Yes, it’s been a fantastic month on the Coleraine campus. Students new and returning came like a breath of fresh air, filling the corridors of the halls and campus with activity.
The Monday night of Welcome week saw the Union the busiest it has ever been in over eight years. Escaping the music and the hustle-bustle of the Union floor, I found myself outside chatting to some new faces — it was clear from talking to a few students that there was a buzz of excitement in the air. How could we top such an opening night?
Well, the whole week was jam-packed with events. Everywhere you looked something was happening, with activities ranging from cooking-demonstrations, to laughter-yoga classes. From an edge-of-your-seat, gripping, one-woman performance in the Riverside Theatre, to the evening barbecue at the Crannagh bar, down by the River Bann. From the pop-up petting zoo outside the Union bar, to the frenzy & mayhem of balloon drop — there was always something happening to get involved in!
Next up was Freshers’ Week! Monday night of Freshers saw a sold-out Union bar, for a night of live rock & indie music! The night was organised by CASS Music team (pictured below) — the music club of CASS, the university’s performing arts society. It was another great night in the Union, with energised performances keeping the crowd dancing all night!
The fayre is always one of the best days of the year on campus, and this year was no different. The Diamond hall was filled all day with students eager to get involved with clubs & societies. I spoke with committees as I walked the hall, and everyone I spoke to was clearly excited for the year ahead. It was part of my induction speech, but I’ll say it again: getting involved in a club or society is one of the best things you can do at University. You’ll meet new friends, discover skills you never knew you had, and you can pursue the things you’re passionate about!
There are a lot of clubs & societies to get involved in, but maybe you’ve an idea for something new and different? Why not create your own society? It was also great to see so many local businesses and charities at the fayre — all in all it was a successful fayre!
Earlier in the month I travelled over to Manchester with some of the UUSU team, to attend a conference on student engagement at Manchester Metropolitan University. The conference, called RAISE, highlighted ways in which Universities can increase student engagement across the board. I came back home energised and invigorated with new ideas of how make students’ experience at University better!
I hope you’ve all getting all well with your courses and that the last few weeks have been enjoyable. I know for some of you it mightn’t be plain-sailing — my door’s always open in the students’ union: call down at any time if you’ve an issue! Chat to you soon, Andy