Message from Furness College Student Liaison Officer 2019-2020 Liam Edgley
Furness College Students’ Union was created with a single purpose; to make student life better. Yet this pandemic has pushed us to the brink, and left us with a tenth of our annual income, a third of our reps and officers, and a fraction of our activities calendar. There is no denying that we really are bruised.
But we are not broken!
In this pandemic we have stood and continue to stand with our students, supporting them in every possible way. An additional £600 funding for mental health campaigns has been secured, Covid safety charters have been produced, mental health resources and opportunities have been collated (see www.lockdown-hub.com for more info) and support has been sought for vulnerable students over the Christmas period.
The Exec. is incredibly proud of the work its officers have undertaken in exceptional circumstances. We do not deny that this way of working is different to usual, however it proves that when push comes to shove that the Union is there for its students.
What we need to do now is bounce back, not backwards. We have been fire-fighting our way through this pandemic, securing more and more support, but now we need to look to the future.
What can we do to build the Union back up, and what lessons can we learn from this pandemic?
• Firstly, we need to create a better financial base. It’s no good if we are relying on events generating income, as the previous year has shown. We need to figure out how we can generate more money, to ensure we can engage and support more of our students.
Which leads onto:
• Secondly, we need to continue this level of support. The Union, and the College, have been at the forefront of student support in the area, but why stop now? Our students need this support and more, and they will continue to need it for years to come. We need to become as proactive, as engaging and as innovative as we were pre-pandemic.
Every Student Liaison Officer wishes to leave the Union in a better position than when they started. They want to build a stronger financial base, or engage more students and reps. Or even to just improve our processes and structures.
I may not have been able to achieve this, but I am eternally proud and grateful for what has been achieved during this pandemic, and the support we have been given. 85% of students felt as though the Union contributed positively to their college experience, highlighting how essential we really are.
We will bounce back, not backwards.
Student Liaison Officer