Celebrating an award-winning year with SUBU
The Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU) have enjoyed another successful year supporting and nurturing students at BU.
From humble beginnings as the Bournemouth Polytechnic Students’ Union, SUBU has become one of the leading students’ unions in the country. As well as celebrating its 20th anniversary, this year SUBU was shortlisted and won a number of national awards that reflect its significant and diverse impact on the student experience.
SUBU’s Volunteering service developed significantly this year, with more than 700 students doing more than 4,000 hours service in the local community. Key highlights included the establishment of six permanent student-led community projects, with 18 committed student leaders, and the development of a huge community project –The Big Feed – which collected over four tonnes of food for local foodbanks.
This hard work and dedication from SUBU staff and students alike was recognised with a Volunteering Service Award win 2013/14 from the Student Volunteer Network (SVN), while Alexia Browning, one of SUBU’s Volunteer Coordinators, was also shortlisted for an SVN Lifetime Achievement Award.
It was an equally successful year for sports at BU, with the Bournemouth University Boat Club winning ‘Sports Club of the Year’ in the National Union of Students (NUS) Awards. The Boat Club impressed judges with their commitment to introducing new students to their sport, raising money for charity, and working with children in local schools - while also training hard and winning many races throughout the year. After running an international intensive training camp, the Boat Club also narrowly missed qualifying for Henley Regatta this year – a huge achievement for such a small but dedicated club.
SUBU’s Student Representatives were runners-up at the same NUS Awards ceremony in the ‘Best Academic Representation’ category. More than 700 Student Representatives have been trained and are active in representing the views of students across the university to help improve the student experience. The working partnership between BU, SUBU and the students has now been recognised and published by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) as a ‘Good Practice Case Study’ for others to learn from, adding to the commendation BU received from QAA for student learning opportunities.
Finally, Raising And Giving (RAG) had another great year, with a huge £185,000 being raised from their charitable activities -which included trips to Ghana, Nepal, Kilimanjaro, Machu Pichu, and Vietnam. The hugely popular annual ‘LEGGIT’ 24 hour hitch hike challenge saw 158 students raise over £15,000, with this year’s winners reaching the Sahara Desert!
Volunteering has been such a fantastic way to get involved in both SUBU and the local community, and it’s great because it’s so flexible around everything else. I’ve been able to learn new skills and enhance my employability, but most of all I’ve made new friends, had loads of fun and really felt like I’ve made a difference this year.
Chloe Schendel-Wilson, SUBU Volunteering President 2013/14
The Big Feed
It’s not just our large squads training daily and performing well; it’s the charity work, training camps, university engagement and willingness to support our local community that makes BUBC a winning club.
Clive Green, BU Boat Club President 2013/14
BU Boat Club – NUS Sports Club of the Year 2014
Over the last twelve months I have worked closely with SUBU on a number of issues. I am on campus on a weekly basis and give a number of interviews to Media School students for their undergraduate projects.
This year I was pleased to give the SUBU Sabbatical Officers the opportunity to put their concerns about changes to the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) directly to David Willetts MP, the then-Universities Minister, which allowed Bournemouth University a chance to contribute to the consultation on the changes. This is a prime example of the impact SUBU’s work has on a local and national scale.
The SUBU team are always a pleasure to work with, whether that is arranging access to the Home Secretary for NERVE student magazine, hosting student wardens at Westminster or attending community events with them. And it is always a pleasure to see the innovative way RAG go about raising so much for good causes. SUBU are national leaders in this respect.
I have found SUBU to be an enthusiastic and engaged team of individuals and I look forward to continued involvement with SUBU, the university and the wider student body. Representing SUBU and BU is one of the most enjoyable parts of being the Member of Parliament for Bournemouth West.
Conor Burns MP