Your First Semester Wrapped 2023

The first semester at the Students’ Union is complete.  

From the clubs that made you tick to the motions passed in Student Council, here’s a recap of your first semester at your Students’ Union:

SU Clubs & Societies

  • 2023 was a record-breaking year for SU Clubs & Societies with Society memberships hitting at an all-time high over the summer. As of this semester, memberships are currently 14,760 (Societies: 11,448, Sporting Clubs: 3,312).
  • The Stitching and Bitching Society was the most popular society, bringing together 367 like-minded crafters to crochet, knit and natter. 
  • The Men’s Soccer Club was the largest sporting club with 362 members.
  • There were 12 new SU Clubs and Societies this semester. So, whether you’re looking to flex your Rubik’s Cube solving skills, hoedown, or delve into the world of cyber security, there’s something for everyone.
  • Elsewhere Walkie Talkie Girlies, launched its walking and talking group. In recognition that women can feel unsafe when walking alone, they plan to bring awareness to women’s safety issues and raise money for women’s charities.
  • None of these your thing? Find more info on our 230+ Clubs and Societies.

SU Volunteer

  • Our Volunteering & Wellbeing Fair was attended by 791 of you, along with 60 organisations.
  • 99 student volunteers helped local children and young people with their homework across 16 community clubs. If you’d like to get involved, applications are open until Tuesday 16 January 2024.
  • 216 students lent a hand to their community and delivered 5 community regeneration projects, including a South Belfast Litter Pick and Community Gardening. Become one of our Handy Helpers.
  • Jump IN – your jumping off point into the wonderful world of volunteering – delivered 7 activities including a workshop on healthy relationships and an information stall with Guide Dogs NI.
  • QUB RAG, the official fundraising group of the Students’ Union, facilitated a kindness drop to fundraise for local charities Hope 4 Life and Brainwaves NI.
  • Working alongside Queen’s Accommodation, SU Volunteer helped raise £15,260 for British Heart Foundation’s research into cures and treatments. A total of 1,090 bags of donated items were delivered to the British Heart Foundation (that’s the equivalent of 19.1 tonnes diverted from landfill!).
  • If you fancy getting involved in any of this type of thing next semester, find out more here.

Mental Health & Wellbeing

  • We kick-started a campaign to provide 5,000 free hot meals to students, along with tips to help stay warm in winter, and gave out 900 prizes including hot water bottles, fleece blankets, and microwavable heat packs. Keep your eyes peeled in January for more free meals.
  • The Pantry was visited almost 9,000 times.
  • There were 6 Sensory Space and Zen Den events with a range of resources to help aid good wellbeing including weighted blankets, held massagers, therapy putty, SAD lamps, kinetic sand, and more! There will be more of these in 2024.
  • 2 cooking demos with Suzie Lee took place, focusing on ingredients available from The Pantry. If you missed the demo, check out how to make Suzie Lee’s quick no-bake granola bars here.
  • 9 wellbeing workshops were held in the SU on topics including transitioning to university and academic skills for neurodiverse students. Keep up to speed with upcoming events here.

SU Enterprise

  • 30 ambitious entrepreneurs entered the 2023-24 Innovateher Programme where they’ll develop vital business skills, meet like-minded students and learn from inspirational business-women.
  • 40 business 1-2-1s were held. Get in touch to take advantage of the expert advice and support we have on offer.
  • A share of £7,000 was split between the winners of the annual What’s the Big Idea competition for those with an exciting and novel business idea.
  • The Make it Happen Fund opened for applications with a whopping £25k up for grabs for students with a business idea they want to develop.
  • Got a business idea? You could be in with a chance of winning a share of an amazing £20k prize pot. Applications for QUB Dragon’s Den are now open.

SU Voice

  • 712 students signed up to amplify your voices as a Course Representative.
  • 10 Student Associations were established to better represent student groups, including the QUB Trans Students’ Association and the QUB International Students’ Association.
  • 3 Student Councils were held, and a number of motions were passed to improve student life. This included a motion ensure that anyone who works in the SU receives consent, bystander or disclosure training. The aim is to minimise potential further harm to vulnerable students who may be opening up about a distressing situation to an SU member of staff.
  • Any Queen’s student can submit an issue for discussion, a question for a Student Officer or attend a Council meeting. Get involved here.

Your Student Officers

  • Your Student Officers had a busy semester working to amplify student voices and improve university life. This included progressing the motions passed by Student Council, such as better support for parents across the SU. SO’s are pushing for items like wet wipes, nappies and baby food to be provided in The Pantry. They are also pushing for a private comfortable feeding room to give parents the option of somewhere quiet to feed their baby.
  • 5 one-to-ones took place between SU President Beth Elder and Vice-Chancellor Ian Greer.
  • 2 Senate Meeting took place with the University’s governing body which the SU president also sits on.
  • 1 All Student Vote otherwise known as a Referendum took place – results can be found here.
  • 10 meetings were hosted to advance consent culture at Queen’s.
  • Student officers secured additional funding to provide free lunches and breakfasts.
  • 3 Planning and Finance committees were attended. Your SU President argued against the rise of accommodation fees and urged for increased bursaries for students with lower incomes.
  • 32 Education strategy meetings were attended.
  • 33 induction talks were delivered.
  • 9 events were coordinated including the RAG Pub Crawl and the Big Movie Night In.
  • 10,000 condoms were distributed to students to promote safe sex. 
  • 27 graduations were attended.
  • 22 sustainability events and meetings were attended.
  • £15,000 worth of funding was secured for drug and alcohol harm reduction.
  • To find out more about the role of Student Officers or get in contact with them, click here

Roll on 2024! We’re excited to see what the next semester brings.

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