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Hi there! Welcome to the University of Cumbria Students' Union (UCSU) Sabbatical officer blog where we will tell you what we have been up to at the UCSU. This blog will be updated approximately every week. We are here to represent the views of the University of Cumbria student body, across a range of areas.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Employability conference

January 10th 2012 saw CDEPP (Centre for the Development and Enhancement of Professional Practice) but on their yearly conference. This year it focussed on integrating employability and came from the employability task and finish group who have been looking at creating an employability award pilot for 2012-2013. The day had a variety of sessions run by senior staff, faculty members and external companies and was extremely useful. The best session was obviously the SU session which I presented, having been part of the employability task and finish group and having been asked by Terry Wareham to conduct a session. I went through what we do in the Students’ Union which enhances students’ employability, showed some interviews with students who aired their views and made everyone sea sick with my Prezi presentation (lots of rotating and zooming in and out). We got lots of positive feedback and some great big ups from different members of staff so after a massive freak out in the morning when my prezi wouldn’t download and major nerves it all went extremely well and I finally got the chance to relax. There is still work to do with regards to implementing the award but we at the Students’ Union welcome this award as it allows students to reflect and articulate the skills they gain being involved with the Students’ Union and local community organisations.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Serious criminals making mules out of students

Since 2008 there has been an increase of 45% of criminals using students as money mules.

Students are being targeted by organised criminals to act as ‘money mules’ to receive illegal funds into their bank accounts, which they then withdraw or transfer overseas on behalf of the criminals.

Students are often recruited through newspaper and internet advertisements with the role offering an apparent easy way to make some extra cash. These jobs are often advertised as a ‘financial manager’, ‘UK representative’, ‘shipping manager’ or ‘sales manager’ position. No particular skills or experiences needed except access to a UK bank account and the ability to swiftly transfer funds abroad will be required. Criminals will go to great lengths to make the job look legitimate e.g. creating a company website/employment contract.

Even if you haven’t had anything to do with the actual theft of funds by enabling your bank account to be used you are acting illegally and may be subject to criminal investigation and if found guilty given a criminal record as well as damaging your credit rating, potentially being black listed by banks, having your bank frozen and liable to pay back all the money.

SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency) has put together 5 key tips to protect you:
  • Be particularly wary of job offers from companies or people who are based overseas, as it will be extremely difficult for you to verify who they are.
  • Beware of any job offers based purely on an application or limited telephone interview. Check the company’s details and make sure they are registered.
  • If in doubt ask someone you trust.
  • Check the adverts – many bogus jobs are written in poor English and contain mistakes.
  • And remember be cautious of job advertisements claiming to offer you money with little or no specialist skills or previous work experience required.

For more information or general help go to www.banksafeonline.org.uk or www.getsafeonline.org

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Student Safety Advice

Following the incidents happening in Carlisle recently the Students’ Union have been working closely with the Police to make sure student’s feel safe and have peace of mind. We had the first of our safety talks at

Brampton Road last week and the police had some top tips for when you’re out on the town. These were:
  • Plan your night out beforehand; let someone know where you are going and when you are likely to be home.
  • Get money out before you head out and before it gets dark.
  • Always carry a charged mobile phone that has credit and put a trusted, reputable taxi number into your contacts.
  • Never accept a drink from someone you don’t know or trust. If someone offers to buy you a drink and you accept, make sure you go to the bar with them so you know what you are getting.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times, if it looks or tastes suspicious don’t drink it.
  • Watch out for your friends and make sure they get home safely.
  • If you loose your friends during the night, make a plan to meet somewhere well lit at a certain time.
  • Don’t walk home alone after dark – plan ahead. If you are walking home in a group make sure no one is left alone at the end of the drop off.
  • Avoid taking short cuts, keep to well-lit main streets/areas.
  • Never accept lifts from strangers or unregistered taxis.
  • Drink responsibly; binge drinking makes you more vulnerable.
 For more information go to http://bit.ly/UCSU02

If you would like more advice or support please feel free to contact the SU advice centre - Suadvice@cumbria.ac.uk or Student.union@cumbra.ac.uk  

The next talks will be at
Fusehill Street
on Wednesday 12th October at 3pm and at the Brewery also on Wednesday 12th October at 6pm.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Welcome - SU Summer Round up:

We believe through you we can make the most out of your university experience.
We do this through improving your academic and non-academic experience.

SU Summer Round up:

During the summer we have been working hard on a number of projects. Planning for this academic year and for future years. Including your elections process, the ways in which you can have your say on how things should be run at the University and at the Union, whilst not forgetting the Student Led awards to highlight the good work of the University and students such as yourself.

The SU officers have all been attending training events to share with other Student Unions and ourselves, ways in which to reach out to you in new and diverse ways. We have also been working on aspects in which we can work with our local communities.

We have also been working to improve Sports and Societies and speaking to the University to improve your academic experience. Over the coming year, you  will see a very active student union. We will be letting you know more about what we do as we campaign and act on issues important to you.

If you have questions,ideas or just want to chat, get in touch!

Your SU is run by students for students, your ideas do make an important difference.

Finally, We have moved. We now have a new office in Lancaster and at Brampton Road. In Lancaster our office is now by the reception of the Gateway Building; however, the shop is in the same place it has always been.

At in Carlisle at Brampton Road, we are now based near the LISS office where the estate's office use to be.

The Student Union