Words by Daisy O’Connor, full-time RUSU Activities Officer.
Autumn term was a very busy time for us, I found that it never really calmed down after fresher’s week! Whilst students are at home for a month over Christmas, we had more time to prepare for Spring.
At the start of Autumn term, Gemma and I ran welcome chats for committees for some of the biggest sports clubs. We wanted to get to know them, and get them talking amongst their clubs about socials, alcohol, and club reputations. Between the 10 groups, they came up with 130+ social ideas which didn’t rely on alcohol! We also worked with the ‘Good Lad Initiative’, a company who run workshops for both men and women to facilitate discussions about mental health, group culture, and gender relations.
A highlight of my work so far has been the Buddy Scheme. The aim was to increase participation in sport by making it more accessible to students who wouldn’t have gone on their own- whether they’re nervous, don’t feel like they’d fit in, or just want to go with a friend to make it more fun. 134 students signed up last time which was amazing, and we’re opening it again this term for anyone who wants to try a sport or a society!
I have also been working with ‘Olio’, a food recycling app which tackles food waste by allowing people in the community to share food they don’t need anymore. I have been getting students to sign up and introduced it to RUSU’s Mondial Café.
I am working on a Knights Pride campaign to reduce homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in sport at Reading. I am working with Stonewall and Edda, our LGBQ+ Part-Time Officer, to increase education around LGBTQ+ identities and how sports clubs can be as welcoming as possible.
I’m still supporting the University with the 3G pitch project- a lot of work is being done to gain community support, make sure the disruption to local residents and students is minimal, and ensure we get planning permission from the council when it’s submitted again in Spring term.
Overall I have had a great (albeit very busy) time in this job so far, and am looking forward to further projects coming to life in Spring.