SU President: Affairs & Community - Term 1 Blog

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Hello everyone I am Venky Gonavaram, hopefully you all know me as your Students’ Union President- Affairs & Community. I want to use this blog to give you more details about me and the things I have done in my role as a Sabbatical Officer.

As an international student from India with experience in leadership for two years previously, it has been quite challenging for me to hold this position with English as my second language. I had a lot a lot to learn and sometimes I worried that I would not be able to keep the promises which I made in my manifesto.

I have decided to be strong, confident, and to face potential challenges head on from the start before starting work on my manifesto points with support from SU staff. After this I built more confidence, created a plan for the term and organized a Diwali Event with students and SU support. I can proudly say that I created and ran a cultural event for over 200 students with a positive response from students. As per students wish every Thursday international food will be available on Llandaff campus.

I have an excellent opportunity as a Student Governor to represent student body, presenting students feedback and opinions at Cardiff Met’s highest level board meetings. I had a talk with the estates team and gave them feedback about the commuter kitchen to store and heat our food. I also have regular meetings with Wonkhe and the Cardiff Safety Summit where I can represent students externally.

A personal highlight was the Times Higher Education Awards 2021 in London on 25th November. I could not be more proud to be part of the University that received best UK University of the year for 2021 as part of #OneCardiffMet. I am proud of being Students’ Union President for only 4 months and the impact the SU has had over the last year. I also volunteered for the SU litter pick, showing that students need to help to save our environment. I have attended Handshake's student Careers2032 event which was organised by Wonkhe in Bristol and participated in roundtable discussions about opportunities and challenges in students' careers.

Thank you to all students and Cardiff Met SU for giving me this opportunity as the first female international Students’ Union President and helping to develop myself as a progressive leader, with potential to face all challenges.

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