G-U-I-L-D, coming to the end of my degree.

As I come to the end of my final year I am beginning to realise that only an Easter break filled with coursework and a few short exams separate me from throwing a hat in the air and greeting what comes next after graduating from university.  It’s a scary thought and at times like this, I remember all the Ex-Guild Officers who were going through the same thing last year and even the year before; perhaps a sign I’ve been doing this job far too long.  They’ve all graduated.  Some have moved on (not all) and they’ve all become pretty functional human beings by most standards.  There is still hope.
So, as I look to the future, I’m confident that we’ve started something good here at SB.  We’ve just had the bi-election and I can now confirm that we have an almost full officer team.  (We’re still searching for that Vice Chair and Treasurer. Emails Inbound.) Current officers are looking forward to getting to know the new recruit over the coming months and making sure they’re up to speed with what they’ll be getting up to.  The handover meal will take place, so look out you lot.  Shout out to my successor, Ed Koffler, as he shadows me in the period up to midnight of summer ball – I’ll make sure you’ve got everything you need before I run off.

So onto the term, second one down and what a term it has been!

We’ve been cracking our nuts off these past few months with some fantastic events. `Anything But Clothes’ shed the exam blues away and was a great start to an even greater term. We then had a brilliantly organised Societies Ball, with Charli Twyford and Daniel Amor fronting the organisation.  A fantastic job by both – you’re a great team.  The smiles in each photo just shows it was all worth the blood, sweat and tears.

Next up was the return of SB Battle of the Bands.  The Banner was even bigger and bolder than last year and the event followed suit. A total of six Bands competed for the sweet prize money.  Well fought by all but hats off to Loxley, Kynch and Medici who came 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.  The short mosh pit in the bar was definitely a personal highlight.

Tyler Willard and Meg Whitwam certainly deserve a mention.  They have run  two absolutely fantastic events in the last few weeks. First of all was the St Patricks Day Dining In, the last formal meal of the year and my very last one as an SB Student. Needless to say my speech was flawless, there were many tears and I received a sitting ovation!  It was an eventful evening but a really good one and all cows taken that night were politely returned with their backs looking slightly more worn in.  I think many of us are still recovering from their most recent event, the Silent Disco.  It was certainly a triumph and we’ve had endless comments from you all saying how much you enjoyed it. I’ve heard two years of Junior Ents officers discuss Silent Discos during their hustings (including myself…) to no avail but congratulations to you both on making it a reality. A wise Guild would certainly run it again next year *wink*.

Finally, some seeds sown just before Easter include the Kegworth Konnect Campaign, to make the area surrounding campus safer for commuters whether walking, cycling or driving between campus and Kegworth and making the whole process of coming to campus easier with regard to the general lack of parking on campus. We’ve got 742 people on board on the Facebook page so watch this space.  Jodie Wainwright and Darcie Stott are on it like a car bonnet, literally…

I’ll save a truly sappy reflection of the year for a time when I’ve got less on my plate workwise. From all the officers and myself, we hope you all have a fantastic Easter Break and we’ll see you back on campus when it’s, fingers crossed, a bit warmer.


Sam Riley – Guild Chair


Hoping you have the SBest Christmas!

So it’s Christmas Eve and I’m currently sitting in the Keele University Library as like the majority of you I’ve left SB and headed home for the holidays. It seems procrastination is a crutch even for your Guild Chair I’m afraid.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the rest of the officer team this past term and it’s been awesome to see so many of you enjoying yourselves at the events we put on and to hear about you having such a good laugh with the societies on campus. It was lovely to end on a high point with the Yule Ball dining in selling 454 tickets making it one of the highest attendances ever for a dining in and I’d like to thank Tyler, Meg and Dan once again for nailing another event.
…The fact I had just wrapped up an essay at 4:50pm before the 5pm deadline just made it even easier to enjoy myself.

We’ve got so much planned for next year that the Events team have to had multiple meetings just to properly arrange the calendar and to have only just managed to fit everything in. There’s plenty to look forward to with Battle of the Bands making a return as well as the revival of the legendary Keggy Crawl. We’ve also got societies ball which I can reveal is being hosted at a brand new to be disclosed venue meaning the evening doesn’t have to finish so ‘early’ and ya’ filthy animals can have a few more drinks 😉

I’m going to wrap this one up here as my little sister has made me a cocktail with her new shaker and is demanding I give her an opinion on it. I hope you all have a lovely break and have a Happy New Year from Myself and all the other Officers on the Guild.

Catch you in January guys,

Sam Riley – Guild Chair

It’s Alive!

Did you Guys know that the Guild has had a blog all this time?
Me neither…
Might as well leave a skater style tag on this dustbowl.

Those of you who know me may be aware that I’ve kept a Journal for the past two years and whilst that thing is full to the brim with deep thoughts, drama and other things a twenty year old boy might be feeling or dwelling on, this has to be slightly official to give the avid reader an insight into the workings of the Guild, the Sutton Bonington campus and the university as a whole.

Now that we’re a month into term, the pumpkins in Tesco are going to make it hard for me to think back to the summer holidays but I’m going to attempt it regardless.
Any Guild Chair and Senior Ents who have come before me will hopefully agree when I say that the summer following your election and before welcome week is one of the busiest times of the year and I let the beast of SB consume me that little bit more by never actually leaving the campus. 3 months later involving lots of emails, skype calls and general organising and we were all (mostly) back and ready for welcome week. This is my third year as an officer on the guild and it’s quite strange to take the reins on what is one of the most important weeks of a students university experience. A bit of shut eye would have been nice though.

The week followed the usual SB welcome week formula but particular highlights included the creation of the Bacon Alarm during love your halls as we lobbed sarnies towards high open windows and for the first time ever the Guild accompanied the first years on their very first night out. Jodie, Matthew and Myself had a great time watching the bambis take their very first steps into Nottingham and I can promise they were all very well behaved. I’d like to thank all of the Guild Officers for doing such a fantastic job in organising and running the week. I’ve only the best things to say about all of you. The welcome mentors during the week were a fantastic bunch and a quick shoutout to Rowan Codd, Joseph Ashton, Sam Bailey and Caroline Roy our volunteers for the week; you guys were a huge help with moving in and just amazing in general across the week.

Other things we’ve been working on over the past month include the brilliantly organised Sexual Health and Guidance week that managed to raise £207.24 for the Terrance Higgins Trust;  a HIV and sexual health charity in Nottingham. We had the first ever Casino Royale Dining in which was a huge success and shows that good things are to come at Yule Ball in December and you should be on the edge of your seats to see what awaits at summer ball next year. We’ve also been working with your campus warden Ian Hardy in establishing the SB Sunday Sessions which are acoustic evenings every two weeks in the Barn with some really talented artists, just a little something to ease you into the Monday slog of lectures and other undesirables.

Everyone on the Officer team are really on form at the moment and with hall election voting just opening last week we look forward to welcoming another new officer into our ranks and we’ll sadly be saying goodbye to the current hall president Jess Perry and Female Welfare Phoebe Anderson. We’ll miss you two greatly.

I hope you guys are enjoying campus life so far and if you have any questions, queries or suggestions feel free to come and chat to any of the officers here at the SB Guild and we’ll be sure to act upon it.

See you around,

Sam Riley – Guild Chair

Week 0

Hello again!!

The other Guild Officers and I arrived back at SB this week so we could get ready for Welcome Week and participate in the tradition that is Week 0 madness.

Long, long ago, on a campus far away (University Park), a group of people decided that the term “Freshers Week” had too many negative connotations, and that the general public had begun to think that this meant excessive drinking, dangerous behaviour, and associated this with the student body across the country for the rest of the year. So, these magical beings decided that they would re-brand the first week of term, as “Week 1” (hence, the week before when all the prep happens, is termed Week 0). This, again, turned sour, as people associated this with the old stereotype of students. So, after more furious re-branding, its now known as Welcome Week, but the mythical time, Week 0, persists…

It is about 11pm on Thursday of Week 0, and I am the last one in the Guild Space (although people have been filtering out slowly since about 7pm). We’ve been busy bees running around campus putting together flat bags, welcome packs, arranging different spaces around campus, making signs, putting up miles of bunting, and having a great time while doing it all.

When you consider that all of the officers didn’t really know each other well at all before this week, we’ve gelled incredibly quickly (I’ll admit that seeing them from 10am until 6pm every day might have had something to do with this, but they’re a great bunch even in small doses!) and that shows in how much we’ve managed to do whilst laughing and enjoying ourselves. We’ve been filming little bits and bobs for a Week 0 and Week 1 video, partly to promote the Guild and help with our elections, but also because we’re all keen to remember this time.

I’ve learned a lot since Monday. I know that our Junior Ents Officer Sam has one of the funniest voices when inhaling helium. I know that our Sports and Activities Officer Emily can wield a mallet half her height, and with frightening efficiency! I know that our Campaigns Officer Danni is incredibly passionate and hard working, and that she is like our Treasurer Saniya in that they can both be sassy when they want to be! Alex, our Senior Ents Officer, is just as soppy as me and is excited to remember everything we can by videoing anything and everything. Our Vice Guild Chair Bobbi is a dab hand with a paint brush. James, another of our Junior Ents Officers and Ollie our Publicity Officer, can dance with almost anything and could both have successful careers as Miley Cyrus’ backing dancers.

I’m a cheesy person, as many will know, but being able to work with these fantastic people this week has been an absolute pleasure. I won’t lie to you, I’m quite nervous about next week – there is a lot riding on us engaging our students as soon as possible, not only to make sure that they have a great time here, but to continue to build our campus spirit. But I’m also buzzing with excitement – I’ve been chatting to good friends who have been Guild Officers in previous years, and I know that it will be hard work but also fantastically rewarding to see the new students enjoying themselves.

For now, I’ll sign off and go to bed. With only tomorrow to go before the official intake weekend starts, its going to be the busiest day yet! (That and the lights in the Guild Space are on timers and sensors, and one end of the room has gotten scarily dark, so I’m going to go before the Shadow Committee appears…) Wish us luck!!

(featured tweets – from SB staff who walked past our antics today and had to put our efforts on the internet! Not featured – the awkward videos the university managed to persuade me to do and are now on YouTube…)

Hello there!

It’s almost time to start another year at SB, and with the new year comes a new Guild Chair. So, hello there! I’m Jemma, a third year animal science student, SB keeno and the SB Guild Chair for 2016-17.

The other Guild Officers and I have been working hard all summer getting ready for Welcome Week, planning events, working out budgets, gathering information for the SB survival guide and generally making sure the week is as fantastic as possible. And what a week it is shaping out to be!! Barbecues, free pizza, open mic nights, bar nights, pub quizzes… There is something for everyone this coming Welcome Week, and I’m so excited to see everyone enjoy themselves at the events.

We’ve also been working hard on campaigns this summer (yep, we got straight into it this year!) with the new David Ross Sports Village pushing up the prices of gym memberships across campuses, and the cancellation of the SB to Kegworth bus because of work on Station Road. Danni (our Campaigns Officer) and I have been sending countless emails, researching gyms and bus companies, and putting together surveys and reports to try to make a difference for our students. As you can imagine, going up against your own university is quite difficult, especially when you’re representing a (comparatively) small number of people. But, we’re still going, and however the campaigns go, we will make sure SB gets a fairer deal.

What am I looking forward to next year? Everything! I can’t wait to meet all of the new students coming to SB, see old friends, make new ones, and generally have another fantastic year. (I have to say, I’m really looking forward to all of the bar parties and to SB Fest 2017, but more on that later this year…)

Am I worried about anything? Third year is a busy year for any student with finals and a dissertation to get done, but having lots to do with the Guild, hobbies and volunteering, there is going to be quite a lot! Having said that, I enjoy being busy and I know I can make the most of my final year (*sob*) by doing lots. Fingers crossed!

Any advice for first year students? Plenty. (I could tell you unfortunate stories from friends that would make you laugh so hard you cried.) But, for me, the most important thing is to get involved with as much as you possibly can and enjoy yourself – you don’t get much time at university, and it passes much faster than you’d imagine. Of course, work hard and do your best and all of that academic stuff. But at the end of the day, if you come out of university with a first class degree but no friends, you’ve probably had a bit of a rubbish time.

For now, I’ll sign off and get back to work with planning, campaigning, packing up my room and preparing for this year! Week 0 is going to be lots of fun!

SB Guild Chair Persons from 2013 to 2017 – Alistair Wright, Jake Richards, James Wilson and Jemma Franklin (and Seris the cow)
Some of the new and old Guild Officers at St Paddy’s Dining In 2016

What’s in store for this term?

Exams are nearly over, and I feel that I haven’t blogged in ages (mainly because I haven’t) so here we go!

It has been rather difficult at times to keep up Guild activities whilst actually being a student here on SB (particularly during exam times) but all of the Officers have really worked hard together to help each other out during exams and have been a real help! I cannot forget to mention Una as well, she has been able to help us right through the project/exam period and makes a mean cup of tea!

Anyway enough of exams, I think we will all be glad to see the end of them! Now onto the fun stuff! As I am writing this I am surrounded by the ENTs team who are in full swing of organising the next dining ins and also the 3rd annual Societies Ball  (also to make sure that I actually get the dates right). The next dining in will be on the 18th February with the theme of Mardi Gras, we have a great jazz band coming to play at the meal and the preparations that I have seen looks amazing. Alongside this we have the highly anticipated Societies Ball coming up on the 4th March. Our WIZARD OF OZ themed Ball will celebrate everything that our brilliant societies do for us! KP (Katie Patrick) and Dave (Claire Davis) have been working hard to organise this night and by the looks of things it is going to be one not to miss!

Alongside this ABC is making a comeback, and our welfare team are working tirelessly to ensure that you guys are all well looked after. We have another Learning Community Forum coming up soon, so make sure that you get your points into your course reps ASAP!

Another huge project that we have coming up is the Guild elections. This is the perfect opportunity to get more involved in student life, whether you want to see some different events or want to get involved in the events that we organise; or want to improve the standard of welfare provided on the campus (or even write these blogs!)it is the perfect chance to improve your CV and develop yourself as a person. If you want to learn more about the Guild feel free to drop in and ask for a Guild Officer for a chat. Alternatively we have an event coming up on the 10th February where we have a group of Alumni coming back to SB to talk to you guys about how to get the most out of your time here on SB, this includes vets and bioscientists who have gone into a range of careers so its a must do for anyone thinking about their future career.

Anyway, enough of me blabbing on, just remember if anyone has any questions about SB life, the Guild, or Societies then feel free to pop into the office or message us, we make a good cup of tea (Yorkshire of course!) and may even have biscuits!Guild Logo 1blog


What did Welcome Week mean to me?

I am writing this blog as a bit of a reflection on Welcome Week, it feels like an age away but yes it actually happened! This year we witnessed and undertook a lot of change in the Welcome program, with the new mentor scheme being rolled out it was safe to say I was very nervous about managing the SB Welcome package. This alongside the sheer scale of the SB welcome (totaling over 400 students) it seemed like an daunting (but exciting!)  prospect.

The planning began right back in June and July of last year from the newly appointed Guild officers, which carried on right the way through the summer (my favorite moment was ordering 400 canvas bags whilst rounding sheep up!). The preparation from all parties (especially our ENTs committee) really shone through in the week before Welcome Week and during the week itself with everything falling into place with perfect timing.

The week itself was a flurry of activity from the Saturday of intake weekend, right the way through to Love Your Hall Sunday. The Welcome Mentors were a testament to how great SB is as well, they were always on hand to help us with our events and did a stellar job during move-in. Every Guild Officer also put in a huge amount of work into every single day of the week (the 50+cans of red bull helped!) and so they all deserve a special mention. I think it’s safe to say that every event went well and that every student received an amazing welcome which couldn’t have been done without the volunteers we had over the week. Everyone approached the week wanting to ensure every single new student the best welcome and I think we achieved that.

I feel that Welcome Week also changed me as a person, I met students that I wouldn’t have otherwise, I made amazing friends, and decided that SB is truly the best campus in the UK! It was the busiest week of my life but it was absolutely incredible to see everyone at the welcome address and very fulfilling to see so many smiling faces at the pizza buffet afterwards. The week completely changed my perceptions of students (there is no “typical student”) and helped me develop as a person in many different ways.

Over the week I spoke to a lot of different people, studying different courses, from different backgrounds and different countries but everyone had one thing in common …… they loved SB! It is incredible how this campus can bring together so many different people, but have such a strong “community feel”.

I would strongly encourage anyone to get involved with the campus this year, whether it be through Guild, Committee or Hall elections, through Karni and other volunteering organisations, or even just through coming to some of our fantastic events there is always a way that anyone can contribute to SB life.




Carlos’ SB

My name is Carlos Balmaceda, I’m currently doing a MSc in Crop Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship at the School of Bioscience. I’m an international student from Peru living in Sutton Bonington campus, and I would like to share some of my thoughts about life in SB.

SB may be a small community within The University of Nottingham, but it’s definitely a unique experience and it’s worth getting to know it. As an international student, I must say it was hard to understand at first, SB has its own culture and ways of doing things, it takes some time getting used to it but now it feels like home. The Guild, an association affiliated to the Student’s Union, played an important role in this acclimation process, with well organized activities, and their constant interaction with the students. It definitely helps students access all the necessary information to integrate into SB. Just as if you were in a small town, people in SB are nice and always willing to help and have a good time. It’s not hard to come across a familiar face while walking around campus on your way to class or just trying to catch the hopper bus into the city.

“Even though many of the activities are aimed for undergraduate students, there is nothing that stops us postgraduates to join in and have a good time (I know I have!)”

It’s true, Nottingham is 30 minutes away but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun at SB. Not everything is study in our community, going for a game of pool at The Barn (the campus amenities building), or having a pint at the village nearby are some of the things we enjoy form time to time, without compromising our studies. The occasional party or dining in organized by the Guild are also good opportunities to get to know this amazing group of students that live at SB or the towns close by. Even though many of the activities are aimed for undergraduate students, there is nothing that stops us postgraduates to join in and have a good time (I know I have!).

Another way of interacting within SB is getting involved with societies, it’s a great way to integrate to this community and get to know people. For example, making pork pies, sausages, and going to the dairy farm with the Agrics are just a few of the things I’ve enjoyed doing in my time at SB. The Farmer’s Market, at the beginning of each month, is another entertaining way to interact with local and international students at SB, and you get to buy a burger or some honey cake in the process.

Finally, one of the things we get the most at SB are open spaces and fresh air, this is something I personally value, it helps me clear my head specially around coursework submission dates or during revisions before the exams. I still have a few more months in the UK left, but once I finish my program and go back to Peru, SB and its culture along with the friends I’ve made during my stay are the things I’ll miss the most.

Carlos Balmaceda

MSc in Crop Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship

SB Christian Union: #Relevant?


Every year on SB the Christian Union put on a week of free and exciting events open to everyone. This is a chance for you to ask your questions and grill your Christian friends for their answers. I guess I just wanted to take some time out to share with you all some of the highlights of the week and say thank you to everyone who came along and joined in.

This year our theme was ‘#Relevant?’ and as a launch we held our infamous cake giveaway! Ranging from victoria sponge to triple chocolate muffins to lemon drizzle we had it all! Somehow SB, you managed to consume 700 pieces of cake in just a lunchtime, now that is impressive!

We then kicked off the weeks events with SB’s very first Text-A-Toastie. Many of you text in your questions about God and Christianity – some of my favourite being “What is God’s favourite animal?” and “Why did the Wise Men go to the barn?”

‘Is Choice #Relevant?’ was our next event where we watched The Matrix. Tom Cox challenged our way of thinking and what we consider to be right and wrong choices, and I don’t just mean “Should I wear a gilet today or is that too SB?” or “What shall we decorate three fibreglass cows with?”

Over the next couple of days we held a Grill-A-Christian evening (don’t worry, no actual flames were involved) and a walk to a local pub with fantastic weather. This gave those who came along a chance to get to know us and understand the thinking behind the seemingly religious façade and – as some would call it – the bible bashing.

Our final event of the week was an acoustic evening featuring performances from SB’s very own Ben Horner and Dog Days. One thing SB does incredibly well is music! We also heard Elizabeth and Rob (Guests from University Park CU) speak and challenge us on whether we think God is relevant in our lives. It was a great way to round off the week and thank you to John Powell for taking some amazing photos of the evening.

This week was about so much more than the events for me! It was fabulous to get to know some of you a lot better and meet some of you for the first time – I know that is almost unheard of on this campus! Keep your eyes pealed for our next lot of events and whether you have burning questions or just want some free cake, I hope to see you all there!

Rebekah Mondon

 President of Sutton Bonington Christian Union

This slideshow requires JavaScript.