Student Advisory Board 28/03/22

March 28, 2023

Officer Updates

Emma (VP Liberation and Equality) and Jack (VP Education)began the fourth meeting of the Student Advisory Board by providing an updateon officer activity: attended NUS National Conference, campaigning for GenderExpression Fund, university divestment from fossil fuels (Shell Out), periodpoverty, affordable food on campus, the Guild Awards, and work aroundmitigation and upcoming exams. The Q&A involved extending the £2 meals toPenryn campus (liaising with the Cornwall SU), the university’s stance on hybridexams and AI software, and ongoing concerns around covid.

Update on Guild’s work on sustainability

The Board heard the findings from the Student SustainabilitySurvey: respondents top 3 priorities were education, health, and causing lessdamage. Most students had some or a good knowledge of environmentally friendlyactivities. The top three sources for information: social media, news sources,and university. Most believe its important to take a collaborative approach.However, fewer students felt the Guild or the University’s decision making inthis area included or reflected them.

Reflecting on these findings, the Board agreed thatcollaboration is important as no individual’s actions will make the difference(need business and government). They responded by saying the Guild couldinvolve more students in decision making (e.g. sustainability advisory board,digital screens) rather than email updates. On campaigns, the Board suggested acampaigns fair (for publicity and networking), setting smaller more achievablegoals, carrying on Grand Challenges projects. It was noted it wasn’t clear whatthe Guild currently offers.

The Board reflected the Green Impact Report was a lot ofmoney and its actual impact hard to see so recommended not continuing with it andusing this money to resource other sustainability work.

Future Guild Spaces

While Devonshire House is going to be refurbished soon as aninterim measure, the idea is that the Guild could get a new purpose-builtbuilding in a few years time. The Board discussed what their idealstudent-owned building would include:

- Accessible to all students.
- Spaces for activities (e.g. smaller sports), techsupport in study spaces, free printers.
- Student ideas for design., students running thebuilding, student businesses, pop-ups.
- Better / natural lighting, artificial grass, colour/vibrancy,homely spaces to relax – build around wellbeing rather than function.

The Board also agreed that, if they had to choose betweenthem, they’d prefer more space over more centrality of location.

Approach to Welcome

Welcoming new students to Exeter happens all year round butespecially in September. The Guild is looking to improve how this is done. Ideasto improve it included making freshers fair more accessible or revisitingfundamentally how societies are showcased (e.g. throughout the week andbeyond), integrating with academic induction better, more (and varied) ways topromote all societies. Based on this feedback, the Guild will continue to workon its plan for welcome.