Precious and Leah Reflect on Their First Two Weeks as Full-Time Officers

Hello everyone! We are two of your new full-time officers for the 2024-2025, Leah and Precious. While the other two are returning from last year's team, we are completely new to being an officer and so would like to tell you about our first two weeks in office!

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Hello everyone! We are two of your new full-time officers for the 2024-2025, Leah and Precious. While the other two are returning from last year's team, we are completely new to being an officer and so would like to tell you about our first two weeks in office! 

Leah Thompson

As the first two weeks of being an officer have now ended, a lot of the initial nervousness has begun to turn into excitement.  

Our first week was mostly focused on induction and handovers from the old teams – learning from the outgoing/returning officers about the different jobs we do as officers as well as learning from our wonderful union staff about how we can put our plans for the year together. From initial introductions to University and Union staff to us doing a lap of campus to learn it better, the first week was fundamentally about helping us transition into a new job and to become more familiar with the university.

The end of the first week was marked by us sending off our two departing officers, Olayemi and Len, at Union Together Day (when all Union staff gather to discuss the year as a whole). It was a fun time! 

Week two for me felt a little bit like being thrown into the deep end (although I felt it helped me to learn a lot fast). On Monday, we decided the board and committees we decided to take for the year ahead and I just so happened to pick two boards that were happening on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

Going to my first board on Tuesday morning was daunting and slightly confusing at points (so many acronyms and plans to remember!) but it was a surprisingly fun introduction to how plans are handled behind the scenes. My Tuesday board was for the Access and Participation Plan (APP) which focuses around making sure our students from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to succeed. On Wednesday, I attended the Quality Enhancement Committee.

This is where we discuss how to ensure all courses are running to a high standard. Both meetings were insightful, although I underestimated how fast they could go. We even got to meet some college/high school students during the week too, which was an experience I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did. Getting to speak to year 9s and 10s about their own democratic experience and speaking to year 12s about what a Students’ Union is ended up being incredibly fun. Overall, it has been a fun first couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to work with the team going forward! 

 

Precious Ogbein 

My first week as a sabbatical officer was more on introduction to various boards and committees crucial for representing student interests, farewells to the outgoing student officers (Olayemi and Len), equipping with necessary information towards having a successful year and my first board meeting. Each meeting was an opportunity to learn about the different aspects of student governance and the roles and responsibilities involved. The insights gained from these initial interactions have laid a strong foundation for my role in advocating for the student body. 

The amount of information to absorb was significant. I am in the process of familiarising myself with the names, roles, and functions of the people and departments I will be working with. Despite the steep learning curve, I found the week to be smooth and manageable, thanks to the supportive environment and the eagerness of everyone to help. 

Over the second week, it was quite an amazing turn out of event with question-and-answer sessions from high school student representatives alongside other sabbatical officers then spoke to Year 12 students from about the union and the university's offerings. I was overall impressed with their talent, enthusiasm and how these students stepped up to leadership positions at such tender age. I also appreciate the school for giving them the opportunity and platform to accomplish this. 

Additionally, I attended a Student Union Digital session on inclusion and diversity. I was proud to see our staff's dedication to making every sector of the university inclusive. We kicked off with another session on the Power of Promise from SU Digital, which was inspiring and insightful. Later, we had a session on protecting students in an age of cuts and how AI can help the student union.  

Moving Forward

Despite being Nervous, we are enthusiastic about the journey ahead and look forward to using this knowledge to effectively represent and support each student. It's been a whirlwind week, but an amazing start to this journey. Can't wait to see what’s next! 

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