Your UPSU team!

SU:Exec Team Blog [No.1 December 2015]

Hey there, I’m James Stoner and I’m the Vice President of Activities at the University of Plymouth Students’ Union. I’m part of a team of elected officers that are voted in each year by YOU, the students. We are here to represent you in all areas of student life, from sports to societies, to academic and university wide issues that affect all of our students. Whether you’re a national or international student, part time or full time or even at one of our many partner institutions, we are here to support and represent you.

So what do we do and what have we been up to since the start of term?

In my role as the Vice President of Activities I look after 4 key areas, our 120+ diverse societies, student led fundraising, our volunteer sector and finally all elements of student media. Since September began, I’ve been working on increasing participation in student media and the amount of content they produce. Already this term, I’ve been able to help introduce 7 brand new societies. Volunteering is growing dramatically this year especially after the very successful volunteer fair where more than 40 different organisations showcased what work they do around a diverse range of areas.

Next up is Steph Wearne. She’s our Vice President of Education and is responsible for all things academic such as Course Reps, School Reps and Post Graduate students. She has had an eventful start to the term with the introduction of the “Post Grad Tea Break”, an event which saw more than 100 Postgraduate students attend and network. She has also been working on the student submission of the QAA report aiming to highlight key areas of student studies that may or may not need to change within the University. Steph, alongside the Student Voice Team have been working to train course reps at the course rep conference, aiming to teach course reps more about their role and to increase their confidence.

The UPSU Team

The UPSU Team

Our Vice President of Sport and Deputy President of the Students’ Union is Matthew Dark. He is responsible for all things sport, from Varsity to BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) to Sports clubs and national competitions. This term has been great for Sports, with a really productive start at the Sports & Societies fair. He recently helped out with the hosting of the BUCS Swimming Team Championship Regional Qualifiers at the Life Centre. Participation in Sports teams is forever growing with more than 3,500 different students involved with sports clubs and close to a thousand more involved with MGA and intermural leagues. He plans to keep this participation high and wants to involve students in even more events, increasing turn out at matches and supporting Team Plymouth in every sport we compete in.

Davide Bertelli is our very own Vice President International & Outreach and as the name suggests he is responsible for representing International students, reaching out to our 4,000+ partner institution students across more than a dozen of colleges and campuses. Davide has spent several days this term reaching out to our partner students to engage with them and to find out what they need from their students’ union. He has also been representing international students by supporting the NUS event “Day of Solidarity”, an event aimed to increase awareness of the changes that our international students face. These changes were brought in by new government regulations. He engaged with hundreds of our international students and heightened the awareness of these issues to many more. Much like Steph, he also set up a Tea Break event aiming this time at Transitional students and engaging them in Student Union activities.

Last but by no means least; we have Ruth Titmuss, our President. She is responsible for representing the Students’ Union at the highest level at various board meetings, discussions and she also focuses on employability, sustainability, community and representation of national campaigns. This term Ruth has been a great support, helping out around the October elections that saw 20 student representatives elected to chair and represent the forums and the accountability board. She has also created Plymouth’s first ever climate change conference, empowering our students to understand the changes that our planet will face. She may always come across as a busy President but she always puts time aside to speak to you, the students of Plymouth University.

As a team, we’ve have been very busy this term as I hope you will all agree; there’s lots going on here at the Students’ Union and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to read dozens of pages of text! If you ever want to contact any one of us about what we do or you just want to pop in a chat, we are here for you in the SU in our little office in the Hive or you can drop us a message via email (you can find them all here http://www.upsu.com/studentvoice/exec/) or drop us a little Facebook message (https://www.facebook.com/execofficers). We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

James Stoner [VP Activities 2015/16]