President’s Blog: 30/07/21

It has been a busy week in rainy Bristol...

Hello all,

I hope that you have had a great week. It’s been a mixed bag here in Bristol. Both of my monsters are off school now and my oldest is now out of isolation. Unfortunately, it coincided with not-so-great weather which kept him inside. It was great to start the week with a day off with them though. We watched yet more Marvel!! It has also been a week of reflection as I have had my appraisal this week so needed to be prepared. If any of you follow me on Twitter (@ousapresident) you will have seen my new whiteboard start to fill up with ideas for this next academic year.



Monday was a day of Annual Leave so workwise really quiet. It was also results day for all of those who are doing post-graduate studies.

Tuesday, I met with Allan Musinguzi, who is head of volunteering, to discuss how we attract post-graduate representatives and if there is anything, we can do to attract more students in this space. I then had a meeting with Beth Yearsley from Nottingham University to discuss some training. Me and Dan Moloney, director of engagement, had our regular catch up and we discussed the relationship that we are building with a distance learning university in Canada. The afternoon was the meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Association. Amongst other things on the Agenda was the governance review implementation plan. We are now moving forward on this and you will all hear a lot more over the coming months and be able to have your say. This was flowed straight after by some useful training by Beth Yearsley on how to have a difficult conversation. We all must have them from time to time and as President, I have them more than I would like but this training provided some useful tools to do this. 

Wednesday I caught up with some Admin that had built up whilst I had a few days off. We also had a meeting with the developers of what we are hoping will be an Association App. I then had regular catch-ups with Rob Avaan, chief exec of the Association, Nicky from the Volunteer team, and Graham Rimmer. The best bit of Wednesday was meeting with the four new members of the Student Leadership team, who start on the 1st of August and deliver to them the training they need on how to do their monthly and quarterly reports and the timings of Student Leadership meetings. It was a lovely evening, and I am excited for them to join us in the next few days. 

Thursday was a bit an interesting day. I had my mid-point appraisal. It was great to be able to share with Rob Avaan and Allan, Chair of the Board of Trustees, my ideas and plans for the next year. It was great to share my whiteboard with them and talk them through it. It is always for me uncomfortable to receive feedback, good or bad, so that part of it was hard. Thankfully it was pretty good so I can now breathe!! I then jumped into the meeting about Disclosure Checks and had the first meeting of the Governance review Implementation Consultations working Group (we need shorter titles for groups!!) I then had catch-ups with Sue McCabe, Gabby, and Fanni, Vice President engagement. 

Friday is a morning of writing reports and the last bit of admin to make sure I am up to date.

I hope you all have had a great week and have a great weekend – catch you all next week for the next installment 😊

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Sarah P Jones


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