Posted on Tue 31 Jul 2012 at 14:20 by Matthew Rogers
Today is my last day as Warwick SU Societies Officer and it’s been an incredible year! It has been fantastic to work with some great staff members, sabbs and students and has taught me lots of useful skills that I will use for the rest of my life. There are so many highlights that it would be impossible to name them all, from crowd surfing in the piazza on Freshers’ Weekend to taking 2 coaches of students down to London to protest against continued government meddling in Higher Education.
The job has been tough at times, but unbeatable in terms of sheer variety and enjoyment. Here’s a run down of my favourite parts of the year and the positive changes I’ve been involved with, with the great help of many friends and colleagues.
Representation and visibility
Buying furniture for the Atrium and making it comfortable and inviting, a big improvement from the empty airport look (although still more to be done I reckon)
Raising the profile of the SU through social media and plastering sabb faces everywhere. Whilst this may have seemed like the action of a despotic regime, I think it made the SU more prominent and invited students to form an opinion on the SU rather than ignore it.
Societies Surgery – talking to so many great people at my societies surgery was a lot of fun which gave me lots of ideas on how to improve my work
An SU for Societies
On my manifesto I wanted more society engagement in the SU as an organisation and as a building, and I have been part of several things that I hope have improved this:
Transforming cloak room into IKEA Rehearsal space was definitely a highlight. The space has been almost fully booked since its inception and it’s been wonderful to see society activity at the heart of campus
Finally getting RAW, our own student radio station, played in the Breadoven was a good step forward in making the SU even more student-orientated.
Arranging for Socs Fed members to have a reduced entry deal for Top B with the money going back directly to their society
Raising the Profile of Societies
I firmly belief that Societies are one of the best things Warwick University has to offer, and it’s about time we recognised this properly
Societies Fair had an electric buzz this year with some incredible performances in the Piazza and contributed to an increase of nearly 1000 members of Socs Fed over the year.
The Societies Awards – possibly one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on and thoroughly rewarding. I enjoyed seeing the Butterworth hall transform into a venue fit for an Oscar style event and thought that the evening displayed the talents of the execs wonderfully. The top quality performances from our societies made the evening one of the best I’ve had at Warwick.
Membership Services Review – successfully gaining more funding for 3 new staff members to support sabbs and society execs. For more info, please see my last blog: http://www.warwicksu.com/blogs/blog/matthewrogers/2012/07/27/Membership-Services-Review/
The nitty gritty
Cleaning up the online exec resources with the tremendous patience of our Web Developer, I don’t know how he put up with me insisting on all those changes!
Developing a new, simpler, online budgeting system to help societies apply for a grant
The other sabbs and I think it’s important to share these successes with you so that you know that you can make a difference to how the SU is run by getting involved in it and fighting for change. I was very pleased to have fulfilled my entire manifesto this year The SU is only as strong as the students behind it, and when they are, it is an extremely powerful organisation that can campaign for change. In a time of uncertainty in the HE sector, it’s even more important that students work together to protect their best interests as well as those of future students. Please get behind next year’s sabb team as you did with us to help them achieve even better things.
Finally, I’d like to wish Silkie the best of luck in the job. She’s going to be awesome and I can’t wait to see all the work that she will achieve during the year.
Thank you for all your support this year, it has been one of the very best of my life so far!