This year Ollie and I have spent a lot of time exploring the idea of a new students union building, we did lots of research on other Unions, specifically the facilities that they are able to provide their students. We have asked around other Sabbs, and went on a 3 day road trip to visit 7 other institutions and tour their buildings.
Following our SU tour, we produced a paper and presentation (both linked at the bottom) that we presented to the University Council on the 26th February. Turns out we can both talk very passionately about students and facilities and we definitely ran over the 20 minute presentation time we were given but it was really well received by Council! We spoke about the need for purpose built student facilities, spaces that are agile, multifunctional and dynamic. We also stressed these spaces need to be functional in terms of storage space, flat floor space and performance space! If you want to check out the minutes from our presentation at the meeting there's a link below. Following this the Vice-Chancellor set up and chaired a Project board, however shortly after the first meeting the pandemic hit and things were put on hold.
However over the two months we asked for a meeting to be set up so Ollie and I could provide our input on future facilities. We’ve been involved in workshops for the last month, passing on everything we have learnt this year, and we’re really excited about some announcements that should be coming soon. It's a shame we are not able to announce anything yet, as the University needs to get it approved and signed off but there is something coming!
It's been a pleasure to work with some of the estates team the last few weeks, and I’m blown away by some of the creativity and ambition for the future, both long and short term. We’re passing this onto Patrick (my successor) to keep the pressure on and make sure the uni follows through in providing spaces designed for students (and consult students along the way!)
Paper - https://bit.ly/2ALVktu
Presentation - https://bit.ly/3eNpfAm
Council Minutes - https://bit.ly/3eSUNVv