The Vice President (Welfare), Jack McGuinness, here to give you an update on what I've been working on.
Hi everyone, I’m Jack McGuinness, the Vice President (Welfare) for this academic year, here to give you an update on some of the stuff I have been working on to better represent you and your needs here at the University of Derby.
Black History Month
A huge part of my remit is ensuring that underrepresented groups at the University of Derby are brought forward into the limelight and advocated for like the rest of the student population.
Some of this is done through our six main liberation months, the first of which is Black History Month. The 2022-23 President for the Derby Union of Students, Owen Marques, said “The month alone should be a point in which we raise the importance of black history but ultimately their history is our history.”
In order to ensure that we were promoting this, I worked in the Black History Month Working Group the University of Derby had set up to develop the Uni’s plans for October, providing the student feedback into all the projects we talked about.
For the month, we’ve worked on Sense of Belonging presentation and research, 50 years of hip-hop and much more. One of the more Union of Students focused events was the Black History Fair, where we had the opportunity for students to have some food and drink, and invited some societies to come advertise themselves to potential members, to expand those areas where people can come together, meet new people and feel part of the student community.
Student safety is an important part of student life. As part of my remit, and to look after students’ welfare during their time at Derby, I’ve been attending training and conferences on the new student safety app, Safezone, so we can best understand and market how it benefits students.
Working in conjunction with the security and the IT Services to market this new software to students, we’ve had over 630 people download the app over the course of Freshers’.
If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can do so by clicking on the link.
On top of that, I’ve been developing a nighttime economy plan for the Executive Officers (President, Vice President (Activities), Vice President (Education)) to allow us to be present on nights out, handing out kits and information to stay safe and get the most enjoyment out of the nights out.
Ease post-university anxiety
One of the first parts that can cause anxiety for students when they are in their third year, is finding the next stage in their career, more specifically, finding a job.
To help ease the anxiety that can come from this, I’ve been working with the Careers and Employment Service, CES, at the University, to understand what careers fairs are currently available for students to attend on sites, marketing them across Union channels so as many people know about them as possible.
In addition to Uni careers fairs, I’ve been conducting researching industry specific careers fairs that happen throughout the country and reaching out to recruiters that specialise in recruiting for specific industries to gain further information on any events happening throughout the UK.
Another factor that can greatly contribute to anxiety, both in and out of university life, is having unauthorised people access accounts.
I’ve been having talks with the Chief Digital Officer, Oliver Davy, and IT Associate, Oswin Tagoe, about developing information packs and training on cybersecurity to keep accounts secure from others, ensuring that students have the knowledge to keep their information safe.