Charlotte’s Blog – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

It was a cold and frosty morning…

‘It’s snowing!’ has been the prevailing cry in the office in the last couple of days, finally heralding the start of the cold, northern winter.  Term has ended, the shops are shut and our office has been covered in Tinsel. It must be nearly Christmas! Again. (Has it really been a year already?).

We’ll be up here in our office (V/N/120) until December the 22nd, so do pop in and say hello! If you’re struggling for inspiration to amuse yourself over the winter break, Percy the Christmas Penguin (currently atop the GSA Christmas tree) fronts this year’s GSA Christmas Vacation guide http://www.yorkgsa.org/2017/11/28/gsa-and-student-hub-christmas-vacation-guide-for-students-on-campus/, for all events and opening times of University services. There’s a lot going on, from weekly Christmas film screenings to craft afternoons.

It’s been great to see so many people at GSA events over the last three months, from Welcome Week to our Comedy and Quiz nights to our recent Ceilidh. I can’t wait to see what events Fatma and Matt have planned for next year! Our Tea and Coffee events on a Friday have been so useful in understanding the problems faced by both pgt and pgr students – as a History student, it’s great to hear how science students fare!

Christmas is a time for reflection (as well as over-eating), so here are a few of the major things I’ve been working on this term:

Together York – The University, GSA and YUSU are running a number of projects under the Together York banner, such as looking at the international student experience, and departmental equity.
Safe and Ethical Research event: More to follow next term!
Decorating the GSA Office*
Pre-arrivals communications for new postgraduates: Hopefully to fall under the Together York banner, I’ve been looking at streamlining communications to ensure information is in the right place, at the right time!
Programme review and re-validation: All programmes at York are assessed to make sure that they remain up to date and respond to student feedback – I sit on many of these panels to ensure that the student voice is heard.
Alongside these projects (and more), I attend a large number of university committees, looking at things such as Assessment regulations, the approval of new MA courses, to the evaluation of learning space needs.  It’s been fascinating for me to be involved in the University structure at all levels, from deciding on the colour of carpet tiles in a buildings working group to high level strategy at University Council.

For those of you with assignments or exams in the New Year, planning your time is key- nobody wants to be working on Christmas Day! Should you find stress building up, we’ll be running some workshops and drop-in sessions during the assessment period early next term,  with free give aways.**

Whatever you’re doing over the Christmas Break, Have fun, stay safe, keep warm, and I’ll see you in the New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Charlotte x

GSA President
*Whilst not strictly an academic task, preparing the office for Christmas was a considerable struggle, given the Grinch-like characteristics of a nameless member of the GSA team….

**So far the content of the give-away has been kept a secret. I’m hoping its chocolate based.

11th December 2017