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DSU Successes

DSU Successes (2015)

We’ve got more DMU students involved in more activities and events than ever before. We offered sports, societies, volunteering, student media, representation, support, shops and entertainment. We helped make DMU the best it can be, helped our students build skills and provided unforgettable experiences. Have a look through some highlights of the many achievements.

Sport
Netball varsity 2016

Netball varsity 2016

  • A massive development in sports over 2015 has been Campus330 – our programme designed to provide free access informal and inclusive sports. Over 820 students signed up to this at Freshers and 2007 of you took part in RunDMU, circuits, boxing, wheelchair basketball and more.
  • 2015 saw us host the University of Leicester in the annual Varsity competition.  46 games were played across 25 sports as you lot represented DMU with pride.  Many of our teams also took part in other inter-university, national and even European championships bringing home a range of awards and trophies.
Societies and activities
  • The growth of societies over the last few years has been incredible with the number of active societies peaking at 122 in May 2015. By the end of the year, over 2600 students had purchased 3500 society memberships.
  • 2015 has also been a great year for non-alcohol based social activities. Launched in January, over 800 got involved in trips to the bingo, Twycross Zoo, The Harry potter Studio Tour, laser tag, ten pin bowling, cinema nights, pub quizzes and loads more! A great way to socialise and try something new, we even put on a free vintage fun fair during #FreshFest15. We re-named this project Give it a Go in September to better describe what it’s all about
Advice and support
  • Our professional and independent welfare team have dealt with a whopping 6812 enquiries on a range of different subjects such as housing, academic queries, immigration, SFE issues as well as debt and consumer problems. We passed the Advice Quality Standard again (an award we’ve retained since 2008!) ensuring we give our students the best possible information, advice and guidance
  • With our help, students saved £117,441, we represented students at 265 meetings and hearings plus prevented 51 students from being removed from their course.
  • DSU is the only SU in the country that supports international students with their visa applications, free of charge. We processed 472 this year enabling more students to study at DMU
  • We also recruited four DSU Ambassadors to work on welfare campaigns to increase awareness of key issues including mental health and wellbeing, alcohol awareness, seeking a new property for next year and what to do if personal issues affect coursework submissions and exams. We talked to over 300 of you with key information so you could make an informed choice.
  • 2015 has also seen our peer mentoring project, MyUnipal, go from strength to strength. In January, 50 mentors were mentoring over 160 mentees.
Student voice
  • We now have over 650 Course Reps with over 160 of them attending our 2015 Course Rep Conference in October, and over 230 attending training We’ve equipped them with the knowledge to represent and support their course mates. In the last 12 months our Course Reps have campaigned for and achieved a magnificent 140 wins at university committees to help improve your academic experience such as; working with lectures and university staff to lay on over 24 hours of additional lecture led teaching time, and negotiated with the university to save students over £23,000 in hidden course costs.
  • This year we also secured £30,000 funding from DMU for School Reps. In recognition of all the amazing work they do and attending committees to provide a student voice in key academic decisions that are made, School Reps now receive a small financial thank you.
  • We ran our largest ever Election and By-Elections in 2015, engaging and having more students having their say on the leadership of the SU with 3,846 and 591 votes respectively. We also held our largest AGM, the Big Meet where 170 students attended to hold the SU’s Trustees to account and ensure the SU continues to represent its members.
Communications
  • In the run-up to #FreshFest15, we posted over 5000 freshers booklets to incoming students and delivered over 3000 ‘Welcome Home’ goody bags to halls crammed with freebies and information to welcome our freshers to DMU. 72 volunteer Freshers Reps worked to communicate with and help our newest members settle into their new surroundings.
  • 2015 also saw our website transform to a fresh and easier-to-read design. The new site saw 37,400 users over Freshers alone (that’s over 15% more than 2014).
  • Demon Media with funding from DSU plus an additional £2500 from DMU had a fantastic 2015. The Demon changed from a fortnightly newspaper to a monthly magazine. The quality of articles and design has drastically improved and has been well received. DemonTV produced more pieces both independently and via commissioned work with great feedback. DemonFM received 4 national nominations at the prestigious Student Radio awards and Demon Media also launched an update on their news website to increase the quality of their communications.
Student accommodation
  • Sulets (our jointly owned lettings agency with Leicester SU) this year became the biggest students’ lettings company in Leicester with over 2400 bed spaces. With no set-up or registration fee for our members, not only can we guarantee excellent accommodation but we have saved £1000s for our members.
At the heart of campus
  • 2015 saw us host Zane Lowe’s last UK gig as a Radio1 DJ as part of the line-up for the amazing DMU Winter ball. 1850 bought freshers wristbands for a fortnight of top nights out, and loads more attended our action-packed calendar of over 40 events.
  • Over 27,000 hours of volunteering were logged with us in 2015 equating to over £200,000 (hours x living wage) put back into our local community by our students.
  • RAG week in February, raised an incredible total of over £3600. Our Islamic Society finished second in the entire Midlands by raising over £7000 during Charity Week 2015. In November, we held a record breaking Children in Need day, with hundreds of DSU volunteers raising over £1100 for the charity through activities both on and off campus. Our annual event for the Toys on the Table charity saw over 300 donations of gifts from DMU students and staff and loads of volunteers to help wrap them up.
Developing students
  • Our volunteering opportunities have done just this, as well as contributing to the local community. 2015 saw the number of DSU volunteers swell from 1749 to over 2000. This year we’ve also formed new partnerships with 60 more local organisations offering even more choice to our volunteers.
  • We act as a hub for all Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and carried out 558 DBS checks this year for students working with children or vulnerable adults. There’s also been a range of extra training opportunities for sports as well as societies, including first aid, SaDS, risk assessment and other courses.
  • We gave internship opportunities to 9 Graduate Champions this year.  We gave them the experience, encouragement and training to develop their employability skills plus took on 15 Frontrunners and 32 student staff.
  • We have introduced a new Learning Management System for our student staff that will enhance their professional development and offers formal accreditations which can be taken to future employers.
  • 2015 also saw us maintain an exceptionally high employee engagement score of 87%. It shows how committed our staff are to supporting students and the success of the Union. This score is comparable to our 2015 National Students Survey score which shows that happy DSU staff equals a better DSU student experience.
DSU people
  • We launched the Heroes Academy to encourage more students to stand in the elections and to run more effective and engaging campaigns. There were female candidates for every executive position in this year’s elections which more accurately represents the student population than in previous years. This led to our highest election turnout ever with 3846 voting. Over 65 students applied to be a student trustee and included new external and alumni trustees to help manage and administer the Union.
  • We’re proud to have achieved Investors in People Gold and are committed to paying all of our staff at least the living wage.
  • Finally, at the end of their three years, DMU graduates said they thought we did a pretty good job at being their SU – with a 78% satisfaction rating as part of the NSS, making us a top 20 SU in the country.

For much more insight into the impact we have had please look at our DSU Impact Report 2015