Regular Update - March/April

Your regular update from the SRC!

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Hello University of Glasgow students,

This is your regular update from the Students’ Representative Council.

In these updates we report to you on the work your student representatives and the SRC staff have been doing to support, represent, and engage with you. We also let you know about upcoming projects and activities, including new volunteering opportunities and events.

Since our last update a lot has happened both on and off campus. During that time we’ve been busy working on:

At the base of the update are a list of contacts you can use to get in touch with us. Remember that the SRC are here to support and represent you so please do reach out if you need our help.

Yours,
Ella, Mia, Sam and Eva

GUSRC Executive 21/22

 

Updates:

Ukraine

We are continuing to engage with the University about the war in Ukraine and discuss the support that will be in place for affected students going into the next academic year. Most recently, we have also been asking for reassurance about those students on degree programmes who will be affected by study abroad opportunities in light of the ongoing war and ensure that mitigations are being put in place to ensure that their studies won't be negatively impacted.

 

Learning & Teaching

The Spring break is a time of revision and studying for many and we wish you all the best in your upcoming exams and assessments. Part of our work at this time of year involves advocating for students as staff plan the next academic year. We are currently in discussions about what form teaching may take next year and would appreciate any thoughts or comments in how learning should take place to best benefit you. You can contact Mia, the VP Education on vp-educations@src.gla.ac.uk  

 

UCU Strike Action

We are now coming to the end of another round of strike action. Whilst this has been difficult on many students, as the SRC we voted to stand in solidarity with staff who undertook industrial action this semester, as we believe that student learning conditions reflect staff working conditions. You can read our statement endorsing the strikes here. UCU Glasgow are currently balloting for another round of strike action and when the result of this ballot is announced we will update students on our thoughts in due course. As the SRC we sincerely hope that this dispute will be resolved in the form of staff having their demands successfully met with as little disruption to students as possible.

 

Exam De-stress

Preparations are well underway for this years’ Exam De-stress campaign during the upcoming examination diet. We understand just how stressful this time can be, especially after the disruption we have had to this year's learning and teaching. From Tuesday 19th April until the end of exams, we’ll have a wide range of activities to encourage you to take a break and de-stress. Watch out for volunteers outside the library handing out free tea and coffees as well as free de-stress packs with a range of treats and goodies to help you chill. There will also be a range of other favourites including a visit from the therapy dogs, arts & crafts sessions, and a celebration of World Earth Day. Find all of the Exam De-stress events on our website.

The exam period can put an added strain on your mental health. You can visit our Look After Yourself page to download a guide on how best to support your mental health, or visit the University Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for wellbeing support. 

 

The Advice Centre

Casework

Our Advice Centre dealt with a total of 178 cases in March. One particular case of note involved an international student who was struggling to obtain a refund of rent they had paid up front to their private halls provider. The student had moved into their room in September 2019, and paid the full year’s rent up front. However, using the provisions of the Coronavirus Act Scotland No.2 they had terminated their agreement early and had returned home a few months before the end of the lease.

They then asked the company for a refund, but they ignored their request and the student was still waiting for the refund almost 18 months later. They contacted us at the start of March for advice so we contacted the company on the student’s behalf to request the refund, and explain their rights to this under the legislation. After a few weeks of chasing the company they finally relented and refunded the student the £1,500 they were owed. If you are having a similar issue, get in touch.

Policy & Campaigning

In light of the recent energy price cap increase we issued some advice and tips to students on how to reduce the impact of the price increases. We also released guidance on fearless flat hunting.

We received a number of enquiries from students who had attempted to submit late applications for Good Cause to find these were rejected only to then be reinstated months later. This was incredibly stressful and frustrating for the students involved. We raised this with the Senate Office and have begun carrying out a review of the current University regulations on Good Cause. It’s hoped that the review will result in the amendment of the regulations to make it clearer in what circumstances late applications will be accepted and who has responsibility for considering such applications.

 

A New Deal for Tenants

As mentioned in our last update, the Scottish Government are seeking responses to their housing consultation ‘A New Deal for Tenants’. Although our response is nearly complete, there is still a great opportunity this week to have your say and shape how private rented accommodation in the city is managed. The Government have enlisted the support of the Tenants Information Service (TIS) and Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) to engage with tenants who rent privately across Scotland. There are two focus groups that are in need of students to contribute: Glasgow and West Region – Wednesday 13th April 6-8pm, Students – Thursday 14th April 6-8pm. Contributors will receive a £20 high street voucher for attending the focus group. To register interest, visit this page.

 

Sanitary and Single-use Contraception Focus Groups

After the SRC worked with the University of Glasgow to provide free sanitary products to all UofG students a bill was passed by the Scottish Government to make this compulsory for all universities in Scotland. Following the passing of this bill, we have been working with the University to look into how they can best roll out the free distribution of sanitary and single use contraception products on campus. To include and gauge student views on how this can best be done, we will be heading up running a series of focus groups which will give students a chance to share your views which will go on to inform the initiative. To be part of a focus group visit this page to sign up - you will also be given a £30 Uber Eats voucher for taking part!

 

Clubs & Admin

HEAR: Higher Education Achievement Report – Noted on your transcript

For anyone who received a HEAR recognition form, for their role as a volunteer or a Club committee member, if they could take the time to complete the form and return it to us as soon as possible. We would especially want to ask anyone graduating this summer to get this done before the deadline to ensure it is on their transcript.

Interclub Forum 2

Also at the end of March we held our second Interclub Forum of this academic session. Representatives from a number of clubs and societies came along to discuss any common issues or concerns. The Forum was a good way for any problems club are experiencing to be raised to the SRC, and for the us to update members on initiatives and plans for the coming months. Clubs discussed issues including the complexity of the room bookings process, and the availability of space on campus for performance societies. We have taken the concerns highlighted from Interclub Forum and are working behind the scenes to work with the university to produce solutions to issues raised.

Thanks to those who attended, including The Cecilian Society, Strategy & Security Society, and the Asia China Club Association, amongst others! We wish the best to all societies for the rest this academic session and for the next.

Club Affiliation for 2022-23

To all clubs and societies who wish to affiliate with us, we will be launching the affiliation process for next semester in May so please watch out for emails as the process will be completely different moving forward, with society members needing to register their membership through our website. We will send out further information about this to clubs in due course.

Dissertation Binding

We are starting to take in dissertation binding requests again, so if you are looking for cheap binding then pop into the Welcome Point as we can normally do your binding within the hour. Find out more about our printing and binding services here.

 

SRC Volunteering 

With exams coming up, it’s important to take breaks and enjoy the outdoors. Volunteering is a great way to use any free time outside of your studies to get involved in your local community and take your mind off any study stress.  

One-off Volunteering Opportunities – GUVMA Rodeo, Kiltwalk
  • Glasgow University Medical Veterinary Association are hosting their 60th GUVMA Rodeo on April 23rd. It's an amazing event with lots of activities to take part in, last year they raised over £9000! If you have time, make sure to register your interest before April 20th. p.s they will have lots of dogs! 
  • The Glasgow Kiltwalk is coming up on April 24th. Kiltwalks are mass participation walking events that raise much-needed funds for Scottish charities and projects. All Kiltie Volunteers receive training and support to carry out their assigned roles and are kitted out in bright blue Kiltie uniforms provided by official kit partners, Trespass. Register your interest before April 20th.
Volunteering Partner – Glasgow Flower Gardens
  • Glasgow Flower Gardens is a community run project, made up of local people with a wide range of ages and backgrounds. They presently have sites across Glasgow's West End, and grow mainly Scottish flowers, cutting out 'flower miles' to introduce unusual and beautiful flowers for volunteers, charities, and the general public. Get involved!

 

Trans Day of Visibility

Transgender Day of Visibility fell near the end of March, an important date to recognise and celebrate our trans community. This year we focused on providing materials to help raise transgender awareness and guide people toward becoming a better ally to our transgender friends and colleagues at the University. We also redesigned our ‘tackling transphobia’ bathroom posters and have worked with the University to have these put up in bathrooms in the library, James McCune Smith and the Student Unions. We hope these also remind people to step up if they witness instances of transphobia – ask the individual if they are okay and support them in reporting if they wish.

 

Student Teaching Awards

We had the Student Teaching Awards (STAs) on the 24th March! It was a brilliant night that celebrated some of our amazing teaching staff, student representatives and support staff. You can see the winners and nominees here. Thank you so much to all those who nominated, it is really appreciated.  
 
 

Coming Up

Holiday Hours

The SRC will be closed for the Easter weekend on Friday 15th Monday 18th April. The Advice Centre have a page of Out of Hours support contacts should you need help during this time. The Gilchrist Postgraduate Club will also be closed on these dates and will resume normal operating hours (8am-7pm) on Tuesday 19th April.

 

The Gilchrist Postgraduate Club

Coming up at the Postgraduate club we have a couple of great events: the hilarious Diversity Quota comedy crew are back again with a night of diverse comedy on April 27th, from 7pm, and we also have the final DRAG 101 show of the academic session coming up next month on May 24th. Find all of our events on this page.

For more information on the listed events please contact gilchristpgclub@src.gla.ac.uk. If you are a postgraduate student or SRC affiliated club that would like to put on your own events in the Gilchrist Postgraduate Club please contact events@src.gla.ac.uk 

 

Contacts:

 

Thank you for reading.

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