As the days grew longer and the sun shone brighter, I embarked on a thrilling adventure this summer as Vice-President Activities & Community at Oxford Student Union. It was an extraordinary time, filled with opportunities to make a difference, promote sustainability, and create a vibrant community on and off campus. In this blog post, I'm excited to share my experiences, achievements, and the impact of my role during these sunny months.
Implementing a Sustainable Freshers Fair
One of the first tasks I tackled was to implement a sustainability policy for Freshers Fair 2023. The fair, held in October, is an important event that welcomes new students to the university. I wanted to ensure it was not only fun but also environmentally responsible. We made significant changes, such as reducing single-use plastics, promoting reusable items, and providing information on how students could lead a more sustainable lifestyle. The result was a fair that not only showcased our university's commitment to sustainability but also educated and inspired new students to be eco-conscious.
International Green Skills Conference
Representing the University of Oxford and Oxford SU, I had the privilege of attending the International Green Skills Conference organized by the Department for Education. This conference was a hub of global knowledge and expertise on sustainable practices and green skills. It was an incredible opportunity to learn and connect with experts, which has enabled us to bring back valuable insights and initiatives to our university community.
Climate Library Project
One of my most ambitious projects this summer was preparing the Climate Library project. This initiative is aimed at providing easy access to a wide array of environmental resources for students, faculty, and researchers. It will serve as a knowledge hub to empower individuals to explore, understand, and act on climate change. The project's development was a complex but exciting journey that I'm certain will have a lasting impact on our community's understanding of environmental issues.
Engaging with Key Stakeholders and Local Charity Organizers
Collaboration is at the heart of meaningful change. I took the opportunity to meet with key university stakeholders and local charity organizers to strengthen our partnerships. We discussed ways to address community needs, enhance engagement, and create a network of support to promote sustainability and social initiatives. These groups included Sunrise Project, SU Campaigns, InsideUni, Oxford Liveable Streets, Oxford Climate Society, UCU, Oxford City Council, Pro-Vice Chancellors, Homelessness Oxfordshire, among many others!
Collaboration with Alex Betts on Climate Policy Ecosystem Event
Working alongside Alex Betts, a renowned figure in climate policy, we co-organized a Climate Policy Ecosystem event. This gathering aimed to bring together experts, policymakers, students, and community members to foster collaboration and drive innovative climate solutions. It was an enlightening experience to work with someone so passionate and knowledgeable about the environment.
SOS-UK Responsible Futures Program and Oxford Hub Partnership
In my role, I was also thrilled to join the SOS-UK Responsible Futures program, an initiative designed to embed sustainability and social responsibility into the core of university life. I believe this partnership will open up numerous opportunities for our students and community members to engage in impactful projects and initiatives. Additionally, I worked on consolidating our partnership with the Oxford Hub, a local organization committed to promoting social and environmental change. This partnership will further enable us to create a strong network of individuals and organizations working toward a common goal of sustainability.
As my summer journey as Vice-President Activities & Community at Oxford SU comes to a close, I look back with immense pride and enthusiasm for what the future holds. The experiences, initiatives, and collaborations that have taken place over these months are not just accomplishments but steps towards creating a more sustainable and vibrant community at the University of Oxford. The foundation has been laid, and I can't wait to see how these efforts will continue to grow and flourish in the months and years to come. With dedication, passion, and a shared commitment to sustainability, we can create a brighter, more eco-conscious and inclusive future for our University and beyond.