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George Stanbury (Senior Students' Union Representative)1 month ago

Hey Grey!

Starter for 10: How are Grey doing in University Challenge?

Today was the beginning of the intercollegiate University Challenge, with the dream of TV Screens and being savaged by Paxman not too far away for some esteemed eggheads. Grey absolutely boshed through their starter questions, ruining Castle, JoBo, Snow and a rogue Wildcard team to top their group!

They face the knockouts next Saturday, so if you want to follow Henry Woolhouse's journey to this year's University Challenge hottie or you just want to laugh at Cam Yule, do come along and support - it'd be much appreciated! Keep up to date with it here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1960313277543919/?active_tab=about

Bonus Questions - This week in the SU:

When's the next Union Comm meeting? 

Tomorrow at 5pm in the Bar - do come along if you're interested in finding out the inner workings of the SU and how we'll be supporting the SU's accommodation fees campaign! 

When are NUS Delegate Nominations open? 

NUS Delegate nominations are now OPEN until this Friday! If successful, you get to represent Durham at the NUS Annual Conference in Glasgow and make a real difference to student politics across the country. Whether you're a Rees-Mogg in disguise or a low-key Corbynista, strong opinions on how to make our student experience better are most welcome! You can nominate yourself here: https://www.durhamsu.com/nus-delegate-elections

What do I do if I want to find out more about anything related to the SU? 

Get in touch, you donut. Anything you need to know about the SU, whether a society exists or you need help with setting one up then I'm your go-to-guy. Facebook or email, whatever floats your boat! 

Union Love, 

George xoxo

SUBJECT LEADERS
George Stanbury (Senior Students' Union Representative)5 months ago

Hey Grey,

Congratulations on making it through the year - I hope you're all happy with your results and looking forward to a well-earned rest this summer!
 
Before you forget Durham for a while, I'm here to tell you about a wonderful opportunity - to become one of Grey's new SUBJECT LEADERS!

What is this, you may ask? Well, as one of our lovely Subject Leaders, you'll be there for students, old and new, to help them with any questions or problems they may have about your course and, if you'd like, to help your course bond with some cracking socials (dress as your subject's a personal fave). The time commitment is as much or as little as you make of it, so there's flexibility to fit it in with your other commitments!

So, think Social Sec for your subject, with a side of discussing which lecturers/modules are worth avoiding! What's more, it's a great thing to add to your CV, showing leadership, organisation, great communication skills and an acute interest in your chosen field of study!

You can apply by yourself, or in a pair, and we're looking for Subject Leaders in every course, including Nat Sci and Combined/Liberal Arts/whatever my degree's now calling itself. To apply, just fill out this 5-minute form by the 1st July: https://goo.gl/forms/3zFAKtTbKmX4g7qv2

If you have nay questions or want more info, get in touch by email or Facebook - I'd love to hear your ideas for the year!

Enjoy your summer guys!
 

VOTE FOR YOUR FUTURE
George Stanbury (Senior Students' Union Representative)7 months ago

Hey Grey! 

Brexit means Brexit but does an election vote mean you'll vote? I know there's loads to do at the moment but this a quick one to get you to REGISTER TO VOTE! It's been shown time after time that students are less likely to vote than older people, so REGISTER TO VOTE

To REGISTER TO VOTE, click here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

When you REGISTER TO VOTE, don't forget that you can register at home or in Durham but not both as this is a general election (voting in both constituencies is ILLEGAL). Think tactically about where your vote could matter more if you wanna be sly, but remember you'll need to vote by post (get it sent to Grey!) or proxy if you want to vote in your home constituency. 

On voting day, I'll be walking people to polling stations from Grey in case you don't know where to go (though not too early, it's the day after Phoenix Ball). 

#RIPPEDOFF

The SU is running a campaign to reduce accommodation costs because, in short, they're disgustingly expensive. If costs had risen with inflation over the last 9 years, you'd only be paying about £5775 for a term-time catered room instead of the £6940 livers in will pay next year. Because that price is an absolute mare, the SU want the cost of living in to be lowered - to find out more and sign the petition they're running, have a look here: https://www.change.org/p/durham-university-cut-college-costs-at-durham-university-rippedoff

There'll be a protest and a competition later in term and I'll be in touch with more deets post-exams!

Congrats for getting to the end of this - if revision gets too much and you need a comforting ear, tweet Stormzy. There's an off chance he might do something amazing like give you £9,000, which he did yesterday to help one of my friends so she can pay for her Master's at Harvard!

Union Love, 

Assembly and Accommodation Fees!
George Stanbury (Senior Students' Union Representative)7 months ago

 

Hey Grey, 

Hope you guys are having a good week and the library seshes aren't too long! To get you through - have a watch of this, Alan never fails to sort me out when I'm stressed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCt1yRMjo0A

Next Tuesday 9th at 7:00pm in ER201 is Assembly, where the SU discusses what they're up to as well as new societies, policies and ideas to help you guys get the most from being at Durham. You can have a look at the agenda here

The main things that will be discussed are: 

  • New society ratification (pages 15-16)
  • To lobby the university to integrate registering to vote with registration at Durham (pages 18-19) 
  • Changing the start/end date of SU Sabbs (page 38) 
  • Launching a new campaign about accommodation fees (pages 64-5) - this includes lobbying the University to drop fees by over £1,300!

If you have any opinions or questions whatsoever about anything that's being discussed (particularly accommodation fees and voting), drop me a line or a Facebook message - to represent you guys, the SU need to know what you're thinking! 

One last thing: you might have seen that the NUS passed a motion that "banned whooping" from conferences in favour of "jazz hands", proposed by a Durham NUS delegate. I just wanted to let you all know that the idea was to encourage people to show their support by clapping in sign language (definitely not jazz hands), to help people who are deaf or have sensory issues to feel more comfortable during a very noisy conference. Whether you agree with this measure or not, this has been very badly misrepresented by the media and definitely undermines the great work NUS conference has done in lots of areas this week! 

Keep ploughing through Grey - you're bossing it! 

George xox

Bouncy Castles and Dogs!
George Stanbury (Senior Students' Union Representative)7 months ago

Hey Grey,

I hope you've all had a super Easter holiday! This is a quick one to introduce myself as your new SU Rep, and let you know about a few things that are going on this week! I'll be in Spain until a few days before Grey Day, but if you need any help with anything SU related, drop me an email or a Facebook message and I'll be happy to help!

WORK SMART

The SU will be running loads of lovely activities to help get you through revision and exams, including guide dog sessions and bouncy castle visits. To find out more about the support there is, as well as some advice on how to look after yourself during exam season (just 40 days till Grey Day), take a look here: http://www.durhamsu.com/worksmart

Higher Education and Research Bill

You'll have heard that there's a general election happening, but you might not know that the Government are tying up loose ends before Parliament's dissolved. The HE and Research Bill is one which really affects students and university, most obviously through increasing tuition fees. There are a few changes suggested which the NUS are campaigning for. The changes will:

- Cut the link between TEF and fees (Meaning that "great" universities will not be able to increase tuition fees faster than "good" universities)
- Remove international students from immigration figures
- Protect students from the risk of new HE providers
- Make it easier for students to be registered to vote

If you're interested in supporting this campaign, get in touch with your MP through this link: https://www.nus.org.uk/HEBill. It makes life so easy for you - it'll get in touch automatically

NUS Conference

We are in the middle of the NUS Conference, and there are some really great things being debated. We have five delegates, one of whom, Tom Harwood, is running to be the new NUS President. If you're interested in keeping up with what's happening, take a procrastinatory gander here: http://conference.nusconnect.org.uk/

Best of luck with revising - if you hit a wall, have a listen to this to help you reset: https://open.spotify.com/track/3ZTlVHzTAzcBxrLQuEPb0u

Assembly and goodbye
Nicola Tweedy (Senior Students' Union Representative)9 months ago

Hi Grey!

Assembly

Last week I went to assembly! Highlights included officer reports, ratification of ELSA and Bar Soc, and the rejection of the controversial HeforShe society. The full minutes will be available to view soon on the SU website. Any questions or if you want to know more, just ask :)

Also this week in the SU, it was announced that Laura Tidd is going to be the UG Academic Officer for 2017/2018- well done to Laura! 

Goodbyeeeeee

This is my last email as your SU Rep! I've had a great time doing the role this year, and hope that I've sparked some of your interest in the union. I would also like to say congratulations to your new SU Rep- George Stanbury! I'm sure he will do a fantastic job. 

“I think silence is one of the failures of people today. When they see an injustice or intolerance, and they stay silent - that's the worst thing.” - Anonymous 

Union love forever 

Nicola xxx

Assembly, Officer Elections, Dissertation binding dealzzz $$$
Nicola Tweedy (Senior Students' Union Representative)9 months ago

Hi Grey,

Hope summative stress isn't getting you down. Please remember to look after yourself and give yourself some down time if you need it! 

Assembly

Just to let you know this is my LAST EVER assembly as your union rep this week :'( 

Here is what is up on the agenda: 

- As usual, reports from all your officers 

- Societies up for ratification include: Guinness Society, Quiz Society, Durham Dutchies, Durham Society for Economic Pluralism, Saudi Student Society, Primatological Society

- Societies which have some objections towards them and will be discussed are: Bar Society (not the alcoholic kind and I though, the lawyery type one), HeforShe Society, Enhancing Legal Sector Access (ELSA)

- Up for discussion are the idea of a student rent guarantor scheme for students who struggle to find a financially stable guarantor in the UK (for example international students or those from low income backgrounds) and thestrengthening of NUS democracy 

As always, if anyone is interested in attending assembly with me it's tomorrow evening at 19.00 in ER201. Full papers (as well as minutes for the last assembly) can be viewed here: 

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/nusdigital/document/documents/32354/c72ea3facb8069480f27d603a452038f/Assembly_Papers_09.03.17.pdfhttps://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/nusdigital/document/documents/32354/c72ea3facb8069480f27d603a452038f/Assembly_Papers_09.03.17.pdf

UG Academic Officer Elections 

You know how we can now eat in the billy b foyer? That was all the work of our amazing Academic Affairs Officer Lisa Whiting. We really need someone good in this role to help with issues such as lack of study space, and academics not listening to students regarding their course. So please, pretty please vote in this election. Also, if our college gets the highest percentage of voters, we win £100 for our JCR to spend on anything we like! Here's the link:

https://apps.dur.ac.uk/vote/dsu/2017-2018-undergraduate-academic-officerhttps://apps.dur.ac.uk/vote/dsu/2017-2018-undergraduate-academic-officerhttps://apps.dur.ac.uk/vote/dsu/2017-2018-undergraduate-academic-officer

Dissertation binding

Just a quick heads up to finalists, the SU provide a dissertation binding service from their reception. I know it's fairly expensive to get your dissertation bound, but the SU do a pretty reasonable deal (cheaper than a lot of subject departments). Also, if you're anything like me and have a diss due during the holidays the SU will be open to allow you to do that. Cathy the receptionist who does the binding is an absolute angel and will do her absolute best to do it as quickly as possible so lets all show her a little bit of love <3 

Lots of union love

Nicola xxx

WE CAN NOW FINALLY EAT IN THE BILLY B
Nicola Tweedy (Senior Students' Union Representative)10 months ago

Hey Grey!

I hope you're not all feeling as grim as I do after PGN. This week I went to assembly, and would like to inform you of some of the highlights:

- As you have probably seen, a pilot has been launched to allow an eating space in the foyer of the billy b! THIS IS SO EXCITING! Many thanks to Lisa Whiting, the SU Academic affairs officer for getting this to happen, as this is something I've consistently nagged the SU about since entering into my role. 

- Motions were passed regarding future research into the possibility of a reading week added to the Durham semester, and campaigning to keep Wednesday afternoons free for sport and other recreational activities. 

Obviously a lot more than this went down, and if you have any questions about anything regarding the agenda please just email me. You can also read the full minutes on the SU website once they are released. 

Secondly, my role is up in the next JCR meeting! If you're still even reading this email, you might want to consider running. I have listed a couple of common myths/questions surrounding this role, and some reasons why you should run. 

Question: What does Senior SU Rep even do? 

The SU rep is a role that is largely what you make of it. You sit as a member of the exec (and believe me, I'm fairly vocal), co-ordinate SU elections and attend wider university consultations such as Assembly- where you discuss issues as important as setting accommodation fees for the next year and sexual violence. At a university level, the SU rep voices the opinion of Grey, at JCR level, the SU rep represents issues surrounding the wider university. 

Question: Do you have to be in love with the SU/NUS to run?

Not at all. I think a big part of the role is knowing the flaws of the SU (and believe me, they have many). Even if you have no experience of the SU, I would still encourage you to run if you have want to make a change not just to Grey JCR- but Durham University. It's perfectly feasible to get to know the SU on the job, and I'll give you a kick ass handover that will mean you know exactly what you are doing. 

Question: Is it essential to be 'political' or have a particular political affiliation to run? 

Whilst personally, this role has shaped by opinions of how the university should be run, the SU reps role at the end of the day is to represent the students of Grey. Additionally, within Grey the SU rep is meant to remain neutral. Please don't be put off running if you find politics a little bit scary. 

Question: What do YOU get out of the role? 

It could be fair to say SU rep isn't the most recognised or glamourised exec role, but it's still important. Personally, I will never regret running for this role. Through SU rep you develop so many transferable skills that help you personally and at work. I have learned to be more organised, confident, and most importantly- I have learned to speak up about what I believe in and think is right. 

If you have any questions at all, and would like to chat about running- please drop me a message or stop me if you see me. 

Union love

Nicola xxx

Big changes to your summer term?...
Nicola Tweedy (Senior Students' Union Representative)10 months ago

 

Hi Grey,

Couple of important things from me today.

>>>>SUMMER TERM SURVEY<<<<

Basically, for one reason or another the uni needs to extend the exam period. However, this could have important implications- such as a shorter three weeks of nothing, and an altered amount of time to revise. The Union have created this (very very short) survey in order to help you have a voice and make an impact in the decision making progress. This is so so important and will GENUINELY HAVE A DIRECT IMPACT ON YOU. So pleeeease click on the link and fill it out before Sunday.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfhETl9jZBE1Bja8mT00RoPdwbDJ6qEVcEgThKgL3Osk5UIdg/viewformhttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfhETl9jZBE1Bja8mT00RoPdwbDJ6qEVcEgThKgL3Osk5UIdg/viewform

Additionally, I will be outside dinner tomorrow evening with a union sabbatical officer in order to talk to anyone about this- and answer any questions you may have!

>>>>ASSEMBLY<<<<<

It's that time again! Assembly will take place this Tuesday at 7pm in Elvet Riverside 201. 

NOTE: If any lucky individual is thinking about taking over my role (it goes up for election this term) it would really benefit you to come along to this and see what it's all about- it's fun, I promise. And not in a weird way. 

What's planned?

- Ratification of socities: Pakistan society, Friends of Fiji, Bangla Society, Mixed Martial Arts

- Debates on the following motions: Do we need a reading week?, NUS conference submission (remember all that NSS stuff I kept banging on about? Yeah it's still a thing), Keeping Wednesday afternoons free, Principles of student engagement and Fossil free. 

This is all fairly interesting stuff, so take a little read of the wider papers here:

http://www.durhamsu.com/voice/about-assemblyhttp://www.durhamsu.com/voice/about-assembly

As always, any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a message!

Union love

Nicola xxx

Participation survey and college drop in
Nicola Tweedy (Senior Students' Union Representative)10 months ago

HiIiI gReY!

Hope everyone is enjoying the second term- and with the likes of PGN and barfest to look forward to, it's a good'n. 

Want some procrastination material? 

The union want to know what kind of activities you are taking part in at university, if any at all! If you'd like to procrastinate that summative (and help out a few bods at the SU), click on this link:

https://circl.io/lime/index.php/719347?lang=enhttps://circl.io/lime/index.php/719347?lang=en

>>>>COLLEGE DROP IN<<<<<

Who even are the SU sabbatical officers? What do they even do? This Thursday at 6pm is your chance to find out, with an officer drop in taking place here at Grey! Me and an SU officer will be sat outside of dinner to ask and answer any questions you may have. 

Union love

Nicola xxx

PS. if you're missing the festive delights of the gingerbread/toffee nut latte, we have some left over at the SU riverside cafe so it's still being sold on the DL (you didn't hear it from me).