Rosie Makes a Post: The last few days

So. Many. Things.

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I know I last blogged on Monday. Soz that I’m doing it again, but Tuesday and Wednesday have been so big I just have to update you guys on all of the things.

I say all of the things, really, it’s two main thing. NUS Local, and the spending review. As NUS Local was an entirely happy event, I’ll talk about that first.

1. NUS Local #SUlocal15

Your sabbatical team headed down to the Liverpool Guild on Tuesday for a day-long event with NUS, all about collaborating with local Unions, talking about issues that affect our region, and networking with local sabbs.

Which is literally the most socializing I’ve done in a long time.

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But seriously it was an awesome event. I got to see some great people that I don’t get to see very often, and I met some new awesome people that I’m really looking to working with! Yay collaborative action!

We also passed on Dave, our dear visitor from NUS who you may have met if you were about the Hub on Monday.

Dave is the #CutTheCosts pig, who has been doing a tour of Students’ Unions. Which is exciting! (He also now has his own Twitter, you can see that here.)

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With Sabbs from the Guild, Liverpool Hope SU, Liverpool City College SU, Huddersfield SU, NUS VP Union Development, and Dave at NUS Local. <3

We also played a really fun rhyming game to remember people’s name.

At NUS local we had:

Patient Pranay

Magic Mike

Gorgeous George

Agile Alisha

Elegant/Elephant Emma

Continental Calum

Princess Philip

Adolescent Ayo

Kind Kira

Sassy Steve

Prince Pat

Lush Lauren

and Rockin’ Rosie.

Some of the guild sabbs didn’t play. They were doing other things. Boo. Richard Brooks was also there but he was too busy doing NUS Vice Presidential things to network with us. Boo.

But basically I had an amazing time sharing best practice and getting to know our neighbours in Liverpool (and Sabb Social is totally happening.)

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2. The Spending Review

And this blog was so upbeat, until now.

I could rant on, and on, and on about how much the government is dicking over students right now.

Between the announcements made in the Higher Education Green Paper, and now those made in the spending review, ugh. Bad things. Terrible, terrible things.

So, instead of ranting and rambling on, I’m going to bullet point the major things from the spending review that will affect students:

  • NHS Funding for nursing students is being cut. Which will mean student nurses will have to take out up to £40’000 loans in order to fund their studies. With 50% of student nurses having children, this is truly appalling. When students already have barriers and difficult circumstances in their way when it comes to education, we should give them support. Not more debt.
  • The cap on places for student nurses will be lifted, providing a potential 10’000 more places. The effects of this are as of yet unknown, but I feel we should be very wary.
  • They are converting the maintenance grant to further loans. Which will mean that students from the poorest backgrounds will face up to £53’000 of debt.
  • There will be no age cap on Postgrad loans. It was originally proposed that there would be an age cap of 30 on loans for postgraduate study, but this is no longer the case. Which is brilliant news.
  • The student opportunity fund could be cut ‘up to half.’ I can hear Richard Brooks crying from here.
  • The loan repayment threshold will be frozen up until 2021. Which is all mathematical and complicated, but basically means anyone who took out a student loan from 2012 on-wards and who is earning over £21’000 per year will have to pay back a higher amount of their wage than what they have previously. Basically leaving graduates out of pocket, and breaking the promises the government made to you when you signed for you student loan.
  • The advanced learner loan has been extended to those studying at level 3 in further education. Which may sound positive, but actually it means that some students will have to take out university-level loans to access courses that should be free, (mind you, I think all education should be free, but hey ho.)

So, there’s my basic round up of the education stuff in the spending review. It’s a terrible thing for students. Really, really terrible.

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And on that terribly cheery note, I’m going to end this blog.

However, if you’re outraged by the spending review, and/or the Higher Education green paper, and you want to do something about it, come and lobby Westminster with us!

Edge Hill Students’ Union are taking students to London on the 8th of December to lobby MPs to stand up for students rights, to not break their promises to us, and to give us a fairer deal. In general. Because it’s not fair what they’re currently doing to us.

EHSU to Westminster

If you want to come along, get in touch!

 

 

 

 

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Rosie Makes a Post: Why I #LoveSUs

You may have noticed, but I’m really, really enthusiastic about my job.

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And not just my job, but I love the Union I work for. As a matter of fact, I love all Students’ Unions. We do a lot of incredible things, individually and collectively. And when we get together, we make some powerful statements. Together, we can make some incredible change for the lives of our students.

Now, I’m not going to bore you too much with my ‘SUs are incredible’ pitch – if you’ve ever spoken to me, you’ll have heard it.

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Instead, I’m going to tell you how I got involved with Edge Hill Students’ Union, and, as cheesy as this may sound, how it changed my life.

Now, when I came to university two years ago, I was coming out of a really strange situation. As a matter of fact, I was homeless pre-university. That’s a whole complicated story I won’t get into, but coming from that background made me quite different to a lot of my peers.

If it weren’t for the scholarship that Edge Hill gave me, I’m not sure how/if I would’ve managed it. (And Forest Court halls was the nicest accommodation I’d ever had. Seriously.)

 

So university was a life changing thing for my anyway. As it is for most people, moving is daunting for anyone, no matter where you’re coming from.

I was determined that I wasn’t going to let my background get me down, so I threw myself into everything.

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That started with societies. Through joining pretty much every society Edge Hill Students’ Union had to offer, I met former Vice President Arts and Sciences, Emma-Jane Samworth.

EmJ and I became (and remain to this day,) best friends. And there’s one way that Students’ Unions changed my life for the better right there!

When March came around, EmJ asked me to be on her campaign team when she ran for president.

And I haven’t stopped being involved in elections since.

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Being involved in the elections meant I got noticed by someone who’s affectionate nickname is ‘Captain Liberation.’ Alex Prestage.

The Capt. and I had a few conversations about feminism, activism, liberation and general political stuff, and then he decided that I should come to NUS Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism conference 2014. And when the Capt. calls, you don’t disappoint.

And so I found myself at my first NUS event in the Maritime Museum in Liverpool. This was my first ever experience of NUS, and looking back now I’m really glad I went to ARAF, not only was the event itself really great and insightful, and it really did give me a lot of food for thought, it was also a nice induction to the whirlwind of NUS.

In my second year I became a Course Rep. And I was the President of the Pokemon Society, and Vice President of the Murder Mystery Society.

I got involved with every campaign the union ran. Like, every campaign.

I also ran in my first election, to become Edge Hill Students’ Union’s Women’s Officer, and NUS delegate 2015.

I lost Women’s Officer by 30 votes, which was very disappointing but my opponent was fantastic. (Much love to Kiah! <3 )

I did however win NUS delegate. And so I was off to my second NUS event, national conference 2015.

Remember how I said ARAF was a nice introduction to NUS? Well, not to put anyone off national conference, because it is an incredible experience, and it’s important that we have our say, shaping the work of NUS for the next year. But it’s, full on. Let’s just say it’s full on. But hey, I’m going back in 2016, so it’s honestly not all bad.

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Now as I mentioned before, I was a Course Rep in second year. And I loved it. I’ve written another blog about how amazing Course Reps are, you can read that here.

But it got me thinking, I love representing my fellow students. I love making changes, I love all the education-stuff and policies and scrutinizing the work of my department to make sure students were getting a fair deal.

So then I started thinking, what if I was doing that full time?

I was originally going to wait until my third year to run to be a sabbatical officer. But I started talking to students about it, some of them were my friends, some where acquaintances, but all told me I should do it. I had plans, and people seemed to really get on board with my ideas.

I remember getting a Facebook message late one night from someone that at the time I knew, but didn’t know too well. The message was just to say that they thought I should run, that they thought I’d be a great Vice President Academic Representation, and if I decided to run they would be on my campaign team.

It was messages like that, that eventually made me decide to run.

So I ran. And hey, I won!

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I’ve come from not really knowing what I was doing or where I was going when I came to university, to being 1/4th of a team of incredible officers leading Edge Hill Students’ Union.

And I truly have my Students’ Union to thank for that.

Societies, Course Reps, campaigns, events, freshers week, Consent workshops, and so, so much more are provided by Edge Hill Students’ Union to our students. Vital things that improve the day to day life of our students.

I #LoveSUs. Tweet on the hashtag and tell us why you do too! (Or you could write a blog, there’s no way I could fit all of that into 140 characters!)

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