A very warm welcome to the Freshers edition of our newsletter. We will be in touch every month this academic year unless you ask us to stop by unsubscribing. We will have the latest news on the re-opening of the Students' Union building and the availability of our various services. We will also keep you up to date with upcoming events, campaigns, opportunities and more.
We know what a challenging year this has been for everyone and how difficult it continues to be. We also acknowledge that this will be a very different Freshers than many of you would have had in mind. However, no matter if you are here on campus or studying from home you can be sure TUSU will be here for you throughout this academic year. We are still aiming to run as many physical events as we safely can, and we will have a wide range of online events to support and inform you. Find out more about that further down the newsletter.
The SU Building is, subject to no changes in the advice we receive or the introduction of localised lockdowns, open from Fri, 18th September for visits. The safety of students and of course our staff is our highest priority, and we will be asking all visitors to help us to help you. We detail how you can do just that in the next article and on tees-su.org.uk/coronasupport.
We do hope you will not be discouraged from coming into our building, using the services that are open, attending events and using our social spaces. We look forward to speaking to you in person or online in the coming weeks, and we hope that you have the best possible semester one. Once again, no matter who you are and no matter how much time you can spend on campus, your SU is here for you.
Alan, George and Elisha – Student Officers 2020/21
You may have read or watched news of the latest changes to the guidelines from central government about dealing with the worrying resurgence of Coronavirus infections. We know these are further unsettling and worrying developments in what has already been a difficult year, but we wanted to reassure you that we will be doing all that we possibly can here at TUSU to maintain a safe and comprehensive service for all students. Here is how the latest changes will affect what we do in coming days and weeks here at Teesside University Students' Union (TUSU) and how we will continue to minimise the risk of you being infected or spreading infection if you do choose to use the SU Building:
We know it isn't easy, but we would urge you to keep following all of the safety guidelines in place when you visit the SU Building or other public places on or off-campus, it is the only way that we can collectively reduce the spike in cases and avoid a local or national lockdown.
You can do your bit by:
Freshers 2020 at TUSU runs from Fri, 18th to Sat, 26th September and despite the difficult circumstances right now we will be doing all we possibly can to inform, represent, support and entertain students online and in person.
The week will be a mix of online events through the day, including:
>>> Online support throughout the week, >>> A chance to chat online with your Student Officers, >>> Virtual Societies and Virtual Sports Clubs events, >>> Special online editions of our weekly Wellbeing Wednesday event, >>> A trip to the historic and beautiful seaside town of Saltburn, >>> FREE hot drinks and cake plus the chance to meet new people in a socially distanced setting, >>> Info on the various faith support and groups that are available on campus and around Teesside.
And physical events at night in our carefully managed venues where the safety of visitors and our staff will be our biggest priority, including:
>>> Welcome Night at the SU, >>> The Sunday Social featuring Parmogeddon, sample Teesside's favourite delicacy, >>> The Moving in Social for those who have joined us on campus and don't need to quarantine, >>> The eagerly awaited return of The Monday Night Quiz, >>> Live, socially distanced stand up comedy hosted by local legend Matt Reed (Bingo Revolution) and featuring three of the best comedians on the circuit right now, >>> Prizes to be won and fun to be had at the brilliant Bingo Revolution, and loads, loads more besides!
Check out everything we have planned and find out how you can get involved through tees-su.org.uk/freshers or facebook.com/tusufreshers
You can also get a wealth of extra info, support, event listings and handy contacts through the digital publications below:
It currently remains unclear what day and evening events we will be able to stage from October 2020 to the end of January 2021. However, we do hope to have campaign and wellbeing related events in the SU Building and to continue to run the ever-popular Monday Night Quiz; every week. We are also committed to having The Terrace and other social spaces open as much as we safely can. Please keep monitoring our social media and tees-su.org.uk/events for details of how you can get involved in person and online this semester.
We remain a Students' Union that is committed to "real world" campaigns which address the issues that really affect all students here at Teesside University. The Student Officers will continue to work tirelessly to ensure you are represented to the most senior figures at the university like the Board of Governors, The Vice-Chancellor and his executive. They will also, with the help of SU Student Support (SUSS), Teesside University and external partners like The NHS, Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire, be running a range of online campaign days. These will cover money management, housing, teaching and learning issues, mental health, sexual health, physical health and much more. Keep an eye on tees-su.org.uk/officers for updates on campaigns and related events.
The TOTUM card and app are the modern equivalents of the National Union of Students (NUS) or NUS Extra card. It is still the only OFFICIAL student discount card and the only one that your SU endorses and benefits from. You can bag yourself incredible savings, discounts and special cardholder only offers on food, drink, cinema, music, fashion, travel, technology and more from just £14.99 for 12 months from the date you buy it. And you can do your bit for your SU as we get a cut of every card sale and payments based on how often you use the TOTUM app.
Even though you will not be on campus as much this 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 that you can contact your reps if you are experiencing an issue with your course or you 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 email, on Facebook or Instagram. All details can be found on our website tees-su.org.uk/schoolreps.
We are proud to have been the recipient of the coveted gold standard in the prestigious and nationally recognised Best Bar None accreditation scheme year in year out for almost a decade for our venue The Terrace. The scheme assesses licensed premises across the UK to consider the quality of staff training, the safety of a venue and how responsible the approach to serving alcohol is. We retained gold standard again in 2020 and we were also delighted to be elevated to the even more prestigious Platinum Club which BBN founded to celebrate the success of venues who achieved 100% in the assessment and 100% in their mystery customer score. Only 15 other students' unions in the UK are members of the platinum club.
Alan Lofthouse, President Education and Chair of the Board of Trustees at TUSU, said: "It was already a fantastic achievement to have achieved gold standard but to now be elevated to this new platinum club is really exceptional. It is testament to the amazing work of all of the staff who work in this area of the students' union from managers and career staff right through to all the student staff, I am delighted that we can say to both students and parents/ guardians that we have one of the safest and most responsibly run venues in the UK."
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 over the freshers period and throughout semester 1.