean Farmelo
Disabled Students’ Officer – Amy Connelly
Ethical & Environmental Officer – Alice Swift
Ethnic Minority Students’ Officer – Sacha Hassan
Home Students’ Officer – Joe Sewell
International Students’ Officer – Saara Pokki
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Students’ Officer – Rachel Foreman
Satellite Sites Officer – Adam Smith (most importantly, for those reading this blog)
Women’s Officer – Kristina Ilieva
I also want to make clear the the current Officer team are still in office until the new lot take over in early July. Queries should still go to the current officer team and we won’t work any less just because we have a new team awaiting.
If you’ve been able to come onto the main Edgbaston campus recently, you will have noticed cardboard and posters and matresses and banners and balloons and people dressed in odd costumes. This can only mean one thing: elections! The student media groups have also been covering the elections online: BurnFM have interviews with each candidate, GTV also have interviews and Redbrick have been writing articles along the way, as well as featuring manifestos and statements from each candidate.
Voting is open right now on www.my.bham.ac.uk (log in as usual, click the blue elections banner and off you go!) and closes at 4pm on Friday 9th March. Results will be streamed live by GTV on the evening of Saturday 10th March, as well as being live-blogged by Redbrick. Interviews will be available throughout the night from BurnFM.
Every student has a vote in these elections and every vote really does count. Last year we had a huge voter turnout and this year we’re aiming to have even more engaged students logging onto my.bham to get their voice heard. Remember, the Guild is not just a building: it is also a service for representation and welfare.
Satellite Sites Officer