Monday, 10 October 2011

Hello from our VP Welfare & Representation, Steph Johnson


Welcome to the first of (hopefully) many blogs which will contain my musings on all things RUSU, some wonderful welfare-y tips and advice and updates on what I have been doing for students studying in Reading.

I’m writing this sat in my office after a very long day of Freshers’ Fayre Take Two: Attack of the Sporto’s. And my goodness I am fried! Over this past week the other four officers and I have been out and about meeting and greeting as many of the charming new students as we can get our hands on, while saying a cheery “Welcome back!” to all of our returning students. I cannot stress enough how glad I am to have you all back on campus (despite the fact that I feel like I am about to die – the dreaded Freshers’ Flu has struck)! It was mighty lonely when you were away!

I spent a good deal of my summer (when not having a great time playing at festivals on my weekends off) planning a lot of very exciting things for the coming year. Now when I say exciting things, normally I would mean exciting as in the type of thing that RUSU/welfare keenos like myself would find exciting, but genuinely I think there are some things coming up that will excite (or at least help) the masses.

Let’s kick off with my fave - the Student Safety Net smartphone application. Now hold on to your socks because what you are about to read is pretty special!

We at RUSU care about your safety, so we have signed up to trial a new smartphone app launched by the NUS which allows students to interact with each other, the Students’ Union and the NUS about all things safety (this includes personal safety when out and about and securing your home). If being able to sleep soundly in your bed at night, safe in the knowledge that you will be alerted to any nasty business going down in your area isn’t enough we have added a cheeky little incentive for Reading students to get them downloading and using this app. On the 30th November we will select one lucky person from those that have downloaded the app to win…

*drum roll*

A FREE WEEKEND IN PARIS including travel, accommodation and breakfast!!!!

Now that you have got off of the floor and returned to your seat, I’ll let you know how to get in on this. Simply search ‘Student Safety Net’ in your app store and click download, or click on this link to the iTunes store. It is free and simple. So go. Now. Do it!

While we are on an international theme, I think I’ll bring up another shiny new project that has been launched this term. Together with members of staff from both the University and the Union I have been working on a fabulous new three-pronged project which aims to aid the exchanging of cultures on our campus. 

Connect Project

From the University’s side of things comes the ‘Connect Project.’ One aspect of this project will be a number of social events at which UK and international students get together to learn about and experience different cultures and meet new friends from across the globe (for more information visit the Reading University website). 

The Buddy Project

From the Union comes ‘The Buddy Project’ which aims to partner up new international students with current home and international students in order to provide the ‘student experience’ side of advice – things like where to go for a budget shopping trip, the best places to go/eat out, things to do and places to visit in and around Reading. 

Day trips

Finally – day trips. We want to show off the area, what there is to do here and what Brits enjoy. So – Thorpe Park, Kew Gardens, Reading FC and London Irish rugby will play host to a huge group of visiting students. If you are interested in any of these – either taking part or volunteering – do get in touch!

Well, I think that is just about enough excitement for one blog. Make sure you check out my ‘Welfare Wednesdays’ blogs every Wednesday straight from my laptop to your screen for more news on what I have been kicking about doing! (Yes I realise this has not been released on a Wednesday, but hey – give me a break! We've just had Freshers’ Week for goodness’ sake!).

With oodles and oodles of Welfare love (the safest kind don’t you know!),

Steph x

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