As a student who began their degree during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, I didn't feel nearly as connected with my coursemates as I should've. Following conversations with peers, I learned It was a unanimous feeling that as a course we'd been deprived of things such as trips and a sense of community. We began to rectify this by putting on cohesive events, such as quizzes and pyjama days but as I approached graduation and our final year, we wanted to put on an event that no one would forget in a hurry. A send-off for our third years but a chance for our second and first years on the animation and post-production courses to feel a sense of support and community from older students and a chance to socialise and create professional working relationships.
After consulting the cohort on the idea and what they wanted to see, I spearheaded a group of 7 students alongside our course studies and liaised with the Student Union at the university to organise and plan a black-tie-inspired red-carpet evening, which we held in April 2023. Over a series of six weeks, we met regularly with the Student Union following an application and pitch for their student project fund, a budget designed for events such as these. I went on to meet with many individuals from the university, sourcing an accessible location at the stannary bar on campus, arranging for with departments for food, promoting the events with poster and social media advertisements, sourcing decor, and a red carpet for the evening, and budgeting for an event that saw over 125 students in attendance. With a professional photographer in attendance to capture some key moments and some joke awards for a little laugh, we set the dance floor alive for a night away from the studios and for fun.
It was a magical experience to see many students laughing dancing and just enjoying the evening receiving their awards, for many of our students it was a chance to connect and have a night off. Now the student union has described it as one of their most successful events of the year hoping to repeat the event next spring again with the stannary bar, in a few week's time we will be handing over to some second and first-year students who have the full intention of making this an annual event for years to come, beyond what any of us expected when we started this process, I cannot thank all who helped make this night a reality and the generosity of the individuals who helped, a big thank you again, it truly was a night to render.