Welcome Week is all about bringing people together, creating friendships, helping you settle in and introducing you to everything life at Queen Mary has to offer, and this year will be no different. However, it’s been a challenging time for everyone for lots of different reasons and we’ve all had to make some changes along the way, including here at the Students’ Union. We’re sure you’re both nervous and excited to begin your journey here, and you’re probably keen to find out a bit more about what we’re planning for you, so we’ve put together this post to let you know what we have planned for you this Welcome Week.
We’ve been working hard to make sure you receive an unforgettable welcome to Queen Mary whether you’re planning to join us from home or in our great city of London. We’ll be posting lots of updates between now and when you arrive so sign-up to our mailing list, follow-us on social media and check our website as like everything right now, plans may have to change!
Who we are
If you haven’t checked out our welcome page yet, here’s a brief intro about the Students’ Union! We’re a student-led organisation that is the voice of all Queen Mary students. Every student is automatically a member and has a say in how we are run through elections and student representatives. Together, we improve students’ lives by creating change, working to improve your experience at University by representing your views, supporting your development and wellbeing with on-campus services and providing you with hundreds of activities and events throughout the year.
Find out more about us on our Welcome page here.
Events, activities and Sport
We know both new and returning students enjoy our Welcome events and activities, and see them as a great opportunity to meet new people, try something new and have fun. They’re a big part of an unforgettable Welcome Week and we’ll be launching a programme of events online, on-campus and some that offer both. We’ll be hoping to let you know the full line-up at the start of September, but wherever you are you’ll be able to get involved. Be the first to find out by signing up to our mailing list here or joining the Official Freshers' Facebook group.
We’re also developing our services so we can continue to offer you opportunities both online and on campus to volunteer in the community, take part in sustainability projects or participate in creating change together with our student representatives. We’ll also be running campaigns and celebrations throughout the year, starting with Black History Month in October.
We also know keeping fit and healthy on-campus is important to many of you. Because of this we prioritised re-opening Qmotion Sport & Fitness Centre which is already re-open, and have now started daily online classes open to everyone to try out at home. We are currently adapting our sports programmes to ensure they are safe for everyone and comply with the current UK government and UK Active industry guidance. Social distancing requirements may mean some sports are not immediately available, or session capacities reduced – but we are committed to continuing to provide sport and wellbeing activities in a safe environment for all students and staff.
Clubs & Societies
Our Clubs & Societies are a big part of thousands of students’ Queen Mary experience; things would simply not be the same without them! These student-led groups provide incredible opportunities, bring people together and offer students the opportunity to try something new, spark new interests and develop skills.
We are home to over 250 diverse Sports Clubs, Societies, Student Media outlets and Volunteering groups who will all be active. Our groups are eager to get started, are ready to welcome you and want to help you get stuck in to Queen Mary life.
Many of our groups will be offering opportunities and experiences online, on-campus and in London throughout the first Semester, so you can get involved wherever you are and not miss out! We’re working with them to ensure all their planned activities are safe for you and comply with current government guidance. You can join many of our Clubs & Societies right now, click the links to find a group for you: Societies, Student Media, Volunteering
This year we’re working hard to bring you our first ever online Welcome Fair! We’ll also be running a series of Welcome Markets throughout the first couple of weeks and popping-up around campus during Arrivals Weekend – so wherever you are you’ll be able to meet us. These events are your chance to find out more about the opportunities at Queen Mary, talk to our Clubs and Societies and grab some freebies. These events will be one of the highlights of September and October so check back soon for further information.
Our places & spaces
Our places and spaces on the Mile End, Whitechapel and Charterhouse Square campuses are important community spaces for all students. For students joining us on campus we know how much students value them for meeting and catching-up with other students and friends, studying, relaxation, working out, activities, events and prayer and contemplation.
We’ve been carefully planning how to open our spaces safely for you and our staff teams and are now ready to greet you and welcome you back. Currently, we plan to open most of our on-campus spaces in September, albeit with reduced capacity, whilst continuing to expand the online services we provide through a brand new website – coming soon!
Our cafes, bars and shops, Students’ Union Hub building and BLSA Building will all be open in time for Welcome Week. Qmotion, our Sport & Fitness Centre on the Mile End campus, and the Village Shop have also re-opened. Like everything right now, some changes have had to be made to make sure we have all the necessary things in place to help keep you safe, watch our handy little video to find out more. You’ll find social distancing measures, clear signage, hand sanitiser stations and new online ways of ordering food and drink in our outlets. Plus, they’ll be enhanced cleaning all day.
You can read more about the plans for our places and spaces, and what you can expect when you visit here.
Remember, we’re a registered charity so every penny of profit from our venues is reinvested into the activities, campaigns, support services and opportunities we provide to you.
Last year we introduced new school representatives, faculty-based Executive Officers and new ways for students to get involved, have their say and create change. During Semester one all of our student meetings, such as Student Council, will be moving online. Welcome Week will also see nominations open for our Autumn Elections. You could be one of our next Course Representatives, representing the students on your course, or one of our part-time officers on Student Council. Look out for details during Welcome Week! You can run whether you are planning to study at home or on campus.
And finally…..beyond Welcome Week
Whatever happens this year, we’ll be here for you. We’ve had to change a lot since we moved our services and support online. During the past few months we’ve learnt a lot about the best ways of continuing our services online, and these online options will continue and increase next semester. So, we’ll still be here representing you, supporting you, creating change and offering lots of activities that help you to form friendships and communities of your own. Please keep in touch, let us know if there’s something you think we should change or do differently and look out for our updates. We cannot wait to meet you all!
Your Students' Union team