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Your Sabbatical Officers' final message

What a year it has been! It’s flown by, and sadly we’ve landed on our Sabbatical Officers’ last day today. All of us in City Students’ Union will miss them, but we suspect they’ll miss all of you even more. 

Sheikh, Zain, and Yusuf have all got special messages that they’d like to share. We’ve included them below. All three of them have worked incredibly hard this year, and some of their achievements have been amazing. They’ve got all of the details on what they’ve done so make sure you check that out. 

Read Sheikh's message below, or jump to Zain's or Yusuf's final goodbye. 

Sheikh's message

Having spent the year as your Vice President Activities and Development, I have been truly honoured to have met so many fantastic people and have had such amazing opportunities! I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to each and every single student, as it has been a great honour to be your representative. Thank you for electing me and believing in me. It has been a truly challenging and rewarding year. But it has all been worth it because the students at City are some of the best and most kind people I have come across. You have all made this a special place.

I have enjoyed seeing our student’s achievements, getting too know many of you and representing you across the university. The opportunity to represent you has enabled me to learn so much about myself, work on very exciting projects and has without doubt forged me a platform to go on to other things. For this, I am truly thankful. It has been a difficult time in the Union this year but we have still made progress because our students rightly demand it. Thank you for continuing to push the union. I will leave this post with some of my key achievements this year:

  • Contributing to the implementation of Article 26 Scholarships (Refugee Scholarships)
  • Successfully delivering two RAG Weeks
  • Organising a fully scheduled Back to Uni Week with the biggest Re-Freshers Fair the Union has organised
  • Helping to deliver the CitySports first every varsity against Kingston
  • Writing the paper to create the Societies Board and seeing its successful implementation which will transform how societies operate
  • Writing the Unions first RAG Report
  • Ensuring student welfare and rights remains the top priority by lobbying the university on issues related to Prevent
  • Making sure food was being served at City Bar again after Sodexo closed the kitcheny
  • Responded to the University’s decision to create a poster policy and lobbied to gain a key concession to have Union braded poster boards to be put around campus for our student groups
  • Getting back to a position where Late Night License were being accepted 

Best,

Sheikh Hassan  

Vice President Activities & Devolopment 2016-17

Zain's message

“I am incredibly grateful for having been given the opportunity and experience this year to serve as Vice-President Education and what a year it's been, I absolutely loved it!

I met so many exceptional people and worked on many amazing projects, but most importantly I genuinely believe City has some of the best, brightest and most wonderful students. You are all amazing, thank you for letting me represent you.

I wish you all the very best in your studies and future careers, and look forward to seeing the Union continue to succeed and transform the lives of those who matter most, our students.

Thank you to all of the colleagues, especially the Union Staff who I have worked with. Your support has been unquestionable and I am extremely grateful to you.

To my successor Malek, welcome to the best experience of your life. You will be a great Officer I am sure of it and always remember the strongest voice in education is the student voice!

Ending this post with some of my key achievements this year: 

  • Strengthening the Programme Representative system
  • Leading on City Students’ Union’s response to TEF
  • Saving 210 students' marks!
  • Organising and delivering City’s first ever Student Leadership Conference
  • Launching the Vice-President Education Award
  • Keep Calm Study On and Study Well campaigns
  • Working with Schools to increase lecture capture usage and a move towards policy change
  • Lobbying for more training and support for PhD Students Who Teach
  • Building key relationships for the Union

Zain Ismail

Vice President Education 2016-17

Yusuf's message

My achievements this year:

  • Gained 55 extra spaces dedicated to Graduate Students after the Graduate Library closed
  • Launched a University-wide Food Campaign which has already seen some of the prices of food on campus decrease
  • Worked with the University to grant business cards for ALL students (Soon to come!)
  • Worked to ensure that the SU Shop sells Law School branded hoodies & clothing (Soon to come!)
  • Recruited a new CEO and Business Operations Manager for the Students’ Union
  • Ensured that the SU shop still only sells Fairtrade clothing
  • Convinced the University to refurbish the Microwave Room next to the canteen (Coming later this year!)
  • Created a Halls Representatives system to ensure for a better halls experience for students (Coming later this year!)
  • And from my year as VP Activities – Campaigned for CitySport to re-establish Varsity and provide a discounted gym membership price to competitive sports team members

Dear Students, Staff, Friends, and Loved Ones,

My two years in the Students’ Union have been some of the best years of my life. I’ve had many opportunities to meet all of you and have enjoyed every moment, conversation and memory that I’ve shared with you all.

City has been a big part of my life for the 5 years that I’ve been here and I’m blessed that I got to experience my time here with you all and go through this journey with you all together.

Things haven’t always been easy over the past few years and there have been times where I felt alone, isolated and almost gave up, but I didn’t, and that’s because of all of the support, kindness and strength that you’ve lent me – I couldn’t have done this without you!

I can never repay you for all of the acts of kindness that you did for me, from the warm smiles in the hallways, the lovely conversations and random encounters I had where I got to know you all more, the times where you guided me and made things possible, and the countless friends I made over the years, thank you all, I couldn’t have asked for a better set of students to represent and learn from.

With results descending upon you all, I wanted to wish you all the best and hope that all of your hard work over your time at City has paid off and that (for those of you leaving) leave with your heads held high. I also wanted to wish you all the very best for your future, and hope to see you again someday either at City or out in the wider world.

I just wanted to say, that to those I let down, I’m sorry and I can’t apologise enough. I wish I could turn back time and help you where I didn’t before, so please forgive me. But to everyone, I hope I supported you adequately and that I made you proud, because you all made me proud.

If you wanted to stay in contact, you can on Facebook and LinkedIn:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yusuf.ahmad.33

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-ahmad-528943130/

And the next part is going to get long but I need to say it, and it’s long overdue – This is my end credits anyway so feel free to leave the theatre (page) whenever you want, it’s my time to get all emotional and stuff:

I wanted to thank you all for voting for me in both of my elections and for putting your trust in me to be your Vice President and President and I hope that I’ve done you proud and made your experiences at City better. A big shout out to those who helped me during my campaigns and supported me during what were both some of the most stressful and nerve-wracking experiences that I’ve been through in my life. This includes my American Football team and Coaches (Especially Adam, Ricardo, and Kwame!), my fellow Pakistan Society Committee members (Belal, Anwa, Tahira, Humma & Shazeb), my course mates in Engineering (Niresh, Ayed, Chirag, Anchuka, Kwame, Umar, Umair, Belaal, Anas, Alia, Tommy, Tina, Michael, Paris, Marc, Jasmin, Oswa, Mo, Aysha, and anyone else I’ve missed – sorry!), the Sports Teams Captains and players (Especially Niko & Joe, Kiren & Krista, Jan & Maciek, Livvy, Ted, Vardaan, Reza, Tanzyla & Sam, Becci, Alexis, Matt, and anyone else who helped out!), the other societies who supported me, the SU Executive Team, and of course all of the students who voted for me and those who didn’t, but placed their trust in me. I also wanted to give a MASSIVE thank you to Issy, Rima, Umar and Natalia, who all supported me in running in elections both times and convinced me to run in the first place, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. Issy, Rima, Umar and Natalia - You all taught me so much and helped me develop into who I am today, you’ve been there for me through everything and I love you all for the good times that we had together. You’ve all been my North Stars who have guided and supported me more than I could’ve asked for, and you will forever be my Sabblings. To the amazing SU staff team who supported me during my year as VP (Donna, Yemi, Daniella, Imogen, Craig, Louis, Miles, Laura, Max), I owe you more than words can describe, you all taught me different things and made my year as VP one of the best of my life. All of the trips we took together, the craziness and the SHUTDOWNS (Had to throw it in there Umar!), you all made me feel as though I was part of not just a team, but a family.

To the fantastic staff team that supported me this year as President (Yousuf, Phil, Laura, Miles, Daniella, Louis, James, Jess, Lewis, Hannah, Adrian), I’m sorry for the grief I’ve given you this year, but you pushed me to achieve more than I would have otherwise. You are honestly some of the friendliest, most funny, and outgoing staff that I’ve met and it’s been a privilege to work with you.   

Louis, Miles & Laura, Donna, Daniella, Craig, Tina & Jane I owe you all so much as you all made me what I am today. I still remember the laughs and life advice that we had together – The Game of Thrones, Star Wars & House of Cards catchups we had Craig, being inducted into the noble order of City Carrot Runners Laura and Miles which I shall try to re-join again someday, the many ladies in your Mercedes Louis, the warm smiles your friendly faces Jane & Tina, and the crazy stories about your holidays Daniella and dating tips that you gave me :p

But Donna, I have to say it, you believed in me from day one. Whenever I was lost and unsure about what to do, you guided me, the stress and worries I had – you shared the burden with me on, the laughs we used to have about all of the crazy things in this Union, University & the Bar helped me make it through the difficult times. You were the heart of this Union Donna and I swear this place wouldn’t be what it is without you leaving your mark on it, so thank you for your years spent here and I feel lucky to have worked with you.

Uncle Phil, I have been the biggest pain in your ass at times this year, but you’ve put up with me and I thank you for that. I not only respect you Phil for all you have done, but I admire you in the way you operate with integrity and care. You have pushed me to challenge more and become a more confident and assertive person, and I can’t thank you enough for that. I may have lost some hair, and your hair may have turned a bit greyer this year, but I know that everything was worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing. You are one amazing Chief Exec, and I know you’ll develop the Students’ Union to more than I can imagine.

To the unsung heroes in the University who work their asses off to make sure we all have the best experience possible at uni – You’re all shining stars and we all take you for granted. This university wouldn’t exist without you and we all owe you a great debt, so thank you so much on behalf of all students. Big shout out to the Student & Academic Services team, you’re some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and honestly are the beating heart of the University operations – with special thanks to Susannah, Shereen, Jason & Chris who always support us in everything we do!

I have to say a big thank you to Dan & Deb from Dan’s café out in Northampton Square – You’ve both been a pillar that has not only supported me, but also supported countless students and staff around the University, and have been there for me to turn to when I felt alone, and have always given me the best advice, I love you both – They have the best coffee in town guys + Great food too!

And of course, I have to say it, I couldn’t have been blessed with a better set of Vice-Presidents – My partners in crime Zain & Sheikh, I love you both, you’re like my brothers and we have had the best year together. Words cannot describe how much you’ve both supported me and helped me develop this year, and I will be forever grateful for this. We may not have achieved everything we set out to do, but we definitely Sheikhed up City!

Finally, I have to thank my family and my dearest friend, Belal. Without the support from my family I wouldn’t have been able to do this (Mum, Dad, Miriam, Firaz), you helped me through more than anyone should, even when I was an absolute ass to you guys, you still believed in me and never let me down. Belal, you were my rock, the guy who never doubted me, the one who pushed me to try harder and the voice of reason at times. Your friendship means the world to me and I honestly can’t stress enough how much I love you bro, I’m proud of you and all you’ve achieved, and wanted to thank you for the hours you’ve spent looking after me and checking in on me, I honestly can say that meeting you was one of the biggest blessings I ever had at this uni, and without you there with me to start up the Pakistan society, two years ago, I wouldn’t even be close to where I am now – Love you more than words can describe bro!

And to anyone else who I missed out, I’m sorry, it wasn’t intentional, but know that I owe you a great deal, and please stay in touch!

And to all of my friends, may we have a lifetime of friendship together.

This isn’t goodbye, this is until next time.

Yusuf Ahmad,

Your Students' Union President 2016-17

 

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