Welcome back to Bristol for term two. We know a lot of you will be tackling exams or assessment deadlines in January, and we want to wish you all luck!
If you’re struggling, make sure you contact our Just Ask service for support.
As we enter 2016, we thought you might like a recap of everything Bristol SU has been up to in the past year. Have an explore of this page to find out about some of the things we’ve been doing. Here are a few highlights!
This year I’ve been voicing your views to the University and working with them to improve your academic experience.
The reopening of the Richmond Building added 250 study spaces and a Blackwell’s bookshop - so you can get your textbooks cheaper. We also ran our first second hand book fair which helped you save more money and put £2000 back into our selling students’ pockets. We’ll be running more of these throughout 2016.
We’ve cleared up our information on extenuating circumstances around assessments. I’d love to hear about your experiences of extenuating circumstances so that I can improve this even more! I’ll also be campaigning for more access to exam scripts.
In 2016 we’ll be repeating the very successful Best of Bristol lecture series. Plus a new series, The Richmond Lectures, will bring some astounding speakers to the Bristol SU building this term and next. Watch this space!
2015 was a groundbreaking year for our equality campaigns. After our LGBT+ society won NUS LGBT Campaign of the Year for their Trans Awareness Week campaign, we finished off last academic year with our popular #FreePeriods campaign on the Tampon Tax.
We also published research on female students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) that won national press coverage and is now being discussed with the University.
We ran Reclaim the Night for a second successful year in November. We also ran a campaign around the government’s Prevent strategy: ensuring that students’ views are heard on this controversial policy. It’s great to see equality issues firmly in the spotlight.
In 2015/16 we’re building on a strong BUCS finish last year (16th out of 144) to hold an even higher position this year. Keep backing our sports teams! We’re aiming to retain the Varsity championship this March, after grabbing it back from UWE in 2015.
Another big win this year was agreeing a more flexible Sports Pass with the University. Now you can be involved in University Sport from just £50, which is a huge drop from last year. Plus lots of our sports teams are enjoying the facilities in the new SU building!
We secured £137,000 in partnership with the University to boost participation in sport by women, international and postgraduate students. We also teamed up with BUCS and the national This Girl Can campaign to encourage more women into sport at all levels. Our Get Active and Fit and Fab sessions have been more popular than ever.
This year we secured £20,000 from the University to develop your PG Network. More of our events have been set up with postgraduates in mind - we held four events for 400 postgraduates in Welcome Week and now the PG Network runs at least one event every week.
We also collaborated with Bristol Doctoral College on the 3 Minute Thesis contest, which was really well received.
Now we’re looking to improve conditions for postgraduates who teach, increase support for part time students, and maintain support and guidance for all postgraduates.
Our societies and democratic systems enjoyed a great year in 2015.
Over 15,000 students have joined one of our hundreds of clubs and societies since Welcome Week 2015 - more than ever before.
2015 saw (literally) hundreds of events in the new Richmond Building: including gigs from Foals and Congo Natty, society showcases, and the now-legendary Big Fat Bristol SU Pub Quiz.
The new building has added the great Balloon Bar, a dozen media and rehearsal spaces for our societies and brought back the Anson Rooms and Winston Theatre, freshly refurbished and with loads of exciting new equipment.
Nearly 700 students stood and 28,422 votes were cast in our student elections in 2015. This term, look out for how you can campaign to become a Bristol SU elected officer - and make sure you vote for your favourite candidates.
Some of our best work in 2015 has been giving our students really good support when they move out of halls into rented homes. 93% of customers are satisfied with our Bristol SU Lettings service by far the highest rating in Bristol. We were shortlisted for the NUS Enterprise Award after saving students £300,000 in agency fees.
You’ll see us operating under a new name, Bristol SU Lettings, from this term!
We also supported a large number of students after the Colston Street Fire, and ran a Don’t Rent Yet campaign giving all sorts of househunting guidance to student renters.
As for our efforts in our European Green Capital year, Bristol SU Sustainability has increased recycling rates by 17%, reduced energy use by 17.5% and retained its NUS Green Impact Gold status. Plus our award-winning Balloon Bikes rental scheme has given bikes to 50 students who otherwise couldn't afford one!
Next term we will be extending last year’s successful Mind Your Head Week, raising awareness of issues around mental health, to Mind Your Head Month!