Surrey SabbCast

SabbCast 005 Freshers Week Preview

September 04, 2020 University of Surrey Students' Union Season 1 Episode 5
Surrey SabbCast
SabbCast 005 Freshers Week Preview
Chapters
0:00
Introduction & Round Up
6:31
Freshers Week Events
11:37
Opportunities to be involved
16:30
Club and Society activity & Pub Crawls
Surrey SabbCast
SabbCast 005 Freshers Week Preview
Sep 04, 2020 Season 1 Episode 5
University of Surrey Students' Union

Your weekly update from the Sabbatical team.

Freshers Week Preview

This week, Union President Lizzie Rodulson, VP Community Izzy Watkins, and VP Voice Theo Donnelly, with CEO Alan Sutherland preview what to expect this Freshers Week. The team also provide an update on what they have been doing to represent you at the University.

Featuring:

  • Community and Course Reps
  • News on the proposed Liberation Committee changes
  • Freshers Week events
  • Club and Society activity
  • Pub Crawls

And more!


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Your weekly update from the Sabbatical team.

Freshers Week Preview

This week, Union President Lizzie Rodulson, VP Community Izzy Watkins, and VP Voice Theo Donnelly, with CEO Alan Sutherland preview what to expect this Freshers Week. The team also provide an update on what they have been doing to represent you at the University.

Featuring:

  • Community and Course Reps
  • News on the proposed Liberation Committee changes
  • Freshers Week events
  • Club and Society activity
  • Pub Crawls

And more!


Introduction :

Welcome to the Surrey Sabbcast news from the University of Surrey Students Union, all about your student life and what your elected officers have been doing for you this week, representing you across the University of Surrey. Find out more@www.usu.co.uk or find us on Instagram and Facebook at Sarah union.

Lizzie Rodulson :

Hello and welcome to another edition of the serie SAP cast. I'm your student union president Lizzie Watterson and this week I'm joined by fear and easy to have your VPS so freshers week is just around the corner and I know a lot of new students as well as those returning want to know what's planned. Obviously we have had a huge challenge this year and not being able to use Rubik's. However, we're quite excited for what we have planned for you And today we're going to share with you what your freshers week is going to hopefully look like. Welcome is he and Theo so how your weeks been so far?

Theo Donnelly :

Yeah, not too bad this week obviously it's nice to have the the bank holiday on Monday. So you know, and that shows out on Tuesday as well. So I didn't have as busy week this time. But I did have a big meeting with uni too. So we're bringing in a new student voice platform is going to go to course reps. So we're just finalising some of the branding on that. And also the the kind of official name for it, as well as the way the boards are going to be set up. So in terms of, you know, there are some courses that are quite big and they'll get their own little forum and then someone's you know, with this not very many they might get mashed together and working out how we're going to involve, you know, postgraduate taught and stuff into that. So that's all been quite complicated. I've done a panel as well to fit sprach panel to do we've had a meeting with the chief finance officer. So that was really interesting. Talking about, you know, the kind of the way COVID is affected that the financial position of the university and how it's going to look going forward and then we had a really good meeting with the Chief Student officer and the other stance about rent and accommodation and how that's going to be looking forward to in the future as well

Izzy Watkins :

over in community. This week, I recruited 15 students to represent areas, areas of Guilford as community reps. Reading everyone's applications was really enjoyable, and there were so many enthusiastic and passionate students. So I'm feeling really optimistic, but community reps are going to do really great things this year. I'm also looking at ways we can encourage flats to hashtag bond with your bubble. So your bubble will be flat you live with and it's likely students will be spending more time with their flatmates than they would have done in previous years, as this is the group that they can mix with in a non socially distant way. So we've organised a flat decorating competition with prizes up for grabs for the flats that create the best looks so I'm extra points goes to those who go down the sustainability route and make their own decorations. Other flat bonding activities freshers week will include the big summer scavenger hunt, a couple of craft Nunes and the recommendation to attend Harry's Bar events, which I'll talk a bit more about later on. also been working on freshers week entertainment at the lake, which again, I'll tell you a bit more about later on in this podcast.

Lizzie Rodulson :

And thank you both. definitely agree with you. It was nice to have have a bit of a bank holiday, extend that weekend a little bit and from Central and so from my end, it's had some really exciting news that so it started off as a little idea has now come into fruition. So every new student that starts in September when you get your campus card, you'll also be given a little support card. So this is almost a credit card. And and on one side, it's got all the university support details and so how to conduct a hive how to contact security, how to contact your waters and the chaplaincy. For example. On the other side, it has all your student union support contact details for how to contact your sabs. How to get in touch with the advice Team smarters. nightline, for example. And this actually came out of student feedback. So from last year, where if you're in a moment and actually you think I'm reading need support right now or you really need security, looking through the internet and trying to find that the right contact number can be quite hard. And so having these kinds of students can have on them all the time will hopefully be really, really beneficial. As they mentioned, we've had quite a lot of conversations around accommodation this week with the estate's team, and we're having quite productive conversations about looking at changes in the way that a combination is managed to hit common rooms, so obviously, it means flat bubbles and you might want to socialise people outside of those bubbles. So it's how can we facilitate space on campus fee you guys to be able to do that and and finally dusting up on The last bits of the wall and fines proposal. So in the next couple of days actually be completely approved, which is really, really exciting. And then projects I've been doing quite a lot with Maya as VP activity this week. So forever sorry, fund for clubs and societies we're in that process kicked off to look at how what the most effective way is to offer this donating money from our alumni to clubs and societies, and also working with busy around or off campus talk. So students that don't necessarily move into student accommodation and move straight off campus. And how we can make sure that they get access to the exact same support that students on campus do. And one final thing, so it's really, really exciting. I have my first meeting around one sorry. So this is a big project for the university that we're very much in collaboration with, to look at how can the support services on campus be linked up a little bit more So how if you went season 12 and gave permission for that to be shared with your personal tutor, it would then help your personal tutor kind of get in contact with you a little bit more and support you in a completely different way which is really, really exciting and a big thing on my manifesto this year so as we said, This podcast is all about freshers week and I will hand over to your VP community Izzy, who can give you a really good overview of what we're hoping this year.

Izzy Watkins :

Thanks, Lizzie. So I am really happy and excited to announce that yesterday. The university agreed to our plans to hold a freshers week by the lake. So we'll be bringing you seven nights of musical entertainment to the lake, food and drink vendors and great festival vibes. This will all abide by government COVID guidelines so the lake will be laid out with picnic tables where you can sit with your bubble but not mixed with other bubbles. And the best part is all of this will be for you to attend. No responds no payment, just fun and elsewhere, clubs can't be open so there won't be a Rubik's as a club, but bars can be so therefore we'll be expanding Harry's ball and turning it into a pub for semester one. They'll be tables throughout Harry's and Rubik's table service with food and drink. We're hoping at the moment it will be open 11am to 11pm, both during freshers week and throughout semester one as well. So I hope that will reassure students that although rubix can't be opened as a club, there is still a student's union venue for them to socialise that in freshers week we'll be holding a variety of events in Harry's Bar, including a Lip Sync Battle and October 1, celebration, drag queen bingo, and much more. So watch this space.

Lizzie Rodulson :

So yeah, we are really really excited. A huge thank you to the team that's been behind pushing it from the Union. This is going to be something completely different, but hopefully be just as fun as exciting as a normal freshers week would be an easy chat about food in Rubik. So we're really excited that youngs who is based just down in the basement, you'll be able to go and get food from Young's and bring it up. And also Mr. Flavell, who is often seen either as a market that will also be offering food, and I know that Aaron isn't here as well. So Aaron is our VP support. He's been working quite hard on making sure that when students come during freshers week, that those students that are quarantining beforehand, so the international students have the right provisions. So in terms of making sure the buddy system is up and running and asking those difficult questions to the university by saying, Okay, what about this, what about that, which has been really positive and we've we've managed to get some additional things through. Also. He's currently working on providing a document for all students that start in September and also students that come back in September. That will outline really clearly what the University have said and what the university guidance is we fully understand that there's been a lot of information have gone out about a lot of different things. And so Aaron is currently working on collating that. So hopefully it'll be a bit easier so you guys are students to know what's going on and what can and can't happen.

Izzy Watkins :

So a lot of people are keen to know what we're doing with freshers fair this year. So we're very much hoping that we'll be able to hold it in person. So to ensure we meet social distancing guidelines, the fair will be ticketed, with the priority being freshers. So freshers will be able to buy free tickets first. And then returners can take any of that leftover societies and half of the external stalls will be on the Passfield marquee, and then sports clubs and the other half of external tools will be at the Sports Park. So we're hoping this will go ahead but there will also be a virtual fair available for you to view at any time both during freshers week and after it will give you all the information about student union societies clubs and where you can sign up

Lizzie Rodulson :

I know a lot of sports clubs as well in particular will be thinking what's going to happen with active freshers so for any freshers and that are listening, we normally run an active freshers on the last weekend of freshers week. So this is a two day event at the Sports Park where our sports clubs put on free sessions that you can go along, try it out before you then jump in and potentially get involved with any of our clubs. So this obviously normally comes with quite a large volume of students in sportspark at one time, which unfortunately we can't have this year. However miring the activities team have really been working towards making sure that you still get that opportunity to Go and try it out for free. Try these sports clubs out for free. So they're potentially looking at extending it a little bit to make sure that we keep to social distancing. And we keep to the appropriate numbers in the Sports Park at one time, are working really hard to make sure that you can still get access to those free sessions before you do jump in and get involved.

Theo Donnelly :

Also speaking, getting involved. I've got some opportunities I'd like to talk about. So we've got some things so some of this is going to be during freshers week. So this is going to continue on afterwards. But some things are great, you know, particularly to any freshers out there listening. We've got a few things coming up. So one of the things is course reps. So when you obviously study at your course we have representatives who you know, go to meetings and represent the views of your cohort. So if that's something that sounds like you'd be interested in, please do sign up for that. Because the you know, the the system runs on the reps, and if we don't have the reps, we can't run it. So please, please do Vasa got similar with doing some things with liberation committee. So previously, this was a committee of five or six people who had specific roles depending on the minority group that they were belong to. And we're looking at expanding that out to be a bit more of a network rather than just being those elected people or having it a bit larger. So again, if you belong to any of those certain groups, all the information will be up there, too, when you arrive. And then the last thing I want to talk about was priority campaigns. So again, near the beginning of the year, we have a big sort of push in terms of finding out what you guys want us to do for the rest of the year, and what do you want our focus to be on? And so we, we did a little short list of issues and then we get everyone to vote, or they think that that will be the most important issue for the rest of that year. So look out for those things from a sort of democracy voice only point of view. Yeah, that's all for me.

Izzy Watkins :

It's really exciting to hear about the those proposed changes to liberation committee. I think the sap team as a whole we've mentioned before, that all of us are really keen to worked closely with liberation committee this year. I help empower them having a network I think will be really beneficial because the individual positions within liberation committee at the moment are an on their own, so diverse, you know, LGBT Plus, you know, one person can't represent both the gay male community and the trans female community, that non binary community and so being able to have a network of students underneath each role sounds really beneficial. I look forward to hearing more about how this will this will go ahead.

Theo Donnelly :

Yeah, definitely. And of course, is he was LGBT rep for a year so she definitely knows what she's talking about. And in the spirit of congratulating each other I would also like to add mine to what this Ian is he said earlier about the guys behind the scenes in terms of getting the stuff ready for freshers fair and the things by the lake because honestly, I cannot tell you how much work has gone into it behind the scenes organising and making sure it's all going to be safe and stuff. So big shout out to those guys.

Lizzie Rodulson :

Hundred percent agreed and thank you both. Again on the note kind of getting involved in a slightly different way. freshers fair obviously is very focused around clubs and societies and but we will also have external companies there and online and then hopefully in person if if enabled and that will help you look at other volunteering opportunities or ways you can get involved so for example we've got nightline which is our it's led by students for students so is a talking service there'll be a freshers fair and your my freshers fair about recruiting if you wanted to become someone answers these calls, or does it become one of their publicity ambassadors welfare watch exactly the same they'll be there. So their role is more around. Hope Fingers crossed when rubix gets back home and they are down in what we call our front room. So if you don't get to Rubik's Cube, maybe a little bit too much to drink or you simply can't find your Friends all you need to charge your phone, our welfare watchers are there to support you. So there are a lot of other external ways that you can get involved. And we have a brilliant platform called sorry, volunteering, which we list loads of different volunteering opportunities, for example, disease, community wraps, raffle, sorry, volunteering. And it gives you a way to get involved in the Union, but also get involved in your local community in a different way. Which also really, really benefits your employability. So the union also run an improbability campaign called employable me. And this will almost aid you throughout your time at university in showing you the different things that you do can make you more employable and outlining the different skills that different roles equip you with. And we work really closely with the careers department of the University on that one. So we are lucky enough as well to have on the podcast there. Alan Sutherland. So Alan is our students union CEO. So he oversees everything that the Students Union does, and has been very involved in making sure that any activity that the Students Union does is COVID. Secure. And I'm going to pass over to Alan. And for now, who is going to give you a couple of updates.

Alan Sutherland :

Thanks, Lizzie, as everybody said that there's been a huge amount of planning over the summer now the lifeblood of student activity in the university is carbon society activity. And if you're part of a sports club, then SSP have done a lot of work in that and more sporting activity will be able to go ahead as normal with extra precautions. And there's a process for that. And if you're if you're a signatory for a club in society, that information is coming out on the signatures teams now. If you're part of a society, then again, society activity will be able to go ahead as far as possible. That will obviously be some obvious changes. And for many societies, the the risk mitigation will be to meet virtually and to do the activity virtually. So, you know, people won't be encouraged to meet physically for the sake of it. That's not to say that physical activity can happen. And we've got things in place. And we've got some tools to help societies do that. So we're going to, we're going to help societies record who's going in, we're going to have their hand sanitizers and the wipes, we've got training in order to help you make your spaces safe. We're also helping societies do virtual events easier. So you're going to be able to put tickets on tickets to and we have some professional zoom accounts. But also when you join a club or society now, you're automatically added to a Microsoft team for that club and society. So when you're on teams, you can find everybody else that you are that's in your club or society and you can talk to them online. So it will look a little bit different. But you know all of a society and club activity should be able to continue as it has done in every other year, what you will find different and what is very clear in the government guidance is the guidance on socialising. So just a reminder of what the government guidelines are at the moment is you can continue to meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to six people from different households. In the university context, a household is an accommodation unit. So that might be a floor in basket court. It might be a flat in Manor Park, or it might be a house in university a court or is perhaps an hm or if there's 3456 of you renting a house that is a household. So you can meet outdoors in a group of up to six people from any households but no more than six and we're lucky that we've got a lot of outdoor space at the university. Have a bit of guidances that you can meet in a group of two households in any location public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be in the same household each time. So you can socialise with those in your accommodation unit and another accommodation unit. What this does mean is that the standard social activity for clubs and societies doesn't fall within those guidelines. So what you won't be able to do is meet on mass as a as a club or a society you'll be able to meet in groups of up to six or two households. And and that's the guidelines and that's what we're sticking with. Because it's it's a responsibility that we've got in order to keep everybody safe and to make sure the campus is safe. So it's the social activity which will look different. But as is already explained, we will have rubix lounge open and we've got union by the lake and we're working with a lot of venues in town. To make those spaces safe and open and available for people to socialise, and I realise a lot of foster students have an awful lot of questions and I see a lot of activity on Facebook people desperate to find out who their flatmates are, just to reassure everybody. Everybody coming into university for the first time is in exactly the same position. Nobody knows their housemates. And there are an awful lot of WhatsApp groups being linked to on Facebook at the moment. There's lots of people jumping on WhatsApp, just just be a little bit careful about jumping on public WhatsApp groups and sharing too much private information. You know, not everybody in that whatsapp group will be a student if it's advertised on public on public websites. So really be careful about how much personal information you share online before you arrive. And don't worry, you know, as the the saps have already explained, there's a huge amount of activity lined up for the whole of freshers week in order for you to Meet your house and to meet your coursemates. So don't worry too much about using WhatsApp and Facebook to meet everybody that you're going to be living with before you arrive.

Lizzie Rodulson :

Thank you very much, Alan. And then yeah, agreeing with the with not knowing your flatmates. My first year I was in a flat 14. And you may pick up one or two people on social media, but you'll never be able to find everyone. And again, everyone is in the same boat. And you'll meet a lot of people from your walk past people from different floors. And yeah, just remember, everyone is in the same boat. Some people might seem a little bit more confident and some people may seem a little bit more nervous, but I guarantee you Everyone is thinking the exact same thing. And so that brings us to the end of our podcast on freshers week and exploring what the saps have been doing this week. So a huge thank you to Alan and the VPS for joining me this week. And as always, if you have any Any questions about anything spoken about or any feedback about university or student life in general, please don't hesitate to get in contact with the union directly at USU dot information at 32 ac.uk or any of the sabbatical officers directly as well. And we look forward to send you really soon and a couple of weeks with freshers week.

Outroduction :

That's everything this week from yourselves. Join us on Instagram and Facebook where you can see what's happening until next week's edition. If you want to get in touch, find us on Microsoft Teams, Instagram or email us on sorry 365 Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Introduction & Round Up
Freshers Week Events
Opportunities to be involved
Club and Society activity & Pub Crawls