The OUSU Team: Charlotte Hendy

Can you tell us a little bit about your role at OUSU?

Being at Oxford isn’t always a walk in the park, and there are times when you’ll want or need to reach out and get support. This was my experience, and I want to help reduce the number of people that feel the same way, and also ensure that the support that is in place is able to help the students that need it. I’ll be working closely with your Welfare Reps, Equal Opportunities Reps and others in your College, as well as the LGBTQ Campaign, Disabled Students Campaign, Mind Your Head Campaign, and the Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality, as these play hugely important roles, and OUSU can help make a difference in the day-to-day life of being a student. Why not get involved in one of our campaigns and help make a difference too?

In what sort of situation might you be able to help the average undergraduate (or graduate, for Graduates VP)?

Everyone goes through difficulties whilst at Uni, and sometimes it isn’t quite clear who to turn to or what to do. OUSU’s Student Advice Service, which I am responsible for, is there for all students. We offer free, impartial, independent and confidential advice to anyone facing difficulties. No matter what you’re going through: from a student disciplinary panel, to mould in your room, to a disability query – we are here for you. Contact us at advice@ousu.org.

What do you think is the best thing about being a student in Oxford?

BOPS! I used to hate fancy dress, but somehow found my inner creative streak when I came to Oxford. I’ve dressed up as a Christmas present, worn a very stylish newspaper dress and even made a very convincing Pokémon!

And the worst?

There is no 80s bar in Oxford!! The one in Plymouth (my home city) even has a revolving dancefloor…a night out isn’t complete without it. Clubs in Oxford also close a bit early for my liking…

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What is the one memory of your time in Oxford that best sums up the experience?

Getting elected as JCR President at the end of my first year. Husting for it was terrifying- I even had to sing a song in front of a jam-packed JCR. But it was moments like this, when I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, that I really grew as a person, gaining confidence, and facing new experiences. If I’m being honest, Oxford didn’t meet my expectations and I didn’t enjoy much of my time here. I suffered terrible homesickness, and so do 50-70% of UK students in their first few weeks of University. If you feel like this, you aren’t the only one, and there are several things you can do to help, one could be getting involved in your Common Room as I did. If you’d like to know more, email me at welfare@ousu.org and follow me on Twitter (@OUSU_WEO) for my top tips for tackling homesickness in 1st week!