Posted by: sarahwakefield | September 28, 2010

Week Thirteen and Fourteen: getting prepared for the onslaught

The last two weeks before Welcome Week and the influx of students. The exec have been doing lots of hard work to make sure that it’s an exciting and easy for all the societies involved. There has been consolidation of lots of the ideas which we’ve been working on; internationalisation, Fuse TV, reviewing our process of governance, pulling together training of UMSU’s Council and advertising for the role of Union Director – our most senior staff position.

Many international students arrived before welcome week to enjoy the induction programmes provided by the university. Indeed, I stumbled into the international students dance which was going on in Club Academy in the Union. One of the things which saddened me and indeed some of the students I spoke to was the fact that there were no British students there for them to mingle and chat with.

Joe has been working hard to make sure that we as a Union are going to be able to serve our international members well and ensure their experience of Manchester is very much worth the full tuition fees they pay! We are going to be supported by NUS in the coming year as we audit the activities which international students under take in the union to help us understand, not only how we can improve in supporting them, but also how we can help all our members receive a truly ‘internationalised’ experience.

We may be looking at some recommendations which make the University shudder with the possible logistics which may involve integrating all students into the early processes of registration. There is a balance to be struck between ensuring that students from the UK and all over the world can find those who understand their culture and allowing those who want to investigate and try new things to do so.

One really enjoyable element of these two weeks has been seeing the drip drip of students who make the activities in the Union work come back and pester exec about getting moving on achieving things. We’ve had so long in the Union now, it nearly feels like the end of the year and yet my housemates and friends are returning for another year of study, fresh from their holidays and excited about the challenges of the year ahead! Hopefully over the next few weeks I will be able to gather some of that excitement and feed it into the ongoing meetings I am having with the University about the future relationship between the University and the Union.

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