This month has flown by! I am sure most people are wondering where 2021 went and even though it feels like I have only just started my role, I’ve actually been here for three months now!

This is the month we all knew we’d get busy – it’s freshers! Students are moving in, having a look around and asking every single question under the sun. We’ve seen an increase in numbers on the Discord (we’re on about 2100!) and it has been so nice to see the people from the year I started rallying around the freshers and offering endless support.

While it has been fun planning for freshers, there’s been a lot of work going on in other areas too. This month I have been prioritizing work surrounding academic integrity and ensuring that students feel comfortable writing and submitting assignments. Academic breaches can hurt and I have attended webinars where they have surveyed and found students usually breach or cheat because they don’t understand the topic, have panicked or don’t realise the consequences. This has really made me want to see a focus on support over punishment and allowing more time to focus on learning academic integrity and what it is, rather than setting students up to fail.

This month I have been able to:
• submit my Sabb plans (although, you can’t see them until Senate approves them in November!).
• taken part in some menu tasting at The Bridge.
• discussed my plans relating to mental health and identified a focus – better access for neurodiverse students/students with mental health problems.
• attended the Race Equality Charter meeting.
• the Academic Integrity meeting (where I have been discussing my priorities surrounding academic integrity).
• wrote my first Senate Report (!!!).
• met with university staff to discuss how we can make Blackboard submissions easier and whether there’s a way to notify students whose submission may have failed.
• attended SUSU’s Trustee Board and met with the other Trustees.
• created a plan to add digital IDs into the curriculum (survey pending).
• met the new faculty officers and schools/department presidents and presented my plans.
• supported students with accommodation problems.
• attended many freshers events (…it’s technically my freshers too!).
• presenting a ‘what is SUSU’ session for MSc Education students.
• attended some free webinars for additional learning to be the best Sabb I can be!

I have been able to meet so many new and returning students this month and it makes me so happy to be able to finally do! I am very lucky to have been elected to this position and I am incredibly grateful for all of the students who still, and constantly, believe in me and support me! I probably say it too much but I am still so excited that I was elected into this role and I’ll do everything I can to not let you down!