With Fresher’s Week kicking off next Wednesday, altblackpool caught up with Lisa Kelly, president of the SU, to find out what it’s all about.
Who are you?
Well, I’m Lisa Kelly and I am the Higher Education Students’ Union President for 2013/2014 at Blackpool and the Fylde College.
Where do you come from?
Originally Liverpool, although I’ve been in Blackpool so long I’m starting to think that there’s sand in my blood!
What do you do and where do you do it?
The Students’ Union exists to support student representation so it is the voice of our community that drives what we do. At the moment our students, particularly from the local area, are suffering from the current financial crisis that has stricken Blackpool, so our main focus is ensuring their mental and physical wellbeing as well as providing opportunities for enrichment that will lead to skills for employment. I am based at the University Centre off Palatine Road in the main reception area of the Hub (our sparkly new central building which houses the learning resource centre and Grads Cafe.)
What are you doing now?
Drinking a frappucino from our new coffee stall – oh you mean work wise? Well currently I’m working on a strategic plan for the union – it’s a lot more fun that it sounds, I promise! It’s important for us at the union to acknowledge that with the current climate in Blackpool, our students’ needs are unique from those at other institutions. We are working really hard to come up with ways to provide support for our students and create opportunities for them to be more involved in the local community in a way that will create a strong network of young people that can drive Blackpool in a new, positive direction.
What are you doing next?
We are holding our Freshers’ Fairs in the coming weeks. Bispham Campus will host a fair on Wednesday 11th September for local businesses, charities and organisations which will then also be hosted on Thursday 19th September at the University Centre. On the 19th we will also be piloting a new 18+ fair called Freshers’ After Dark, in association with the student social committee where bars and clubs will be able to introduce themselves to our student community – and obviously the obligatory freebies will be knocking around too! Bookings for the fairs are open until Monday so I’m being kept very busy at the moment!
What should we know?
I think the most important thing for me to shout about this year is awareness of our student community. Students are no longer guaranteed to snap up a job because they have a degree and if they do it is often for much less pay than they are worth. Students need the support of their local community through networking and the provision of opportunities to help them compete in the national careers market.
How can we get involved?
Speak to me! No I mean it. So many things can be achieved from a chat. We have all sorts in the pipe line and it would be great to hear from anyone who may be able to help. Give me a call on (01253) 504517 or email me at [email protected] – I’d love to hear from anyone who thinks that they can bring something to the table.
Finally – some wise words please
“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.”
Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man
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