The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Union Affairs: Julio Mkok

 

Jambo! My name is Julio. I am a Law graduate (2019) and an international student from Kenya, East Africa and I will be your Union Affairs Officer for my 2nd Term this year. Some of my highlights from last year include:

- Introduced the Bristol SU: Student Group of the Month

- Successfully Launched the University's Global Lounge and Pan-African Festival in line with their 'internationalisation' strategy

- Secured additional funds for grants and loans for asylum seekers and refugees (Sanctuary Schorlaships) and secured additional funding from the Alumni Foundation specifically for groups who have experienced financial challenges as a result of Covid19.

- Secured student spaces on campus (Student Bar, Food Court, SU-Loft)

My role is all about FUN! From student groups, extracurricular activities and all student-related democracy  – I’ll be working to represent societies, democratic networks and student-led campaigns!
 
My journey at the University began in Sept 2015 when I started my degree. I represented my friends and hall-mates as President of the JCR in Clifton Hill House, represented my course mates as a Course Rep from Years 1 to 3 and as the Faculty Rep for Social Sciences and Law. In my second year, I successfully established the first University Of Bristol East African Society. On the more fun side, I played rugby for UBRFC the uni rugby team in my first two years here at Bristol and in my final year played football for the UBLC Law Intramural football team. All of which were facilitated by the powers, services and opportunities provided by our SU!
 
I strongly believe that life at uni should not only be centred around academia but should also be an environment for one to fulfil or realise their full potential. Through Bristol SU there’s an opportunity for everyone to find a home outside of their degree – whether that’s discovering a new hobby or forming a new network of lifelong friends.
 
That’s why some of my aims for this year are to launch an annual #BattleOfTheBands Show for clubs and societies, launch the Campus Heart Project on time i.e. Food Court and Student Bar open by end of my tenure and to create a 'Job shop' to assist in securing term work for students. If you’ve got any exciting ideas or irritating obstacles ahead, suggestions or even criticisms get in touch over email or Facebook and let’s start a conversation! 
 
Continuing to champion Community, Care and Contribution within the Campus Heart!

See everything your SU has been up to here.

What am I working on this year?

 

Support for societies

  • Launch an annual #BattleOfTheBands Show for clubs and societies

  • Set up a South-West Regional Network for similar University Societies to establish a contact directory 

  • Identify unused space that could be used by students for students

  • Additional locker storage spaces.

Saving Students Money

  •  Free washing in halls

  • Expansion of U1 and Coombe Dingle bus service

  • Campaign for free transport to major airports and cities at the beginning and at the end of term for those students who need it.

  • Job shop to assist in securing term work for students

Developing Bristol’s Campus

  • Campaign for biodegradable packaging for all food and drinks sold on campus

  • Launch the Campus Heart Project on time i.e. Food Court and Student Bar Open by September 2020

  • Launch the UoB Student App by September 2020

Democracy and Inclusion

  • Black Students Officer (role BME) 

  • Democratic review

  • Diversify the SU Staff body

 

 

What have I done so far?

 

March

  • I have been involved in the planning the opening of Senate House Phase 1 post Easter Break.
  • I have supported the affiliation of about 8 more student groups to the Bristol SU family.
  • I supported the distribution of Group Grant funds (£5000) round 3 to the requisite student groups.
  • I am supporting with the planning of the 2021 Bristol SU Awards.
  • I supported the conclusion of the Election cycle 2021 and complaints.

January

  • I joined other community partners to deliver a message of strength and hope to people across Bristol. You can watch it on Instagram here.
  • I have been reviewing and amending the approved Bye-law changes from November's Student Council via the Governance Committee. 

  • I represented Bristol SU at the Bristol International Diaspora Discussion Group chaired by Bristol City Council. 

  • I am supporting the Elections Project team for the 2021 March Elections. 

  • I am supporting the 2021 Refreshers program. 

  • I am reviewing the opening of the new SU Spaces in Senate House (The Beckford Bar and Bristol SU Loft) 

December

  • I have supported the creation of the Refreshers fair in Term 2.
  • I am supporting the beginning of the democratic review with regards to the roles and relationships between Network Chairs and Full-Time Officers.  
  • I am working with the Governance Committee to review and amend the bye-laws with relating to society reaffiliations.
  • I am supporting a finance wellbeing campaign in collaboration with the Wellbeing and Mature Students' Networks to help alleviate the financial pressures experienced by both home and international students.
  • I have represented Bristol SU in the press giving statements to both national and local media around student mass testing and Christmas travel.

November

  • I am reviewing the byelaws and article amendments from the Trustees to be brought to the first student council on the 26th November.  
  • I supported the Course Reps, Network Chairs, JCR, and Faculty Reps elections.  
  • I supported the training and induction of the new Democratic Standing Committee Members. 
  • I am working on the governance webpage for publishing trustee minutes to increase transparency and accountability. 
  • I successfully awarded three inaugural Alumni Association medals in collaboration with Jo Phillips, Chair of The Alumni Association.

October

  • I supported the affiliation of over thirty new student groups during our October affiliation window. 
  • I distributed over £1500 to different students via the Hardship Group Grant, which helps students to participate in sports clubs and societies that are financially burdening 
  • I distributed up to £2000 to our student groups that experienced financial hardship due to Covid-19 over summer and TB1. 
  • I reviewed changes within our bye-laws with regards to our democracy, governance structure and the “fit to run for FTO roles” 
  • I supported the first online Welcome 2020 programme with over 14,000 student engagements with the Welcome Fair 
  • I collaborated with DARO in hosting the VC’s Roundtable and Alumni Forum events 
  • As part of the officer team panel, we appointed the new CEO and Co-opted Trustee for Bristol SU after 77 applications. 

September

  • I secured funding from the Alumni Grant association for Welcome Boxes and to mitigate the effects of Covid 19 on societies’ funds. 
  • I ensured student group spaces are secured within the SU with the requisite safety measures, to ensure student experience is maintained during Covid. 
  • I participated in press releases on life on campus within a pandemic. 
  • I supported the creation of the Welcome Week program 2020. 
  • As a team we worked to clarify the University’s policy on face masks and visors, as well as lobbying for increased testing capabilities and free test for students on their return 
  • As a team we also worked in tandem with UCU to ensure that teaching staff feel safe to return to teaching face to face. 

Active Policy: