What a busy couple of weeks it has been. Freshers’ Fortnight is arguably the busiest and most important time of the academic year, for both staff and students alike. It is more than a welcome and welcome back for our freshers and returners; it is taster for how the year will progress and what we can expect, and judging from the buzz over those past two weeks…2019-20 is going to be a good one.
While all of our departments within the Students’ Union put in endless hours of work of the summer in preparation for the grand kick-off, the fortnight officially began on 22 September with the much awaited move in day. Despite the pouring rain our freshers' helpers, senior residents, club and society committee members all pulled through and went over and above to ensure that all of our freshers got the warm welcome they deserved. With teas in hand and smiles on their faces, both parents and freshers alike were expressing how amazing it was to be given a genuine community feel and how their nerves were put at ease.
Thankfully the persisting rain didn’t put a dampener on everyone’s mood, filling out our first event at The Venue with 548 students and guests. Our freshers continued to make the most of their free wristbands across the fortnight, with both late night and alternative events being well attended, as well as the successful re-launch of the late-night menu. Our first Sunday quiz had an impressive turn-out of 174, with our newest hosts Alisha Chester and alumni Jack Kent kicking things off for us. Some of our own personal favourite nights from all of the events were BoomBucks, with Steel Banglez, as well as the Oktoberfest Globetrotters special. The fortnight was brought to an end with the famous Freshers’ Ball, with Roman Kemp, as the headline act, alongside specialty acts, such as aerialists and fire dancers, providing a night full of surprises and entertainment.
As always, our members had plenty of opportunities to engage with us and socialize with their peers in a non-alcohol based environment. Throughout the first week of freshers’ we hosted ten mixers across both our High Wycombe and Uxbridge Campuses for all of our liberation groups including BAME, LGBTQ+, International, Mature, Disability, Women’s, Post Grad and Part Time. The International mixer stood out with students from all across the world coming together to put their mark on the map, share their dreams and aspirations, and create a home away from home. In addition to all of our liberation groups, we hosted a mixer for our with-foundation students where they had the opportunity to find out on all of the amazing opportunities they can embark in during their time here at Bucks.
Freshers’ Fortnight would not be complete without the much awaited Freshers’ Fair which was hosted on the Wednesday at our Uxbridge Campus, followed by the one held in High Wycombe on Thursday. Both of the fairs were very well attended with a large portion of our clubs and societies feeding back how pleased they were with their amount of sign ups. The buzz at both campuses was absolutely amazing as the days were filled with outdoor games, stand-out stalls, free food and even a live radio exclusive, in partnership with Wycombe Sound. If you missed out on either event, don't worry - you can still sign-up online or pop into either Students' Union office and have a chat to find out more.
In retrospect, the above highlights are merely a small portion of everything that took place during those two fun-packed weeks, for there is no way to compact everything that took place into such a short message. It is fair to say that everyone would have had their own unique experience of Freshers’ Fortnight, leading to new friendships and exciting opportunities for the year ahead. Don’t forget our doors are always open to you for anything you want to talk about.