Sully: Environment and Sustainbility Officer 2023-24, About me

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Heya, shwmae pawb! Fi enw i Sully, Sully is my name. My pronouns are he/she (ac "hi" yn unig, yn cymraeg). I am your elected Environment And Sustainability Officer for 2023/24 up at the Students' Union and I was kindly invited by our wonderful outgoing president Ash to write a short post for the SU Blog.


About Me

I am a 4th-year student doing a part-time Master's Degree in MSc Radio Spectrum Engineering, down in the physics department, having also done my undergrad as a BSc Astrophysics student here in sunny Aber as well. Equally cursed and blessed with being one of those well-known faces in town, I'm sure this isn't the first time a lot of you have heard from me, and be assured that it will not be the last.

I end up doing so many things around the place from protesting with Extinction Rebellion to volunteering over Fresher's to helping the SU to run Superteams to working with Global Student Marketing, from Sock-wrestling with Caving Soc down on the beach to running poetry events with Carpe Diem and sharing my works at various live nights. If the Asian Society is ever doing anything, I tend to be lurking in the back there too.

Ac dw i'n dysgwr gymraeg gyda'r brifysgol ar y rhaglen Dysgu Cymraeg! I'm learning welsh as part of the Learn Welsh/Dysgu Cymraeg programme that the university is signed up to.


My Role

I was elected your Volunteer Sustainability Officer for next year on a platform of:

- Working with the University to transition away from banking with Barclays

- Creating, and possibly installing annually, a review of the sustainability of all SU activities and all clubs and societies

- And setting up a students' forum for discussing issues of sustainability and putting the great minds of Aberystwyth to use.


Update On My Election Promises, 30 Days On

Of these policies, I am happy to tell you that the University was already transitioning away from Barclays, effective as soon as their contract ends in 2024. I intend to advise them of several better banks to invest with like Triodos and The Cooperative, who have some of the best, clearest ethical investment policies on a range of topics, something Barclays fails on basically every part of ethical investments.


Secondly, the sustainability review is currently in the first draft stages and I would like for it to be ready by the time the new academic year starts in September. Those of you on Society/Club committees will be hearing from me by then when I start to contact everyone to begin assessing things, working with each SU Club or Society to see (and champion!) where you're succeeding in sustainability and to recognise where you might need help.


Last but but far from least, is the forums; I have already gotten on with planning some prompts, questions and activities. The first session, which I want to run during or just after Fresher's 2023, will probably be "Throw Ideas Out", a no-criticism confidence-building session where all we do is help people blurt out new ideas without being scared of what they sound like. Too many of us have amazing thoughts, but are reluctant to share them because they'll inevitably get torn to shreds (as all good ideas should be in a healthy democracy). To get the solutions we need, we have to get past that block, that instinctive social fear of being wrong. Training ourselves to be bold enough to say something, even if it's possibly really bad, is the first step to generating great ideas fluidly. Everyone starts out badly and you can't skip that step, so the idea is starting out by doing that together, by getting past it together.

Because my belief is that once we start to get those ideas going, we can unlock the true potential of our diverse student population, that wonderful mix of people from every possible walk of life, right here in little old Aber.


So, anyway, thank you all so much for investing me with your faith and voting me in with such a massive margin. I am very excited to get to work for you all this next year and you will definitely be hearing from me again!


Much Love/Llawer O Gariad,

Your Comrade/Dy Gymrawd,

Sully Ap Najeeb