Just to clarify, I’m not really a big fan of The Sound of Music, nor musical theatre in general -- the song just felt most appropriate
So… today’s my last day of Presidency, which can only mean the new President, Matt, joins us on Monday. And you’ve all probably heard of his international adventures in the South Korean Government and his daring return to the UK just to be President of a small Students’ Union in some place called Kent, of course. No? How could you have not? Go read about him. Now.
OK. Now you’ve done that, you can have a nice old read about me! Well, you don’t have to if you don’t want to… Like I said, today is my last day of Presidency, and although I am eager and excited to move on to University, I can’t help but feel a bit of sadness to leave the Students’ Union behind! It’s been a fantastic year; I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed it more than any other position I’ve found myself in! -- the pay helps!
We’ve had numerous wins all throughout the year, doing what a Students’ Union should do best; campaigning on behalf of the student body -- securing additional IT provision, better bus services, a more far-reaching representative body, and a supportive and social environment in the college. As such, we’ve been rained on with recognition -- here’s some examples:
- Samantha Sadler -- NUS FE LGBT Activist of the Year 2012
- Spectrum -- Shortlisted for NUS Society Development of the Year 2012
- The Big Travel Debate -- runners up in the Speaker’s School Council Award, and shortlisted for the NUS Campaign of the Year Award
- Jo Carter -- specially commended in the NUS Staff Member of the Year Award
- Bronze NUS Be A Champion Accreditation for the work we have done with the Olympics this year
Not that we’re showing off or anything -- but, to be honest, we’ve been fantastic at our jobs! Despite all of that recognition though, the most positive advancement we’ve made is the raised recognition from our students, involving more and more than before, and having more students come to us to further their views and experiences at the college.
But, this couldn’t have been achieved without a massive thank you to the SU team this year, those who started at the beginning of the year, those who joined in the by-elections and those who still remain with us now: Jack Handley, Hannah Davies, Andy Pearce, Annabel Farman, Silas Wharton, Jack Berry, Conor Williams, Eddie Rogers, Peter Kennedy, Tom Beaney, Darren Naylor, Tuscany Roux, Naomi Thompson, Adam Hunt, Bobby Kerr, Keziah Garratt-Smithson, Gill Andrews, Samantha Sadler, Louise Wright, Connie-Rae Stone, Brendan Belton, Tom Ryan and Faith Kumson —- to name a few!
We’ve managed to establish a credible Union which has had real wins and successes, and set out a positive future for a previously less effective body. We’ve managed to get students to realise our potential and get them on board with us, and we’ve had a good time about it - it’s been a real pleasure to work with them, and I will miss both the SU and working with them.
So, today, we will relinquish our reins on the SU, handing them over to the newly-elected Students’ Union Executive Team: Matt Stanley, Tracy Blackley, Mdhamiri Á Nkemi, Dan Crosland, Tom Colgan and Emma Payne. Good luck and have fun!
But this probably won’t be the last of me! I’ve already told Matt to expect OfSted style no-notice drop-in observations -- and I’ll be back to see the Maidstone campus when it’s finished. And I’ll be taking to the streets in the NUS Demo on 21st November this year, fighting cuts to FE and for the future of our young citizens. Oh, and somebody said to me they expect to see me as Prime Minister in 20 years! Maybe… probably not!
So… goodbye -- I suppose…