Posted on Fri 02 Dec 2016 at 10:37 by Kristy Weegram
So today, Friday 2nd December, marks #LoveSUs day. #LoveSUs is an NUS campaign bringing everyone together to celebrate the work the Union’s do day in and day out, and honestly Union’s do some amazing things! I thought that on this great day I would share a bit with you all about why I personally love Students Unions and how I got involved.
Back when I was a little first year (still little to be fair) the only time I used the Student’s Union was to go to the bars, but it was a place where I could go with my friends, chill out, have a chat and of course have the all-important cheap drinks! My friend worked behind the bar and when the student jobs were released for the Union she encouraged me to apply for a bit of extra cash so then that started my journey as a publicity and promotions assistant for the Union. It was great fun, we got to go out and speak to students and promote all of the fantastic things which the Union had going on, albeit I never took part in any of them still!
It wasn’t until my housemate joined RAG and was going on nights out every night with a new group of people and in FANCY DRESS that I thought actually this looks really good why am I not taking part?! So I applied to be a Fresher’s Team Leader in 2014 and from there I got involved in everything I possibly could including RAG, NSU/Community and societies and I haven’t looked back since! I stayed on to do my Postgraduate and probably spent more hours in the Union than I did in lectures (definitely still went to my lectures though!). The time I spent in the Union was the best time though and I now have the best job in the world as a Union Sabbatical Officer!
So that was an insight into how I got involved and what I got involved in but it doesn’t really tell you why I love SU’s so much, so here goes…
When people say that Student’s Unions change lives it always sounds really soppy, but it is wholeheartedly the truth. For me the Union was a fun place to be, a place that could take you away from the stress of your studies, that supported me to do something that I loved and totally transformed my experience as a student. When I look back at my time at University, I am not going to remember all the stress and the emotional breakdowns that I had over assessments throughout my degree, I am going to remember the friends I made, the fun I had, the volunteering I took part in, all of the socials which I went on and all of the St Patricks Day’s…well I say remember paddy’s days, it will be remembered through a haze of alcohol but the memory is still there! If it wasn’t for all of this, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have enjoyed my time at University as much as I did and without all of the friends that I made.
Now, on the sabbatical side of it I love SU’s even more! I have the most amazing job and NSU has the most amazing staff team. I couldn’t be luckier than get to work with all of these people who genuinely care about students and are some of the nicest people. I love all of them, but in particular my biggest inspiration would be Paddy Rathbone our Student Activities Manager. Even from my days of being a volunteer I always remember him with a smile on his face and being around as a support for the volunteers, and now I work with him I find him more of an inspiration than ever. All of the students who get to be around him are luckier than they probably realise sometimes and he really does care about what is right for them. He has been a massive role model for me and has probably shaped how I am in this role, and definitely my voice of reason at times haha. It’s people like Paddy which make Student’s Unions the amazing places that they are!
No two days are the same here but that is the best thing about it. I hope that you all have a wonderful day and show your SU some love!