I hope you're all enjoying your semester break and have kept on top of your workload. A reminder that we're always here for you and you can reach out at any time to our Advice Centre, which is a one-stop-shop on advice surrounding financial issues, home issues, and course or educational issues and everything inbetween.
I kickstarted the semester off with a course approval panel where we approved two new courses, BSc (Hons) Animatronics Design and BA (Hons) SFX Props Modelmaking for Film and TV, which I always find exciting. Something that was probably a little more exciting for you however, was probably the #BSUElections. Nominations has opened and I was deciding whether I wanted to run again, I decided to go for it and made the choice to run for Students' Union President and after an incredible week of campaigning with the other brilliant candidates, I'm chuffed to say you voted me in as your 2023-24 President, thank you! Make sure you check out who else has been voted in to lead your Union next year.
February consisted of some top-level meetings within the Union such as, strategy and planning, finance and staffing, and Executive Committee – where we meet with our current executive officers to talk around projects and what’s happening in their network groups. I was also invited by Rachel Cragg (Senior pro-vice chancellor of Education and Digital) and Sarah Williams (Head of School for Business and Law) to be part of their 3-person panel looking for the next School Director of Education for Business and Law. It was a brilliant experience being on that type of interview panel and it was interesting to see the candidates who had applied, and seeing how excited they are to work with the Students' Union.
I also continued working closely with the representation team and Advice Centre to monitor any and all issues that our members brought forward to us about their course or that they're having on placement. We worked really hard to help in resolving these problems and we record all issues, big or small, to ensure we are on top of it and continuing to make life better for students at Bucks. So, if you have any issues regarding anything on your course, make sure you get in contact with us by dropping an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Something I get to do a few times a year is meet prospective students and open days and applicant visiting days. It was brilliant leading the Students' Union stall at the applicant visiting day in February where I had the pleasure to meet some of the 2023 September starters who were all excited to learn more about us and how The Big Deal works.
Coming towards the end of the month, myself and the rest of the Sabbatical Officer team were invited to sit on the Deputy Vice-Chancellor interview panel with a few students. This role is essentially the second-in-charge at BNU, and we got to ask a lot of questions to potential candidates. We worked with the University to appoint a successful candidate who starts at the beginning of July and we're excited for them to meet our members.
At the end of February, we hosted the Southern Unions Conference where we got to meet other Sabbatical Officers and staff members from Southern England. This was one of the best experiences mid-years, as I was reassured that some of the difficulties and issues that I had been facing weren't something I was struggling with alone and was part of a wider problem across the board. We had a fantastic time, I got to host a cost-of-living session and build on some ideas with other officers and I'm excited to hopefully launch them here soon.
March was a manic one, not only did we have the #BSUElections voting week, but I was off ill for a week and came back to a busy few weeks of training with BNU Disability Services, and preparing to round off some papers for the University before I could take off with the Bucks Men's Rugby team for our annual Varsity day. It was brilliant to play in the final Varsity match of the day and although the overall day brought us to a loss, winning the rugby match as the underdogs felt amazing and brought a sense of pride to everyone attending.
Thank you for reading through the long article, I can’t wait to see you all coming into the next semester.
Best Wishes, Brandon.