Hello lovely people. Long time no see! It's been *quite* a while since I updated this blog and this is due to the work overload, but I will try blogging more often.
I hope you're all safe and may I say..Happy New Year! (I know January is almost over but, better late than never). This pandemic has made me question a lot of things, including myself, what I do, what I want to do, try to be more expressive about how much I care for the people that are close to me!
So to get to the spicy stuff now, here is an, you guessed it, update from Semester 1 this year.
As I have been in this role for a second year now, I think I have gotten more prepared and comfortable being in this position, with the rest of the reps and of course the SU that helps incredibly much. They understand that I am a student and that my top priority is my degree, however, I really enjoy working for them since the environment is so friendly and jolly!
* Remote learning has been a big one for all of us since we kind of were forced into it and I know everyone is trying their best. From collective student feedback, this has been working really well for the School of Arts, with a few pointers which have been allocated and I expect to hear if things have improved in the second semester.
*The Arts Council for the School of Arts on November 25th 2020, was a big success! A lot of course reps attended and shared their feedback, which again for the most part was positive! On the other hand, there were some concerns and feedback about facility matters, for example, the instalment of hot water in the MK building for students to use, fabric costs and digital poverty which have been allocated as well.
*Another prevalent concern I encountered was students who were expressing the need for the laptop scheme. While I understand the situation about this and have talked many times about the scheme, a solution that I found would be useful for now was the anableling of the Dennis Turner fund for people that need a financial boost urgently. So, whoever is eligible will be able to get some further help out of this situation!
*There have also been some International Student Drop-ins in the first Semester, which unfortunately didn't go as planned, but the ones that did were a great help and I hope our international students feel a bit more guided. Lots of concerns about the pandemic and lockdown, especially now that the borders have been closed and students need further guidance. I also assisted in sending formal emails to the University's accommodation as well as the Private Halls to send some form of refund, since we as students were expecting to return back on campus but never got the chance to with the 3rd lockdown. It worked! Hopefully we won't have to stay in our houses for too long, but that depends. Until then, I hope this small but significant action was more than helpful.
*Last but not least, was the creation of server chats on Discord following up from the Arts Council for people to join and relax together. It is a good opportunity for people that feel isolated and lonely to have the chance to talk to others from the same University, chill, joke and get creative together. Another group made by the Illustration students called " The illustrator's Arms" was a big success! This is hosted on Microsoft Teams and it's a fun evening group activity for people to sketch and communicate!
Those were the main issues I encountered during my role throughout Semester 1. I hope Semester 2 will be better and people work hard and united as well as the 1st one! But that's it for now! I hope to hear from you soon!
Please feel free to reach out if you have any feedback or require any assistance. My contact e-mail is: Panagiota.Balatsou@wlv.ac.uk
Many thanks <3