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Students' Union

You said: You want more support for international students

  • In an attempt to improve the welcome week for international students, the College and the Students’ Union worked together to deliver the One World Festival, a weeks’ worth of cultural, welcoming and informative events to highlight and celebrate the diverse student body at Birkbeck. As part of the One World Festival, we hosted a potluck picnic in Gordon Square for international students to come, share their food and culture and start building relationships with their fellow students.
  • The Lamp & Owl is the student magazine at Birkbeck, and as an additional way to welcome international and UK students to our College, we printed 2500 copies of a One World Festival special edition of the magazine.
  • Working with the International Student Administration, we organised an ice-skating trip to Somerset House for international students. The festive mulled wine and hot chocolate to warm us up afterwards topped off the trip.

You said: You want more from Freshers' Weekend

  • This year we hosted our biggest ever Freshers Fayre as a way to welcome students to campus and show off everything Birkbeck and being a student in London has to offer; from setting students up with discount cards and meeting our officers to chatting to society committees and local organisations. We hope to build on this progress and keep delivering a top-notch Freshers Fayre year after year.
  • To increase the social aspect of Freshers, Nick our Student Leader organised the first ever Birkbeck Students’ Union bar crawl - the Flight of the Owls. This crawl, attended by 200 students, went round the best bars in Bloomsbury, paying particular attention to the pubs that can save you pennies. We’ll be doing another Flight of the Owls in January.

You said: You want the opportunity to get involved with campaigns

  • Our student officers are leading numerous campaigns and they’re always wanting students to get involved.
  • Student Leader Sara is leading on a campaign to improve Birkbeck’s sustainability, including lobbying the College to divest from fossil fuels, selling mooncups at cost price so people who have periods can be environmenstrual, and working with the College to get water points installed on campus (which has already saved over 10,000 water bottles from ending up in landfill).
  • Alex our LGBTQ+ Officer is running a campaign to get gender-neutral toilets installed on campus, and we’re in positive discussions with the College already about this proposal.
  • The 24-hour library campaign has been active for the last year and continues into 2018-19 by Student Leader Nick. After a successful trial of early opening hours, Nick is continuing to lobby for a library that is open for 24 hours. In addition, he has contributed to the library refurbishment focus groups, alongside other officers and students.

You said: You want more and varied student activities

  • Black Members Officer Ezimma ran a number of events as part of Black History Month in October, including a poetry writing workshop, film nights, discussions and an epic twerkshop.
  • We hosted another Potluck for Thanksgiving, as a way to create a space for students to get to know each other and their student officers.
  • The room G20 is a space that has been divided up between departments, and we’ve been using our slots to introduce a variety of events and socials for students to get involved with - from film screenings to board game nights, from election hustings to student council, we’ve been filling G20 with fun and function.
  • We are continuing to increase the number of clubs and societies at Birkbeck, as well as partnering with Student Central and SOAS to grant Birkbeck students access to their clubs and societies as well.
  • We’re currently undertaking some research to increase the provision and variety of sports available.