The end of an era: VP Welfare

This is the last week your outgoing Presidents are in the office! We’ve asked them to write a little post to sum up what they’ve achieved this year. Up first is Frankie Boyd, Vice-President Welfare.

Frankie Boyd, Vice-President Welfare

It’s been a year. A long year for me and hopefully a successful year for you.

As a student, you have paid my wage (via the university block grant) so it’s only fair that you know what I’ve done this year. Each term I have written a report for the Student Council detailing my adventures and meetings. Instead of boring you with a very long list I have shorted it down to bullet points. I promised to listen, to represent students and to improve community relations over my year in office.

I hope you feel I have achieved these things and that you made the right choice with your vote.

FXU Vice-President Welfare, 2013-14

Term One

FXU Vice-President Welfare, 2013-14

  • Freshers’
  • Reduced discrepancy between EU and other international students
  • Reviewed and support the Stannary’s Under 18 policy
  • Provide inclusive opportunities for vulnerable students
  • Discussed commuting students with the University of Exeter
  • PIGout (Pizza, Ice cream and Games) with Multifaith Chaplaincy
  • Beganreviewing the private housing sector
  • Friday Prayers (assisted Multifaith Chaplin in supporting Islamic students)
  • Trip to Bristol to review their faith space
  • Raised campus security concerns
  • Review to CCTV
  • Improved investment for in-house security team
  • Spoke at Penryn community meeting to defend students and the use of fireworks by the FXU
  • Built a working relationship with the Penryn Mayor
  • Engaged with a local GP to encourage students to sign up to a local surgery
  • Week 6 activities – Top tips for good mental health
  • Dogs on Campus! (Pets as Therapy)
  • Began discussion on good neighbourhood practice for Falmouth/Penryn area
  • Met with Sarah Newton
  • Attended conference
  • Reviewed current House of Multiple Occupancy plans
  • Attended meetings
  • Began My Mental Health Campaign
  • Started training members of staff
  • Held focus group with students to find out what they would like to see
  • Dec/Jan Facts v Myths around mental health
  • Wrote and designed a section for the FXU website
  • Surveyed current awareness levels on campus
  • Supported students out of hours during a serious incident on campus
  • Town and Gown – partnership between the police, Cornwall Council, Penryn Council, Falmouth Council and the universities
  • Supported students with academic, personal and other concerns
  • Attended Health, Wellbeing and Fitness to Study meetings for both universities
  • Maintained a presence on the Falmouth Campus every Wednesday, engaging with students over their lunch break to encourage voting and raise awareness of FXU
  • Happiness packs for Halls! Mental health support and information
  • Meet and greet with the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the education system in Cornwall.

Term Two

FXU Vice-President Welfare, 2013-14

  • Worked on how to improve community communication and how to tackle falmouthstudent.co.uk with FXPlus
  • Developed a partnership with the police to create better reporting of student/community conflicts
  • Wrote blog posts for elections
  • Tackled Townsend’s change of contract and brought it to the attention of ARLA (who are unable to do anything as it’s a voluntary agreement). I also contacted NUS who say it is a common change and not best practice
  • My Mental Health week
  • Talks
  • Stalls
  • Dogs
  • Advice
  • Elephant in the room
  • Took senior members of the University of Exeter (with FXU President Exeter) on a tour with facts about increase in student support demand
  • Student Support Services saw a 36% increase in the first term
  • Met with the Chair of Falmouth University’s Board of Governors (with FXU President Falmouth)
  • Discussed staff stress, ownership of support for students and current level of demand
  • Supported and contacted upset students
  • Referred students to Student Support Services
  • Presented on Welfare issues at FXU’s Annual General Meeting
  • Happiness Packs for Postgrads
  • Raised need for better welfare and wellbeing ownership from Falmouth University at the Budget Advisors Group
  • Collected concerns around photography courses and passed these on to the relevant senior member of staff
  • Attended more meetings
  • Attended evening events, representing the student body
  • Police insight – how to create a better partnership between students and the police. Got to go to the police station!
  • Started creating a mental health support group on campus`

Term Three

FXU Vice-President Welfare, 2013-14

  • Built a blanket fort!
  • Created de-stress packs with food and advice
  • Raised need for better understanding and funding from both universities concerning Student Support Services
  • Attended more Health, Wellbeing and Fitness to Study meetings
  • Co-created mental health training for Falmouth University staff
  • Reviewed Safe Space in Falmouth
  • Reviewed University of Exeter proposals on changes to personal tutoring (with FXU President Exeter)
  • Supported FXU Presidents with their LGBT ‘FXU loves you’ event
  • Researched how my position works in other student unions
  • Attended meetings
  • Wrote reports
  • Created a guide to housing for students
  • Handed over to incoming Vice-President Welfare Catherine Thornhill

This year has taught me that to achieve your objectives you must target your information correctly to your audience, which means writing reports, drawing pictures, creating events and sending emails with kittens on.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I have learned a great deal. It’s been an uphill battle and one which isn’t finished yet. This tangle of a university/institution/community has got some absolutely invaluable members. They work tirelessly to make sure you have an excellent education and experience. I have been so grateful to work alongside them.

Finally, if you want something changed, get up and do something about it! Vote, attend Union Meetings and be prepared to make your voice heard no matter what barriers present themselves.

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About fxublog

The FXU blog has been set up to allow you to voice your concerns and engage in debate throughout your time at university. Share your thoughts on new development plans and proposals by answering polls and posting comments. We also want to feature real-life accounts of the student experience and regularly include posts written by YOU. We will continue to update the blog as new issues arise, but if you think we've missed something, email us at info@fxu.org.uk with 'Blog' in the subject and we'll pass the message on! You can also find out more about us on the website: www.fxu.org.uk.
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