This year has also provided the Union with an opportunity to be innovative, ambitious and take a refreshed look at our delivery.
The 2020/21 academic year has been a year of uncertainty under the difficult restraints of the coronavirus pandemic. However, it has also provided the Union with an opportunity to be innovative, ambitious and take a refreshed look at our delivery as we continue to create a vibrant and inclusive community which all students are proud to be a part of.
In light of the on-going pandemic, the officer trustees set out four key themes to positively affect the student experience at Derby. These themes were equality, diversity and inclusion, student communities, wellbeing, and student communications. The officers and the wider Union have made significant progress in all these areas as we continue to meet the needs of, and provide opportunities, for the student population.
In what has been an unprecedented year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the Union and reflect on the positive impact we have made despite the challenges. We also owe thanks to the University for their continued trust and support to enable us to keep delivering a high-quality student experience. We will reflect on this year and continue the hard work and progress that has been made to ensure that student voice and opportunities continue to improve and prosper for the student body at the University of Derby.
Some of our most notable achievements include…
- Creating a Covid-secure Freshers Village which took into account all of the government guidance and precautions, while still giving students the opportunity to socialise, meet new people, discover businesses from the local area and try new activities through a mixed medium of in-person and online events
- Supporting students that were self-isolating by collaborating with the University to manage a Covid hotline. The hotline focused on calling students who were isolating for general check-ins and signposting them to additional support across the University where necessary. We also provided hundreds of ‘lootboxes’ with snacks, drinks and tips on how to stay positive, active and healthy
- Moving our popular awards season online and seeing people check in to watch live from across the University community. The awards were hosted by staff and students from the Union and University and we managed to deliver over 50 amazing awards to people, making a significant positive impact to the community.
Our attention now turns to the planning of next academic year and I would like to take a moment to wish the incoming officer team every success in post. I am confident that they will continue to represent the students at the University of Derby effectively and make a significant contribution to the remobilisation of in-person activity.
While there is still uncertainty around the date when restrictions may ease, we are committed to providing opportunities for students to have a great time and meet new people safely, socialise, try new sports and activities, alongside offering advice and support where necessary.
We know that after this year students’ expectations will be high. Therefore, we are challenging ourselves to deliver a Freshers and induction programme which is innovative for both new and returning students. Planning is well underway and we look forward to updating the University community on our bold and exciting plans very soon!