Your Academic Year Wrapped 21/22

The Summer break is the perfect time to reflect on all the things that we got up to throughout the last year!

Here’s just a snapshot of what your Student Officers and SU Staff have worked on this year to represent and support Queen’s students…

Student Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • We relaunched our OMNI Mental Health campaign and heard from over 2,200 students about what has been impacting their mental health at Queen’s
  • We engaged with over 1,000 students at our on-campus mental health events, including:
    • World Mental Health Day
    • #QUBeWell Week
    • Mental Health in Sport Conference
  • Our staff and student officers took part in a wide range of training workshops and info sessions to better equip them with skills to support Queen’s students, including:
    • AWARE Mood Matters
    • FitHead Change the Language
    • Break the Stigma
    • Overview of Student Wellbeing services
    • Nexus Handling Disclosure
    • Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide
  • A group of our staff members received ‘Look After Yer Mate’ training so that they can deliver this program to student leaders over the summer and over the next academic year
  • We supported the introduction of Drink Spiking Testing Kits in The Speakeasy Bar and promoted safety messages on the dangers of spiking

Student Sexual Health

  • Our weekly Sexual Health Clinic started up again in the SU Building in March 2022 and will be available from a dedicated space in the new Students’ Union at One Elmwood from September 2022
  • We took part in Northern Ireland Public Health Agency’s Sexual Health Awareness week, sharing sexual health promotion messages at an on-campus pop-up event and on our social media platforms
  • We launched our Sexual Harassment Campaign, which was nominated for a USI Student Achievement Award, educating students about consent and sexual harassment, which included:
    • a pledge against sexual harassment
    • consent workshops
    • info stalls
    • eLearning modules
    • safety packs
    • advice and support

Student Academic Representation

  • Following the decision to revert to remote learning for January 2022 we successfully lobbied the University for:
    • automatic 48-hour extensions on all assessments until the end of semester two
    • extended self-certification period of 14-days until the return of in-person learning
    • free re-sits for semester two assessments
    • those unable to be assessed in January 2022 to receive an additional opportunity to be assessed
  • We successfully lobbied the University for the creation of Assessment and Feedback Calendars so students would become aware of when they could expect feedback following assessment, which won Education Campaign of the Year at the USI Student Achievement Awards Ireland
  • We lobbied Schools to ensure students had the individual support they needed to return with confidence
  • We continually lobbied the University on issues surrounding:
    • the availability of online lectures
    • lecture recording
    • availability of online and blended learning resources for students
  • We recruited, trained, and supported over 570 Academic Student Reps in representing and amplifying students’ views, including:
    • Course Reps
    • School Reps
    • Faculty Reps
    • Part-Time Student Officers
  • We represented our students by feeding into the Queen’s Strategy 2030, Education and Skills Plan
  • We continually represented students’ views at the regular Queen’s Academic Sub-Group meetings
  • We held 4 Academic Rep Drop-In sessions per week during term-time to hear the issues and feedback that Reps were receiving from their peers
  • We held three Cross-Faculty Networking Events to give postgraduate students a chance to meet students from other areas of the University
  • We supported students experiencing teaching and learning issues arising from the UCU industrial action
  • We supported students with concerns about the return to campus
  • One of our fantastic Reps also won Academic Representative of the Year at the USI Student Achievement Awards Ireland

External Lobbying

  • We became a Member of NI Assembly All Party Group for Higher Education and Further Education
  • We lobbied:
    • The NI Assembly Members on:
      • Period Products (Free Provision) Bill
      • Climate Change Bill
      • Private Tenancies Bill
      • NUS-USI Students Deserve Better Campaign
      • Mental Health and Wellbeing
      • Support Student Health Heroes campaign
    • The Republic of Ireland government for:
      • The introduction of a visa waiver scheme for visiting students to Republic of Ireland
    • The Dept of Justice for:
      • Students to be included in the Violence against Women and Girls Strategy
    • We met with South Belfast MLAs and Higher Education spokespersons from political parties to discuss student issues, including:
      • Impact of COVID-19
      • Higher Education funding
      • Student housing
    • We delivered joint lobbying effort with NUS-USI focusing on:
      • Sustainable Higher Education funding
      • Student income and maintenance
      • Mental health
      • Student renters’ rights
      • Changing the voting age to 16+
      • Environmental sustainability


  • As a result of years of lobbying by our Student Officer Teams, Queen’s has recognised the climate emergency and is undertaking a multi-million pound investment into a Sustainability Action Plan
  • We lobbied the University for improved support services for student parents and carers
  • We agreed plans with QUB Estates for the introduction of more gender-neutral bathrooms on campus
  • We delivered a day of activist training in conjunction with Belfast Feminist Network and the QUB Gender Network
  • We provided support to student groups campaigning on:
    • PhD Teaching contracts
    • UCU strike action
    • student workers’ rights
  • We successfully lobbied the University to:
    • refund all international students quarantining during the pandemic from Red List Countries in private accommodation £2,500+ each
    • provide Queen’s Accommodation as a free option for international students to quarantine in during the pandemic
  • We grew awareness of Project Choice, the Students’ Union’s pro-choice campaign group, and the current legal arrangements for abortion in NI
  • We supported An Cuman Gaelach in their campaign to secure a QUB Linguistic Residential Scheme in Queen’s Accommodation
  • We supported and coordinated student community activities on campus including
    • Pride
    • Black History Month
  • We supported the UCU industrial action, by:
    • attending picket lines and events
    • communicating the purpose of strike action to students
    • facilitating student activists supporting the strike action
  • We partnered with the QUB Student Wellbeing Service to deliver the rollout of a free period product scheme on campus, funded by the Department for the Economy
  • We partnered with Queen’s Accommodation on initiatives to enhance the sense of community amongst LGBT+ students
  • We partnered with the University to deliver a Report and Support campaign communicating messages on sexual misconduct, bullying, harassment and hate crime to students

Advice SU

  • We advised over 2,346 students on a total of 5,045 issues
  • We helped students unlock over £66k of funding based on the advice we provided
  • Our Advice SU department received a satisfaction rating of 88% in the International Student Barometer Survey
  • 94% of students who completed the Advice SU feedback survey said the advice was clear and independent
  • 91% of students who completed the Advice SU feedback survey said they would recommend the service to another student
  • We teamed up with financial education specialists, Blackbullion, to provide students free of charge access to their money skills online learning platform filled with videos, graphics, and quizzes covering areas such as:
    • 21-Day Money Bootcamp
    • Starting University
    • Savings
    • Budgeting
    • Debt
  • We promoted Blackbullion to students during Development Weeks and will fully promote from September 2022

Clubs & Societies

  • We organised and ran our annual Freshers’ Fair, where more than 10,000 students discovered everything we have to offer
  • We provided £50,000 of funding to Societies
  • We helped to allocate more than £100,000 of funding to Sporting Clubs
  • We ran over 100 online elections for new Club & Society committees
  • We approved the formation of 11 brand new Clubs & Societies started by Queen’s students
  • We recognised students’ amazing achievements at the annual SU Awards
  • We supported 12,000 Clubs & Society student members and 205 active SU Clubs & Societies

Enterprise SU

  • We held 118 business one-to-ones, providing advice and support to students wanting to launch their own venture
  • 24 of the students we supported in applying to external programmes, competitions and initiatives successfully secured a total of almost £400k of funding for their new business ideas
  • We helped 21 students/graduates gain places on Belfast Enterprise Academy and avail of £28k of support and funding
  • Alongside QUBIS, we selected 15 students to participate in the Student Lean Launch Programme each receiving £8k in support and funding
  • Through support received from Enterprise SU, five alumni students secured places on the Ignite 21/22 programme, each receiving £15k in funding from the programme
  • We ran our annual programmes including: Dragons’ Den, What’s the Big Idea? and Innovateher

Raise & Give (RAG)

  • RAG organised and collaborated on a variety of events including:
    • a quiz
    • a karaoke night
    • a movie night
    • speed dating
    • a cold-water dip
    • summer fashion swap
  • RAG raised £4,704 for their elected charities for 20/21, Belfast Samaritans and Save the Children

Volunteer SU

  • We engaged with over 5,000 students in volunteering for a network of 525 volunteer involving organsiations
  • We matched 130 students to one of 14 Homework Clubs, enabling them to support 400 children and young people in the local community
  • We registered 387 students Handy Helpers and held 56 on-campus activities, including:
    • 14 community regeneration projects
    • 31 one-off volunteering activities,
    • training sessions
    • 5 social events
  • Handy Helpers were the recipients of the Live Here Love Here 2022 Connecting Communities Award

Student Voice

  • We managed the election/recruitment, training and support of 700+ Student Reps including:
    • Full-Time Student Officers
    • Part-Time Student Officers
    • Student Councillors
    • Faculty Reps
    • School Reps
    • Course Reps
  • We launched the Democracy Review to make our democracy structures more transparent and accessible where we consulted with students through a survey and focus groups. We presented the to Student Council and have drafted recommendations
  • Supported the Full-Time and Part-Time Student Officer Teams with their lobbying efforts, campaigns and events throughout the academic year

Events and Communications

  • We sent 21 editions of our e-zine Inside SU
  • We posted 1,360 social media posts and stories on our core SU channels
  • We launched a new SU TikTok with content generated by Student Officers and a Student Content Creator Intern
  • We held over 400 events across campus to engage students and raise awareness of your Students’ Union, including:
    • Pop-ups
    • The Speakeasy socials
    • Educational events
    • Student Achievement celebrations
    • Community events including:
      • Day trip around the North Coast
      • Study Sessions in the SU Lounge
      • Game Nights in the SU Lounge
      • Exploring life in Belfast

Have you made it this far? To find out even more about what we achieved this year, be sure to read our full SU Strategic Plan – Annual Action Plan Review Document (2021-22)

We’re looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the next academic year from your new home: the Students’ Union at One Elmwood!

Your new team of Student Officers for 2022/23 have started their term and we’ll be introducing them to you soon but for now it’s time for you to kick back, relax and enjoy your summer!

See you in September 🙂

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