We caught up with Bethanie Jacobs, Students’ Union Executive Committee President, Higher Education (HE) Governor and Course Representative for Student Voice to ask her the questions that have been on everybody’s lips…
Why did you choose to come to Barnsley College?
“I went to look around local colleges in my area and when I visited Barnsley College and the Honeywell Sports campus at an Open Event, I fell in love straight away. I loved the building and the course on offer was amazing. The same thing happened when it came to my Higher Education journey too – I started at a much larger institution, but it wasn’t the right fit. Once I had left my previous place of study, a former College tutor reached out to me and advised me to try the Higher Education provision at Barnsley College. I loved it and I’ve never looked back since! I’m currently studying Sport, Physical Education and Health – it’s great!”
What attracted you to the role of SU President?
“In 2020, I was the Women’s Officer for the Students’ Union Executive Committee so I had a good insight into the role before I applied. I think the former President had some really great ideas and I liked the look of what they did and the types of things they had the opportunity to get involved in. As an individual I like to think I am taking charge of certain things and making a difference – the role of President was perfect for me! What better way to finish my final year of university-level study than being the first female Students’ Union President?!”
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their journey at Barnsley College, whether they’re studying a vocational course, A Levels, apprenticeship, T Level (Technical Qualification) or a Higher Education course?
“You’ve got to get involved! Building your CV is everything and getting that experience will help your CV to stand out from the crowd. Grades and qualifications don’t mean everything, your qualities and first-hand experience will set you apart from other candidates when it comes to applying for a job.”
You are also the HE Governor, what’s your experience of this role?
“It’s amazing because it has opened my network to a lot of people who I otherwise wouldn’t have ever spoken to. It has provided me with the fantastic opportunity to learn a lot from the experienced members on the board where there are so many points of view. They give me so much advice!”
What is your main goal this year as Students’ Union President?
“My main focus this year is getting people back on campus, not just back on-site but enjoying their time here. I know the pandemic and studying remotely has hit people really hard not only from an academic point of view but also a wellbeing perspective – people’s mental health has been affected in ways we never could’ve imagined. I’d really like to encourage people to come back and work on building that social aspect of College, get people integrated back in to the College community and enjoying all of the fun things on offer.”
You are working on building a Sustainability Society – can you tell us some more about that?
“The main project focus is raising awareness; I’d like to help staff and students to understand more about recycling and making things more sustainable. I hope for this to feed into changes around College and for it to encourage the use of more recycling bins, less single-use resources and more environmentally reusable products in their place. With my role secure for the rest of this academic year, I’d like to lay the foundations and raise awareness for a well-established project that the next President can pick up and continue to manage. Working on this project has allowed us to get creative and involved in some really great recycling initiatives such as the crisp packet collection where we collected 283 crisp packets in just one month and sent them back to Walkers to be reused for future crisp packets and avoid landfill.”
Can you tell us more about your role as Student Voice Course Representative?
“I have been Course Representative since my first year at Barnsley College Higher Education back in 2019. Being a part of Student Voice is fantastic because we become a point of contact for students who wish to get involved with any activities across College. For me personally, the Student Voice has allowed me to become involved with the committee at Sheffield Bears ice hockey team – something I’m not sure would’ve been possible without it. If students came to me with the hopes of becoming involved in something, no matter how out-of-reach it seems, I will work with the team to push it as far as possible.”
Think you could be the next Students’ Union Executive Committee President? Contact Student Voice Advisor, Jess Lovatt, for more information on when applications open.
Last updated: 21st September 2022