A very warm welcome to the latest edition of the Teesside University Students' Union (TUSU) newsletter. We get in touch every month during the academic year with the latest news and events from your SU unless you ask us to stop by unsubscribing. We hope everyone had a good break and, if you celebrated it, the best Christmas you possibly could. We also want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, although it is off to a difficult start we are optimistic that it will turn out to be much better than 2020 for everyone!
As you may know by now, the SU Building is closed until further notice because of the introduction of a new lockdown. However, just as before, ourselves and our departments continue to be here for you online to advise, support and represent you as you make your way through another uncertain and challenging time. There is a full summary of what is available in the next item. We and your student reps will also keep working to ensure your voice is heard by the most senior figures at the University when decisions are taken about learning, teaching and assessment. And as we approach almost 12 months of dealing with the challenges presented by the coronavirus, we wanted to give you a summary of the excellent collective work done by Student Officers, Student Reps and staff to meet the many challenges it has presented. We also give you our latest position on Teesside Uni accommodation costs and discounted tuition fees. Click here to read the infographic.
Although we cannot provide physical events at present, we are still committed to keeping you engaged and hopefully entertained online during this challenging period. We will have events throughout Refresh from 25th to 29th January, more about that below.
We are also proud to be working with Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind and Teesside University on the hugely important Mentally Healthy Universities Project. Check out the item towards the end of the newsletter for info on how you can participate in free courses delivered by experts to boost your wellbeing and general mental health during and beyond the lockdown period.
And we want to remind you that we are rapidly approaching the elections period! If you fancy getting paid over £23,000 per year to lead your SU and make a real difference to all students by doing our jobs next year then make sure you check out tees-su.org.uk/elections or the item further down this newsletter now! Past experience or a lot of involvement in your SU is far less important than a desire to help students and a willingness to work hard, so don't assume you're not right for the roles! We are more than happy to answer any questions you have too, drop us a line through email@example.com for more.
Have a good month, and please stay safe and be responsible! We know it isn't easy to be back in lockdown but the more we all follow the new guidelines, the quicker we will be out of it and, hopefully, into a new normal!
Alan, George and Elisha – Student Officers 2020/21
We are sorry to say that your SU Building is now closed until further notice following the recent introduction of a new lockdown, it is not a decision we have taken lightly, but the safety of students and our staff MUST come first. We know lockdown isn't easy but please stay safe and be responsible over coming days and weeks, it will be the quickest way out of this again.
BUT...We are still here for you online on weekdays throughout lockdown. We will offer help, support, advice and activities throughout the new lockdown as listed below. We will also continue to ensure your voice and opinions are heard by the most senior figures at the University as decisions about learning, teaching and assessment are taken.
Your Student Officers Alan Lofthouse (President Education), George Reeves (President Activities) and Elisha Lycett (President Welfare) will be available online on weekdays to answer questions and help with your issues; you can find contact details through tees-su.org.uk/officers. They will also continue to represent students at a range of virtual meetings with the University as critical decisions are taken and ensure that your SU is probably run.
School Reps and Course Reps will continue to work gathering feedback from all students and relay this to the most senior figures in each school. Find out more about their work and how to get in touch with your reps through tees-su.org.uk/studentreps or their Facebook School Reps - Teesside.
You can also view a short infographic detailing the collective work done by Student Officers, Student Reps and staff at TUSU in the building and online to meet the huge challenges posed by coronavirus. We also answer a couple of frequent questions from students, including where we stand on Teesside Uni accommodation costs and a reduction in Tuition Fees. Click here to read it now.
We will be running a range of online events to welcome you back to University and support you through the difficult period ahead. More info to come soon on tees-su.org.uk/events and our various social media so stay tuned!
While there wasn't a great deal that took place during 2020 to look back on fondly we are still very proud of the collective contribution our Student Officers, Student Reps and staff made to student life. tees-su.org.uk/impact details the work our services did, the campaigns and events we run, the way we kept the SU financially sound and of course, how we rose to the many challenges presented by the coronavirus.
Teesside University Students' Union (TUSU) is led by students for students, and from Mon, 22nd February, four incredible opportunities come around again!
Any current student at Teesside University* can run in our elections to find the next three people who get paid over £23,000 per year to lead TUSU and speak up for all students as President Education, President Activities and President Welfare (you may only run for one of these positions).
In a separate election, you could also run for one of the three positions available representing Teesside University at the single biggest, annual gathering of students and students' union. You would join the Student Officers to represent all Teesside Uni students are heard on the big stage at the NUS National Conference 2021, which is an online event this year.
Just running as a candidate is an amazing experience and a great way to boost your skills and widen your experience while ensuring we have properly contested elections with as high a voter turnout as possible! And if you are interested, NOW is the time to start getting organised! Drop firstname.lastname@example.org a line with questions about running in the elections and to speak to current Student Officers/ key support staff. There is also a wealth of information, all the key dates for your diary and essential downloads through tees-su.org.uk/elections.
*There are various factors which may prevent you being eligible to be a Trustee of Teesside University Students' Union and thus running in the Student Officer elections. Click here to find out more or contact us using the elections e-mail address for a confidential chat about your situation.
Although we cannot run physical events at present, we are still determined to welcome students back for Semester 2 properly. Our Virtual Refresh Week runs from Mon, 25th January to Friday, 29th January and will include:
All week - The SU Student Support (SUSS) and TUSU Activities teams will be online through their Facebook pages or email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to offer help advice and support. Speak to SUSS about money, housing, your course, personal issues and more. Meanwhile, the Activities team will help with queries about sports clubs, societies, volunteering, employability, and other student activities.
Mon, 25th January - Talk to TUSU: Chat online with your Student Officers and put any questions you have about your SU and any aspects of student life.
Wed, 27th January - Wellbeing Wednesday: Elisha Lycett (President Welfare) teams up with a range of key partners to provide essential info on staying physically and mentally healthy during these tough times.
Wed, 27th January - Students Supporting Students: Elisha Lycett (President Welfare) teams up with Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind to launch what we hope will become a regular online support group for students during the lockdown. Grab a hot drink, settle down in front of your device and meet new people and have a chat about how life is going for you.
Thu, 28th January - Refresh Elections Special: Current Student Officers Alan Lofthouse (President Education) and George Reeves (President Activities) are leaving their posts at the end of June after two years in the roles. They will be online to share their experiences, explain why you should want to succeed them and answer any elections-related questions you have.
Fri, 29th January - Fun Friday: As the title suggests, we are simply going to try and cheer you up and offer a bit of escapism from lockdown! So nothing serious or academic, no advertising and no mention of coronavirus, just shares of our favourite funny video clips and exclusive live music from brilliant local musicians.
Even though most of you will not be on campus much this coming semester, your Course and School Representatives will still be working tirelessly to ensure that you have a positive academic experience at Teesside.
It may not be possible to meet your reps as much face-to-face at the moment; however, there are still plenty of ways to contact your reps if you are experiencing an issue with your course or have some feedback about your studies, good or bad! You can also keep updated with what has been happening in your school and what your reps have been doing via our social media channels.
If you would like to contact your reps, you can do so via e-mail, Facebook, or Instagram. All details can be found on our website tees-su.org.uk/schoolreps.
You've earned a treat after a terrible 2020 and a tough start to 2021! So, if you haven't already, why not get yourself the TOTUM app and card for a one-off fee of just £13 or three years for just £24.99 and open up the door to 12, 24 or 36 months of savings, discounts, exclusive card-holder only offers and more! It's the only OFFICIAL student discount app and card and the only one your TUSU promotes. You won't just be securing yourself money off fashion, music, food, drink, academic materials, and more. You will also be helping your SU as we get a proportion of every sale to reinvest in our facilities, spaces and services!
At Mind, we believe that knowing how to look after your mental health and wellbeing is an important part of university life, and even more so now. Since September 2019, the Mind Mentally Healthy Universities pilot project has been working with Teesside University to support students in learning how to look after and maintain their mental health and wellbeing. Over the past year, the importance of this work has been further highlighted due to Covid-19. While the vaccines' rollout helps us feel like there is a light at the end of this very long tunnel, it does not make current day-to-day living any less challenging while we still have to adhere to restrictions.
Over the past two years, we have worked with university students to develop workshops and courses specifically for students to increase awareness of the effects that university life can have on our mental health and learn how to be proactive in looking after our wellbeing.
Over the next six months, we will be offering two individual workshops ('Wellbeing Essentials for Students' and 'Looking After Your Mental Health at Work') and a short four-part course ('Tools & Techniques for Student Mental Health') to all students at Teesside University. Experienced mental health trainers will deliver the courses. All students who attend will receive a certificate of attendance and access to a student resource hub that contains further information and tips relating to mental well-being.
All sessions create a space for students to discuss and learn about mental health with peers, share experiences and knowledge, and break down stigma. Sessions are open to any student - you don't need any previous knowledge or experience to sign up, however, please note the sessions are not suitable for anyone who might be experiencing high levels of distress.
Students who have already attended the courses provided an average course rating of 9.1/10and 98.5% said they would recommend the course to a friend.
Looking After Your Mental Health at Work, Wednesday 3rd February @ 1.30 pm – click here to book
Tools & Techniques for Student Mental Health (four-week course) starting Tuesday 16th February @2pm – click here to book
Wellbeing Essentials for Students, Wednesday 24th February @ 1.30 pm – click here to book
Tools & Techniques for Student Mental Health (four-week course) starting Thursday 4th March @ 12 pm – click here to book
Wellbeing Essentials for Students, Wednesday 24th March @ 1.30 pm – click here to book
Tools & Techniques for Student Mental Health (four-week course) starting Tuesday 20th April @ 10 am – click here to book
For more information about the individual courses or to book onto an upcoming course, click on the links provided above or go to Mind-TeesMHU.eventbrite.com. If you have any questions contact email@example.com
Your SU works closely with the University and a range of external agencies such as Cleveland Police, Cleveland Fire and the NHS to try to keep all students safe and well. This is a particularly important time for taking sensible precautions and minimising risk to both yourself and other students.
Check out our tips for staying safe over lockdown.