Welcome to my first blog post of the year!
While not the best at writing, this year I shall be aiming (with a little bit of help from my Grammarly app) to keep you up-to-date with everything I'm doing via blog posts and Felix articles. While I've now been in the role a few months and learnt (most of) the lingo, I know not all of you will know all the boring ins-and-outs of the Union and College workings (and probably have more important things to store in your brains too), so I've included lots of links to click on if you're interested in learning more about anything.
So, to catch you up on the big stuff that's happened these past few months:
- Union Breakfast got introduced! (And a review will happen soon to make it even better now we have lots of student feedback!)
- Shop Extra is getting a revamp - think more fridges, more food to go, more space to move about in, and did someone mention coffee-to-go machines?!?!
- Sponsorship contract approval has been sped up - turn around time is now weeks instead of months! (...but yeah, still long way to go until I complete my manifesto goal )
- End of year financial audit and annual report completed and signed off by Trustee Board (to be released soon)
- Had a breakdown in FiveSixEight #cry
- Worked with Greening Imperial to eliminate single-use disposable plastic cups and introduce a coffee cup levy in College (pg.3)!
- And the main reason for this blog - I completed my first Union Council action point!
Keeping it short, on the 23rd Oct 2018, around 50 elected students met to discuss different papers brought to us at Union Council and vote on what actions to take. A paper highlighting the racist tones in some newspapers we sell in Shop Extra was raised, focusing on The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Daily Express. As explained in my Felix Article, after a lot of debate and amendments to the paper, the students decided that papers would continue to be sold in the shop, however, the Union would no longer profit off the sales, but direct this money towards a more positive cause.
Since then, Ansh Bhatnagar (author of the paper) and I have selected 'Stop Funding Hate', a social media campaign that aims to make hate unprofitable by persuading advertisers to pull their support from publications that spread hate and division. Each month, the profits made from selling these newspapers have been set up to be donated to this campaign, enabling more success stories, such as Lego ending their deal with The Daily Mail, and empowering overarching changes in the industry. On top of this, I will be starting a campaign to write to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), highlighting offensive headlines that go against our Union values of inclusivity and pressurising them to investigate these tabloids’ editorial standards. The aim is to involve any students interested so if you’d like to help with this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*EDIT: You can now submit your newspaper complaints here*
- More blog posts and Felix articles! (Feel free to comment below and tell me what you want to hear about next!)
- Make a diagram about Union income/expenditure in all our areas, making it easier for everyone to understand what is going on #transparency
- Trialling different communication streams...did someone say joint video podcast with Greening Imperial?!
- Continue talks with College about 24-hour vending machines that contain proper meals!
- Begin consultation on improving the sustainability of our bar outlets
- Reintroduce Bud Light (...jokes!!)