Weekly Update – February 1st 2021
An update from the GUSRC Executive on what we are doing to represent and support students.
Hello University of Glasgow students,
This is your weekly update from the SRC as told by our 4 sabbatical officers, Liam (President), Amy (VP of Student Activities), Ella (VP of Student Support) and Grigoris (VP of Education).
These updates were previously going out on Fridays but from now on we will be sending them out on Mondays instead. In these updates we will report to you on the work that your student representatives and the SRC staff team have been doing over the past week to support you, represent you, and engage with you. We will also let you know about upcoming projects and activities.
There is so much going on right now with regards to student support, engagement and representation. Each week our network of class and school reps alert us to new ways in which COVID-19 is impacting the lives of students. We continue to advocate for students on a number of fronts: from pushing the University for greater academic support, to defending the rights of students in private accommodation, to working with student organisations across the UK to call for greater support from the UK and devolved governments.
On top of the work we are doing to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on students, we are trying as best we can to continue our regular activities including: our GU Volunteering & Social Justice Festival, our Spring Council Elections, our Student Teaching Awards, our Volunteering, Clubs and Societies Awards, Raising and Giving (RAG) Week, and LGBTQ+ History Month.
At the base of the update are a list of contacts you can use to get in touch with us. Thank you for your time and we hope you have a good week.
Take care and stay safe,
Liam, Amy, Ella and Grigoris
Summary of Issues:
Pushing the University for greater academic support remains one of our top priorities. Last week we attended another meeting on the upcoming Academic Support measures to provide comments on the University’s suggested actions. These suggested support actions should be communicated to you this week by the University. Please note that these specifically refer to coursework/dissertations, extensions and Good Cause. More information on exams will come closer to the exam diet in April/May. We will continue to work with the University to ensure that student concerns are taken into account when these measures are developed and communicated.
Open Letter to the University and Scottish Government
Last month, we asked you to send in your experiences of COVID-19 in an anonymous form. Thanks to all of you who shared your experiences with us. Since then, we have been analysing and collating the responses and we plan to use the data gathered to inform an open letter to the University and Scottish Government.
The written responses and accompanying data show the depth and breadth of ways in which COVID-19 is impacting students. Our intention is to make sure the University and the Scottish Government are aware of the wide spectrum of issues that students are facing and to call on urgent action to be taken. Whilst we may not have all the answers to solve these problems, we believe that in many cases just recognising that these issues exist will be a good start. Please expect this letter to be shared in the next couple of weeks.
Working with Student Associations across the UK
In addition to finding out the problems that are impacting UofG students, we have been working with student association Presidents throughout the UK to find out how these issues are affecting students across the country. So many of the issues we are facing are not particular to Glasgow alone, and so we must unite with our fellow students to lobby against the nationwide problems in Higher Education.
COVID-19 FAQs Page
If you were not already aware, the SRC Advice Centre team have put together some information based on their most common enquiries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FAQs on this page may be really helpful if you have questions about travel, accommodation issues, money issues, academic/study issues and wellbeing issues. The situation is fast-moving, so please note that the information listed was correct at the time of publication and is being updated regularly as things change: https://www.glasgowstudent.net/advice/healthsafetywellbeing/advice-covid-19/
Contacts for the SRC Advice Centre can be found at the base of this update.
We were made aware that some PGR students have less than ideal home-working environments, and so would benefit from spaces on campus being made available. Last week we successfully helped to secure a workspace exclusive to PGRs in the St Andrew’s Building for students who are unable to work at home. If you are a PGR student and you are really struggling to work at home, you can expect information about how to book this workspace to be communicated to you via your Graduate School. Booking will take place via the UofG Life App.
Flatshare – Find flats, find flatmates
Normally at this time of year, our Advice Centre team start to receive enquiries about the best ways to find flats and to find flatmates. This year due to COVID-19, we expect that for many students it has been harder than normal to find flatmates.
There is a still a lot of uncertainty about when students will be able to move back to flats in Glasgow or even if the University will be able to fully return to in-person teaching by September. However, with that said we would advise that if you intend to move into a new flat that you start trying to consider your options sooner rather than later.
To help you do this we operate a service called Flatshare. This is a site where students can list rooms or properties that are available for rent. Not only that, but students can also advertise themselves as potential flatmates or put out requests for flatmates. In the coming weeks we intend to release some guidance around flat hunting and flatmate finding to give you the tools to find a happy home while at University.
Check out Flatshare today: https://www.glasgowstudent.net/services/flatshare/
Class Rep Feedback
Following a successful Virtual Class Rep Forum in Semester One, we sent a paper to the University Learning & Teaching (L&T) Committee with a selection of class rep feedback. The feedback was well received by staff, with some reporting they have found similar feedback on student experiences from this year based on their own processes. We will continue to work with the VP Learning & Teaching to collate the key points from this report and distribute it widely across the academic community for their information in creating their future L&T approach.
GU Volunteering & Social Justice Festival
Starting on Wednesday this week we have our first virtual GU Volunteering & Social Justice Festival! This 3-day virtual event will run from Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th, and will give you the chance to listen to and interact with some of GU Volunteering’s fantastic charity partners, each of whom have different and varied volunteering opportunities available.
The event will consist of a mix of recorded video content and Zoom presentations / Q&As and tickets are live now on our Native site: https://guvolunteering.native.fm/. Check it out and get involved in something more than your degree!
LGBTQ+ History Month
February is LGBTQ+ History Month, a chance to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community and recognise the issues they have faced in the past and those that they continue to face today. Throughout the month we are running a series of events and activities, including socials, panel discussions and society collaborations. You can find these events listed on our Native events site: https://glasgowstudent.native.fm
Our message this year is You Are Not Alone. Through dark times like these, more than ever we need to stick together and look out for each other and our friends in the LGBTQ+ community. Be kind and reach out to your LGBTQ+ friends and remind them they are not alone.
Spring Council Elections
Nominations for our Spring Council Elections open 1 week from today! There has never been a more important time to make sure the student voice is heard loud and clear. This is your time to get involved and lead the change you want to see at the University of Glasgow. There are 41 positions up for grabs, including the 4 paid full-time sabbatical positions as well as our Academic Reps, and Welfare & Equal Opportunities Reps.
All of the information you will need to get involved, including all of the important dates and regulations plus a list of the positions available, can be found on our website under the Spring 2021 Elections section: https://glasgowstudent.net/elections
Student Teaching Awards
There are just over 3 weeks left to send in your nominations for our 11th Annual Student Teaching Awards! These awards recognise and celebrate the incredible efforts staff and students put towards their teaching, support, and representation. You can nominate staff who have supported you, who have excited you through their teaching, who have been great in helping you advance in your learning, students who have been incredible in representing you, and so many more!
Visit https://bit.ly/GUSRCSTA21Nominate to find the nomination form.
Volunteering, Clubs & Societies Awards
Because there’s so much great work going on at UofG, we also have another set of awards to recognise Volunteering, Clubs and Societies! Nominations are open now with cash prizes up for grabs for our wonderful student volunteers, clubs and societies. Nominate here: http://bit.ly/VCSNoms21
Next week is the start of Raising and Giving AKA RAG Week!
UofG RAG Week is a week dedicated to raising and giving donations for chosen charities. It is totally run by students, and this year will run from Monday 8th February to Friday 12th February. This year, RAG will be raising money for four charities: Impact Arts, Handprints e-NABLE Scotland, Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Glasgow’s Golden Generation. All of UofG RAG’s events are now online on our Glasgow Student Events Native site (https://glasgowstudent.native.fm) and you can give donations to the different causes through JustGiving pages linked in the event descriptions.
To raise as much money as possible for these 4 great causes, please check out these events and donate whatever you can! Some of the events include: an online coffee morning, an art auction, a Glaswegian Bingo event, and much more!
Check out the Native page about for listings, or follow UofG RAG on Facebook for updates.
For general day-to-day enquiries, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or message us over social media.
For free, confidential and impartial advice on a range of issues including finances, studying, accommodation, wellbeing and more please get in touch with the SRC Advice Centre: email@example.com
To find the email addresses of your council representatives, please visit our website: https://www.glasgowstudent.net/about/representation/council/