By Cerys Humphries
Since the beginning of the term, Swansea University has been buzzing with change. There’s new departments, new events, and sometimes it can be difficult to know where to go for what service.
One thing we’ve noticed is that, in amongst all the excitement, some services are on campus that students don’t know enough about, and therefore can’t make use of them. One of these is the Advice and Support Centre; run by the Student’s Union, the ASC is a completely free, confidential advice service that is completely independent from the University. “Why is this important?” You ask, “what exactly do you do?” The answer is pretty much everything.
Put yourself in these shoes: You’ve rushed an essay. We’ve all been there- too many deadlines, not enough time, and in rushing it you’ve left out a reference. So, ultimately you get the dreaded email; “we require you for a meeting regarding potential academic misconduct and plagiarism.” You panic. It’s natural, and this is where we can help. Being independent from the University means that one of our trained advisors can help you through the process, and most importantly come to the meeting with you and help represent you. We can do this for first time offences, and is most important in second time offences, Committee of Enquiry meetings and Fitness to practise meetings. We can also help when it comes to changing course.
A common problem is housing – whether it’s a dodgy landlord, problems with housemates or overestimated bills. Another worry is that housing law is so complicated, it’s hard to know what to do. Our advisors can help you get to the bottom of any worry with your house, from deposits to reading over your new contract.
University can be a hard time for anyone. For some, it’s harder than others, and that’s okay. We deal with an array of personal issues that from homesickness, to counselling referrals and dealing with cases of sexual assault. Our service is completely confidential and nothing would leave the four walls of our office without your consent. We also run a comprehensive CBT course called “Live Life to the Full” which is tailor made for those who deal with depression and anxiety every day. One to one courses for this are running currently, and group courses will be starting from February 2017. We’re an extremely friendly, open and completely non-judgemental group so please do not be afraid to pop by.
Harassment & Mediation
Sometimes, situations go too far and it’s not something you can deal with by yourself. If you feel you are being personally victimised and attacked by another person, it can seriously impact your life. If you need help with any issue where you feel you are being harassed, two of our advisors (Hayley Harris and myself) are fully trained Harassment Advisors that can get you through the situation and come to a positive solution. Hayley is also the university’s only trained mediator – so if you are having any particularly bad arguments or disagreements with someone, be it flatmates, course mates, a friend, partner or member of staff, please make an appointment with us so we can talk through your options.
So there we have it! This is us. Although we deal with such a plethora of issues, it’s hard to list everything in such a short space: these are just our main areas of work. So please do pop by and see us if you need anything at all – we’re free, impartial, confidential, and more than happy to help.