Community and Development Officer: Ben Cooper
Hi, I'm Ben your Community and Development Officer.
I come from a small village about 50 minutes away from Reading, which makes getting to and from Uni very easy! My background is farming which is a huge part of my life as anyone who knows me can testify. However I have studied Politics and International Relations at the University for two years (slightly different to agriculture). In this time I have been on a JCR, got involved in clubs and societies and basically had a really good time.
So now for a random thing about me, my favourite meal is a roast dinner, it cannot be beaten! But let's be honest as a student unless I'm going home I don't get many roasts so my favourite uni meal is pasta as most of you will probably agree it is what we live on at uni. In my free time I like going on nights out and doing anything that involves being outdoors.
So now down to the heavy stuff, what I want to get done this year. I aim to improve on the housing issues in Reading, lead on environmental campaigns, increase volunteering and opportunities for students and develop the community in and around campus. As well as this the other Officers and I will be working to ensure that your time at Reading is as good as it possibly can be.
Community for me means more than people in a given vicinity. I aim to improve student involvement in the local area whilst developing our already strong environment on campus.
Make accommodation and housing more transparent furthermore user friendly, through campaigns to raise issues students have, resulting in less stress and complication.
Facilitate and improve the process of finding housemates and private housing.
Use the JCR system to promote access to information about private housing and in hall accommodation for first years.
Improve on the ‘Rate your landlord’ scheme, making it better known and used.
Community, Volunteering & Charity:
The biggest issue voiced by volunteer groups and societies is that their events and fundraising efforts go unnoticed. I will campaign for raised awareness of these events.
Promote RAG and societies with any charity and volunteering work they wish to pursue. Including aiming to open up the RED award to all local community charities and volunteer groups for students to gain experience.
Meet with local schools, charities and volunteer groups to improve opportunities for students to get involved in the community.
Increase JCR and societies involvement in community projects.
Improve the strategies for our multicultural campus through specific events aimed at integrating different cultures together throughout the year.
Keep Campus Shop and Union drink prices affordable.
Promote sustainability, recycling and green polices in halls and all university buildings.
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