What lies ahead
Get to know your Students’ Union
The recently elected Ravensbourne Students’ Union team have spent their first few weeks in post planning the year ahead. There have been lots of ideas and brainstorming, as well as time spent exploring exactly what the Ravensbourne Students’ Union represents and how it’s run in comparison to other universities. In addition to this the team are keen to establish how they can work together to become more of a union rather than five independent members of staff.
Amile Ali (Image left), RSU Vice President of Activities, Participation & School of Fashion said; “It’s been fun to learn more about what we’ll be working on and to plan our goals and objectives for the year ahead, while at the same time defining our own personal targets.” “The first weeks have been very interesting,” adds Tor-Arne Njamo, the Union’s President. “We have been focusing
on exploring everyone's work patterns and investigating how different Ravensbourne departments operate.” Stefan Ferrol-Henry, Vice President of Welfare and School of Production, complements that by saying, “to be a truly united union you need people to work alongside you”.
As a collective the team have many strengths. Stefan believes that with strong leadership and hard-working individuals the 2015/16 RSU is a melting pot of qualities to tap into. On the other hand Jack Williams (image right), Vice President of Campaign and School Content, points out that “although RSU have a President, there is no real hierarchy.” The team have open and honest discussions and are all able to leave work at the door, resulting in a professional work environment. They strive to make fair democratic decisions by allowing each member to present their own individual viewpoints. What adds value, according to Tor, is that because RSU members are all from different backgrounds across different courses, they are able to bring a wealth of knowledge to the table and share their experiences to create a new even better union.
In the past the Students’ Union has been referred to very much like an events team. We want to change that. We want to be recognised within the institution as a union that really represents the students’ voice and creates campaigns based on that.
Whilst the team want students to have fun, especially throughout Freshers’ Week, it’s important to remember what the fundamental mechanisms of a union are. “We’re here to represent students and fight their corner,” emphasises Jack. “We want there to be an open door policy, where all suggestions and comments are welcome in order to fully engage the students with their union.”
The Union aims to ensure that students are catered for in all situations, whether it’s to do with ways of improving the union itself, or ways of changing to make the students’ life more fulfilling, while at the same time supporting their studies and assisting with issues of mental health and well-being.
Luckily the RSU team have had some brilliant external help, which has enabled us to use the available resources more effectively.
(Image left, Hassan Haji, Vice President of Education and Schools of Architecture & Design)
Freshers’ 2015 is set to be an inclusive affair, which – as the team hope - will help bring people together. At the same time Tor admits that “preparing for Freshers’ Week has been a rollercoaster. It's been challenging to figure out what venues to hire and who to book as acts.”
When planning the week the team are doing their utmost to cater for all Ravensbourne students. “We want Freshers’ Week to be a week where you make long-lasting relationships across courses”, stresses Tor.
“Although it’s been fast-paced, challenging and at times even stressful, get ready for a blast!” says Jack. “We’ve catered for all needs and desires, and it’s going to be the best RSU year yet. We are really looking forward to having all of the students back for Freshers’ Week so they can see the fruits of our labour. We’re confident that those five days will set the tone for the rest of the year.”
Tickets for Freshers’ Week
Tickets can be purchased on the Students’ Union website or from the Students’ Union office during the office opening hours (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm). Also, make sure to regularly visit the Union’s Facebook page.
Here are some other ways to make the most of your Students’ Union:
- Get involved in the union as much as possible. Become a student rep, join the campaigns team or take part in a society! It makes the university experience so much better and more meaningful. Take on any opportunity that you have the chance for and have a brilliant time.
- If you’re passionate about something, make it a society. Get a group of like-minded people and set something up!
- If you are a course rep, do use the RSU team more to get out there! Make sure to actively listen to the students and report back to the team effectively. As a union the team are here to help in any way they can. Their goal is to make your life better and ensure a smooth academic year for all students.
- Remember that you’re all members of the Students’ Union. The RSU team are in place to serve your needs and to ensure that you’re all getting the most out of your time at Ravensbourne!