Hi Everyone, it’s your Vice President for Campaigns and Communications here to chat to you about what I’ve been up to this month!
October is always an exciting month for the Union with our Course rep training kicking us off! It was great to see so many active and engaged reps across the four campuses planning for the year ahead and working together to how they can support each other over the next year.
This month was also the first time we were able to take our Senior Reps on a residential trip to Carrowmena activity center! The Senior Reps have been working hard in supporting the course reps within their school, so it was great to take them away to get to know each other more and find out how the Union can better support them, as well as to let them know how they can contribute to UUSU’s campaigns this year.
The excitement didn’t stop there for UUSU, October was also the month we launched our first campaign of the year, our Drug and Alcohol Awareness campaign “Know the Score”. This was the first time we ran a Drug Awareness campaign. This campaign looked at how to reduce the harm of Drugs and Alcohol by informing students on how to keep themselves safe if they do find themselves in the situation where they are taking drugs or drinking.
This campaign was a huge success with the distribution of over 3,000 Spikeys ( a piece of plastic which you can put in your bottle on a night out to prevent someone slipping something into it) and 340 pocket breathalyzers (which can be used by students who have been on a night out and want to check if they’re within the legal limit to drive the next morning). We also gave out a number of informational posters and had a big drive on our social media with a new blog on our website every day explaining a different aspect of the campaign.
Some of the other exciting projects I have also been working on this past month have involved inviting People and Planet on campus to deliver Divestment training to the officer team and some students. This gave the team more insight into the Fossil Fuel divestment movement and how we can speak to university staff and students about this. This was really beneficial for the officer team and we are now looking for the best course of action regarding encouraging Ulster University to divest from fossil fuels.
Student safety is also a big priority for me this year and I have been working on a number of different projects to ensure students at Ulster University are safe both on and off campus! I am currently working with Student Support and University Senior management on a consent campaign consisting of workshops for students to attend. We are also working on creating a better complaint and disciplinary procedure around sexual harassment on and off campus, so students are not only educated on consent but who they can report incidents to.
I have also been working with the PSNI and Bars/Nightclubs in the South Belfast area to communicate the importance of keeping students safe. This ranged from making sure they find their friends at the end of the night to the correct procedures to follow if someone has had too much to drink. By the end of the year, I would like to have rolled this out across the Belfast, Coleraine and Derry area!
Well that’s all from me, speak to you next month!
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Upcoming campaigns: Women in Leadership 20th-24th November