The Student Union has been jam-packed full of events and opportunities for students this semester thanks to the work of your full-time officers: Scott, Georgia, Connel and Sebi, who have each compiled a few of their personal favourite moments from the last few months.
President (Scott’s Highlights)
Firstly, starting with Scott, the president here at the Student Union. Scott has been involved in many projects, alongside helping to organise several events held at the Student Union this semester.
The Black Voices Project
Scott’s first highlight from Semester 1 is his involvement in the ‘Black Voices Project’. After some time away, it was great to see the relaunch of the ‘Black Voice Project’ of which 4 BME advocates have been recruited for the upcoming year ahead. This is an exciting future prospect as these newly recruited advocates will play a huge role in organising network events, celebrating culture and amplifying voices within the BME community. It is great to see such a wonderful project back up and running.
The Watt Welcome Fair
Next up, is the Watt Welcome Fair. The Watt Welcome Fair is one of the highlights of the year and in the words of Scott himself ‘It did not disappoint’. With over 1500 students in attendance and a wide variety of sports clubs and societies on offer, to meet everyone’s taste, it truly is an inclusive event for all and one that was a huge success once again in Semester 1.
The Movember Campaign
Finally, Scott mentioned the Movember campaign as his final highlight of the semester. The month of November is all about raising awareness for men’s mental health and here at Heriot-Watt this was well received. We had The Mental Health Workshop educating students all about the history of Movember and its importance within our society. Following this we had 2 memorable nights with the Heriot-Watt Annual Darts Competition and the Annual Battle of the Bands Competition. Both nights were full of fun, drama and fabulous moustaches and helped raise lots of money for the wonderful Movember organisation.
Vice President Wellbeing (Georgia’s Highlights)
Next up is the semester one highlights from Vice President Wellbeing, Georgia. Georgia has been involved in many projects this semester with student wellbeing at the centre of it all.
Consent and Relationships Education
Georgia’s first highlight for the semester is her involvement in educating students about Consent and Relationships. Georgia has been busy this semester promoting engagement of the ‘Consent Matters’ modules among students. These modules can be found on your Canvas Dashboard by looking for a stick figure. If you are yet to access these modules, they cover very important topics which each and every student should consider reading over. The feedback received off the back of this has been full of positive comments with students voicing that the modules have been helpful and inclusive to them.
Mental Health Support
Another highlight from Georgia, is her work surrounding Mental Health Support. As previously mentioned, the Mental Health Workshop during the Movember campaign was a huge success and this was largely attributed to by Georgia. With the help of the team at the Sports Union, the workshop was hugely informative focussing on important topics such as self-help and building emotional resilience. On top of this, Georgia helped organise two Suicide Prevention training sessions which were delivered by the TwoRoads Charity. The turnout of Heriot-Watt staff, keen to complete the training, was great to see.
Lastly, Financial Wellness was Georgia’s final highlight of the semester. Alongside fellow officer Sebi, Georgia held a financial wellness stall providing hot drinks, snacks and budgeting tips. Most recently, Georgia and the Full Time Officers served over 200 students a free Christmas lunch at the student union. This is not the only opportunity for free food, so keep your eyes peeled for monthly free community meals next semester!
Vice President Education (Connel’s Highlights)
Vice President Education Connel works tirelessly to improve all things education at Heriot-Watt and it’s been a busy semester indeed.
The Winter Graduations
The first highlight was the recent Winter Graduations. It was a great honour for the FTO team to have had the chance to provide the student address to our graduating students this month. It was great to share this celebration with all of the graduating students. Congratulations to all that graduated in the winter and all the best for wherever the future leads!
Making the Most of Feedback Resources
Secondly, Connel worked a lot during the semester on Making the Most of Feedback Resources. In the last three years there have been three separate VPE’s and the focus of this time was to provide students the chance to reflect more clearly on the feedback received across all courses and programmes to enhance student learning and engagement with feedback across Heriot-Watt. There are several podcasts available through the Skills Hub which explore the importance of feedback in more detail and are well worth a listen.
Class Rep Celebration Event – Globally Aligned
The last highlight given by Connel was the Globally Aligned Class Rep Celebration Event. For the first time ever, Heriot-Watt globally aligned their class rep celebration event at the start of October. The event saw the coming together of over 80 student representatives from across our campuses to discuss why their role as student representative is so important to developing student voice. The event issued each student with an induction pack to start them in their role along with some food too. It was great to see such a vast engagement and something Connel is keen to push for more in the future.
Vice President Community (Sebi’s Highlights)
Last, but certainly not least, we have the highlights from Vice President Community, Sebi. As part of his position, Sebi is constantly trying to improve students’ social engagement and this month he has done so by offering many wonderful events across Heriot-Watt.
The first of which was the hugely successful Galaween event. We booked out a large hall down at the Galashiels Rugby Club. The event was completely free to students at our Scottish Borders campus and over 70 students came all dressed up in a wide variety of amazing Halloween outfits. There were prizes on the night for the 3 best outfits. 3rd place received a Heriot-Watt hoodie, 2nd place won a meal for two at a local Café and 1st place won a booth and a complementary bottle of vodka at Rooms. The whole event was a huge success and it appeared to be a great night for those involved.
The next highlight was the Sustainability Week. The week included many events such as a vintage fair in both our Edinburgh and Galashiels campuses, A repair what you Wear Workshop which helped students learn how to repair their damaged garments (President Scott even managed to patch up his wee sweater which seemed a lost cause), there was a Tote bag painting Session with the Art Society and over 75 Student Union x Sports Union branded keep-cups were given out to students. It’s safe to say that Sustainability Week wasn’t short of activities for all students and helped raise awareness of sustainability among Heriot-Watt students.
The final highlight on the list is all the wonderful societies that Sebi had the pleasure engaging with this semester. As part of the role Sebi has expressed his enjoyment this semester learning all about the events the chairing societies council have been planning. Sebi and the Societies MP have listened to societies’ opinions and have made efforts to raise concerns about a lack of space with management. This conversation appears to have been very productive with many ideas put forth to improve space for our society groups. Some of these said ideas include; making tables bookable in Liberties for societies and improving current spaces to make them more fit for purpose (perhaps adding a big tv, sound system and beanbags to create a cinema room in one of the meeting rooms).
The Meeting Rooms Promotional Video
Sebi also wanted to mention how much he loved making the promotional video which advertised our meeting rooms which has been greatly received by students as we are now receiving far more bookings to use these spaces.
See you in Semester 2
And with that, it brings our semester 1 highlights for the 23/24 academic year to an end. Thank you to all students who have engaged with the Student Union this semester. Whether that be through; participating in events, simply going and supporting an event, sharing constructive feedback to improve the Union or even just keeping up to date with what’s going down at the Union, we really appreciate it. For those students who maybe haven’t engaged with the Student Union or perhaps not as much as they would have liked, Semester 2 is just around the corner and there will plenty of opportunities to sink your teeth into at the Student Union, so be on the lookout for those. So, from everyone down at the Student Union, we want to congratulate you on a successful semester and wish you a happy break from your studies. We hope to see you all again soon for an even bigger, better and more brilliant second semester.