Myself and Jack Juckes, one of the BLSA Vice-Presidents, were fortunate enough to be able to travel to Malta to welcome the new First Year Students a couple of weeks ago. It has been very encouraging to see the engagement the new students have had, particularly since the second years have returned. I will be continuing to work closely with Sophie, the Gozo Society President, this year. We are aiming to set up a mentoring scheme in the coming weeks for the second year students in Malta which third year students in London can apply to be a part of, which will hopefully ensure that these students have support from senior students. As a students' union, we have also been looking at how we support the students in Malta both in the short-term and long-term and are currently working on a Service-Level Agreement with the staff in Malta to establish what that support looks like and how it will develop over the coming years.
Our Freshers Fortnight was a great success with a diverse range of events being organised by our BLSA ENTs Officers. I was very pleased to welcome all of our new students, from medics and dentists to postgraduates and intercalating students. Our Welcome events kicked off on Saturday 15th with our Mummies & Daddies event, where we begin by welcome all of our new students in The Perrin Lecture Theatre, after which the students go out and meet their 'Mummy & Daddy', two senior students who take them under their wing and welcome them to Barts and The London over a good Brick Lane curry! The Whitechapel Campus was buzzing with activity on Wednesday 19th when we held our Freshers Fayre. With more stalls than last year, we filled all of the rooms in The BLSA Building as well as The Old Library in The Garrod Building. Feedback from students was great and all student groups seemed to have a really great amount of interest. We had a range of new events including The BLSA Sports Day, DRAG Bingo (organised with BL LGBT+ Soc) and 'How to Ace First Year' (organised with BL ISoc). Overall it was a busy fortnight of events and all of our BLSA Board Members worked incredibly hard, particularly the Entertainments Officers, Laurence and Tilly.
Our welcome events went very well in general with some great engagement from students. This year, we looked particularly at how we welcome Postgraduate Students and organised some events specifically for postgraduates within SMD, including a Postgraduate Welcome Fayre at Charterhouse Square, an Inter-Institute Quiz and a BBQ. The overall engagement from these events was really positive and we will be looking to continue this throughout the year and hopefully find out more about what these students would like from their union. It is also really encouraging to see that,k for the first time in a number of years, both of our BL Postgraduate Rep positions are contested positions in the elections.
Now Freshers Fortnight is over I am looking forward to getting to work on some other proejcts I have planned for this year, including a new BLSA Mentoring Scheme, plans for a BL Week in January and continuing work on a heritage project which was started last year.