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Officer Blogs

Welfare Officer

Hi, I’m Alex and I’m your Welfare Officer. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve the welfare and general wellbeing of students. 

Email: ausawelfare@abdn.ac.uk 

 

Quick questions

If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would use:

Affable, approachable and cheerful. 

Best piece of advice I’ve ever received is: 

To create my own plan to manage stress and not to concern myself with things I don't have control of.  

If I had one superpower, it would be:

The power to call everything done. 

Favourite thing to do in my spare time is:

Enjoy my favourite football team (Arsenal) play and win.

This year I want to achieve:

To make sure support and welfare services are more accessible and publicised. 

Monthly Welfare Update – September 2019

WORKDONE & OUTCOME - SEPTEMBER 2019

  • Freshers week: We welcomed freshers during the first week of this month. Several activities were organised by both the university and AUSA during moving in weekend as well as throughout the week ending September 8, 2019 including Airport bus pick-up, AUSA building welcome, Night buses to ATIK, welcome barbecue, Foresthill barbecue, quiz night, postgraduate welcome event, freshers’ fayre etc. Students engagements in these programmes were very high, and AUSA Sabbatical officers were deeply involved with all these activities, sometimes as leaders of the event. Apart from these activities or events, Sabbatical officers were again involved in schools and department inductions during the week. Finally, Sabbatical officers together with the principal had a welcome event to welcome all freshers which was also available online to Qatar students as well as students who were yet to arrive in Aberdeen.
  • Student Partnership Agreement: Progress have been made in agreeing to the full content of the restructured SPA documents. As indicated in the August report, the key areas which have been agreed are welfare & wellbeing, students’ life, sustainability, communication, and employability. It is instructive to note that there are performance indicators which measures the progress or otherwise of the agreement.
  • Support for International Student: At AUSA, we pride ourselves as an inclusive and diversity organisation. Thus, I successfully engaged the student support unit to assist an international student who needed mobility device on campus. Through my engagement, the student in question has been bought a mobility device. I am very excited about this because at the NUS Action group on disable students, I learnt the need to push for some of these supports.
  • Democratic Review: We (Sabbs) met and had some discussions on the AUSA democratic review documents.
  • ASR Interview: I had an interview on ASR to share my priorities for the academic year. In summary, the focus for the term will be on mental health, personal safety, gender-based violence, sexual harassment and abuse as well as organising inclusive events.
  • BeWell Week: I participated in the BeWell week from September 23-27, 2019. I was a speaker during the fakebook live events where I spoke on the importance of selfcare. The feedback has been good as students are now more concerned about selfcare than before.
  • Post Study Week Visa (PSWV) Meeting: Together with Cecilia and Louise we met with Ivana Drdakova the convener for International student’s forum and an advocate for PSWV on the announcement on the reintroduction of the two-year PSWV. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the reintroduction and explore the possibility of engaging students who were confused about the details of PSWV. At the meeting, it was resolved that we seek advice from student’s advice and advice office (SASO) on the engagement of students. This meeting has been had with Michele from SOSA, however, she advised that we wait for the full details of the PSWV document, because this was just an announcement without much details.
  • Gender Neutral Toilet: As an inclusive association, we strive to be advocate for minority groups. Thus, the need to have more gender-neutral toilet at the university is a priority. I have engaged the university estate on this and can report that the commitment to increase GNT has already been welcome by them.
  • Committees & Meetings: I attended some committee and other general meetings during the month under review. This includes;
  • Meeting to discuss rent at university accommodation: it was a very good initial meeting with plans to have ongoing meetings. This is to ensure we have students view on fixing rent going forward.
  • Meeting to discuss redevelopment of the ground floor at the library to make it more a relax space for students and staff, with new furniture and lots more power sockets. There will also be a presence of the City library, which a chance for students and staff to borrow books from the city collection.
  • Together with other Sabbatical officers, we had a chance to meet with Madam Eleanor Bentley, the newly appointed independent court member on her plans and strategy as well as briefing her on our roles as Sabbatical officers.
  • I also attended the diversity and inclusion strategy group committee meeting during the period.
  • I had a meeting with two of the newly recruited wellbeing coordinators who work under the health and safety unit. This was to understand the work and explore the possibility of collaborations in future. Currently, these wellbeing coordinators operate from the students experience office and support all students and staff including post graduate research student.
  • We (Sabbs) had a meeting with estate unit of the university to understand the future estate strategy and current projects being done by the university. They talked about the safe app, GNT, university accommodation, campus catering etc.
  • Again, I had a meeting the Natasha Dee Rennie who is a Scottish executive committee member at NUS Scotland. We discussed issues on GNT, mental health and inclusion.
  • We (Sabbs) participated in our first students experience committee during the period under review.
  • I had series of meetings in preparation of the mental health & wellbeing week including meeting with MEDSOC, Nightline, students for global health, Australian student’s society, Aberdeen 70/30 group etc.
  • We had a lunch meeting with the multi-faith chaplaincy to understand the work and explore the possibilities of collaborating with them on programmes. We used this opportunity to briefly catch-up on the multi-faith and kirking of the students’ association.
  • Finally, I had two meetings with two students on some projects they wanted to embark on. One was meditation section which successfully took off on September 23, 2019 with weekly meditation sections on the calendar, the second was on a sexual harassment project. Another meeting has been arranged for further discussions.

 

Finally, plans are far advanced for the mental health & wellbeing week. Below are the details of planned activities for the week.

DATE

EVENT

DISCRIPTION

Oct 7

Mental Health & Academic Matters

An assessment of mental health and its related issues and how it can impart academic matters negatively. Dealing with the challenges to be successful academically.

Oct 8

Painting Lesson

An activity-based event which would enable participant to learn new skills in painting and colouring. Acquiring this skill and using it properly is key selfcare.

Oct 9

Mental Health & BAME

A talk on how people from different cultural background react to mental health issues and recommendation on how to properly provide support to cover all demographics of the university.

Oct 10

Penumbra Wellbeing-PowWow

Penumbra PowWow service will identify activities and goals to move towards mental health improvement using innovative Individual Recovery Outcomes Counter.

Oct 11

Movie Night (Resilience)

The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope,” “Resilience” attempts to illustrate the gravity of bad life experience with on-screen text showing percentages and comparative life expectancies. A must watch movie.

 

In conclusion, the Welfare Officer position is instrumental in ensuring that students’ safety, health and social needs are addressed adequately. Over the years, AUSA have been involved in welfare campaigns to raise more awareness leading to improvement on sexual health, personal safety, Gender-based violence (GBV), sexual harassment, housing, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, inclusive campaigns, students funding etc. We continue and are committed in ensuring that these and many others will be key in promoting the overall welfare of all students at Aberdeen University.

 

Your Welfare, I Care

Alexander Acheampong

ausawelfare@abdn.ac.uk

alexander.acheampong@abdn.ac.uk

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Sports Officer

Hi, I’m Isla and I’m your Sports Officer. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve sports clubs, sports events, activities and facilities.

Email: ausasport@abdn.ac.uk 

 

Quick questions

If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would use:

Sporty (of course), friendly and innovative.

Best piece of advice I’ve ever received is: 

From my mum - 'touch once'. Basically means once you start a task, see it through. 

If I had one superpower, it would be:

Teleportation - it's a lot greener than transport. 

Favourite thing to do in my spare time is:

Baking.

This year I want to achieve:

A lot! The 3 key themes will be Sport for all, mental health in sport, and improving communication for clubs. 

 

12 posts
Last post 22 Oct 2019
Student President

Hi, I’m Cecilia and I’m your Student President. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve policies, diversity, democratic structure of AUSA and if you want to help make a positive change at the University.

Email: ausapresident@abdn.ac.uk 

 

Quick questions

If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would use:

Best. Person. Ever. 

Best piece of advice I’ve ever received is: 

'Did you try turning it off and then on again?'

If I had one superpower, it would be:

To be able to understand any language.

Favourite thing to do in my spare time is:

Have a good chat with my friends, Michaelle (cat) and Tom and Jerry (plants).

This year I want to achieve:

Increased inclusivity and engagement within the student body. 

5 posts
Last post 21 Oct 2019
Communities Officer

Hi, I’m Louise and I’m your Communities Officer. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve sustainability, environment and ethics and accommodation within the University and the city.

Email: ausacommunities@abdn.ac.uk 

 

Quick questions

If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would use:

Empathetic, committed and (sometimes) adventurous. 

Best piece of advice I’ve ever received is: 

Don't waste your time on something you don't like doing. Find what makes you happy and go from there. 

If I had one superpower, it would be:

Being able to fill up anything (my bank account or my fridge!)

Favourite thing to do in my spare time is:

I like to garden and plant things, but also exploring new places in cities or nature. 

This year I want to achieve:

Sustainability! Not just in words, but actions. 

16 posts
Last post 16 Oct 2019
Welfare Officer

Hi, I’m Alex and I’m your Welfare Officer. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve the welfare and general wellbeing of students. 

Email: ausawelfare@abdn.ac.uk 

 

Quick questions

If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would use:

Affable, approachable and cheerful. 

Best piece of advice I’ve ever received is: 

To create my own plan to manage stress and not to concern myself with things I don't have control of.  

If I had one superpower, it would be:

The power to call everything done. 

Favourite thing to do in my spare time is:

Enjoy my favourite football team (Arsenal) play and win.

This year I want to achieve:

To make sure support and welfare services are more accessible and publicised. 

3 posts
Last post 04 Oct 2019
Education Officer

Hi, I’m Dariya and I’m your Education Officer. Drop me an e-mail if you’re concerned or have ideas that will improve educational and teaching quality and if you need support with anything concerning your education.

Email: ausaeducation@abdn.ac.uk  

 

Quick questions

If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would use:

Cheerful, Determined, Quirky. 

Best piece of advice I’ve ever received is: 

Something a friend once said: Be so completely yourself so everyone else feels safe to be themselves too. Cheesy, but always helpful to keep in mind. 

If I had one superpower, it would be:

Teleportation, definitely Being able to instantly transport yourself someplace new and exciting sounds amazing. 

Favourite thing to do in my spare time is:

I like live music so going to gigs is one of my favourite ways to spend my free time. Day trips are also super fun. 

This year I want to achieve:

I'd be very happy if I am able to deliver some of my key manifesto goals and represent students best I can. I also have my personal goal to visit more new places than the previous year. 

No posts