Your regular update from the SRC.
Content warning: Gender-based Violence
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.
We are now coming to the end of this academic year and what a year it has been. It has certainly been filled with ups and downs however, as always, we have been so impressed by how you have risen to take on the challenges thrown at you. In this update we will be:
- Sending huge congratulations to everyone who has now finished their last exams or assessments, and to all of you still working we send our best wishes and support,
- Keeping you up to date with the latest on the UCU Strike Action,
- Wishing the very best to all the Undergraduate students who will be graduating next month,
- Looking back on our Exam De-stress campaign and thanking everyone who took part,
- Pointing towards some resources we shared around Mental Health Awareness Week,
- Sharing the news about our new part-time Gender-based Violence (GBV) Counsellor
- Reminding you that Freshers’ Helper applications are now open,
- Learning from and responding to the important work of our Advice Centre, including their latest casework and advancements in policy and campaigning around the Cost of Living crisis,
- Encouraging students to engage with our Club & Admin team and make use of the support and services they provide,
- Sharing the fantastic opportunities available over the Summer from our SRC Volunteering service,
- As well as making you aware of what’s going on at The Gilchrist Postgraduate Club, sharing the UofG PGR Experience Survey, Additional Class Rep Training Sessions, and information on our upcoming Holiday Hours.
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, even over the Summer, so please do reach out if you need our help.
Ella, Mia, Sam and Eva
GUSRC Executive 21/22
End of Exams
We would like to wish a huge congratulations to everyone who has finished their exams and final assessments over the past few weeks.
Some of you might be thinking of going on to do further studies, and for others these may be your last ever exams and you’re starting to think about what comes next. We know that the future can be intimidating, and alongside the pandemic there’s so much going on in the world right now, however our message to you is this: Be proud!
- Be proud of completing your studies, sitting your exams, and meeting your deadlines during such a turbulent and difficult time.
- Be proud of pulling together in your clubs and societies, putting on events and activities to keep us all engaged and entertained.
- Be proud of volunteering your time to help others: going out of your way to spread kindness and doing your bit to help your local communities.
- Be proud of getting through this year in one piece.
- Be proud of all that you have achieved.
It can certainly be worrying to think about what comes next, but whatever it is you go on to do, you should always be proud that you have faced up to the challenges of this year and with creativity, teamwork and ingenuity you met them head on. Well done and be proud of yourself, and to those of you going on to further studies or if you still have some work to complete, we wish you the very best of luck and ask that you remember the SRC is here to support and represent you.
UCU Strike Action
The SRC have been continuously engaging with UCU Glasgow and the University to discuss the plans for further industrial action and how this is likely to affect our students. After an announcement that a marking and assessment boycott had commenced on Monday, there has been a subsequent announcement this week that this action has been suspended. Prior to this announcement, the SRC had been engaging with the University to ensure that if the boycott were to take place, they were prepared to mitigate any detrimental impact, and we heard a commitment from the University that this action would not prevent student progression or delay graduations.
We also met as a Council to discuss our response to this action should it take place, as although we have expressed our solidarity with UCU, we understand the disruption that a marking and assessment boycott would cause for students has been a point of anxiety, and it was felt that this potential action required further discussion. While the announcement that the boycott is suspended is welcome news, the SRC will continue to engage with both parties to ensure that conversations are working toward reaching terms which will prevent more industrial action in the future.
For those of you coming to the end of your Undergraduate degree, graduations are coming up! These start on June 23rd and run through until early July. Graduations are always a wonderful day on campus (regardless of the weather!) and we hope you enjoy the day and celebrate your achievements.
Our Spring De-stress campaign has now drawn to a close. It was lovely to see so many of you joining our events and dropping into our activities. Whether it was getting a cup of tea outside the Library, picking up a de-stress pack in the JMS, saying hello to the alpacas, or attending an event put on by many of our clubs and societies, it was really great to see so much engagement and we hope it helped you to get through exams! This year we were delighted to be able to host more events in-person than in previous years, and we hope this bi-annual campaign will only continue to grow.
Mental Health Awareness Week
Crossing over with our De-stress campaign was Mental Health Awareness Week. This year we focused on promotion of our Emotional Resilience workshops and asked our Mental Health Trainers to talk through the positive benefits emotional resilience can have on your mental wellbeing. Check out the video here or visit our Workshops page to find upcoming dates in June and July.
Whilst we know the end of term comes as a relief for many, we’re also aware that as we move into Summer the combination of changing your daily routine, the new abundance of free time and possibly moving away from friends can be tough on your mental health. Please remember that University services are open throughout the Summer, as are our SRC Advice Centre, and we would encourage you not to hesitate to reach out if you need help. You can also 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.
Gender-based Violence Counsellor
We recently secured additional funding for a fully-trained Gender Based Violence (GBV) Counsellor who will be offering appointments in the Advice Centre every Tuesday. If you have been directly or indirectly affected by GBV we would encourage you to come and seek confidential support. Both in-person or MS Teams appointments are available and can be booked using the form on our website. If you book an in-person appointment this will be arranged for the SRC Advice Centre which is based on the ground floor of the McIntyre Building on the Gilmorehill Campus.
Freshers’ Helper Applications
Come be part of SRC Freshers’ Helping, where you’ll be able to help and take part in the many of the events run as part of the UofG Welcome such as the Welcome Fair, Welcome Address, the many clubs and societies events, and much more! It will be a great opportunity for you to meet new people, create new experiences, and be a welcoming face to new students here at the University. Please note that you must be available from the 5th – 18th September 2022. Applications close on Friday 24th June at 17:00. Apply here.
The Advice Centre
Since our last update, our Advice Centre dealt with a total of 241 cases (between April 14th and 27th May). 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 2021, and paid 30 weeks rent up front. However, using the provisions of the Coronavirus Act Scotland No.2 they had terminated their agreement early and left the property in January 2022.
They then asked the company for a refund, but their request was unfortunately ignored and the student was still waiting for the refund almost 4 months later. They contacted us in February for advice so we contacted the company on the student’s behalf to request the refund, and explained their rights to this under the legislation. After a few months of chasing the company they finally relented and refunded the student the £1,200 they were owed. If you are having a similar issue, get in touch.
Policy & Campaigning
Due to our ongoing concerns around the Cost of Living Crisis we reached out to the University’s Senior Management to request a meeting to discuss the University’s response to this. We met with the University’s Executive Director of Student and Academic Services, Robert Partridge, Assistant Director of Registry, Kezia Falconer and the Financial Aid Manager, Alan McConnell.
At the meeting we reiterated the SRC’s position that we believe the University must commit additional funding to their hardship funds to support students with the rise in living costs, and as a result we have now co-authored a paper with the aforementioned University staff to take to the University’s next meeting of the Student Experience Committee to highlight our concerns and recommendations for next steps the University should take. An Action Group is to be formed in the coming weeks to address the issue and as part of this group the SRC will do all we can to work towards solutions which support all students who are affected.
Clubs & Admin
Club Affiliation for 2022-23
To all clubs and societies who wish to affiliate with us, we will be sending round further information in August 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.
Lockers for Clubs
We are pleased to update that the new lockers for clubs in the Queen Margaret Union should be available in time for the next academic session. There have unfortunately, been a few delays this semester in getting these up and running, however we have been working with the University to resolve the issues and will send out information to clubs before the end of the Summer.
We are still taking dissertation binding requests 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.
Now that exams are coming to a close for some of you, it’s a great time to think about getting involved in volunteering. We have a number of exciting opportunities available from our range of community partners, but don’t just take our word for it, you can now explore our new Volunteer Stories section on the SRC website to learn more about the benefits of getting involved!
Citywise – Summer Camp Volunteer
- Citywise is hosting two back-to-back Summer Camps themed around Resilience and Adventure, and they need energetic and committed volunteers to help make it a success! Each camp is host to around 30 kids and will take place on 4th-8th July, and then the 11th-15th July, from 9am-3pm each day in Glasgow City Centre (location TBC). The curriculum will include lots of fun creative activities and games which you as a mentor will get a chance to lead/participate in. While these camps are intended to create a safe, free and meaningful environment for kids to thrive in during their time off school, they are also a wonderful place for volunteers to develop their experience of working with kids and meet other like-minded people! The choice to do one or two weeks is optional, however volunteers often do both.
BARTA Monthly Litter Picks
- The Bank Street and Area Residents and Traders Association (BARTA) was established in 2007, and exists for the purpose of improving the environment on Bank Street, Otago Street, Oakfield Avenue, and within the surrounding area. In recent years they have been active in monthly litter picks, as well as action on hedges, input to planning applications, and have raised issues regarding the state of some buildings. Glasgow University volunteers are warmly invited to join in on BARTA’s monthly litter picks!
Community Fundraising Volunteer
- Govan Community Project are looking for enthusiastic, creative, and organised fundraising volunteers who can bring people together to raise funds to support New Scots rebuilding their lives in communities in Glasgow. Community fundraising volunteers will play an important role in raising independent funds which enable GCP to maintain and adapt their support for New Scots in response to need. This is a flexible and creative role, and can vary dependent on individual volunteers' availability, skills, experience and personal areas of interest
The SRC will be closed for the Jubilee weekend Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June. 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 Monday 6th June. Following this our staff will be working and around throughout the Summer, so please do get in touch as you would during term time.
The Gilchrist Postgraduate Club
Although are main events for the semester have now finished up, we still encourage you to come along to The Gilchrist over the Summer and make yourself comfortable in this space built for Postgrads. If you’re planning your own events, you may consider booking out the WeeG seminar room – find out how to do so on our website.
For more information on the listed events please contact email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Class Rep Training Sessions
To those of you who are Postgraduate students and have only just joined the University, welcome! We are hosting a series of additional Class Rep training sessions which are now available for you to sign up: https://frontdoor.spa.gla.ac.uk/StudentVoice/SRCTrainingListing.aspx. Please note that these are open to Undergraduate students as well.
University of Glasgow PGR Experience Survey 2022
To all Postgraduate Researchers, the University would like to invite you to participate in a short survey. This survey focuses on your experience as PGR - a survey later in the year will be circulated asking additional questions about the support you have received as a PGR.
Your feedback is vital to the University, enabling Schools, Institutes, Graduate Schools, and University Services to ensure that appropriate provision for your support and development as a researcher is in place, any gaps are identified, and actions are taken to address these. Reporting for the survey will be shared with Schools, Institutes, Graduate Schools, the SRC and University committees and will be published on the PGR Service web pages alongside any agreed action plans.
Any information you provide in answering the survey is strictly confidential. You will not be identifiable in any analysis or reporting that is shared from the survey. The Student Privacy Notice details steps that the University takes to protect your data.
The survey should take between 5 - 10 minutes to complete. The survey will be open until Friday 10 June 2022.
To take part, search your emails for ‘PGR Survey’ to find a personalised link.
Thank you for reading and have a great Summer. The next update will be toward the end of June.
Sent by SRC Communications