University of Southampton’s student magazine and online newspaper. It’s a great role, and I am very pleased that I built up the courage to run for it in the elections in May this year. I was Lifestyle Editor beforehand, so had a fair bit of experience – but was definitely ready to try something new.
Out new Editorial team are an enthusiastic and friendly bunch who all have a real desire to make the Wessex Scene bigger and better than ever this year, which is fantastic. Every year, the Students' Union (SUSU) media teams move back to university early to take part in media training, which provides us all with skills that will help us carry out our roles efficiently, as well as letting us bond as a group. After all, we’ll be working with each other all year – we need to get along!
This year, our VP Communications David Gilani decided that all areas of SUSU media – the Wessex Scene, The Edge, SUSUtv, and Surge, should all get together and take part in a huge SUSU media training week, in a bid to branch out, get to know everyone, and begin to think about collaborations. This went down very well, with everyone eager to meet new people and find out more about areas that they weren't involved in. Much to my delight, being a huge fan of organisation, a timetable had been created with activities all week long. So here’s what we got up to!
Most of the Wessex Scene Editorial team having a meeting in Winchester
Monday 17th September:
Monday was the introductory day, where we met each other, talked about our goals for the year, and discussed collaborative events for the next few months – for example, our work towards Elections 2013 which will involve all of the media teams. The Wessex Scene then headed to The Stag’s to catch up with each other after the long summer break, where we then decided to go to Jester’s for the first social of the year that evening!
Tuesday 18th September:
Tuesday mainly involved being introduced to the areas of SUSU with which we would be working closely – we were told about staff who would be able to make goals a reality, and discussed how we would work best with the University, especially the University’s Communications team. We then went on to play a cheeky game of Hide and Seek (you’re never too old!) before meeting up with the Soton Tab for a chat in the pub, in order to get to know them better and to meet a few new people, which went down well with everyone.
Wednesday 19th September:
Wednesday saw the Wessex Scene editorial team visit Winchester, the home of our Winchester section editor and one of our imagery editors. We’re also continually building a team on the WSA campus, who write and create images for the magazine and online. This year we’re really hoping to visit even more! After having some swish editorial photos taken for the magazine, we visited King Arthur’s Round Table and admired the beautiful city, before having a picnic in the Cathedral grounds. We then went for a drink at one of Winchester’s many eccentric pubs. Later in the day we treated ourselves to a team meal in the evening as a reward for our hard work over the summer and in anticipation of the brilliant year ahead. This allowed us to bond, but also for many of the team to see the other campus, since many had never been before. Plus, there’s always the added bonus of eating good food that isn’t plain pasta with salad cream (something that I have thankfully avoided so far this year).
Amy, Emma, David, Charlotte and Sam getting a quick history lesson!
Winchester Cathedral against an ominously grey backdrop!
Thursday 20th September:
On Thursday, our Editor Ellie Sellwood held a seminar on constructive criticism, a skill that all of our editors, station managers and other team members need in order to do their job properly! We then split into our specific areas to work on what matters the most – though many of us headed to SUSU’s newly refurbished Bridge bar to celebrate Ellie’s 21st birthday. Our Head of Design, Bronwen, then talked us through the basics of InDesign, which is used to create our magazine and is what makes it look stunning. After this, the media team headed off for a few games of Laser Quest! How else do you bond with your editorial group?! As someone who had never before been to Laser Quest, I can safely say it was fantastic, and a lot of fun – but it seems that I should not play shooting games, since it tends to make me very angry and competitive! Thankfully though, my team won both games…
The Wessex Scene editors get ready to do battle against other members of SUSU media at Laser Quest – we did work very hard, honest!
Friday 21st September:
Our final training day kicked off with three hours of team building. Everyone found out what kind of team member they were after completing a very accurate quiz (I was an ‘Implementor’ and a ‘Completer Finisher’, meaning that I am organised, practical, perfectionist, hard-working and consistent – all very true!). We then went on to work in our respective publications or committees to devise a novel team-building exercise for the other groups, which itself proved to be a challenge and a real test of our creative skills. The Edge were asked to travel across the room using three sheets of paper as stepping stones; Surge had to complete a SUSU puzzle created by The Edge; SUSUtv were asked by us to take part in a competitive game of Pictionary involving pigs and play-doh, and our team had to create a tall free-standing structure with half of the teams hands tied and the other half blindfolded. Needless to say, as I was blindfolded, I didn’t succeed, and my structure of play-doh and rulers ended up on the floor time and time again! We then each held our first committee meetings, and discussed the first issue which had come back from the printers that day, before going out to the first night at the Cube to celebrate the end of training week as well as Ellie’s 21st and her friend Tom’s 23rd birthday.
The Edge navigate their way through their team building exercise, thanks to Surge!
One of our many serious meetings
So there you have it! An insight into our SUSU media training week. Though we have had a lot of fun and have bonded over many activities, the last few weeks have been a lot of hard work and very exhausting.
The Wessex Scene’s first issue of the year is out on campus now, and will be around for the first two weeks of Freshers’ – so don’t forget to pick up a copy and find the team for a chat. You’ve seen how much fun being part of the Media team can be, now get involved!