Words by Molli Cleaver, full-time RUSU President.
If I were to summarise last term in 3 words I would say exciting, chaotic and fast-paced represent it fairly accurately.
As an Officer team we do so much together, a lot of these updates are collaborative and I can’t take full credit myself!
FRESHERS – although we started in June having the buzz come back to campus in September was exciting! We handed out nearly 5000 lanyards, visited all 12 halls, spoke in all the welcome talks, celebrated your arrival at Mash Up and then went on to attend all the Freshers events! I also came along to the PGR social, International Welcome, Mature Students lunch, Commuters social and handed out around 200 smoothies promoting Change it! plus seeing you all at the fayre’s!
Manifesto round up: (in no particular order)
Mojos renovation – we’ve kicked this off and are in the early stages of picking out an identity!
Outdoor spaces – glass pods have been submitted to the £1 million report and I just need to choose locations.
Room booking – I’ve agreed with room bookings and the University Estates department to run a Spring pilot of a self-service option for societies to use.
Employability and graduation
Graduation – we added info about getting financial support onto all the December graduation invitations.
RED talks – I have been in conversation with the Events department who are speaking with IT about how to achieve a central platform for discovering events and talks at the University.
Finalist support – RUSU had a stall at JobFest, I have made videos to help you understand careers and one is now released about the Officer’s favourite parts of the careers service. I am currently working careers and RUSU to plan Social Impact week and we are currently producing a leavers pack to hand out to everyone at graduation to ensure you feel supported after you leave Reading.
Merch – I haven’t got too far with this, but next term I will be gaining student feedback about what you want and discovering what other SU’s offer.
Touch screen boards and voting stations – these went into the £1 million report and should be installed in Spring term!
Trustee Board – I have now chaired two Trustee Boards; this board meets to scrutinise the delivery of RUSU and to ensure we are delivering our charitable outcomes.
General Election – I’ve helped to deliver a societies debate, postering and leafleting on campus, a door knocking initiative with Vote for your Future, shuttling students to the polling stations, hosting the GE hustings and encouraging you all in person and all across social media to register to vote. For someone who hasn’t previously been massively engaged in politics it’s been a wild ride!
Sustainability – I’m talking environment audits, Green Week, fossil fuel divestment work, NUS sustainability summit, supporting two clothes swaps, creating an Environments Committee, creating an Environment and Ethics student network, Maya’s Refillables to offer environmentally friendly products in RUSU and participating in the September climate strike.
RUSU supports UCU striking staff – we did a lot of work when strikes were announced, including running a referendum, sharing information on social media, visiting the picket line with hot drinks and producing posters and stickers to be circulated.
Proudest Change it! moment: in response to the campaign for more indoor packed lunch facilities there is now a microwave in Eat at the Square as well as the 2 in The Study and 3 down at London Road. Plus, an indoor packed lunch facility map is being produced and we are now looking at adding another one on campus.