This week, VP Activity Maya Altimimi is joined by the Activity Zone who review the Societies and Team Surrey conference and look ahead to a special year of activities including what is planned for Varsity
Computer Generated Transcript
00:00:36 Speaker 2
Hello and welcome to the sorry star cast. My name is Maya Altonian I'm your current VP activity as you would have probably realized by now, this week subcast is a little different. This is the first week of his own takeover, so rather than this app is joining us will have the activities on today followed by other zones in the weeks to come.
00:00:53 Speaker 2
So the activity zone consists of five part time officers. I'm now going to hand over to them to introduce themselves. Unfortunately, Amy and Ellen are unable to make it today, so Diana, would you like to start an issue? Self annual?
00:01:05 Speaker 2
Hi, my name is Dan's my said and my role is part time and I'm the CS team so we share.
Hi, I'm Brendan. I'm a part time officer in the activity zone.
00:01:15 Speaker 3
Hello, I'm Michael. I'm also a part time off Sony activity zone here to support your clubs and societies this year.
00:01:22 Speaker 2
Lovely, so let's hear a little bit about your plans this year. I'll let Diana Go 'cause she started it. So go ahead high so.
00:01:31 Speaker 4
You know when we ran for our roles just precursor we did this pre kovid so when we were running you know we had multiple manifesto points that at the time seemed quite relevant. So things like encouraging everybody to feel like team sorry ET cetera. And there was a point when Kobid started.
00:01:52 Speaker 4
Where I felt like I run for position work a little bit redundant, but you know you take a step back and you think Oh my, my role is even more important here to make sure that people stay engaged in clubs and societies so you know what my one manifest point is, we are team sorry and at the time it was to get even more societies involved in varsity.
00:02:12 Speaker 4
And which I think will touch on.
00:02:14 Speaker 2
Yeah, we're gonna touch on. I think forced to you, but at the end and also touch on the conferences.
00:02:18 Speaker 4
Yeah, so you'll find out about these random words that I speak about, but.
00:02:23 Speaker 4
Yeah, so it was initially to to encourage more societies to be involved in varsity, but also spectators to be like you know, much more proud of being at sorry and being a member of team sorry etc. And while certain activities can't happen anymore because of Kovid, it's even more important that people feel engaged and feel like they have the opportunity to be involved especially.
00:02:44 Speaker 4
For fresh is coming in who you know were completely expecting a different.
00:02:48 Speaker 4
Experienced, probably what they're having right now, but part of my role, you know, through things such as sports standing and sort of conference. The various things that we interact with these committee members, it's to encourage them to reach out. You know, virtually try and get everyone.
00:03:05 Speaker 2
Involved just have to be creative. I mean, that's the thing about this here and I think.
00:03:09 Speaker 2
I really understand what you said there because I do feel a sense of responsibility. Now. Obviously I didn't expect this theater be like this either. I I ran the pre.
00:03:15 Speaker 2
Code world it will.
00:03:16 Speaker 2
Not recover as well and we obviously had so many plans and objectives, we just wanted to do so many things and right now we're like, OK, hang on. You know what we can do these things, but we still can do something. And what would I keep saying to touch it? But we're going to touch on this when we talk about teams, sorry, ascites conference because.
00:03:31 Speaker 2
The theme is adaptability, but yeah Brendan. Let's hear a little bit about but you and what you want to do this here. Oh.
00:03:38 Speaker 5
Yeah, so I'm really excited to support Mya Diana Michael. Everyone else on the zone with their manifesto points for me. Speaking of like community, something that I've touched on before. But just to reiterate, during Covid America.
00:03:52 Speaker 5
Football, we had like some of our coaches have their connections come on arzum meetings like coaches in America. Coaches on like TMG be really elite levels and to have that like interaction with people who are out there in the real world. Like it and especially yesterday at team. Sorry conference. We had sorry alumni.
00:04:12 Speaker 5
Who did did basically the same mean experience with me as me. Studied politics, played American football. Yeah, that sense of community. I followed him was so cool.
00:04:20 Speaker 2
I saw you know when he finished his speech.
00:04:22 Speaker 5
I saw him right.
00:04:24 Speaker 2
Right, right? And they had a really good.
00:04:28 Speaker 5
To feel that continuity between different generations of Cyrus is really, really cool. So I'm really passionate about that, like improving connections between current students and alumni. Another idea that I had. Again, we I feel like we all have the same values, but in terms of like filling those out into ideas like Yeah, it's a. It's a work in progress, so.
00:04:47 Speaker 5
Again yesterday at the conference, a good idea was to have club in societies like international societies, partner with club. So my was saying football is gonna do like Hellenic and Arabic society are going to play with the men's football.
00:05:00 Speaker 2
Yeah, I guess it's 'cause when you first come to uni, specially if you appear in international student you might have this little bit of you know anxiety with joining a club because there is a stereotype that you need to look a certain way to play. So export then I I think.
00:05:11 Speaker 2
I thought that when I had, I continue when I want to join the football team, so I really love men's football's idea because the sort of the reason that they're doing it is because they've notice that there's a lot of good players from both those societies, but they felt like maybe the reason they're not joining is because no one's ever gone to them and said, Yeah, you can join. You're welcome here. So the fact that you know bringing that society in the game that's involved, I think that might make them feel a lot more comfortable.
00:05:32 Speaker 2
Can you go to the team and to close the trials? It's really good conversation here guys. Michael jump in.
00:05:39 Speaker 3
I'll sure yeah and like some some of my my plans like do also include.
00:05:46 Speaker 3
I have this huge, um, huge idea about promoting clubs who are. If you are who are able to.
00:05:56 Speaker 3
Provides such a good experience for maybe people who are very new to the club, 'cause it it or the SoC 'cause it hits upon this idea that people coming from very different backgrounds and they might want to try something they haven't tried before and and some clubs. They're just amazing.
00:06:16 Speaker 3
With how they welcome new people into the club and how they provide them with opportunities to get involved with club activities as well. And I want to put these these clubs and SOC's on showed then say and like say how impressed we are with these with these initiatives that they're doing and.
00:06:37 Speaker 3
This plan is going to be developed throughout the year. I'm going to have something more as well by the end of semester one, hopefully like something involving promoting your come through social media. Even that's one huge idea of mine that I had in my manifesto and I'm still very, very confident I can.
00:06:58 Speaker 3
I can introduce this year and.
00:07:00 Speaker 2
Among that I know how I can say that with a lot of confidence. I really do like that like.
00:07:04 Speaker 4
I'm sure you.
00:07:06 Speaker 3
I'm really confident like in that like that I can try and get something out that can improve the diversity. Inclusion in club that I've already got a project.
00:07:18 Speaker 3
A big project in the works at the moment.
00:07:22 Speaker 3
I can't really go into too much depth about it at the moment as it's still being developed, but we're getting through it and we'll come out with more information about it as it gets on, but it's all all about trying to bring in diversity, trying to bring inclusion, improve that within the clubs, and to provide an experience everyone can enjoy.
00:07:43 Speaker 2
Lovely, you know what Mike? I love that little secrecy there. Michael hasn't even shared it with us. You know his his big project working on so you know what? We just let him get on with it and we're really looking forward to hearing about him finding out what's going on behind these closed doors. So yeah, back to what we were talking about before we already touched on the team. Sorry conference, so yeah.
00:08:03 Speaker 2
So the reason we wanted to touch on that now is 'cause the normally the section of this podcast we go through. What have we done to represent students? Yeah, and that's why I thought since it is just gone by, you know Sunday and Wednesday, I want to discuss the conference with you guys and see what you guys thought about it. 'cause I see all three of you guys were there. Michael was there virtually and I know you were there virtually as well for this.
00:08:23 Speaker 2
Well, everyone was there virtually for the Society Conference and unfortunately we couldn't do societies conference in person. And that's just because there's 120 SOC's and obviously three signature members and we just couldn't manage 300 or 300 people. You know, going in and out the market, we just didn't feel like it was the right decision or it was. It was safe. The safe decision. Yeah, it was a lot easier for.
00:08:43 Speaker 2
Team sorry conference, because there was 42 clubs and some of them only had one security tent, most of them had two or three, but it was a lot more manageable in terms of numbers. Yeah yeah. Now actually when we when we did it you know it felt really safe. It didn't feel like there's an influx of people it didn't feel like it was busy. It felt I thought was very well organized. If I do say so.
00:09:02 Speaker 2
Myself, yeah well done.
00:09:05 Speaker 4
Help on the back.
00:09:06 Speaker 5
But I don't know modesty.
00:09:11 Speaker 2
Instead of that, let's talk about this site. Discussions first, because we do know everyone that was there knows that we there was a couple of technical difficulties. Appendix. Yeah, definitely gotta take things to learn. You know from that code, or do you?
00:09:24 Speaker 4
Think I mean it was quite funny because you were like Oh Donna like introduce yourself and I started speaking and you like Donna.
00:09:31 Speaker 4
Got your mute and.
00:09:32 Speaker 4
I was like I'm not, but you just got here.
00:09:34 Speaker 2
Is 'cause well, Jody and I had everything up and we were really confident that everything is great. We came too early, you know, for the conference we set everything up. We had a kahoot and we were like right, brilliant were.
00:09:43 Speaker 4
Amazing, ready to go and.
00:09:45 Speaker 2
Then it started to get to the point where I went down, introduce himself, but it turns out we have forgot to connect our speaker.
00:09:50 Speaker 2
So I couldn't hear.
00:09:51 Speaker 2
Anything and then I just get these like signatures. Messaging me saying my oh we can hear Diana you keep talking over her and I'm like Oh no.
00:09:57 Speaker 4
No, it was just so funny and I think it like you know things happen for lack of a better word. But you know, can't swear on here, but I think the things happen and you know you've learned from it. We were then very good about the, you know trying to get.
00:10:11 Speaker 2
So it's very apologetic.
00:10:12 Speaker 4
Yeah, I mean, you know there's only so much you can do at the end of the day, we're trying to facilitate, you know, SoC, you know an club and in the different conference, but.
00:10:22 Speaker 4
SoC involvement and like learning and training and honestly it was so good from I was there not as an activity zone member really as there was a signatory of two SOC's and it was such good training. You know the different.
00:10:36 Speaker 4
What would normally be breakout rooms? You know in real life breakout sessions we had sort of that inclusion training and is probably the most valuable part of that conference, and.
00:10:47 Speaker 2
I'm really glad you thought so yeah, that inclusion training was actually delivered by two part time officers, and that's an added and I thought they did brilliantly an I guess, yeah, there's a lot of things to take away from it, but.
00:10:56 Speaker 2
The reason that we had, you know, no breakout sessions this year was because we just didn't. We just didn't think we could facilitate it the same way the record sessions used to be an hour long. So what I've done is, I mean, obviously godian car decided that we just, you know, make session shorter 30 minutes, but the whole conference would be for everyone. Yeah, at the entire time and I hope that worked well. I mean, I've had a bit of feedback from it.
00:11:16 Speaker 2
Some good somebody else that isn't necessarily bad because things didn't go well. It was just that some people felt like it was too long. Which is absolutely fair enough on Sunday. I do understand that, but there's just so much information to send to you guys. It's very hard to condense. That is very difficult. Well, I'm glad it went well though. Michael you were there. And what did you think about societies conference?
00:11:37 Speaker 1
Yeah, I thought it, I thought.
00:11:38 Speaker 3
It went really well I I definitely, definitely definitely enjoyed it like there was a lot of really really good information and I felt the guests because they they were very amazing during it. They that they gave us a lot of information. Yeah and like.
00:11:56 Speaker 3
Then there was so and then they managed to get everyone involved as well, which is really nice to see, like like every single tree, just like typing in the chat. Like when they asked when they asked a question. It was so nice to everyone getting involved.
00:12:08 Speaker 2
Yeah, I think the point that you said about the engagement that that's absolutely correct. Like even though it was, I was really nervous about it, because obviously it's an online conference and you don't know you can't see everyone. No one really put their Microsoft apart from then. And my 'cause I kind of made them yeah.
00:12:19 Speaker 2
I must look like your cameras and and everything, and I said, Mike. I think initially groups on my camera. Anyways, yeah, I thought the elements of engagement even though it was online, I thought that was fantastic. People were typing in the whole time they were sending messages. They were interacting with the speaker. They're interacting in all sessions and I thought that was really good. So I just massive thank you to see the trees. Obviously that were there I. I think you guys made me feel a lot better about it as well.
00:12:41 Speaker 2
And so move on to teams right conference. Just for people that are listening both the conference. The structure was pretty much similar. It had the same sessions. We had a session on disability, LGBTQ plus, beta session on inclusivity. Yep, where social media session, which I think I know you want to touch on. Yeah, yeah, once we have.
00:13:00 Speaker 4
The speaker, yeah.
00:13:02 Speaker 2
Sorry speaker, yeah the only difference between the two. The two conferences was that.
00:13:06 Speaker 2
You know speaker, and that's because for clubs we wanted once more. You know club related. Yeah Brandon, you were there and you helped out. Obviously down to the two, but what did?
00:13:14 Speaker 5
You think now is really good. I think being in person. I'm glad it was able to be like facilitated to be in person. There was great enerji there, especially like a lot of the attendees. The signatories NRG went down and then we get like a really yeah.
00:13:26 Speaker 5
Energetic speaker to to, you know, raise everyone's spirits. I was really good. Like you said, all the sessions were really good. I think really important at this time, especially at the time when a lot of people you know might be struggling might feel like this year is not gonna be ideal and not going to be the best year, but for the signatories to have that training to feel like they can still deliver.
00:13:48 Speaker 5
You know the best experience motivation, yeah?
00:13:50 Speaker 2
Definitely adaptability is that yeah, this year is not the way we wanted to go, but you know we're gonna make the most out of it. Where here is your students. You need to support you to help you achieve your goals and your objectives. And that was the point of it. And now maybe touching on a bit of the social media so I know you know you were discussing that with me earlier about how you felt like engagement online is is really, really important, yes?
00:14:09 Speaker 4
So I thought was quite good about having just cut and was it engaged? A lot of like the Cubs signatures there to tell other people or other signatories what they've been doing. So women's rugby were particularly good at engaging new members or even current members on their social media by doing takeovers challenges, you know?
00:14:30 Speaker 4
Loads of things so.
00:14:33 Speaker 4
You know, especially when we cannot socialize in person at the moment. It's so important to actively engage with people online. You know we're in such I don't even know how to describe it in such a social media world of them. Quite lucky that we've got everything. Yeah, we are probably, you know, the tech game is high right now, so why not?
00:14:53 Speaker 4
Make use of that like and sort of a lot of the clubs are saying, Oh I'm all quiz doubt, but having just there.
00:15:00 Speaker 4
Was quite good to hear that, you know.
00:15:03 Speaker 4
It's not explicitly. Yeah, there's much more than just quizzes and you know women's rugby. Like I said, they did a take over and stuff and.
00:15:09 Speaker 4
You know people would come to them at freshers fair and say Oh I saw you on the take over and just getting that positive feedback that your engagement with your members is actually working. It must be so nice for them and I was really proud that they have been club thinking outside the box. You know people aren't just sort of bogged down by the fact that, oh, you know it's not the same as it was. There they are adapting. They are making those changes too.
00:15:31 Speaker 4
00:15:32 Speaker 4
Socializing in a way.
00:15:34 Speaker 2
And The thing is that obviously in normally in teams, so conference at this conference we normally give, I think, an hour to networking. This year we couldn't do networking online or you know in person we couldn't move seats. We could move around. So I think having those sessions that were really interactive where people spoke about their ideas, I think that was really good and that was something I really really like because.
00:15:54 Speaker 2
While you can't move around and ask people you know how you been doing, I mean that that session allowed them to Ekspress sort of their ideas and allow other people to take some. You know, these down I've had. I've had people come up to me, you know, at the end of the conference saying I've got so many more ideas now and that it makes me really, really happy that we were able to sort of achieve what we wanted to achieve is it's just inspire people.
00:16:13 Speaker 5
Yeah, I think you'd be surprised of what other clubs I think.
00:16:16 Speaker 5
I've thought of, like Diana said women's rugby like I hadn't thought of a lot of the things they've done. Speaking of adaptability, they've really use social media to adopt their interaction with their members and for perspective members. I think you know, hearing other peoples great ideas is one of the main benefits.
00:16:32 Speaker 5
Of the conference.
00:16:33 Speaker 2
That as much as I'm loving this conversation, we can be on this podcast forever, so I think it's.
00:16:38 Speaker 2
Thank you to move on to the next topic as well. So next topic is what are our big projects? Well, we can talk about all of them because there are way too many and then Microsoft top secret. Yeah, exactly. But basically let's talk about big event that we have planned and everyone loves Varsity. Banner seems very rare.
00:16:58 Speaker 2
What is varsity?
00:16:59 Speaker 4
I mean, this is what I was talking about. You know, being everybody being team. Sorry varsities. Such a good show of sort of team spirit. I've like I've been here a long time.
00:17:09 Speaker 2
Six years ago.
00:17:11 Speaker 4
I've been here a while. I've been here sort of since like Kingston where our rivals. So basically we have rivals. It used to be Kingston.
00:17:19 Speaker 4
But we beat them too much, so now it's Royal Holloway. Oh yeah, and it's just sort of a clash against them. I guess every sort of carbon now societies are getting more involved, which is so nice, but everyone sort of goes against them so women's football goes against women's football American football against their American football team. And so on. And it's just really nice, you know, I love when.
00:17:40 Speaker 4
You know you see everybody wearing Basta T shirts and.
00:17:43 Speaker 2
Blue and gold. Yeah, it would go to spirit.
00:17:45 Speaker 4
Is just so nice and that's what what I manifested points is. Just like you know, you look at American Unis and that team spirit that they have is not something that exists in UK Unis. We don't have the same sort of varsity. Shouldn't just be for sports clubs. Should be 100% one 100%.
00:18:03 Speaker 2
I don't think I know that this year things might look different and we've had we've had a quick, you know, catch up about this in a lot. So it's been talking about web based email look like, but let's let's get people. Let's tell people or ideas. Michael, do you wanna go? Do you wanna maybe give people couple ideas you have about how we can make voice to happen in a pandemic. Let me just do this. Quick disclaimer, nothing is confirmed.
00:18:23 Speaker 2
This is just us sharing our ideas with you so far, but we'll have to see what can and can't happen, but let's just give them a bit of insight.
00:18:31 Speaker 3
Yeah, like a few few lines, a few ideas came up, some involved sort of being like having it instead of being at one campus. It it would be split between the two so we can get more sports and society that in social distancing times as well.
00:18:49 Speaker 3
Uh, being able to compete against each other and also also maybe even having them live streamed so we can still have that audience there to cheer on all the other clubs and societies for the year and have that like team sorry spirits like have it all live stream to the uni.
00:19:09 Speaker 3
Uh, and I think didn't someone come up with the idea for like the user like the marquee, oh.
00:19:16 Speaker 2
Yeah, I think that would have been that might have been Jodi. So activities coordinator Jody said you know what? If the market is going to turn into a social space?
00:19:26 Speaker 2
Why not use it? Why not use it to live stream varsity? I might be saying a bit too much now so I have to stop there 'cause the other more. Can you just go into it and and all that, but no, again nothing is confirmed. This is just our ideas. This is basically just us chatting to each other as we normally get about what we want to do. And what about you, Brian, what do you think about Morrissey happening she thinks is going to be able to to be there? Or do you think we have to maybe take a?
00:19:47 Speaker 2
As some baxi approach and Justice put only.
00:19:50 Speaker 5
I hope as many spectators can be there as possible. I know like a couple sports especially I guess more so in America have like allowed some limited amount of spectators going, so that's like potentially possible. I know Maya was saying if you have like women's football an only 13 people travel, maybe some of the people aren't on the squad can travel.
00:20:08 Speaker 5
Because yeah, yeah, it keep as a team thing 'cause you still want to support them like it. It's if that's the only option that's like better than than nothing. Yeah, exactly exactly it would be.
00:20:19 Speaker 5
It would be really weird.
00:20:20 Speaker 4
They have to get like how they do on TV. Get the fake cloud, yeah?
00:20:25 Speaker 2
And the picture isn't going sounds.
00:20:27 Speaker 5
Sending your pictures. It will put them on the scene.
00:20:30 Speaker 4
I honestly think.
00:20:33 Speaker 2
I I think no matter you know what way or form for stays. I think we're just gonna again make the most out of it. Whether you know we can have spectators there or not. If we can, it's going to be live stream. People can watch it from home. They can support their team. We're going to have a massive social media presence. I know it's really difficult to say like the way we're thinking about it right now is let's plan for the worst case scenario. Let's plan for the strictest code restrictions.
00:20:54 Speaker 2
And then, if any restrictions are eased, we'll, you know, we'll take some, you know? We'll add some more plans then, but I think for now, we just need to be like, right? Let's plan for varsity, as if it was happening next week, so rule of six. Unfortunately, indoor sports, unless there you know when six people, they probably couldn't take place. Outdoor sports limited people. I think that's how we have to plan it.
00:21:15 Speaker 2
And then as soon as we, you know, have a green light to do more things, then we'll just have to, you know, adapt really quickly and change it. And I think that's the best way to go. But yeah, I, I hope you know you guys enjoy the little bit of insight and I'm gonna say one more time. Nothing is confirmed so please don't come message me saying I heard you said that this person via satellite service. No nothing, nothing is confirmed, this is just us.
00:21:36 Speaker 2
Conversing and you listening so just just to wrap up. One thing I want to talk about is the forever sorry fund. So if you guys don't know what the forever sorry for this it is, it provides crucial support to clubs and societies. It issues funding which allows them to offer transformation ilh experiences and also boosts their sporting achievements.
00:21:56 Speaker 2
And so to fund that is what alumni's.
00:21:59 Speaker 4
I think Illinois.
00:22:00 Speaker 5
They donate to and then it helps fund like.
00:22:03 Speaker 2
Yeah, so the applications are actually open right now you've got if you're clever SoC. You've only got three weeks to apply, so please get applying. I know with this year they've been some budget cuts over SOC's, so if you're one of those societies, apply for the fund.
00:22:16 Speaker 2
You know you might get the grant and then you'll be all good to go. But yeah, I think actually Brendan. You know you're American football. Are you guys applying this year? So you got quite expensive kit?
00:22:25 Speaker 5
Yeah, we definitely are. We apply every year this year. Like Mya said, it's it's as important as ever. We really need like new helmets, new pads, new balls, everything off for safety, reasons for, like getting pressures on the team, they want new kid, they don't want kids. That's old. I'm gonna get them injured so.
00:22:41 Speaker 5
But really, any club in society should apply. It's a It's a great fun. Like I said, the alumni are great for donating to it, so you should should make the most of their donations.
00:22:51 Speaker 2
Woc were president of the question, yes to the question photo, did you guys are photo? Sorry yes, but you guys apply for the fun before.
00:22:58 Speaker 4
Yeah, so we applied and got a grant before.
00:23:01 Speaker 4
Which was so good because we sort of the polar part of our club isn't that old. It's only maybe five years Max. So when we started playing polo, we didn't have any kit. You know we didn't have any of the Mallets and you need things like that. You need kneepads able to play and when they when the teams are going away to play they didn't have all the equipment all the time.
00:23:21 Speaker 4
And so they applied to the forever sorry fund and they want money to buy polo kit because the forever sorry fund as well likes when it's something that we retained in the club. And so you know.
00:23:33 Speaker 4
Polo, Mallets and kneepads are going to stay in the club for years. It's such a good investment from this forever sorry fund, and is such a crucial way to keep a club not going to say. But yeah, sustainable is also one and just to keep them safe like we need. We need the knee pads. You know you need kit.
00:23:52 Speaker 4
It's called pads in here.
00:23:54 Speaker 4
Doesn't have to be.
00:23:55 Speaker 5
Fair, I don't know much a question about.
00:23:58 Speaker 2
I don't know either. I might linger had like football. I know my team fight for the last year and we did get it so so that was great. I mean, I mean you never know if you're gonna get it or not to apply. Make your application strong in your application and talk about.
00:24:11 Speaker 2
Why this is important? What it's going to do to benefit your members and future members to definitely put that into your application? And if you do need any help message myself, Diana, Brendan, or the entire activity zone will be more than happy to help you. Yeah, unfortunately, our time is nearly over, so I'm gonna let the activities on. And if you've got any last things to say, Mike, Diana, Brendan.
00:24:31 Speaker 2
Anyone want to throw anything in?
00:24:34 Speaker 5
Just gonna reiterate, we're gonna make this year at the best we possibly can. It's a two way St. We're here to have a dialogue with you. We're here to support you were all you know. Really passionate about women's football question, Polo, Ballroom Dancing, American football, any club in society on campus? And we're here for you. We're here to support you.