Archive for the ‘Swansea Students’ Union’ Category

End of Year Collections for Charity -Swansea

This is for anyone interested in the end of Year Collection Scheme for Charity I organised within the university (collecting unwanted items at the end of the academic year by those in halls)


Please use and copy if you want but please let me know – i could potentially offer support too 🙂

end of year collections


Energy Efficient Homes for students

Swansea University Students’ Union has recently passed a motion which will effectively change the housing stock for students within the Swansea city area. Landlords will be asked  to join the new scheme which will enable the opportunity for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of houses that they own.This will be done by writing a statement/charter which will carry a message that landlords can agree to,said statement/charter will contain the message that landlords are committed and support the campaign to improve the housing stock they own.

The next part of the motion looks at a grading system, the grading system will comprise of different levels including   Bronze,  Silver and Gold. Each level having its own criteria set out and costings of which are considered and taking into play. For example looking at a bronze level, landlords would be expected to  enact  minor changes this can be actions such as applying hippos to toilets, replace any old lightbulbs with energy-saving ones et al. A possible criteria for silver will contain  criteria including grade C or above appliances and heating pipe installation. One main aspect of this is to avoid the usage of plugging in heaters, which many students today use on a day-to-day basis, and of course uses the vast amounts of electricity and due cost to the student. Gold will be the highest level that landlords can achieve, the level will include criteria  such as central heating for those homes that do not already have it, all wall insulation/attic insulation/cladding.

Many may ask about the pricing and cost which may be placed on landlords, or be afraid to ask the landlords, they needn’t be as there is many funding  pots out there that are accessible to both students and landlord. For students, and the general public, there is a new scheme called the Green Deal, what this entails is a loan which stays with the house not a person, it allows changes to the house which will enable a more efficient household to both seats and energy usage with no extra cost to the individual. The reason why there is no extra cost to the individual, is due to the fact what ever is saved through the usage of the changes, is sent to pay off the loan. So in regards to student households, as many of you already know students leave their houses in June,  they needn’t worry that the loan will follow them, as said it would stay with the house not the individual. Landlords can not refuse a request to  enact change according to the Energy Bill 2010, unless the house is already scheduled to have changes done to it according to Green Deal.

Landlords may receive funding from various locations, more in particular for Attic insulation/wall insulation/cladding on houses and this can be found from various sources. There will be a guidebook created which will reference reference relevant information for landlords in Swansea, thus landlords will be able to find out where they may receive such funding and hopefully enact change for the benefit of students within the city. The process may take a while as you probably imagine we are not considering an overnight change, however Rob Abrams and myself are committed to provide the stepping stones for this new exciting opportunity that we have now been given.

Women on The Front Bench Part 2

Part one may be found via

Ms Rathbone mentioned the importance that Wales saw at least 30% of its representatives being female, this allows for women to be effective in the politics discussed and policy areas to be decided upon. Under 30% women lack popper representation, and where the men are able to dominate the political agenda just like that seen in London.  The fact that women are able to speak up for minority groups, furthers the need for female representation to meet at least the said percentage.

It can be very hard to engage women within the political process, but with confirming and confidence building to many, can provide for more females to step up as candidates and hopefully representatives. There is a believed effect that where there is a female candidate , women are more likely to vote for them rather than a male candidate.

The next and final Assembly Member to speak was Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science. Mrs Hart has been an Assembly Member since the Assembly’s creation, She has also held a number of portfolios within the Welsh Government including Finance and Local Government and then Health and Social Justice.  Mrs Hart had ran within the Welsh Labour leadership campaign, to which she came second to the current leader and First Leader Carwyn Jones.

Mrs Hart noted the fact that “women need to cause trouble” in order to get somewhere,  and mentioned her trade union experience where she had ran and failed first time round in an attempt to win a place on the TUCs executive. This was later rectified, but the trade unions is still a very male dominated place.   There is many times where Mrs Hart had stated she felt annoyed but on a positive outlook seeing that it would be “better tomorrow we’ll give them hell”.

Mrs Hart’s current portfolio is normally considered to be a macho one, and shared experiences where she has been to various business functions, with her role as a minister and come across “tokenistic women” in some businesses attempts to “please “ her. Mrs Hart added it is the talents of women that are needed within the political sphere, women defiantly bring a different feeling and workings to the way politics is practised within Wales.

The issue of positive discrimination within the Labour Party was rightly mentioned and where Mrs Hart argued that twinning was a start but not good enough. All Women Shortlists (AWS) is a better system but like much can stop being practised, as sometimes members within the party can become complacent and not see through internal policies long term. Women are starting to achieve and win various positions of authority worldwide yet Europe still has a lot to do in order to catch up with the rest of the world.

“Women are obviously interested in issues affecting equality “ being in reference to the pension strikes that were due to take place shortly. Women will be worse off with the proposed changes to pensions, thus it is important to continue the fight and raise awareness of the fact that women are worst off. The proposed cuts on benefits will also mainly affect women, and Mrs Hart added that the public hates unfairness and tend to campaign to try and improve their situation.

Women also have a better scope to deal with issues arising that affect minority groups, Mrs Hart uses Gypsies and travellers and has taken a keen interest and has always aimed to improve their way of life. She further noted that she had acted within her various ministerial roles, in health for example, looked at improving general health as well as access to health facilitates where and when needed.  The massive problem that tends to show it’s head is where the gypsies or travellers tend to stay or reside on a short or long term basis.

Have to say , overall the event was a success and had raised awareness of many important issues facing women in the political world. There is clearly a long way to go, but this blog does forget the hard work already put in and seeing many successes- Wales being one such example.

Well done Sarah Woodvine a fantastic event and congratulations on it’s success

Women on the Front Bench at Swansea University -Pt 1

Women on the Front Bench at Swansea University

“Women On The Front Bench” was an Event hosted by the Labour Students society at Swansea University. The aim of the night was to listen to women from both Students’ Union/ NUS Wales/ UK alongside 3 Assembly Members.

The full list of speakers included

Rosemary Butler – Presiding Officer at the National Assembly for Wales and AM for Newport West

Edwina Hart – Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science , AM for Gower

Jenny Rathbone – AM for Cardiff Central

Rhiannon Hedge – Swansea Students’ Union Education officer

Eleri Jones – Swansea Students’ Union Womens’ Officer

Stephanie Lloyd- NUS Wales Womens’ Officer

Estelle Hart – NUS UK’s Womens’ Officer

The first Speaker Rosemary Butler praised the fact that Wales has had a consistency of having at least double the amount of women representatives in comparison to the House of Commons in London. The Welsh Assembly as an institution can pride itself on being the first legislature in the world to have equal men to women ratio of representatives (2003- 2007). This sadly is not the case today, Rwanda is the current highest with 53.6% of representatives being female.

Mrs Butler strongly noted the importance of women as representatives, allowing for a different perspective in terms of policy.

“Women are not better than males, just different “

Women are supposedly more focused on children’s and community issues, while men are arguably more likely to focus on trade unions and matters on energy. This she further noted was not the case, women representatives do focus on many other issues and allow different lines of thought to be added to the everyday work of the Assembly’s business.  The fact that Mrs Butler had entered politics due to wanting a bench in a local park in Newport, had ran for council and went from there to where she is now is amazing, more so due to obstacles trying to change attitudes of “men in grey suits”. The National Assembly has to report to UK government of its duties to ensure equality on an annual basis and this allows for better representation or implementation of policy.

Women according to Mrs Butler can scrutinise legislation in a different way compared to their male counterparts. They are also play a vital role in government, where 50% is comprised of women and who have made hard decisions just as males would have had to do.

“Don’t worry about the glass ceiling its the sticky floor you should be worried about”

Mrs Bulter  also stated of schemes in place to encourage more women to become involved in politics, one way of such being a shadowing scheme whereby women can shadow female assembly members to gain experience.

The Swansea Green Makeover


Swansea’s People and Planet in conjunction with Rob Abrams (Environment and Ethics Officer) are launching “The Big Green Makeover”. The People and Planet website describes the scheme as being “a home energy saving project, which aims to help students and staff to make their homes warmer, more cosy and cheaper to live in”. The project laid its foundation stones through its first meeting (5th Oct) where the main emphasis was to recruit volunteers who could assist fellow students lower their domestic energy consumption.

Mr Abrams highlighted the fact that over ÂŁ900 million worth of energy is wasted in the UK by leaving appliances on standby. Most students coming through the higher education system in the UK are young people moving out and living on their own for the first time in their lives. It is at this point, that they learn skills and pick up habits that stick with them for the rest of their lives. Bad habits can cost their own streched funds, as well as the planet. Simply leaving appliances on standby wastes over ÂŁ900 million worth of energy every year The Big Green Makeover has been brought to Swansea University to help create these changes.

Students who volunteer will be given the training and support needed to run energy advice clinics for other students, as well as members of staff. The programme will also involve visiting the homes of participating students and staff to carry out assessments and give practical advice on improvements. It is hoped, that as we carry out this initiative, changes in behaviour will be supported, monitored, and continues to grow well in to the coming year.

For more information Please contact