Some of you may recognise me, I was the CSAD School Rep 2 years ago and I’m happy to say that I’m back! After taking a year out of University, I decided to take up my previous role as I enjoyed it so much. This blog will be about my experiences through the first few weeks of the year specifically Training week and of course Freshers Week. I’ll have a different perspective compared to my colleagues as I’ve previously been a School Rep and have had experience these events before.
The initial welcome and introductions are always going to be awkward at first. I tend to look around the room and think, this is the group I will be working with this year and hopefully collaborating on a few campaigns with, so it makes me a little optimistic after conversation started flowing and we all started to get to know each other over breakfast.
Training week from my first time around was very intense, we were attending workshops and meeting staff constantly form 9-5. It was a little daunting being given a crash course of the SU, it felt like you were being thrown in the deep end. This year though, it was a lot more relaxed. Everything that needed to be covered was covered, and the way these sessions were organised gave us all time to speak as a team and get to know each other. Which I believe gave us more time to bond together, after the training week I really felt like I knew the team. I felt comfortable having everyone round my house for pres before we ended up in Bingo Lingo for a much needed release, a great way to cap off training week.
We were free to roam around the stalls, which gave us the opportunity to not only speak to different students but to take full advantage of the many free stuff given away. Dominos were obviously there giving away pizzas, but it was nice to have dessert provided by McDonalds in the form of free McFlurry’s.I’ve always enjoyed Freshers Fayre, it’s a nice contrast attending this event not as a Fresher but as a Rep. We had a really cool stand which was hard to miss, as soon as you walked into the NIAC our big metal SU stand was right by the entrance which was nice because it gave a really strong SU presence so students could speak to us if they needed more information on the SU.
Kieran Bevan – Environmental Officer. Bethan Banks – SU Staff and Me in front of our impressive SU Stand in Freshers Fayre.
Even after all this food the reps and officers were treated to a nice buffet lunch, with a few of the University’s VIPs. VIPs included: Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff (Chair), Vice Chancellor Professor Cara Aitchison and other Senior members of University Staff. It was a great networking opportunity for all the Reps and Officers, I managed to speak to staff about my campaigns and it was nice to hear some positive feedback. We were then instructed to show them around the Freshers Fayre, I was partnered with Kate Parr who is the CSAD Senior Executive Officer and Martyn Woodward the Associate Dean of Student engagement for CSAD.
As massive fans of Bingo Lingo the Rep Team obviously had to take part in the game, it was definitely nice to have some games on stage to involve students and encourage them to stay. I was even on stage at one point dancing with the Afro-Caribbean Society, one of the most awkward things I’ve done, don’t get me wrong I like a dance but when you’re being forced to do it on stage, it’s a completely different ball game.
Celebrating a member of the rep team winning Bingo Lingo!
Probably the best MetFest I’ve been to. The day started slow and everyone was a little anxious to see how the day would pan out and if students would turn up. Luckily the sun was out in full force, which brought everyone’s spirits up. MetFest had a lot to offer this year and after being told this was our time to enjoy ourselves, I made sure to take full advantage of this.
CSM had the yearly cocktail making class which was very interesting, we were shown how to make the drinks, the different types of alcohol used and the history behind the cocktails. I was there for the free tasters, if I’m being honest, and they did not disappoint.
CSAD had Silent Disco in the exhibition space, which I believe is the best use of this space. My favourite thing to do during Silent Discos is to take my headphones off and seeing everyone dancing to silence or hearing the brave few people singing their hearts out. I really enjoyed this moment dancing with everyone, I even got to put a few songs on which I believe everyone liked as much as I did.
Live music was also present, not only on the stage outside by CSAD but also in the Zen Bar for those who wanted to chill inside with a pint. Next to the stage featured the outdoor cinema, we had a poll a few weeks before to decide what film to watch. Mamma Mia ended up winning over The Greatest Showman, which is what I wanted to watch. But a lot of people turned up to watch the film whilst enjoying the sun and having a sing along.
Clearly enjoying the sun and the live music!
I would love to say that my talk this year was better than the previous talk, but I can’t be 100% certain of this. One thing I am certain about is that it was different, I understand that it can be a long boring talk, so I wanted to spice it up a bit by taking inspiration from Pecha Kuchas which is a presentation style where you have 20 seconds per slide and the objective is to not have so much info or talk too much about a single slide. I tried to make my SU Welcome Talk more fun by having Memes and Gifs which students could relate to, I had a few laughs which made me feel at ease and help take the nerves away. 350 Students were the expected turn out, they were split into two lecture theatres which helped give me a second chance if the first one didn’t go well. A huge contrast to doing it in City Hall. All in all I thought it went well.
Looking very serious and nervous whilst giving my talk.
So, what’s next? Obviously, I’m going to be carrying on with my little baby that is, the CSAD Social. The date for this is the 28th of October, nice and early to avoid all the deadlines at the end of the term. I’m thinking of changing things up a little bit, we will no longer be doing the course colour scheme as this pushed some students away purely for the reason of not liking their course colours. I just want every CSAD Student to meet in Zen enjoy themselves and meet other courses. This will be my main project for the year with little sprinkles of smaller events and campaigns in collaboration with the other Officers. So watch this space!