Elle Phipps   About me. Hi, I'm Elle and I'm your Activities Officer for 2020/21. Course: Law. Hometown: Northampton.  How do you think your friends and family would describe you? Caffeine dependent and someone who leaves everything to the last minute! On a more serious note I would like to think that they see me as caring, supportive and passionate.    What inspired you to become an Executive Officer? Honestly I hadn’t given it much thought until I helped Sana campaign last year, at which point I was certain I wouldn’t run! This year I have noticed a lot of things that I would like to see a lot more energy and change in from an activities perspective and I’ve seen the great things this years team have  achieved, so I wanted to  be a part of that.


What can you offer students in your role? I can offer students a real energy for improvements and change in their activities at university, and someone who is always happy to make time for  a coffee and a chat! I’m really excited to have a role that covers four  areas of student life and I can offer students a commitment to improving each of these.        What is the most important change you want to make this year? The most important change I want to make this year is to push for societies to be more inclusive and accessible to all students. I know these are often buzzwords, but I think now more than ever it is crucial that all students who come to Leicester can make friends, share experiences and build support networks… So my priority is to remove as many barriers to that as possible.       Hobbies & interests. Tried and tested- flat white and a good book. Also love going to gigs!  Books- ‘Before the coffee gets cold’ by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ by Bernadine Evaristo and ‘The Guilty Feminist’ by Deborah Frances-White. Songs- ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ by Joy Crookes, ‘Sangria’ by Easy  Life ft Arlo Parks. Series- Grace and Frankie, How to Get Away with Murder and The IT Crowd.


Monthly Updates

Find out what your Activities Officer has been doing to support you over the previous and upcoming month.


Updates (May)


In the last month I have been working on:

• Meeting with PACE to discuss ongoing support structures for alternative funding for groups.

• Held Societies Council Project meeting and grant/new group meeting.

• Met with Social Environmental Steering Group and raised issues regarding consultation for new strategy.

• Worked collaboratively with University for Volunteering Strategy for next academic year.

• Attending Student Voice Review Forum.

• Student Group Awards shortlisting and production of videos.

• Facilitated a University Climate consultation with students.

• Met with MSL with regard to the development of group self-identification.

• Worked with Union Activities to develop ways in which we can support student groups to get committee members prior to the deadline.

• Working with careers on formatting for the new Skills Development Case Studies.

• Continue to work with the University on Centenary Voluntering Strategy.

• Planning Handover.


In the next month, I will be focusing on:

• Annual Leave until 2nd June.

• Sports Awards Panels.

• Handover.

• Reputation Recruitment Performance Board.

• Activities Awards Live Stream.


Updates (April 16)


In the last month I have been working on:

• Panels and filming for Activities Awards.

• Reviewing and Updating Complaints Process.

• Working on adopt a society and processes to ensure societies don't fold.

• Developing membership fee framework to improve transparency.

• WOrking on handover documents.

• Working with Research Team to do a Students' Union Climate Action Tracker.

• Support from Careers in terms of employability guides for outgoing committee members.

• Reviewing the Union's February Accounts.

• Working with Society Council looking at grant funding and approving new groups.

• Working on new ategroisation for student groups.


In the next month, I will be focusing on:

• Taking a period of Annual Leave.

• Centenary Volunteering mapping and project work.

• Working with Careers on Skills Development case studies and support for students.

• Hosting student consultation for University Climate Change Strategy.

• Publicising roadmap and intentions of SU for Student Groups up until the end of term.

• Continuing to work on society facing projects.

Updates (February)


In the last two weeks I have been working on:

• Preparing on Sustainability Strategy for the Union building on research from other Unions.

• Working with Careers Development on skills development with regard to extra curriculum activities.

• Working with Team to adapt and promote Activities Awards.

• Reviewing Committee Training including Incorporating Sustainability into Committee Training.

• Identifying initiatives to ensure that societies can be maintained during Covid in order to be re-launched in September includign an Adopt a Society Scheme.

• Reviewing Affiliation Documents.

• Preparing for Student Consultations on University and Union's climate strategy.

• Developed the questions for the Activities Officers election Q&A session.

• Attended various university meeting and working groups including Attenborough Arts and Centenary Project Boards.


In the next two weeks, I will be focusing on:

• Supporting Student Group Elections.

• Preparing for Scrutiny Panels.

•Establishing the strands of the Union Strategy and identifying areas for immediate and longer term development.

• Finalising Committee Training ready for the launch at the end of March.

• Working with Society Council to identify new projects for the rest of the year and allocate funding.

• Working with Careers to identify case studies to show-caase employability skills of student volunteers/leaders.

Updates (January 11 - January 29)


In the next two weeks, I will be working on:

• The Students' Union Climate Strategy and preparing for the launch of Re-Think Sustainability.

• Working with the Activities Team to ensure Give it a Go is organised for student groups.

• Supporting on Student Group Elections.

Updates (December 1 - December 18)


In the last two weeks I have been working on:

• Successfully passed a proposal at Student Council to update the Activities Officer role description

• Attended the January Return Group meeting – seeking to get clarity for students

• Contributed to the induction of two new Activities team members

• Attended the Leicester Citizens AGM – successfully lobbied for Housing to be established as a city wide priority

• Gave presentation on Student Led Volunteering and importance of it to Centenary Engagement Team which will hopefully lead to additional funding.

• Met with ERD and Head of Colleges and Schools to raise student feedback on their experiences.

• Worked on branding and advertising of Sustainability Campaign including liaising with relevant external stakeholders

• Held a Society Council project meeting which included the reviewing of funding applications

• Beginning to review student group training

• Hosted an SSPG meeting discussed digital footprint and getting students involved in investment week and started planning on Go Green Week.


In the next two weeks, I will be focusing on:

• Continued work with the January Return Group and Onboarding groups to ensure that student experience and feedback is fully considered.

• Partnership meeting with PACE to secure structured support for Student Groups

• Attending the Volunteering Steering Group

• One to One Catch-ups with University stakeholders

• Finalising and approving the content for Sustainability Campaign.

Updates (November 16 - November 30)


In the last two weeks I have been working on:

• Attended the NUS and WonkHe Freedom of Speech Roundtable.

• Put forward lockdown exemptions proposal for volunteering and support groups to the University to ensure they are prioritised.

• Attended Finance and Audit Sub Committee

• Met a Campaigns Coordinator – to further develop designs and proposals for sustainability hub.

• Met with PACE to establish long term SU connections to ensure we work together to provide ongoing support to student groups.

• Attended Advisory Board meeting for Attenborough Arts

• Hosted a talk on Volunteering as part of the pandemic as part of the Leics Chat day.

• Met with campaign team from SOS UK to get support and updates on investment and Sustainability Hub

• Chaired November’s Society Council November Meeting.

• Attended the Volunteering Partnership group to shape a task and finish group on volunteering in schools.

• Prepare sections of the proposed climate strategy for student and key stakeholder consultation.

• Various catch-ups with CEO and senior members of University staff.


In the next two weeks, I will be focusing on:

• Meeting with Careers Development Service to scope out the employability action plan for engaging with students from liberation backgrounds

• Chairing Rag, Sustainability and Volunteering Network Meeting.

• Centenary Project Board and Engage 100 work streams.

• Hosting Student Forum to seek feedback from students on their experiences.

• Attending the Leicester Citizens Accountability Assembly

• Delivering content ready for development of the Sustainability Hub.

• Student Partnership Committee

• Beginning work with the University on HEAR accreditation.

• Continuing to work on clear communication and been in discussion to ensure prioritisation for student groups as we move out of National Lockdown

• Project meeting with Society Council.

• Attending the Student Partnership Committee

Updates (November 2 - November 16)


In the last two weeks I have been working on:

•Responded and provided guidance to student groups on changes to government guidelines.

• Involved in the Student Staff Interviews for New Creative Marketing Roles.

•Started working with University Volunteering Team to established a University strategy on Volunteering.

•Hosted first SSPG meeting (Student Sustainability Project Group).

•Met with developers to refine design for new Volunteering Portal.

•Confirmed terms of reference for Society Council and trained them.

•Met with HEAR accreditation Team – started to prepare an accreditation guide for how students get the most from it.

•Advocated for Society Space on new Freeman Commons Project (Ongoing).

•Shortlisted and interviewed for new Activities Inclusion Coordinator.

•Continued student involvement with Centenary Project (Ongoing).

•Attended NUS Sustainability Summit.

•Met with Citizens UK Leadership Team to establish strategy for project.

•Hosted a student forum on Instagram Live.


In the next two weeks, I will be focusing on:


•Attending a National Freedom of Speech Roundtable organised by NUS and WonkHE.

•Working with University Careers and Engagement to develop collaborative employability projects.

•Attending the Finance and Audit Sub Committee.

•Meeting with University to discuss Student Groups activity within lockdown.

•Continuing to work on developing the Sustainability Hub.

•Attended a Board Meeting for Attenborough Arts.

•Working with the Social Environmental Steering Group.

•Part of Freemans Common Project Board.

Updates (October 19 - November 2)


In the last two weeks I have been working on:

• Chaired the Leicester Citizens Delegates Assembly for local community leaders and was appointed to the senior leadership’s group.

• Completed the review into the Sustainability Structures, this included successfully agreeing with the University the terms of reference? for a new SU led = Student Sustainability Partnership Group (SSPG) that will ensure students have a seat at the table to raise their concerns and identify areas of improvement with the university.

• Worked to rebrand and redevelop our student decision making body for Activities; Societies Council, including shortlisting and interviewing students.

• In conjunction with Activities Team allocated initial grant funding, whilst conducting a review into the grant allocation process.

• Worked with Attenborough Arts Centre Director and wider team to secure additional space for student groups to utilise and to identify future areas of collaboration.

• Coordinated the organisation and running the Sustainability Give a Go event.

• Supported the Societies Fair and the Give a Go programme.

• Worked with Plan-it Change to successfully lobby the University to put disposable masks drop off points in Oadby Halls of residence.

• Set up a new presidents group to enable them to communicate directly to the Activities Team.

• Set up a wellbeing & inclusion forum with the Wellbeing Officer and Liberation Officer to ensure ambassadors are connected and supported.

• Met with Sexpression, Burlesque, Plan-it Change and Enactus to see how we can help and support them with their activities.


In the next two weeks, I will be focusing on:

• Preparing and delivering Society Council Training and developing the terms of reference for the group.

• Developing a proposal for a sustainability hub for the website to ensure students are informed and have access to resources to act on sustainable initiatives.

• Working with MSL to finalise proposals for the development of a new Volunteering Hub.

• Collaborative meeting with the Director of Student Engagement at the University to continue to work on accreditation for student opportunities and volunteering strategies.

• Continuing to work with last year’s Accessibility Officer on ensuring that progress is maintained on the development of a Sensory Garden.

• Putting together the final plans to launch a listening campaign as part of the Citizens UK project

• Continuing to support and provide advice to student groups.


Officer Priorities

Find out about Elle's officer priorities this term:


Term 1



Priority 1 - Difficulty with engagement and membership of societies.

Ways to address:

• Funding bid to the university for money to partner with societies and deliver events to whole student body. Also secure centralised university marketing for this.

Priority 2 - Student led volunteering not advertised by the University

Ways to address:

• Partnership meetings to ensure promotion, mapping strategy to ensure student led volunteering is recognised fully and advertised by the university.


Get in touch with Elle


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You can find out more about my role and the other Officer roles here



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