The Napier Students’ Association (NSA) is the organisation that alongside ISAS makes sure students have the best possible experience and achieve their full potential whilst studying at Edinburgh Napier University. The NSA represents the university’s student union and it can help you in many ways, from getting the necessary support for personal matters to keeping you entertained with social activities. When I was a student at Edinburgh Napier I did get involved in many NSA activities and I’m glad I did so because by doing that I met fantastic people and opened many doors for myself. Just to clarify, the NSA is a self-standing organisation and is run separately from the University (it’s run by the students for the students), but cooperates with the University on various levels e.g. to report problems or cooperate for different campaigns. Finally, their mutual goal is to make sure students are happy with their experience at Edinburgh Napier.
So what does the NSA do exactly?
The NSA’s mission is “to work with our [=NSA’s] members, our staff, the University, the community and other stake-holder who are involved in all aspects of the Student Experience by providing the representation, student centred services and activities necessary to achieving our vision”… which translates into students representation as well as great activities and services that all students can get access to.
Representation refers to the ability of students to elect some reps (at Napier there are currently three) that can have an impact on how things are ran by the university by taking into consideration students’ feedback on various topics. The main representation role is taken by the President, who along with two VPs, is elected on an annual basis. The President is the main voice for the students who feel like something should change in the way certain things are run by the University, helps with complaints and any kind of request students might have. Similarly, the VP of Reps and Volunteers has a key role in addressing key issues raised by student reps for each course. However, the role goes well beyond that and concerns areas like event organisations and fundraising initiatives. The third executive role, VP of Sports and Societies, is responsible of making sure the existing sport clubs and societies (to which I’ll dedicate a full blog post) get the necessary resources to keep existing as well to review new proposals for new initiatives.
In addition to representing students within Edinburgh Napier and at a larger scale within the UK Universities, the NSA is also responsible for offering students the opportunity to take part in social activities. As already mentioned, these activities not only include sports and societies, but also fundraising and local community initiatives – as well as parties, of course! 🙂
One of the main events that all new students usually look for is the so-called Freshers Week, which is a week filled with activities, parties and events for all new students that generally takes place during the first week of uni in September. My Freshers week was truly amazing. If I think about it now I can’t even believe how I managed to survive those daily activities and parties! Truly fabulous memories 🙂 Generally, the NSA also tries to organise a Re-Freshers week – which is a replica of the Freshers Week, just happening in January to give students one more week of extreme fun before getting more focused on academics..!
However, many other events take place on a monthly (actually, almost weekly!) basis – from concerts to Ceilidhs, from Halloween parties to Christmas fairs. So have no fear – there will always be something fun to do to help you cope with the stress! 😉
On a different note, the NSA also cooperates with ISAS (Independent Student Advice Service) to make sure all matters and issues students might have can be dealt with with the proper and confidential support. As already mentioned in this previous blog post, ISAS can help with:
- Money Advice (bills, bank, various payment issues)
- Information on Funding (need some help with money?)
- Academic Appeals (found your grade/feedback to be unfair and want to make an appeal to review it?)
- Debt Management (here’s the right advice to get yourself out of debt)
- Tenancy, Landlord and Accommodation Issues (accommodation can be a bit of a pain..!)
- Employment Rights and Tax (know how/where you are eligible to work and how much you should pay for your taxes)
- Benefits (student discounts e.g. council taxes exemption)
- Course Problems and Regulations (of any kind!)
- Disciplinary Hearings
- Immigration and Visas (can be a bit tricky when it comes to this kind of bureaucracy)
- Complaints Negotiation
- Health Issues (highly confidential!)
- Sexuality and Safe Sex (free condoms for all Edinburgh Napier Students + confidential counseling)
ISAS can really make the difference in your student experience. I was really inexperienced at the beginning in terms of how to deal with bills and payments – so I arranged a meeting with an ISAS rep to clear off all my doubts. And I’m still very glad I did. And remember, all consultations are free of charge and confidential – so don’t be shy and make sure you talk with someone if you’re in doubt on how to proceed with any matter. For your information, ISAS operates at each of the main University sites. To make an appointment for a confidential one-to-one appointment with an advisor, call 0131 229 8791 – or you can also use their e-mail helpline service: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions in regards to this post, please feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, watch out for the next post which will be specifically on the sport clubs and societies offered by the NSA! 🙂