Written by Amber Williams
MSc Forensic Anthropology
As a postgraduate student with all the normal pressures that come with this, support from my students’ union is really important. Whether, like me, you continue on for postgraduate study at the same university or whether you start over at a new university, there will always be similar challenges to face. Before starting my postgraduate degree, I was concerned about meeting new people and making friends on my course, as well as being unsure about the academic side of things.
This is where the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University, or SUBU, comes in. There is so much to do with SUBU that there isn’t time to worry! SUBU has over 100 student run clubs and societies, an active volunteering programme, nights out at the Old Fire Station, the union bar and lots of events running throughout the year. SUBU also has part-time council officers, made of students who have been voted in to position; this includes postgraduate officers, meaning that our voice is heard within SUBU. There is also a huge amount of support available from SUBU Advice, from issues on housing and finances to studying and personal issues. They are easy to contact and are able to help or point you in the direction of help for almost anything.
It is so easy to get involved with SUBU as a postgraduate, in my first couple of weeks, I attended the Fresher’s Fair which showcased all the amazing things you can do with SUBU and the university. I immediately joined the Raising and Giving part of SUBU as a one of their representatives to help promote their charity events. Through this I met a lovely group of people who I wouldn’t have met outside of my course. I also joined a selection of clubs and societies, including the Harry Potter society, the Archaeology, History and Anthropology society and the First Aid society. This provided the opportunity for me to meet a lot of like-minded people. Further into the semester, I became a course rep, a member of SUBU’s famous purple army! This involves communicating with my course members, staff members and SUBU to help feedback opinions on the course. Through this, I have spoken to everyone on my course, which I perhaps otherwise wouldn’t have and I’ve made some really good friends.
Essentially, being part of SUBU really makes a difference to your time at BU as a postgraduate student, it makes you feel like you are part of a big community and there is nothing more confidence boosting than walking into the Student Centre and saying hello to everyone you know! Having an active role in your student’s union is essential if you want to get the most from your time at university and is something I would recommend to every postgraduate student!