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Thank you and Goodbye, from Hemaka and James

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A goodbye from us…


It’s that time of year. The new officers come in and the old move out. After University, it was very much a case of wanting to give back to the Union, which had offered us so much throughout our time at Worcester, which drove both Hemaka, VP Student Activities and myself, VP Education, to run for our respective positions.

This year has been a rollercoaster ride for both of us. For Hemaka, his second year in post proved extremely productive. A massive achievement was the success of the Worc Hard Play Hard magazine, which highlights great stories from our students across the University. This was extremely important to Hemi. He wanted to share the incredible stories of achievement, including stories from the most modest amongst us who sometimes don’t get the recognition they so deserve. The magazine was well received across the University by students and staff. Another superb achievement was his thorough restructuring of Raise and Give (RAG), but also his focus on inclusivity throughout the year. James, saw massive success with his personal academic tutoring campaign, which aimed to find out what you think of your personal academic tutors (PATs). The PAT survey, as part of the overall campaign, received more than 700 responses from you, the students. This level of student engagement is unprecedented in recent Worcester Students’ Union history and proved pivotal in providing evidence to support the University’s continued work on the PAT system. Another success has been the degree classification campaign. Following a redesign, it envisaged the short but informative document explaining how degree classification is calculated at Worcester in order to support students in assessing how their degree was going and what was needed to achieve their desired result. This worked well, with many students commenting on the ease of use and their improved understanding of the classification system.


As a full time officer you are trusted with leading the Students’ Union to achieve goals in relation to our five year strategic plan. The main focus is enhancing what is on offer to students, improving student experience and developing our services to best support our students. The Union has a small but focused full time team, each member tasked with looking after different areas of the Union. The team wholly supports each other in every aspect of working life, with students at the forefront of every action taken. We like to think we have done our utmost to achieve this. Whether working individually or as a team it was never about what we wanted, but what the students wanted! As key members of the Students’ Union, we worked in collaboration with the University throughout our time in office. This includes being part of the Board of Governors, the University’s senior committee that discusses and employs strategies to enhance the University. This relates specifically to procedures surrounding the strategic direction of the University. On top of this, as officers we are asked to attend many sub-committees to provide student specific viewpoints on a variety of matters. Being an officer is something we would recommend to any student! You are part of a tight knit team, aiming to provide the best time possible for students at Worcester.


On that note we would just like to say a massive thank you to the students for engaging with us, through stressful and fun times, ultimately helping not only you, but us to have an amazing experience whilst in office. We are now handing over to Euan (Vice President Education) and Sophie (Vice President Student Activities), the two new officers for the coming year. They will work alongside your re-elected SU President, Jade, who has made the decision to stay on enhancing your experience. I have every faith that the new team will do a great job. The Union has really come a long way in recent years and we are only getting better, I’m sure the coming year will continue on this upward trajectory. Hemaka and I wish a massive good luck to all three of your officers!


To members of staff at the University, Hemaka and I would like to extend our thanks to you all. The support provided by the University has been nothing short of superb. The collaboration the Union has with you all is not taken for granted and is quite a unique positive of being an officer at Worcester.


To the staff in the Union, from the bottom of our hearts thank you! We will genuinely miss every one of you; we don’t want to leave! The community we have here is something every workforce should aspire to. Every member is passionate about students and supporting students. From advice and support, sports, societies, volunteering and the academic representation scheme, the countless impacts the Union has on the University experience really was what pushed me and Hemaka to become part of the bigger picture. This communal goal enhances our drive to achieve more than we ever have done before, but there is also an overwhelming sense of honesty within the Union. When something is not working it is changed, when something has gone wrong we sort it.


It has been a true pleasure to work here, an experience Hemaka and I will not regret and I’m sure never replicate. We can only wish you all the best in the future and will be sure to keep an eye on the inevitably positive progress of the Union and University. Good luck for next year everyone!


James Gunther

Vice President Education 2016-17


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