FXU President Community & Welfare – Update November 2016

FXU Presidents’ Update: Alexa (November) from FXU on Vimeo.

Here is your monthly update from your FXU President Community and Welfare. Check out the video above for the latest news including:

Top 10 Priorities (#3 Accommodation, #4 Mental Health, Wellbeing & DSA, #6 Celebrating Diversity)

• Introducing Tell Me, a 3rd party reporting centre

• Town Council surgeries

Liberation & Faith Facebook page

• Drop-in sessions

If you would like to find out more about anything featured, please pop into the FXU office for a chat or get in touch via email.

We’ll be back again soon with another update.

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FXU President Community & Welfare update: May 2016

Here’s what FXU President Community & Welfare, Alexa Webster, has been working on during the Summer Term…

FXU President Community & Welfare

Wow a lot has happened since my last blog – almost too much to list everything! You beautiful students have kept me busy and done so much around campus. I’ve managed to get it down to five things, though it took a lot to get to this point. 

There is going to be another blog soon about the FXU Awards night, and all the amazing events going on at the moment, so keep your eyes peeled! It is also coming to the end of my first year in office. On my last day I’ll be doing a blog on the top ten moments of the year, as well as a long list of thanks that needs to be given, and the day after the ten things I am most looking forward to in the year ahead! So keep a weather eye open folks, there is a lot going on and a lot that needs to be said!

So, all that is left to say is thank you one and all, as ever. And don’t forget that if you need any help or support the door and my email is always open! Say hi, get involved, reach out, and know I am here for you — always.

 Now, let’s get this blog on the road!


International Women’s Week

So, it was meant to be a day, and then Fem-Soc got involved. Followed closely by Hope DeRoy, Humans of Falmouth, the Liberation Committee, Islamic Society, Debate Society, African Caribbean Society, and LGBTQ+ Soc — and suddenly what was meant to be a day turned in to a week! From an amazing exhibition of the women of Falmouth, to a women’s conference where students (and myself!!) presented work we have done around the female; it was a jam packed week! It was great to see so much discussed, many videos watched, and students getting involved. More than 250 students took part, and it was just a fantastic week! Here is to next year, where I have a little surprise for you too… WATCH THIS SPACE!

International Women's Week

International Women’s Week poster


 Liberation Committee

It has been no secret that one of the highlights of my life is the Liberation Committee. It has been amazing to be the first president in office while this is in place (thank you so much to Cat who came before me who put all the ground work in and made it happen), and to watch the first generation shape the Committee. This years Committee has been incredible. You have done so much and made such a difference, so thank you – one and all! You have done yourself and the students you represent proud. We have had our elections for the second year, and it is an amazingly strong team. Cannot wait to work with you all on this, and welcome to the new committee:


Liberation Committee

The Liberation Committee logo


Stress Busting – Doggies, Sweeties, and Pasties!

I don’t know about you, but May has been pretty stressful! From a jam-packed month of things going on, to exams and coursework deadlines, May always proves to be a stressful one. FXU and you, the students, have done as much as possible to combat this! Huge props to the amazing girls of Paws Your Stress who brought Guide Dogs SW on to campus to offer pet therapy. Not only did over 400 students get to cuddle dogs, but they raised more than £900 for the charity! It was such an amazing day, so thank you!

We at FXU know this can also be an expensive month, so we have started our own foodbank. This offers you a hot meal that is filling for when you need it most; this month has been pasties and mince pies! Pop in if you need some support, and we can help you through.

And finally, I asked you when your exam/hand-in deadlines were — and brought sweets and chocolately treats to you! Already looking to next year to expand on this one so once more, WATCH THIS SPACE!

Paws your Stress

Facebook cover photo for the Paws Your Stress event


Pride Month

The first point on my manifesto when I was first elected as FXU President Community & Welfare was to do a Pride Month dedicated to all things LGBTQ+ — and this month it happened. As someone who is a member of the community this month has meant so much to me, and I know it has to you too. Every event has been entirely student-led and created, with a huge thanks to Alex Kay and Cameron Harrington for leading the charge on this. The Pride Picnic had to be cancelled due to bad weather, but don’t worry – it shall be during Freshers instead! Thank you so much to everyone who has done stuff for this month, and as we come to its end it makes my heart sour to know how well met this month and our community was. Thank you, one and all, for the month and your support.

FXU Pride

 Trans 101 Training and Transforming NUS

The Transgender and Non-Binary communities are often overlooked within the movement, and the Liberation Committee said no more! The amazing Cameron Harrington, your Trans/Non-Binary Officer, has been offering free training on everything Trans*. What has been most exciting about this is offering it to all staff members, from FXU, FX Plus, Falmouth University, and the University of Exeter. The amount of staff who have attended has been incredible, getting involved and being so open to the training. It has been so popular that we are putting on five more training sessions in June, and are planning on making a training video and information pack, as well as posters, and a full week next academic year dedicated to the community. So get involved – and be a part of this!

I also have to mention the amazing campaign and motion that was passed at NUS Conference 2016 – Transforming Nus. It was a near unanimous vote that there will be a full time officer and conference dedicated entirely to the transgender and non-binary communities, this is such a huge win and incredible work put in by all those involved. A historic moment, that is so important, and I can’t wait to see where this goes over the years to come!

Transform NUS

I’ll be back with another update soon!



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FXU President Exeter update: May 2016

Here’s what FXU President Exeter, Grace Fisher, has been working on during the Summer Term…

Grace Fisher, FXU President Exeter

White Paper on Higher Education

Some of you may have seen on the news that the government is planning to raise tuition fees again. Last week they released a white paper on higher education, which is the reply to the green paper they released in November 2015, which FXU responded to. One of the key aspects of this white paper is the introduction of TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework). TEF allows institutions with higher teaching quality to raise their tuition fees in line with inflation. This is the government’s way to create a differential market within the higher education market that is reflected by tuition fees, something they thought raising fees to £9000 would do. The TEF will be implemented for 2017/18 entrants. The ranking system will be based on a series of metrics including the National Student Survey and student’s employability once they leave university.

If you want to know more about the plans the government have set out in the white paper check out this link.


Study Abroad Events & Buddy Scheme

Last week I ran a study abroad leavers event which provided an opportunity for returning students to meet those due to leave this summer. It was great to be joined by so many of you especially Hannah who Skyped in all the way from America.

The study abroad buddy scheme is now up and running. Those of you who signed up should been allocated a buddy and if there are students who are still interested please contact me asap.


Study Abroad Leavers' Event

Study Abroad Leavers Event


Paws Your Stress

On the 12th May five fantastic Creative Events management students ran an event that brought lots of lovely guide dogs on to campus. The dogs came with their owners co-ordinated by the Guide Dog charity. The girls raised just over £900 for the charity so a massive thank you to everyone who donated and attended. The students are looking to get some feedback on the event so if you can fill out this survey that would be great.

Paws your Stress Event

Photo taken from Paws Your Stress event


Awards Ceremonies

Over the last month we’ve seen a number of award ceremonies. Firstly teaching awards co-hosted by myself and the Vice-President of Education for the Guild. We saw some fantastic winners but special congratulations to Biosciences for winning Best Research Community and CSM for winning Best Subject (Cornwall). Here’s hoping for more Cornwall winners next year.

This week also saw FXU’s annual student awards at the National Maritime Museum. Huge congratulations to all those nominated and a special mention to Naomi Fuller who won Exeter Rep of the Year who did an absolutely fantastic job as our Truro based Medicine Subject Chair.


Grace at the FXU Awards 2016

Grace Fisher at the FXU Awards 2016, National Maritime Museum


I’ll be back with another update soon,




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FXU President Falmouth update May 2016

Here’s what FXU President Falmouth, Fred Mallin, has been working on during Summer Term…

Fred Mallin



This term I’ve been working hard on getting reps nominated, elected and trained up (with our new and improved training course!) earlier than ever! This has happened because; I believe reps are a hugely important position that can influence real change in your student experience during your time at University. And having a cohort of reps ready to hit the ground running and assist new reps in September, is just another step in the right direction for FXU to deliver as high a quality service as we can to you, our members.


FXU Reps and Student Leaders 2015/2016

Above: Some of our FXU Reps and Student Leaders 2015/2016


International Events

The 17th of May saw the first event of the ‘Cultural Event’s Calendar’, Norwegian Constitution Day! The event began with an address from Mathilde Baade, International Student’s Officer and Norwegian Student, followed by a procession around Penryn Campus which ended in the Upper Stannary for the traditional gorge on champagne and ice cream, and we were also able to request a traditional Norwegian dish be served at the canteen (Lapskaus). It was a great event to celebrate a large proportion of our international students and we’re hoping to put more and more on in the future! So if you have an event you want to put on, come on in to FXU and let us know!


Norwegian Constitution Day 2016

Above: FXU celebrates Norwegian Constitution Day


Falmouth Campus (Engagement & Reprographics)

This year it was an objective of mine to improve on the engagement and parity for students based at the Falmouth Campus (Woodlane). This meant that I have spent more time at the campus than any previous president, working with students and promoting FXU. We have seen a disproportionate (to Penryn Campus) increase in; engagement in elections, with 4 of the 5 nominees for FXU Falmouth President coming from Falmouth Campus based courses, and record voter turnout. Also! Falmouth University have committed to bringing printing and creative printing services to the Falmouth Campus again, with new multipurpose, A3, risograph and large format printing options now available, and more improvements to come over the summer!!


Bodmin Campus

For those of you who didn’t know, we have a campus in Bodmin! The first year FdA Digital Media, situated on partner College’ Bodmin Campus, cohort have had a successful year so far with many talented students producing quality campaign and marketing material for recognisable brands such as NHS and National Trust. It has been great to see this course improve and grow over the past year, and hopefully we will be able to share some of their fantastic work on Penryn & Falmouth Campus’ in the not too distant future!


I’ll be back with another update soon.


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FXU President Student Experience update May 2016

Here’s what FXU President Student Experience, Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, has been working on during the Summer Term…

Amanda, FXU President Student Experience

Hey pals! I hope you’re all well and finding time to enjoy the delightful (if slightly sporadic) Cornish sunshine. To all of you who recently took final exams, I hope your results go the way you wish and to all with final exhibitions, I can’t wait to see all the fantastic work you’ve created!

Club & Society Shout Outs

It’s been a truly amazing and hectic few months for clubs and societies – with end of year balls and dinners to trips abroad and more guest speakers than ever, it’s fair to say the gang just don’t stop. We recently had our Annual FXU Awards ceremony and below are the winners from the Club and Society sections. HUGE thank you to all who nominated and attended the awards, and especially to Sarah Hunter and Roz Evans who came to help me host.

FXU Awards 2016

Above: Sarah Hunter presents the FXU Sports Person of the Year Award to Sean Havis
  • Society of the Year – African Caribbean Society (ACS)
  • Most Improved Society of the Year – FXU Photography Society
  • Most Outstanding Society Committee Member – Hermione Blomfield-Smith of the Falmouth Anchor
  • Most Innovative Society Event or Project of the Year is awarded to Nature Watch (EcoSoc & Wild Doc Soc)
  • Competitive Club of the Year – CSM Rugby
  • Non-Competitive Club of the Year – Fusion Cheerleading
  • Sports Person of the Year – Sean Havis, CSM Badminton
  • Most Outstanding Sports Club Committee Member – Naomi Tilley
  • Most Improved Sports Club of the Year – FXU Pole Fitness

The awards was inarguably one of my favourite nights with FXU so far and if you want a copy of the fabulous poem the Presidents opened the night with (lol) then please drop me an email!

The full FXU Awards Programme is available here to view and download.


Events all over the place

From Grad Ball to Garden Party, FXU Slip and Slide to the FXU Awards it’s a mad few weeks for FXU! To make sure you’re keeping up to date with what we’ve got going on and how you can get involved follow our social media (FaceyB, Insta-G and Twitter etc)! The fun doesn’t stop when the UnderGraduate term does though and I’m now looking into how we can put on events throughout the summer for PostGraduates and any students who are still around. Olympic viewing sessions in the Stannary anyone?

FXU Garden Party 2016


The EU Referendum

June 6th is the last day to register to vote in the upcoming EU Referendum!! It’s so unbelievably important that you have your say in this decision, so whether you’re voting Bremain or Brexit just make sure you vote! If you’re not sure where you’ll be on the day of the vote (June 23rd) then we recommend signing up for either a postal vote or a vote by Proxy. Pop into the FXU office on either campus and we can show you how – it genuinely takes about a minute!

We have our second EU Question and Answer panel on Friday, book your free tickets here!



I’m currently on our Instagram and starting to build up suggestions of places for everyone to explore – tag FXU_Insta in your photos of where you and your friends visit in Cornwall then I’ll give a cheeky shoutout!

FXU Insta Image


I’ll be back with another update soon.


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NUS National Conference: An FXU Perspective

What is NUS and National Conference?

Many of you reading this blog will only have heard of the NUS (National Union of Students) through NUS discount cards, which get you money off pizza and clothes, or you won’t have heard of it at all. It’s not a bad thing you haven’t heard of NUS; your four presidents openly admit that none of us cared/ knew too much about it before being elected last year.

Basically, in the way we represent you to the universities, NUS represents us (and therefore you) to the government, national organisations and more. It provides support to your FXU Presidents through training, networking and if we’re having specific problems. This year we have found being a part of the NUS network particularly useful as you as students have faced difficulties that haven’t happened down here before, e.g. accommodation. To help us support you with these issues we turned to NUS and to Presidents of other Students’ Unions across the country to see how they’ve tackled similar issues and if we can apply their resolutions down here.

Every year, as FXU do, NUS hold elections for their new Presidents and Vice-Presidents. These happen at something called National Conference and that’s where your four Presidents have been this week. The positions up for grabs were: National President, Vice-President Higher Education, Vice-President Further Education, Vice-President Welfare, Vice-President Society and Citizenship and Vice-President Union Development.

Much like in an FXU AGM/UGM, the conference gave us an opportunity to discuss policy on what issues NUS should be tackling this year, as well as being able to review the work the Presidents have been doing this year. This is the main reason we went, firstly because we wanted to make sure your issues are prioritised nationally and secondly, to make sure the current Presidents/Vice-Presidents are doing what they said they would.

nus conference 2016_team

Who we campaigned, supported and voted for and why

  • Megan Dunn – National President
    Megan reached out, very early on in our Presidency, to all FXU Presidents when we were all feeling very disillusioned by NUS after our first experience of it in July. For us we didn’t feel like NUS was tackling the issues most important to our students and therefore didn’t think it was something worthwhile being involved in. Megan showed us that in order to make it relevant we had to change what was being discussed and the only way to do that was to be in the room to discuss it. She also understood, without us having to explain, the complex nature of our shared campuses… and that is quite impressive. All four FXU Presidents were in agreement from early in 2016 that Megan’s manifesto was the most relevant to FXU students.
  • Richard Brooks – Vice-President Union Development
    Richard has been in constant contact with us this year and he even made the effort to come to Cornwall and help Amanda with the Clubs and Societies Committee Training in September. Richard has also supported Amanda to help to further develop student media on campus as well as always being at the end of the phone to explain NUS stuff to us when we didn’t get it.
  • Priscilla Mensah – Vice-President Higher EducationPriscilla has absolutely been smashing tradition for students at Cambridge University this year – one can only imagine what she could do at a national level. When we first met Priscilla we were astounded by her knowledge of Higher Education, her passion and intelligence; she is an incredible leader. We wanted to give her a chance to prove this at the national level.
    “The government has been clear in its motives for Higher Education: things are bad, and we need to undertake a comprehensive, unapologetic fight against further plans to pit institutions and academics against each other, deepen unequal access to HE and make students pay more in the process.”
  • Shakira Martin – Vice-President Further Education
    *Just to clarify, we couldn’t vote in this one was we represent Higher Education students – but the relationship between Further and Higher Education is so important we still felt strongly about this election
    Despite running against the almighty RON (Re-Open Nominations) Shakira has been so incredible this year as Vice-President Further Education, if we could’ve voted for her we would have done. She is an incredible woman with a huge passion for FE as well as being HILARIOUS. FE students are a highly under-represented group of students, much like small and specialist unions like ours, therefore shares very similar views about the movement as we do.
  • Munya Mudarikiri – Vice-President Welfare
    Munya has already been working with us this year in his position of Vice President Voice at Surrey Students’ Union and he co-wrote a motion with Amanda to present at National Conference about lack of housing versus student numbers. He shares our views on Prevent, mental health services, accommodation and, in general, most things Welfare.
  • Robbiie Young – Vice-President Society and Citizenship
    • He has done so much, not just for the LGBTQ+ movement in his current role as NUS LGBT+ officer but also outside of that, working within all areas of the NUS to help others and better the student movement.
    • He stands for a living wage, challenging Prevent, campaign for universities to invest in green energy, and very importantly do a review of anti-semitism in NUS. He plans to do a lot around voting and national political issues within the younger generations – his manifesto covered everything from voter registration to the EU referendum and even votes from when a person is 16, specifically mentioning FE.

In the end conference elected:

  • Malia Bouattia – National President
  • Sorana Vieru – Vice-President Higher Education
  • Shakira Martin – Vice-President Further Education
  • Shelly Asquith – Vice-President Welfare
  • Richard Brooks – Vice-President Union Development
  • Robbiie Young – Vice-President Society and Citizenship

Though not all the candidates we were supporting got elected, we’re still looking forward to working with the elected President and Vice-Presidents – as well as always ensuring that we hold all of them to account on your behalf.

nus conference 2016_vote

Key motions that will affect you

Lots of motions were voted on during the Conference but we wanted to highlight key motions that could affect you.

  • Priority Motion 101: Working for students’ unions, winning more power for students We of course voted FOR this motion.  


    2. This motion was all about putting Students’ Unions key concerns, therefore students’ concerns, back at the heart of NUS. As arguably, Students’ Unions have lost interest in NUS because it doesn’t address the key concerns we are discussing day to day on our campuses.
  • Motion 201: Divorce our courses from market forces.


This motion was about standing against the marketisation of universities. The £9K fees were introduced to create ‘competition within the market’ to help display the worth of a degree. However, universities all put their fees up to the maximum they could – £9,000. Therefore, the government is now seeking a new way to measure the value of a degree. Degree programme ‘success’ could be measured through things such as the National Student Survey (NSS), which those in their final year can fill out, and also graduate employability statistics; things some would say are a poor way to measure how good a degree programme is.

  • Amendment 201a: Don’t fill in the NSS
    Although we see why some would want to do this, for FXU this is something we could not support. NSS, though being a flawed survey, is something both institutions use to measure how good their degree programmes are. Therefore, if students don’t fill out the NSS, FXU will have lost one way of proving what student opinion is when representing you. We can make positive change happen by quoting NSS. Yes, it’s not perfect but, boycotting it isn’t a solution we agree with.


    1. Seeing as NSS could shape the future cost of degrees, a motion was submitted to get Students’ Unions to encourage their students to ‘boycott’ NSS next academic year.

Although we agree with the principle of this motion, in that Education shouldn’t be marketised but something that all can access, we voted AGAINST this motion because of the amendment to boycott NSS.


  • Motion 303: Safe Social Election
    Your FXU delegates voted in favour of this motion and the reason is quite simple; we don’t think that someone who is standing for an election should have to put up with death threats, racism or online abuse from someone cowardly enough to do it anonymously from behind a computer screen.  


    1. <<<THIS MOTION PASSED>>> Just because this motion passed doesn’t mean that anybody’s freedom of speech is being censored, it just means that NUS are now mandated to make these social media giants take some responsibility for online bullying.
    2. This motion asked that “NUS open a dialogue with Facebook, Twitter and YikYak to introduce restrictions on anonymous or troll accounts during election periods”. This motion has gained a lot of media attention since National Conference because of people thinking that it’s a move to ban Yik Yak – which it clearly isn’t.
  • Motion 404: Anti-Semitism on campus (Amendment 404a: NUS should officially commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day)
    We voted both in favour of this motion and the amendment as anti-Semitism is still a problem nationally and we believe that NUS need to do more to tackle it.


  1. This motion called for NUS to reaffirm its commitment to tackling anti-Semitism, both on campus and within NUS itself. The amendment to this motion asked for NUS to also officially commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. Throughout this year there have been some truly horrible anti-Semitic acts on campuses nationally, including online attacks on other Jewish Student Union Presidents.


  1. Motion 416: No more room at the Inn

This was a motion jointly submitted by FXU, Surrey and Bath Students’ Unions. It called for NUS to lobby the government to introduce a way that universities have to prove that they have adequate accommodation in place before recruiting substantially more students. This was in light of the concerns you raised to us this year about accommodation, a concern other students around the country are also facing.


  • Motion 605: A full time paid NUS Trans Officer and an autonomous NUS Trans Liberation Campaign 


    1. THIS IS AMAZING AND WE ALL VOTED FOR IT AND WE’RE SO HAPPY IT PASSED. This will now give the Trans community a national figurehead and a national campaign championing their rights.
  • Motion 609: One Member, One Vote


This motion caused a little bit of controversy. If passed this would have huge implications for the representation of small unions like FXU. It would shut out small and specialist institutions and it would make it very difficult for underrepresented demographics of students to find a space and it could undermine students’ unions. Delegates are elected from their institution (your three delegates were Grace, Amanda and Alexa, who you elected as Presidents) to represent their students’ views and the interests of their Students’ Union. There is not yet any other alternatives to make voting more accessible for all 7 million students nationally without undermining the democracy of students’ union elections. No students’ union has a 100% voter turnout. If we can’t get students to vote for people to represent them locally, how can we expect students to engage with NUS elections?

Therefore, we voted AGAINST this motion. The online attention this has gathered after the conference shows that we, as a union, and all students’ unions nationally, need to do more to help students understand what is going on with national student politics. The FXU Presidents are committed to doing this and will work with students and the Student Voice team to see how we can achieve this.


nus conference 2016_grace

The future of NUS and FXU

The question has already been raised both to us and multiple other student unions about remaining affiliated to NUS but, that’s not a question for us to answer, it’s you the students to decide.

But, let us remind you of something Megan Dunn said to us at the beginning of this year… “In order to make change you have to be in the room to discuss it”.

So, will walking away from NUS make national student representation what we want it to be? Have your say on the FXU ‘Make A Change’ tab.

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FXU President Community & Welfare update: March 2016

Here’s what FXU President Community & Welfare, Alexa Webster, has been working on lately…

FXU President Community & Welfare

Captain Welfare Does February!

Wow, February was a long month, huh? As ever, you guys kept me busy (which you know is my favourite thing) and a lot happened in a short amount of time. I know this month I’ve been a bit slow on replying with my emails, as well as had to miss a couple drop in sessions, but everything is returning back to normal now March has hit. So, let’s get crackin’!

captain welfare


For the first week of February we asked you to #MindYourHead, where we ran a week of events dedicated to bettering student mental health as well as talking about mental health, both of which are so important and have to be done hand in hand to have full effect. It was great to see so many of you involved in the week, sharing your thoughts and coming forwards for a chat. We’ve created a couple pages and resources to help you (such as a self-care booklet I wrote myself) which you can find at www.fxu.org.uk/mentalhealth

mind your head banner

Don’t DisAbility Week

Last year you elected me in to this role because one of the topics I wanted to discuss was disability. It’s no secret that I myself am disabled (the walking stick and wheelchair might give it away a little) so to be offered a platform to discuss this important issue has been a blessing and privilege. Working with the students behind the Disability Campaign this week probably ended up being the busiest week of my presidency so far! We had wheelchair basketball, a student-made film questioning what you thought you knew about sensory disabilities, a disability fayre and, of course, answered the most important question ever asked: can disabled people have sex?

It was such a fun week with such a high participation rate. We raised a lot of money for charity between us, opened up a few eyes, and learned that it is nobody’s business if a person can have sex or not! Overall a fantastic week and thank you so much to everyone who helped run the week and got involved.

dont disability

Tonight & Tomorrow

One of the things I’ve developed which is new this month is the Tonight & Tomorrow cards! These are for you to use on a night out, with security, St John Ambulance and the Stannary all having copies. Hopefully you won’t need them but if you do the cards are here so you have all the contacts you need should the worst happen. Pop it in to your wallet to use at a later date. We’ve also put a lot of useful contacts in to one space for you on the website, which you can find here.

tonight tomorrow


The final thing for this week is just a massive THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I can’t begin to put in to words how much of an honour it is that you chose to re-elect me for another year as your President of Community & Welfare. It is no secret that I love this role and that is entirely down to having the chance to work with you guys, the students. Last year you trusted me to be your welfare president and I have been true to my word and manifesto. Now, with seventeen months ahead of us, I want to make you a promise to stick to my second manifesto, to always be there when you need it most and to have you, the student, at the heart of everything you do. Here is to another amazing year of working together *raises juice box in the air in a toast*

alexa campaign poster

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