When I first visited Royal Holloway, with the glorious sunshine illuminating Founder’s Building, I knew I was going to call it home as a student for the coming three years. I never imagined that five years later I would only just be saying goodbye, after having the pleasure to be your Vice President Education in 2019/20, and now President.
It’s safe to say my time as a Sabbatical Officer has been a real journey, but despite the challenges faced throughout the pandemic, I continue to be amazed at the sheer brilliance of the students here. Everything has turned itself upside down over the last 15 months, but you have remained resilient and positive throughout. I want to say both well done for making it through, and a wholehearted thank you, for making the best of the situation and showing just how strong the Royal Holloway community can be.
During the course of my two years as your elected representative, I have had the pleasure of interacting with so many of you – whether this be through supporting you to bring about change on your course; campaigning with you; developing policy with you; or, even debating with you on a particular issue. I have been constantly reminded that universities are wonderful places to be, to study or to work, because of the people within them.
I am immensely proud of the work we have done over the last year; undertaking a policy inquiry into Student Housing
, campaigning on the key issues facing students nationally
, progressing the sustainability agenda
, and responding rapidly to the needs of students during the pandemic. I hope I have shown how impactful the Students’ Union can be, with the collective voice of students at our heart.
As we head into what will hopefully be a more stable period for everyone, I would encourage you to reflect on this last year. It often takes a crisis to make us realise what we are truly grateful for, and I for one am very much hoping to see a buzz of students on campus again come the new academic year.
Unfortunately, my term in office can’t end by experiencing one more survivors’ breakfast at Summer Ball, so I will have to make do with a drink in the Quads. I hope that you take forward what you have learnt at Royal Holloway, both inside the academic buildings and out, and stay curious. Thank you for continuing to amaze and inspire me.