2014 is over and Western Eye asked you who do you think changed UWE during the last year. We were pleased to see quite a few nominations and we are gladly sharing the results.
They are not necessary representative (the ratio male:female makes that quite clear from the beginning), as they show just those changemakers who were nominated. We are sure that there are a lot of other people here who daily change not only UWE, but the whole world. If you know any of them, email us their stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
Actually, we are quite sure that you change the world around you every day.
You might just not be aware of it yet.
With every small action we take, we leave a trace. We should just hope that it’s a positive one.
“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion,” someone once said. So use 2015 to find your passion, if you haven’t already, and start changing the little things. They add up and build the big picture.
Being a changemaker can also mean doing your thing well.
WE can assure you that 2015 will be better, brighter and happier.
In order for that to happen though, remember that you should not make any compromises with the important things in life and that you should allow yourself to be happy. Appreciate the little things and don’t waste your time, because before you blink, we will be celebrating the beginning of 2016.
There is no formal winner of the UWE Changemakers 2014, but there is one person who got way more nominations than anyone else. He is the UWESU Community & Welfare Officer and the President of the UWESU Mental Health Campaign Will Anderson.
In the past year he has been actively fighting the stigma related to mental health and has organised numerous events with the Mental Health Campaign. He also succeeded in getting one of the Bristol Bus Boycott founding members to talk at the Live Music Society’s Love Music Hate Racism event.
He passed several motions during the UWESU AGM to ensure that staff have training regarding student’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as to lobby the university against cuts to funds and bursaries “He just always seems to be doing something great for the students and is really enthusiastic in everything that he does,” one of the people who nominated him says.
“I’d have to say that the Network awards were the best thing in 2014 for me as I was really proud to have won the award for “Best individual contribution to a campaign or identity Network” for my work as President of the Mental Health Campaign and seeing our Network win the award for “Best New Network,” Will says.
Blake Seers is studying Drama and is the elected Bower Ashton campus officer. He is ensuring that Bower students are not forgotten.
The drama students came to Bower a few months ago. In that short period Blake managed to take an active part in making one of the biggest wishes of the 2 000 Bower students come true – a cashpoint is coming on side.
Blake is working closely with students on different timetabling issues and is ready to hear about all problems of the students.
He is also the Vice President of the Live Music society that regularly organises events that are often open to everyone.
“He’s been working hard to sort the furniture out on bower,” a source said. “He’s really funny, sweet and has been working hard for Bower Ashton”
Ali is Media and Communications Officer on the Societies Committee. He is ensuring that the SU remembers the student media and its unique position. WE always appreciate his support!
He is also the president of the Live Music society that organises various interesting events including Love Music Hate Racism and the fundraising Oxjam@UWE.
“Not only is Ali one of the hardest working people I know and an amazing society President but he is someone who is deeply principled that no one’s work should be forgotten or unappreciated and it really shows in everything he does,” the person who nominated him says.
Daniel Minty is the UWESU Media Personality of the year and is energetically changing broadcast around UWE.
He was running Hub Radio in 2013/2014 and made sure that it is as engaging as possible.
You can now often see him filming on different events, including the Freshers’ fair and the AGM.
In March he traveled to 19 different student radio stations across the country to get parts of his hair cut for charity. But the pain was rewarding – he raised £900.
“2014 has been an absolute rollercoaster of events, but I would never expect anything less,” he says.
“I will remember the 2014 beast as an exciting, painful, challenging, active year. I’ve been all over the UK, doing all sorts of wonderful stuff from filming at the Radio Festival in Salford to working the radio station as a presenter at Glastonbury Festival.”
2015 won’t be any less exciting for Minty, as he is the Exec Producer of a project that will bring Varsity and the SU elections to a new level, providing live broadcast coverage of all major events.
This year the feminist society got a new push. Molly Rose played a big part in it and is determined to keep improving it.
“Molly Rose led the efforts to successfully restore UWE’s feminist society, which promotes student voices and discussion. She’s continuing to support these goals with the society’s meetings on both Frenchay and Bower Ashton campuses which provide welcoming conversation spaces on issues of gender and discrimination,” the person who nominated her says.
“I think the biggest problem was ultimately finding the confidence to start it. If there’s no sign that anyone is really interested in getting involved in something you feel passionate about, it felt really inspiring when after we all finally had the courage to start organising, the turn out ended up being really amazing with about 30 people at our first meeting,” Molly says.
“Developing the society gave me an opportunity to begin pursuing things that I feel really passionately about. Definitely meeting so many amazingly passionate people throughout UWE and Bristol uni was the best thing for me of 2014!”
As team President, Liam spearheaded the biggest recruitment drive in the history of UWE Ultimate Frisbee. This year, the team saw its membership double as the sport becomes increasingly popular across the globe, as well as at UWE. Liam, or Daisy as he’s affectionately named within the squad, is a prime example of encouragement and team spirit. He fronted the recruitment team at the beginning of the year and continues to be an instrumental part of the team both on and off the pitch.
Asked about his role in the team and how the growth came about, Liam was characteristically humble: “we bring in our new members by telling them how UWE Ultimate welcomes people of all sporting abilities and that Ultimate Frisbee as a sport is built around ‘the spirit of the game’.
And We keep our members by allowing them to take the sport as casually or competitively as they like. Our weekly training sessions offer a place where they can learn a new sport, keep healthy and most importantly have a great time doing so, it’s a very friendly environment.”
Charlie is the elected full-time President of the SU for the second year and over this period he achieved a lot supported by his team.
All undergraduate students got £15 printing credit and all arts undergraduate students received further £75 for material. That was the result of Charlie’s Hidden Cost campaign, part of his manifesto for his first mandate.
Charlie also ran a campaign to improve the bus service in Bristol. As a result there are now more frequent buses running later in the night. After the start of the academic year, he chaired a meeting with students and representatives from Wessex to follow-up on The only way is Wessex? and to ensure that the bus service keeps improving.
“Best thing for me in 2014 was Freshers Fair! The biggest and the best we have ever had,” Charlie says
“Biggest achievement was leading the Settle-In Team project which made sure every new students’ door was knocked on in the first week of term.”
2015 is the year of the general elections and Charlie is already focusing on encouraging more students to vote.
Interestingly, Charlie is the only nominated person who gets paid to be a changemaker. If you want to have his job and work constantly for the improvement of the student life at UWE, make sure you stand for the upcoming SU elections.