End of Spring Term Blog – VP Wellbeing and Community – JiaYing Tan
One of the most active parts of the GSA is our regular trips, which I was often on as a Responsible Person to ensure health and safety criteria are met, but also to relax, have fun, and talk to students. This included a visit to Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire, a day out to Go Ape, an overnight stay in Edinburgh with a visit to Lindisfarne, and most recently a trip to Old Trafford in Manchester. We try to balance what trips we can do with a tight budget, but I’m hearing an increase in demand for more residential trips so I’ve been making sure we are looking into that.
On top of that, we’ve had a huge number of wellbeing and welfare events this term designed to support postgrads with their demanding workload while keeping a diverse range of activities open. Social life is a big part of the student experience, and our silent disco, Chinese new year celebrations, Mid-Year ball at the Hospitium, Ceilidh, and trip to see York City FC have all been big social occasions. But where as mingling with other students is one of our aims, reaching out and supporting welfare through our events is also important, which is why I find the success of our new bi-weekly Chill and Chat, the regular wellbeing walks, our visit to York’s Cat Cafe and LGBT History Online were all really meaningful to me.
I have been working with our Head of Research and Sports & Events coordinator to maintain a research campaign about mental health through our newsletter. Mental health is a big thing for every student and one of my priorities as the Wellbeing & Community officer, so trying to have more connections and input from students to understand their concerns lets us provide the best possible support for our members.
I’ve also been working to deliver on my manifesto promise of free sanitary products on campus, and I’m really happy to say that the university has promised to launch a trial period over the third term. Thanks to work from the GSA, YUSU and the University, the main University Library foyer toilets, ground floor Spring Lane Building toilets and the ground floor Ron Cooke Hub toilets should have free sanitary products. Campus should be a place that gives students a sense of belonging, and this is a good first step in the University providing appropriate support to our students.