It’s been a busy month for sure. Let me tell you what’s been going on…
First it was Volunteering Week! Student Volunteering Week runs every year and is an annual celebration of the work of student volunteers. At SVC we run a week full of one off volunteering events and also have our ball and Jailbreak on the weekends either side, it’s pretty jam packed!
The ball was masquerade themed and went really well this year thanks to the hard work of our Social Sec, Bee. It went really well and everyone had a great night, we even finally managed to get a picture of our whole board together! Credit to Lily Walter Photography for the ball photos!
The rest of volunteering week went really well, with events like dog walking, a garden make over at the Huggard Centre (a local charity that help the homeless), and afternoon tea with the Elderly! At the weekend we then had Jailbreak! For those of you who haven’t heard of Jailbreak it is a charity hitchhike, where you have to get as far away from Cardiff and back again without spending any money at all… It’s a challenge! Our teams did fantastically and got really really far, and I did a shift in HQ as all the teams were returning from their travels, which was really fun too. Luckily I wasn’t on the graveyard shift because I heard that got a bit eerie!
The next thing that’s been going on this month is the Student’s Union elections for the new sabbatical team starting in June. These elections are held every year and you kind of have to see it to believe it. The amount of work the candidates put in is crazy and they are out campaigning all week trying to get students to vote for them. The sabbatical officers are an elected team consisting of a President and 6 Vice Presidents who cover Education, Welfare, Sports, Heath-Park campus, Postgraduate Students and Societies. Sabs are an important part of student life since they are the Directors of the Students’ Union and represent the student voice for the time they are in their post. For this reason it’s important to vote and get involved with the election process – even though quite a lot of students don’t. One of my housemates ran for VP Societies and it was a busy week – our whole house was covered in campaign gear and flyers! The new team have now been elected, so if your joining Cardiff in September this year go to cardiffstudents.com and click on ‘Your Voice’ to look at who will be representing you.
So… anything else? Well reader, yes there has been. I did say it was a busy month!
I’ve been working on a project at work which is going really well, looking into the data for the NSS. I’m starting to get results which is really exciting and so I’ll be making a poster to take with me to a conference I’m attending in April. The conference is being run by the London Mathematical Society and is for Women in Science, which is really cool – there are some great looking key speeches about Big Data and Quantum mathematics, as well as epidemiology, which will hopefully touch on things like the recent Ebola outbreak. Using Maths to model the spread of diseases is a very important field – but not one that springs to mind when you think of the subject! I’ll let you know how the poster goes and maybe post on it on here once it’s finished!
As well as that I’ve been helping to organise some new videos for SVC about our year in review and also about our history, which is a really interesting subject.
SVC started in the 1960s as a student group called Cardiff Student Community Action who were part of a nationwide scheme to involve students in the community. At this time anyone with learning disabilities usually lived in an institution for their whole lives, but the students recognised that people needed to be part of the community. As a result they worked with the University and Cardiff council, and took some of the adults with learning disabilities into their own home, and taught them the skills they needed to live as part of the community. This was hugely successful and today this model for supported living is used, we think that the model created by Cardiff students was the first one in Europe, and was definitely the first in the UK. It eventually branched off into Cardiff University Social Services which eventually became Innovate Trust, who we still work closely with to this day. This is an amazing story and shows what a rich history SVC has – so we are making a video to document it!
Lastly in my news for this month, I am going to be a Student Mentor next year! The scheme is run by the University to support first year undergraduates who are just starting University, and will be the first year it is run in the School of Maths which I am really excited about. My training is in a few weeks’ time and I will have an official mentoring qualification which is really cool.
I know I said I’d read a book each month, and so far that’s going well! In January I read The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide, and in February I read The Gold Finch by Donna Tartt which was fantatsic. It’s been a while since I read a proper fiction novel over less than 3 months… This month I’m reading Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese… I’ll let you know if I actually get through it next time I post ;) I’ve been using Good Reads to log my progress through the books and make comments on them after I finish – it’s great! And you don’t have to pay a penny to use it either.
That’s all for now – in the next month I will be going on QAA training so I will let you know how it goes in the next update!
PS If you’re thinking of coming to Uni in 2016/17 then now is a good time to start looking around Universities and thinking about your Personal Statement – just a heads up!