SRUCSA wins award for Best Small & Specialist Students’ Association in Scotland!
SRUCSA recently won the best Small & Specialist Students’ Association at the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland Awards. This is the first time SRUCSA has won an award and it’s a credit to all the students & officers who have worked hard this year to develop the students’ association (SA). One of the reasons SRUCSA was awarded is because the SA has developed significantly in under 3 years despite operating with one of the smallest SA budgets in Scotland.
“We’ve had some very challenging financial & resource constraints to work with but I’m proud of my fellow officers & students for working hard to continue developing SRUCSA. We’re very grateful for NUS Scotland acknowledging everyone’s efforts this year!” – Alex Robb, SRUCSA President
SRUCSA was recognised for it’s use of social media to overcome the geographic challenges, with a website, facebook & twitter pages established year and this year Instagram has had a big impact and quickly developed a good following. The SRUCSA ‘starter for 10’ was recognised as a simple but effective way of communicating to students. Each week the campus officer compiles a list of 10 things happening within SRUCSA, SRUC or the local community/region, which provides an overview of activities for students to do during the week.
Equality & Diversity
Another point noted by the judging panel was SRUCSA’s on-going development of ‘liberation‘ – an equality & diversity initiative following the NUS model.
Four autonomous campaigns have now formed for BME (Black & Minority Ethnic), Disabled, LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi & Trans) and Women students. Since January, the liberation groups have already achieved a number of things including:
– 2 delegates at the NUS Scotland Black Women in Leadership event
– Opposing the ‘tampon tax’ and providing free sanitary items for students
– LGBT+ history month; Harvey milk presentation and Purple Friday
– Katie (Oatridge CO) speaking about Women in Agriculture at the SRUC International Women’s Day event
– For the first time having SRUC students being SRUCSA delegates at the NUS Scotland LGBT+, Black and Disabled students conferences
– Working on a SRUCSA policy to minimise/oppose the PREVENT agenda on campus
An International Students Society has also been developed, creating a social & support network for international students. There are students from 40 different countries studying at SRUC and the society celebrates this fantastic diversity!
Sports, Societies & Activism
An environment, sustainability & ethics network is being developed to encourage collaboration between environmental societies on different campuses. It brings together students interested in activism and will be the base for the planned divestment campaign. The network has several student projects running and pushes for greater provision of ethical & fairtrade food on campuses. A link is being developed with Re-Act Scotland to allow students to donate items and volunteer to help out in the ongoing refugee crisis. SRUCSA supports the Living Rent Campaign to make private renting more secure, flexible and affordable – often a big issue for students.
SRUCSA have begun developing links with SAYFC and through the Farm Management Society students have been able to engage with the Scottish Government’s Future of Agriculture plan. Sports continues to develop at SRUCSA with men’s football & rugby, women’s rugby & hockey, basketball and badminton teams active across campuses as well as a number of individual athletes representing SRUC at athletics, skiing, cycling, curling and shooting.
There were a number of categories at the NUS Scotland Awards such as campaign, staff member and HE/FE SA of the year. Ayrshire College Students’ Association (ACSA) won FE and the Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland (SAUWS) won HE students’ association of the year which meant all 3 Ayrshire-based students’ associations won awards.
Thank you to all the students who have helped SRUCSA develop into an award-winning students’ association! All SRUC students are automatically members of SRUCSA, if you want to get involved in any aspect of the students’ association please contact your campus officer. If you want to join any of the groups or societies mentioned in this article then click on the following links: