Sabbatical Officers

Sabb Wins… For the last time!

As your Sabbs year in office comes to an end, read all about their proudest achievements over the least year for you.

It's hard to believe your Sabbs have only been in office for a year! As a team and individually they have achieved so much, putting on events and standing up for your rights as a student. Read on to see what their proudest achievements have been!

Helena - President

My three proudest achievements are: 

  • Implementing the partnership with marks out of tenancy. This will be such a great tool for students and give students a voice in terms of private housing.

  • Lobbying for an extra £300 compensation for Stanhope students and getting Portsmouth media attention on the issue of student housing. This is an issue that is affecting students across the UK and I'm proud we could spotlight Portsmouth in tackling it.

  • Organising a talk from Akala for Black History Month. This was such a fun and eye-opening event - I loved being a part of it!

Throughout the year, Helena has worked on many projects. From her manifesto points, through to fighting for the rights of students when unprecedented global events made us go into lockdown. Helena has had an incredible year at UPSU and we're proud of everything she's achieved. Find out more about the hard work she did to represent the student voice over the last year:

  • Creating a brand new partnership with Marks Out Of Tenancy to let you rate your landlord. 
  • Worked closely with the University to improve the variety of options in the food on campus meal deal.
  • Collaborated on the University Bus Survey to insure your voice was heard on what you wanted to see from the bus service.
  • After investigating the availability of water fountains, she worked with the University to create a map of water fountains available. 
  • Stanhope House - putting pressure on Prime Student Living to respond to issues that had been created for students.
  • Helping to host and organise Black History Month events.
  • Getting involved with the cultural evening in collaboration with ACS
  • Helping to organise a talk from award winning rapper, author and campaigner, Akala. 
  • Helping to create housing magnets for students.
  • Having discussions with the local MP and council members about student safety in Portsmouth.
  • Got involved with a Playzone visit during International Induction Week.
  • Helping to provide free sanitary products with Hayley and Rama. 
  • Creating the groundwork for a Women in Leadership conference. 
  • Reviewing the work of the Union Actioning Board (UAB).
  • Being involved in National Student Money week
  • Helping to organise talks with Lowkey and Jodi Burkett about colonialism and the curriculum. 
  • Learning all about representation and grassroots Student Unions in the Baltics. 
  • Fighting for the student voice to implement No Detriment Practices.

And much, much more. 

Rama - VP Education and Democracy

My three proudest achievements are: 

  • Black History Month - it was amazing to be so involved, organising a talk with Akala which then led to further events and talks to discuss the effects of the British Empire and decolonising the curriculum.
  • The BAME Ambassadors Scheme - it's an initiative which is currently being worked on by both the Students' Union and the University to implement in the upcoming academic year, encouraging the fight to reduce the BAME attainment gap and empowering students in each faculty. Unfortunately the project was postponed because of Covid, but I'm excited to see what we can achieve over the next year. 
  • Being involved in the Edword trial, to enhance the quality of feedback by letting students respond to feedback on assignments and rate whether it is of a good standard. After successful trials, it's exciting to see the next steps in gaining feedback with BAL students. 

Throughout the year, Rama has worked on many projects. From her manifesto points, through to fighting for the rights of students when unprecedented global events made us go into lockdown. Rama has had an incredible year at UPSU and we're proud of everything she's achieved. Find out more about the hard work she did to represent the student voice over the last year:

  • Organising a number of events throughout Black History Month 
  • Continuing of the Akala talks to discuss the empire and decolonising the curriculum. 
  • Providing a microwave for students to use in the Waterhole space.
  • Working closely with the students during the Estranged Students Week.
  • Helping to deliver another successful RepCon.
  • Presenting with Harriet Dunbar-Morris.
  • Getting involved with Alcohol Awareness projects. 
  • Working closely with the university to co-create groups to implement more around the university for students.
  • Organising a Vincent Pericard event around the BAME attainment gap.
  • Getting involved with the University of Sanctuary with making education more accessible to the community.
  • Working towards the Race Equality Charter.
  • Creating StudyAids and collecting student feedback.
  • Being a representative on disciplinary panels
  • Aiding the faculty of science to create a trip for disadvantaged students to go to India for work experience. 
  • Helping to organise and run Start Talking Weeks across the year.
  • Working with the University to create a new personal tutoring platform.
  • Working with the University in creating a Content Capture policy. 
  • Invited Rainna Walcott for a BAME talk on mental health.
  • Was involved in helping students during the English Literature consultation.

And much, much more. Rama is your Learning Experience Officer for 2020/21, watch out for her newest achievements over the next year. 

Tom - VP Activities

My three proudest achievements are: 

  • Running Winter Welcome Week. This was really important to me due to the growing number of new starters the University has in January, making their welcome to university life as exciting as students that begin in September. 
  • Working with the Careers and Employability Service to run Make Your Summer Count. We had over 40 companies/opportunities showcasing the incredible opportunities for students to get involved with over the summer. 
  • We ran our first ever UPSU Pride Night in February, hosted by a local drag queen and including various stalls, including Portsmouth Pride. I hope it happens again next year. 

Throughout the year, Tom has worked on many projects. From his manifesto points, through to fighting for the rights of students when unprecedented global events made us go into lockdown. Tom has had an incredible year at UPSU and we're proud of everything he's achieved. Find out more about the hard work he did to represent the student voice over the last year:

  • Gaining feedback from different media groups to find out what they needed from the new UPSU website. 
  • Getting involved with Victory Media to cover Union and student group events like Fight Night. 
  • Putting together a team for University Challenge. 
  • Organising a Winter Freshers' Fayre.
  • Organising a Winter Showcase of all the performance student groups at the Union. 
  • Working closely with the University to run Make Your Summer Count.
  • Organising and hosting the Travel Fair. 
  • Liaising with Choose a Challenge to run two fundraising challenges: the 3 Peaks Challenge and the Budapest marathon.
  • Organising for Choose a Challenge to run two challenges in the next academic year: the 3 Peaks Challenge and the Kilimanjaro Trak. 
  • Helping to create a more inclusive and exciting welcome for January starters.
  • Organising the very first UPSU Pride Night. 

And much, much more. 

Gez - VP Sports

My three proudest achievements are: 

  • The transition of 23 sports clubs and counting. This was the first year of Sport and Recreation talking on University sports clubs. It was tough and I spent a lot of hours gathering student feedback to remove any issues. With one more club transitioning this year and another three to go by the end of the next, university sport is looking positive and developing to continue competing at a high level.
  • Purple Points! At the beginning of the year we developed a sport reward scheme that gave clubs a checklist of what makes a great club and rewarded them with purple points, the group with the most points wins the club of the year award. 
  • Varisty. Although we had to cancel just two days before, so much hard work and effort went into making it the best it could be (including some amazing temporary tattoos) and I'm really proud to have been part of that. 

Throughout the year, Gez has worked on many projects. From his manifesto points, through to fighting for the rights of students when unprecedented global events made us go into lockdown. Gez has had an incredible year at UPSU and we're proud of everything he's achieved. Find out more about the hard work he did to represent the student voice over the last year:

  • Increasing the number of participation opportunities for students to try new sports and find one they could commit to. 
  • Working closely with Sport and Recreation to implement a successful Give me Sport weekend. 
  • Implementing more Give it a Go sessions. 
  • Helping to plan for multiple clubs to travel to new countries to represent the University and play sport.
  • Liaising with the global office to ensure that postponed international trips for clubs can be organised for the following year. 
  • Organising standardised kit for the next academic year.
  • Introducing Purple Points for sports clubs. 
  • Working closely with Sport and Recreation to deliver a virtual Sports Awards. 
  • Celebrating rainbow laces with sports clubs, handing out a total of 1500 laces. 
  • Transitioning 23 (and soon to be 27) sports clubs over to Sport and Recreation. 
  • Ensuring that sport is continuing to develop and compete at a high level. 
  • Helping to organise Varsity. 
  • Helping to organise UPSU Pride Night. 
  • Working on substance abuse workshops with sports clubs. 
  • Improving and implementing committee training. 
  • Meeting a lot of Portsmouth football players. 
  • Lifting the Checkatrade Trophey. 
  • Helping clubs with many different charity fundraisers making some of the most successful charity events we have ever had. Team UoP raised almost £55,000 for causes throughout the year. 

And much, much more. 

Hayley - VP Welfare and Community

My three proudest achievements are: 

  • I wrote a paper to tackle sexual harassment and the reporting procedures, as well as making sexual harassment explicit in the Code of Student Behaviour. The paper was passed and work is still ongoing throughout my next year as Welfare Officer. 
  • Creating the 'Renters Rights Pack' which included guidance on choosing accommodation, moving in, what to do if you encounter issues, moving out the right way and protecting your deposit. It's still available to download for free on the UPSU website. 
  • Working on sustainability. In December 2019 I re-introduced the 'Do 1 Thing' campaign to help raise awareness of climate changes and how small changes can make a big difference. From this we've been able to implement a free Recycling Hub in the Union building. I'm looking forward to seeing what more we can achieve over the next year. 

Throughout the year, Hayley has worked on many projects. From her manifesto points, through to fighting for the rights of students when unprecedented global events made us go into lockdown. Hayley has had an incredible year at UPSU and we're proud of everything she's achieved. Find out more about the hard work she did to represent the student voice over the last year:\

  • Re-introducing the 'Do 1 Thing' campaign to improve awareness of sustainability. 
  • Helping plan the Union's involvement with the digital campaign 'Earth Hour'. 
  • Creating a Renter's Rights Pack and talking to students about housing concerns at two Housing Fairs. 
  • Helping to create an email/letter template for students requesting leniency on housing contracts during Covid-19. 
  • Ensuring government guidance on housing was promoted to students.
  • Creating a sexual harassment survey which will hopefully be released in the next academic year. 
  • Writing a paper to tackle sexual harassment and reporting procedures. 
  • Addressing the grey area of consent. 
  • Empowering students to recognise sexual harassment. 
  • Handing out sexual health packs to students which included condoms, advice about sexual health catch ups and questioning behaviour that could be considered sexual harassment. 
  • Providing free sanitary products in the Union and Portland building.
  • Providing free pronoun badges. 
  • Organising #UPSUok Mental Health Awareness campaign.
  • Working with the local MP and student groups to address student safety. 
  • Getting involved with an interview with PC Dave Fairbrother to address student safety. 
  • Reviewing the Union Actioning Body (UAB) structure. 
  • Supporting with the creation of the University and Union Wellbeing Strategy. 
  • Sitting on the University of Sanctuary board. 
  • Tackling student loneliness through 'The Roaming Living Room;. 
  • Getting involved in Alcohol Awareness week.
  • Starting a Drug Harm Reduction campaign.
  • Supporting Women in Leadership campaign for the next academic year. 
  • Creating student safety social media content. 
  • Supporting Welcome Month activities including Induction Talks and walking tours. 
  • Creating a recycling hub in the Union building. 

And much, much more. Hayley is yourWelfare Officer for 2020/21, watch out for her newest achievements over the next year. 

Covid-19

When we were pushed into an unprecedented set of circumstances and the country went into lockdown due to Covid 19, your Sabbatical Officers assembled and fought for the rights of students at the University of Portsmouth. From No Detriment Practices to housing rights and beyond, find out about the incredible work they managed to achieve in a digital world to ensure students weren't disadvantaged by exceptional circumstances. 

  • They set up a survey specifically for quickly collecting and responding to student feedback on their concerns during the pandemic. 
  • After weeks of lobbying, the Sabbs managed to convince the University to roll out a number of No Detriment Practices to support students and give them a safety net during the pandemic.
  • Wrote a joint letter with the University to all the private accommodation providers urging them to release students from their tenancies due to Covid-19. This resulted in 5 out of 6 providers in the city agreeing to give students this option.
  • They provided guidance and letter templates for students living in House in multiple occupation (HMOs) helping them to as landlords for rent releases. They also wrote to the council and the local MP about the issue. 
  • Working with the University, the Sabbs shipped laptops out student wide to students who needed them.
  • They lobbied our local MP to write to the Education Secretary about reimbursing and writing off student debt for this academic year. 
  • Using Facebook, they set up a student Facebook page to give updates on our Covid-19 related campaigns and social media fun
  • Working in pairs, the team created weekly live Q&A sessions across social media to respond quickly to student queries and concerns. 
  • They shared useful information for students who are trying to get released early from their contracts. 
  • The promoted Personal tutor support, welfare calls and the University's hardship fund.
  • They provided support for students with non-negotiable exams by keeping in contact with relevant staff and professional bodies to see how exams could be facilitated to support relevant students.
  • Sent an open letter to all heads of schools encouraging them to extend all deadlines to a minimum of 2 weeks. 
  • Worked with the Global Office to advertise our services and be on hand to aid with travel and loneliness. 
  • Got involved with Wellbeing Wednesday, with tips on how to be productive and look after yourself during these challenging times. 
  • There was a lot of unknown about ECFs for students, so they created a myth buster and an infographic to simplify the process.
  • Created an online platform to engage students with the BAME attainment gap.

The new Elected Officers will soon be taking office! 

Read all about them and their new roles here!

Read more about their manifestos here!


  Wellbeing   Sport   Societies   Elections   Portsmouth

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