Home of the Wonderful

Chat with Elizabeth Payne (Activities and Opportunities officer, SU)

Addie: What upcoming opportunities and activities can students expect to find on offer over the next academic year?

Lizzie: A key event worth highlighting foremostly is, of course, Welcome! A lot of our freshers events centre around our club nights, those being notoriously A list and Damn Good, its more the cool and current music that happens more at A list – spread across three rooms: the Hive, Blue bar and LCR, and all the cheesy anthems and everything happens at Damn Good.

We also do have a lot of daytime events that don’t involve alcohol, and are more networking events to make them more inclusive. In terms of non-alcoholic events, on the 20th we had the “Live in the Hive’ event which is essentially, as the name suggests, live music in the hive. We also had plant pot painting that day as well with seeds being handed out. Next two days we had the sports fair and soc fair respectively, so it was a good opportunity to find your society and community at UEA. On the Thursday we had Gaming zone, which was online with board games with Xboxes and PS4s, and then we had some board games in unio as well. On the Friday last afternoon we had the roller disco happening in the Sportspark.

In terms of networker events, we had a coffee and cake meet up for commuter students, a meet up for students with physical and learning disabilities, a first generation quiz, a BAME students meet up, and a mature students tea and coffee meet up as well. And then on the Friday we had the ‘bring your kids to uni’ for parent students. We also set up child minding for the day if they wanted to receive childcare support, and there was also an international students picnic on the Sunday. Then the following week we had a returner’s week, which is for second, third and fourth year students, PHD students, anyone who is coming back to uni.

On the Sunday night we had a welcome party, which is basically a big social for everyone to come along to. You wear a colour based off your halls of residence so students can meet others from their halls. It’s not a club night, it’s just a big social. During that week we have comedy with Seann Walsh, Damn Good Zoo party, the popular glow party where there are glow sticks and UV and much more! Moving onto the week after that, we have the Welcome Ball, or ‘Fake Fest’ as everyone likes to call it. This has got fairground rides out on the field outside Nelson Court. Think there will be around 3 to 4 rides there, where there’ll be a silent disco in one of the big domes. Then we’re going to have some tribute acts in the LCR for Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Beyonce!

Addie: In terms of covid related restrictions, what sort of systems are being implemented over the coming year regarding number capacities to reinforce social distancing, and pre-arrival testing?

Lizzie: In terms of pre-arrival initiation, students will be required to have proof of double vaccines or negative LFT but we are awaiting government guidelines on this. Damn good is usually spread across two rooms but this year it is spread across three to encourage distancing and have everybody a little more spread out.

I just wanted to say we also have our alcohol impact team to help out. All of our team are well trained, so this means if a student feels unsafe or need a bit of help on a night out, they can just approach a member of staff here if they need a bit of support. We want to make sure students have a safe night and feel safe in our venues and we have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment in our venues too.

First aid is usually in the Hive in the little room and alcohol impact are stood by the LCR doors when you walk in and out you will see them there. They tend to ask questions of students look a bit drunk or not the best after a night out and make sure that they can walk home safely.

Addie: Are there any other events in the diary that were due to spring up over the next coming months?

Lizzie: I guess something quite cool to shoutout are some of the gigs we’ve got. Rag’n’Bone man is coming – they are due to sell out, but there are a few tickets that have been held back for students, so keep an eye out on our ticket pages and websites. I don’t have dates yet for other events so cant spill too much on that yet.

 Addie: How about other student-led events; I noticed your email sent out yesterday about the Cop26 festival?

Lizzie: The Cop26 festival has been organised by two students on campus. We’re working with sport, with some societies as well. I think cop26 kicks off at the end of October and is all about climate change and sustainability; how we can act as a university, things like that.

 Addie: Are there any more volunteer schemes we can look forward to that may help students with getting involved with the community or cv building?

Lizzie: Yeah! There are lots of volunteer experiences you can get involved with, especially within societies. If you are a first year you can nominate yourself to be a first year rep of a club or society – I think nominations open in October/ November time. You could also be a course rep: representing views of students on course and giving feedback about certain things on your modules.

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Adelaide Cannell

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January 2022
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