Thursday, 25 October 2012

What's the R.U.S.H?

Reading University Student Housing
To some of you it may seem completely insane to even consider where you will be living or who you will be living with next year, but to others it may be something that is already on your mind.
To those of you moving into rented accommodation for the first time, the most important thing to remember is DON’T RUSH!
It’s essential that you give yourself time to find the right housemates and the right house and if you have concerns or questions about housing, they should be raised now rather than later.
RUSU has a team of Student Advisors who can help and give advice on any housing issues. Finding the right place to live is important and can seriously impact on your university experience.
Even at this early stage, discussions may have started amongst your friends and in your flats about who is going to live with whom. Please remember though that living with someone in halls can be very different to sharing a house. Currently you may not have to share communal spaces, you may have en-suites in halls and especially if you are catered, you may not have to deal with the whole piles of washing up /cleaning rota thing. You don’t have bills to consider or estate agents to deal with either. It really is worth considering who it is you are choosing to take up these new challenges with because once you sign that contract – that really is it.

This is not supposed to scare you at all but it is supposed to make you think.
Everyone is different and sometimes you can be the best of friends with someone but actually aren’t that compatible as housemates. Behind closed doors your best friend can be a lot messier than you realised, and despite best intentions, will always have a huge pile of washing up to do and be hoarding at least 4 of your mugs in their room. These things might seem irrelevant now, but can really begin to grate in such a confined environment.
It’s not just about who you live with, it’s where you live. Can you honestly say that having been here for a month, you know exactly where the best student area is? I can guarantee there is a huge split of opinion about which one is and the best thing to do, is take some time to go and find out for yourself! Use next term to look around as many houses as you can to get a feel for the options you have and for the areas you can choose from.
I know you may be thinking… but if I wait, won’t all the houses have gone?
No. Reading has more houses than students! Speaking from personal experience I have always waited until the Spring term to sign a contract. In my first year I signed in April, in second year it was February and in third year I signed a contract for my current house 2 days before moving into it in July! (I don’t recommend that last one –but you get the point!) I live and have always lived in a great student area and paid between £300 and £335 a month in rent. It takes me 7 minutes to get to campus.
In Week 7, RUSU is holding a series of Housing Talks. They will give you a ridiculous amount of useful information including all the things to be aware of when viewing a house (I always check the shower!), contracts, mould, bills, housemates, landlords, estate agents, inventories, etc., etc. We will also be running ‘Find a Housemate’ sessions beginning in Week 8.
 All we ask is that you attend these sessions and that you chill!
Times and dates of talks will be advertised on posters around the Students’ Union, on our website and via Facebook and Twitter closer to the time.

Friday, 12 October 2012

The Reading Student Charter

Hello students,
Term has now started for everyone and it is time to settle down and get on with your degree.
In the run up, you may have been given a copy of The Reading Student Charter and may be wondering what it is and what it isn’t.
So here is a brief overview:
What it is…
  •  It is a document that describes the mutual expectations that students have of the University and its staff, what the University and its staff have of the students and what we all expect of each other.
  • It is a working document that will be reviewed in the Spring Term, so that we can be sure that it is working for you.
  • It is something that you can have your say on. Any Student Officer will be happy to speak to you about it so they can feedback to make sure that it stays relevant to your expectations of the University.
What it isn’t…
  • It is not a legally binding document.
  • It is not a document that is used by staff to tell students what to do.
  • It is not a document that can be used by students to tell staff how to do their job.
Sir David Bell ,Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading and I signed the document this week and then walked around the campus to talk to you about it and to work out what the document will mean to you.

The Student Officers will be asking you what you think about it throughout the year, so make sure you keep it up on your wall so that you are well aware of the mutual expectations that we all have for each other.
If you would like to pick up a copy of the Charter, they are available at the RUSU Reception. Alternatively you can access it online.
So if you have any questions about the document, do not hesitate to contact me.
See you around campus and good luck with the rest of term!
James FletcherRUSU President

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

R U Speaking Up?

I now officially declare the Course Rep elections OPEN!
Have you only just started at the University? Are you a Returning Student who wasn’t a Course Rep last year? Were you a Course Rep last year?
One thing every student has in common is the ability to represent their fellow students on their course!
Anyone can nominate themselves to be a Course Rep, whether you have been at the University for a matter of days, or you want to stand for re-election because you enjoyed being a Course Rep so much last year.
Course Reps are academic representatives who speak on behalf of their course year group. By keeping the lines of communication open, Course Reps are the first port of call for students. They canvas for suggestions as to how their course can be improved, any problems the students are having, things that are working really well and feedback on their experience generally.
The main requirement for a Course Reps is for them to be representative of their peers! This then feeds into their presence at the School or Department’s Student Staff Liaison Committees, the Course Rep Conventions and Student’s Union democracy meetings. Course Reps are expected to attend each of these meetings once a term, which is not a big ask for a 10 week term.
The benefits of being a Course Rep are huge and extend far beyond a gleaming CV! Many Reps have brought about large changes to their course and shaped the educational experience for future students. The role gives a voice to those who need speaking up for and can influence decisions that directly affect the course for which you are paying.
If you are a first year then you may need to register on the website first but all it takes is a few minutes to nominate yourself.
Kara SwiftVice-President Academic Affairs

Monday, 1 October 2012


This is your chance to debate!
What is our education worth in 2012?

What should your Students’ Union, your University, the  National Union of Students (NUS) and the Government be doing to ensure that your education and future is the best it can be?
At the NUS’ Annual conference this year, they voted to hold another National demonstration in London on November 21st 2012. The NUS believes that you should march to highlight to the government the risk that they are putting your future in. With rising youth unemployment, increasing levels of student debt and the removal of grants,the NUS think that the government is letting a generation down.
At the last demonstration in 2010, RUSU took over 500 students spending £8,000 to fight against the cuts and rise in tuition fees. Reading students had a great impact on the march, but we didn’t achieve our aims.
So here are the questions you need to be considering:
  •  Is the Demo what we should be spending our money on?
  • Should we be supporting a march when there are no government plans that it can affect?
  • Should we support a march which last time damaged the reputation of students?
  • Should we be spending money and time when we may do betterand be more effective, lobbying the University to improve your education on your campus?
We think this decision is so important that it needs to be decided by YOU!
We will be holding a debate on October 16th at 6.00pm in Cafe Mondial followed by an online referendum.
If you want  to hear more or be on the debate panel? Email Ceri Jones, VP Democracy and Campaigns
So… the choice is yours!