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Stanford - Union Affairs Officer

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Stanford: Union Affairs Officer

Hi, I’m Stanford and this year I will be your Union Affairs Officer. My role is all about student groups and the extracurricular – representing societies, democratic networks and student campaigners!

I joined the University of Bristol in 2013 as a Politics and IR student, where my first-year hall was Waverley House. I’ve lived for societies the whole time I’ve been here, and I’m a proud alumnus of a ludicrous array of student groups, from Massage to a Cappella!

Now I work full-time representing those groups, and I couldn’t be prouder of all they continue to achieve. The standard of extracurricular activities here at Bristol is absolutely off the charts, and I think it’s one of the best things about being a student here! I passionately believe that 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.

I’m working towards that vision in the world’s best city, and want to support and enable student groups wherever I can. If you’ve got any exciting ideas or irritating obstacles ahead get in touch over email or Facebook and let’s start a conversation! 

Here's what I'm working on this year:

1. Diverse Representation

  • Establish an International Officer amongst the Sabbatical team 

  • Establish a Multifaith Network 

2. Help students get more from University spaces and facilities

  • Ensure the University delivers on its new Space Strategy, making sure it works for students and lets them make greater use of University spaces 

  • Get more Richmond Building rooms opened for student activity 

  • Secure specialist spaces for student activities that need them – additional sports facilities in TQ, martial arts, dance, video processing etc. 

  • Increase social spaces at the centre of campus, with an SU Living Room, food court, PGR Hub, bar, and more activity spaces 

  • Make sure students have access to the facilities they want on campus (e.g. hot water taps, microwaves, lockers, showers), so they are more likely to stay on campus when they aren’t studying

3. Actively help to deliver a team objective around mental health and wellbeing, focussing on extracurricular activity

  • Push the promotion of societies, clubs, volunteering projects and networks to help students find communities they can be a part of 

  • Ensure we survey on mental health year on year

  • Ensure extracurricular activity is a feature in UoB mental health strategy 

  • Draw together sabbatical officers to work on mental health 

  • Work with careers/Bristol futures/PDP to ensure students recognise how thieir employability is improved through extracurricular activity 

  • Lobby the uni to provide free or reduced cost extracurricular activity during stressful exam periods

  • Improve the transparency of the UoB hardship fund, and its potential to financially assist with extracurricular activity

4. Improve Bristol SU’s provision for student groups and activities 

  • Run a Refresher’s Fair for returning students

  • Expand CommitteeFest 

  • Give more resources to our events team for more student-led events 

  • Establish an annual Society Awards 

  • Create bigger and more accessible grant pots for groups 

  • Improve the SU's Room Booking System, work to accommodate our disadvantaged groups, and make more storage space available to reduce waiting lists

5. Improve the services and facilities Bristol SU offers to individual students

  • Improve the Balloon Bar with all student survey 

  • In-building project – show the SU interior some love 

  • Provide more SU-owned deals, like our National Express offer 

  • Create more opportunities for students to feedback on events and services

6. Improve communication between the University and students

  • Reduce the reliance on email bulletins and website updates

  • Lobby for a UoB app 

  • Push for updates and improvements to the student portal

 

+ Policy

Require the SU to support an increase in the budget of the Freedom of Information Team at Bristol University  - 05/06/2018

Needs Ratification


Establish a Multifaith Network - 05/06/2018

Needs Ratification


Denounce Brexit - 27/02/2018

Needs Ratification


Require the SU to host hustings for all Full Time Officer positions - 16/11/2017

Active

  • Hustings were held for March 2018 elections.

Approving Bristol SU Networks Standing Mandates - 16/11/2017

Needs Ratification

  • Nov 18 - Standing Mandates adopted.

Democracy Review - Terms of Reference - 5/06/2017

Complete

  • Oct 17 - Networks using Terms of Reference.

Keep Bristol Venues Open - 5/06/2017

Active


Canteen for lunch breaks - 21/03/2017

Active

  • April 2018 – Ongoing; this is tied up in the Campus Heart redevelopment of Tyndall Place.

More Student Voices: Integrate voter registration with enrolment - 26/01/2017

Active

  • April 2018 – Met with Lynn – looking at sector wide interest in this and how to achieve.
  • April 2017 – Jen has replied and can see the benefits but it is a challenging time for the University to embark on new initiatives due to SLSP. Hesitant on capacity. May fit in well with timeline for the revised registration system in Jan 18.
  • Have made contact with Lynn and Jen Morgan to start a conversation about the feasibility of implementing the 'Sheffield model'.
  • Working with Bite the Ballot to compile evidence supporting the model.

Remove Group Grants membership fee requirement - 06/06/2016

Active


Safe Space Policy Reform - 06/06/2016

Active

  • Safe Space Policy will be removed from the website and not used as soon as 'Anti-discrimination and harrasement statement' has been approved by student council. It is currently being drafted. 
  • Revised Code of Conduct will be published on the website, which now includes the sentances from the 'Safe Space Policy', and the explination in action 4.
  • Reviewing the webpages on the website that will support this motion to include all clear statements mandated by the policy. (Actions 5a,5b)

Re-affirming Commitment to Constructive and Safe Debate on Israel Palestine - 15/03/2016

Active


Union to Support Britain remaining in the EU - 18/02/2016

Complete 

  • We are currently compiling a discussion paper to ask the student body how they would like us to lobby in regards to Brexit discussion (if at all) and what our focusses should be.
  • The Students' Union has promoted students registering to vote in order to be able to vote in the referendum on the 23rd June. The SU has promoted why a Remain vote is in the best interests of students via blogs and on social media. We are in discussions with student groups how we can support pro-EU groups in the campaigning that they do.

Divesting from Israel’s Illegal Occupation of the West Bank - 18/02/2016

Active


Support the campaign against immigration detention and the #SurroundYarlsWood protest - 18/02/2016

Blocked

  • Referred to Bristol SU Trustee Board and overturned at Trustee Board due to the contents of the motion being considered an ultra vires and outside of our aims as a charity.


Move Bristol SU to Campus! - 18/02/2016

Active

  • April 2018 – Ongoing; Campus heart advisory group has been established and involves student representation.
  • April 2017 – Currently filling space requirements for Tyndall Place Programme
  • Feb 2017 – Still working as part of the Tyndall Place Programme Board to ensure the SU has space on the redeveloped Tyndall Place including more student owned space.
  • Bristol SU have spoken to the Vice-Chancellor about the need for space on the university precinct. Officers from Bristol SU sit on the University committee which is looking at the re-development of Tyndall Avenue and continue to raise this issue in all meetings both operationally and strategically. A committment to SU prescence on campus has been committed to in the university strategy. A paper from the SU will be developed in the upcoming months
  • Jamie has met with the Tyndall Place Programme Board manager and are working together to ensure that the consultation with staff and students is focussed appropriately.

Increase the Availability of University Resources to Student Groups - 28/01/2016

Active


End Blacklisting at UoB - 29/10/2015

Active

  • Estates and Procurement looking into their future contracts but have said it is not something that they would that the University would want to support or condone

Support a Strike Ballot - 29/10/2015

Complete

  • Have informed NUS saying that Bristol SU supports a ballot on strike action

UBU should provide a public access automatic external defibrillator (aed) in the richmond building  - 10/03/2015

Inactive

  • Investigation into feasibility is underway. In prinicpal approval has been given by UoB. Seeking advice from SW Ambulance Service. Funding will need to be sought before it can go ahead.


UBU should strive towards fairer pay  - 10/03/2015

Inactive


Change the name of 'the richmond building' to 'the university of bristol students' union building' - 10/03/2015

Inactive

  • Referendum held and not enough students voted to meet quoracy

Renewed: Ban slates in UBU elections - 29/01/2015

Complete


Detail the definition of ‘woman’ in the UBU byelaws - 29/01/2015

Complete

  • Change has been reflected in the byelaws

Supporting the Free Education Demo - 30/10/2014

Complete

  • 05/03/15 - A coachload of students were taken to London on the 19th November 2014 to go on the demonstration.