My fifth Freshers' Week began today but it is my first Freshers' Week at Nottingham.
I'm having a great time comparing it to how we used to do things Brumside - and I think Nottingham Students' Union might be winning!
1. Their Fresher's marquee is erected in the middle of campus on Nightingale Field, whereas ours was tucked behind our Guild building.
2. The marquee is so big that all the societies, the sports teams and the commerical stands can fit within the same tent. In Birmingham, everyone was scattered around the Guild building and the sports teams were miles away at the Munrow.
3. The marquee and its contents are there for three days running. At Brum, most people were just given one day or two at best. Usually, there was a rotation system, meaning that only certain societies would be present on any one day.
4. Nottingham have an absolute army of Week One reps that put our Birmingham Welcome Crew to shame. They are made up of student volunteers led by an elected Week One Exec and organise tours around campus, events for every Hall and the famous Freshers' Address...
5. Notts have a newly-introduced society sign-up system. You simply have to collect a barcode from the society you wish to join, head on over to the checkout and then you can pay in one go using chip & pin.
6. And the Freshers' Address is phenomenal! Every single first year is led by the Week One reps into the Sports Hall (this requires four sittings) and they are given a half an hour induction into student life by the SU President himself, Nsikan Edung. They are treated to a techno light display, an awesome DJ set and indoor fireworks. Also, they are shown a video or two aboutt he SU, various slides of the SU Exec/services and a safe-sex video acted in the style of a 1950s education video. They are also given a glimpse of the SU mascot, Easy Tiger, and note down the number for Nightline en masse.
Incredible. Impressive. Inspiring.
Week One has got it going on.