Presidents Blog 10/12/2021

Christmas, Conference, and Cricket!

Hi Everyone,

Hope you have all had a good week and survived the mad weather!! Well looks like some of us are back working from home again as new covid requirements are starting to come back in. I hope in all of this that you are all keeping well. Remember though that if you need to talk to your tutor at any time about anything that is affecting your studies you can, and they will do their best to help you. 

Saturday was our Student Leadership meeting, and we discussed the 50th plans, resolutions for Conference and, also some feedback around student voice week. So, it feels like it has been a long week as after our Student Leadership Team on Saturday night I had an asthma attack which really took it out of me, and I didn’t get out of bed until Sunday afternoon – where I then sat with hot chocolate with the monsters and watched a spiderman film! (which to be honest was lovely!)


Started the day with a great conversation about finding a work-life balance and how to do smarter goals for my PDP. I spent a lot of time making videos, writing articles, writing reports, and on general admin!


I met with Reiss Miller, conference and 50th project manager, we had a catch-up about the 50th and Conference. I then attended a webinar put on by the lawyers that the association use. Tuesday afternoon was the Board of Trustees meeting for the Association. We had a really good discussion around the resolutions for Conference and agreed on them and we also agreed on what we are doing regarding face-to-face activities. It was good to see the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Students Liz Marr in attendance on this one to help the discussion. Please see our statement on the website. Also, check out this Hoot article about what is going on with the business part of Conference and the Resolutions that will be debated and voted on as part of Conference. I then met with Beth Metcalf, director of membership services, where we discussed terms of reference of one of the groups and increasing diversity. Matt Porterfield, VP Admin, and I then had a general catch-up about societies and finance before the Conference Steering committee meeting. We had an update from Dan Moloney, director of engagement, about the business part of Conference and discussions around different sessions that will be taking place. We also discussed the objectives that we will be examining after Conference. I then met with Reiss again quickly to catch up on a couple of issues that had arisen. 


Reiss and I started the day by meeting with Jhumar Johnson, the Vice-Chancellors chief of staff. We discussed the 50th and where it would be good to have input from the Vice-Chancellor, the OU Senior team, and members of the Council. I then caught up with Reiss again and we planned some of the things that we needed to do and, also how we can work with the VC’s office on all our plans. Liz Marr and I then caught up around the Vice Chancellors Executive papers. Reiss and I then had another quick catch-up as sometimes it’s easier to talk than email!! I then had another quick catch-up with Fanni Zombor, VP Engagement. She caught me up on a few projects that she is working on and we discussed the upcoming student consultations. I then met with Nicky Powell, senior volunteer training and wellbeing officer, to discuss upcoming training opportunities. Wednesday ended with a trip to the chiropractor! 


I met with Karen Hart, deputy director of development, to discuss how our 50th plans were going and, also to discuss all things alumni-related. As student voice week is well and truly over now the discussions are now happening in the evaluation phase. Today was a meeting with OU staff to discuss how they think it went. Sue MacCabe, strategic projects, and change coordinator, then met for our weekly catch-up. The rest of Thursday was taken up with admin tasks and more video making!


Another day of admin, after taking my husband for his much-needed covid booster, trying to make sure everything is done before the Christmas break!

I hope that your plans for the Christmas break are going well. I am looking forward to some time off to study and spend time with the monsters! Our Christmas tree arrived this week – much bigger than I anticipated so I will be spending time this weekend sorting that out. It is a living tree so will be planted after Christmas! I love the smell of live trees and I have missed being able to go and see them this year!! I hope you all have a great week and managed to get at least some downtime; I am going to now catch up on some rather disastrous Ashes cricket!! Although, England do look like they are fighting back! Roooooot!!! Go well!! (If you know, you know) See you next time 😊

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Sarah P Jones


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