We organised mental health awareness training for our society committee members in order to ensure they have the tools to support their student members, and know where to signpost them to if they need extra support.
We celebrated LGBTQ+ History Month with a range of events, including a student and staff support stall and a talk with the CEO of Mermaids UK, which was co-hosted with two of our societies. We also had a full house for the DragProv Revue.
We now have a microwave and hot water dispenser in Union Square in the JHBB. This means you have hot meals and drinks from home, without needing to spend lots of money on campus.
We worked with the University’s Sustainability Team and our Wildlife Society to give you the chance to plant some wildflower meadows to promote biodiversity.
We hosted another successful One World Week. One World Week is a celebration of the cultural diversity of Oxford Brookes, with a range of events hosted by staff and students. Over 600 of you came to the free International Lunch, for the chance to sample food from around the world.
We hosted a series of stress busting events in the run up to exams that gave you the opportunity to take some time out.
Since July, our Advice Service has won back over £600,000 for students. This could be in recovered deposits, compensation, benefits entitlements, or additional finance or funding.
We lobbied to introduce better lighting onto the Headington Hill site, as the building works around the Helena Kennedy Centre had left the area feeling dark and unsafe. The University quickly installed lighting on routes across the site and to the Sports Centre.
You told us that the mitigating circumstances system was difficult to use and understand. We lobbied for you, and the new mitigating circumstances will be fully digitised.
Following the decision to remove the U5x bus that serves Wheatley campus, the officer team lobbied the University and successfully secured a shuttle bus service. This means that students can get to campus quickly and easily for their early lectures.
The officer team negotiated compensation for students who were affected by a gas leak in Clive Booth Student Village. They also helped deliver care packages to the halls whilst work took place to fix the leak.
You told us, via reps, that you wanted to see lecture materials before the lecture. We worked with the University to make materials available 24 hours before lectures.
Our Women’s Officer and Welfare Officer have been working with staff from across the University to create a new reporting tool for incidents of sexual violence, harassment and hate crime. This new tool allows students to report incidents, either anonymously , or with their contact details. All students will then be directed to sources of support, and students who have chosen to submit using their contact details will be contacted by a member of the Student Welfare.
The tool is really important in helping the University build a better picture of what is happening. The data gathered from this tool will enable the University to target its proactive work on tackling sexual violence, hate crime and harassment.
The Union is continuing to work with the University on the reporting tool.
You can find out more about the tool (and report and incident) at: https://www.brookes.ac.uk/students/report-and-support/
The American Football Team were concerned about the quality of their helmets, as the helmets they were using had been phased out by the NFL. We convinced the sports centre to procure NFL approved helmets for the team.
To celebrate Black History Month, we hosted a range of activities, including a lecture from Dr Kehinde Andrews who is the head of the first ever Black Studies course in the UK. We also hosted Rum and Reggae - a Windrush anniversary performance with award-winning Scratchylus, and a day of events dedicated to anti-trafficking and modern slavery awareness.
We’ve introduced “society of the month” for societies which we feel are doing great work. This society will recieve £100 to spend on society activities and events.
We established student communities to help support the portfolio officers and offer students from specific backgrounds, or with specific interests, the opportunity to make suggestions, hold events or campaign for change.
We’ve streamlined the process to make planning a society event as easy as possible. The new system is: safe, digital, accessible, user-friendly, transparent, and collaborative.
We campaigned for the University to move away from physical hand-ins for dissertations. The new online submission process will save money and paper, and prevents students needing to travel to campus unnecessarily.
Our Event Management Students put on a Christmas market with us in the Forum. This gave them the chance to gain valuable work experience. Plus they had a churro stand!
The new Sports Officer role is providing a valuable link between the Union and sports teams. This is a way for sports students to make sure their concerns are heard and acted on.
- We’ve secured new helmets for the American football team after they raised concerns about the safety of their current kit.
We campaigned for the University to introduce more gender neutral toilets across its campuses.
Our Women’s Officer campaigned for free emergency sanitary provision. You’ll find free sanitary products in the accessible toilet by the JHBB reception - for those moments when the shop is closed and you’re caught unawares.
We also campaigned for the installation of a sanitary vending machine to ensure that you can access sanitary products 24/7.
We ran a Christmas donation drive to support Homeless Oxfordshire. Students and staff donated a large amount of goods, from coats to socks, dog treats to pasta. Your support will make a huge different to the people that Homeless Oxfordshire supports.
We’re planning a sleep-out to support them as well - so watch this space!
Our Disabled Students’ officer campaigned to install ‘Not every disability is visible’ signs on the accessible toilets on campus. This helps makes students with invisible illnesses feel more comfortable about using accessible toilets, by reminding everyone that you can’t always see someone’s disability.
You wanted pizza on the menu in the Union Bar. We’ve introduced pizza and loaded fries!
A student submitted a Big Idea asking for more microwaves at Marston Road. We’ve supplied extra microwaves to cut down the queues at lunch time in the common area.
We hosted another Meet the Guide Dogs Session for you. The session raised £884.66 for Guide Dogs UK, and allowed hundreds of students to spend time cuddling guide dogs and finding out more about what Guide Dogs UK do.
You asked for more events. We now host Coffee House Sessions every Thursday in Union Bar, in conjunction with the Events Management students.
Coffee House Sessions brings live acoustic music to Union Bar, showcasing new music and rising stars.
Our Arrivals and Freshers’ survey told us that students wanted a better arrivals weekend experience.
So, we hosted the biggest Arrivals Festival yet. It was packed with free live music, showcases from societies and over 1,300 free BBQ burgers! Our Brookes Buddies were at out and about in their distinctive orange T-shirts welcoming new students to halls and helping them settle in.
We covered the costs for a series of self defence sessions so you could learn new skills, get fit and feel safer.https://www.brookesunion.org.uk/thestudentvoice)
We’ve been working on an idea raised via our Big Ideas platform. We’re pleased to announce that the Uni is introducing a halal catering offer as of today (Mon 25 Jan):
Thanks to Akeel (the student who raised the idea and worked with us to make this happen), plus the Catering team and the Multifaith Chaplaincy.
Have you got an idea for change? Tell us: brookesunion.org.uk/thestudentvoice
We’re working with the University on their student mental health and wellbeing strategy to ensure that students are placed at the heart of the strategy. We also sit on a panel of local stakeholders who work to set the local area’s policies and strategy.
Wheatley Library is now 24/7! You can access this via the entrance on the ground floor of the extension using your card.
We’ve recruited another adviser for our Advice Team, who will focus on student money and outreach.
Sometimes lectures were scheduled in the evening on campuses and in locations where coffee outlets were closed. We’ve pushed the University to change the priority given to ‘available amenities’ when scheduling sessions, which means that the availability of food and coffee is taken into account as a priority.
Students at Harcourt wanted access to hot water and microwaves so that you could bring packed lunches and make hot drinks during the day. We’ve installed these in Westminster Square at Harcourt, alongside a range of seating.
(We’re working with the estates team to install provision in the JHBB. We’ll let everyone know when we have firm dates for this.)
We’ve worked with the Events Management students to put on a range of different events, including quiz nights in the Union Bar and a Halloween film screening. The team are also putting on another Brookes Got Talent show. https://www.brookesunion.org.uk/talent