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BL Student: Anthony Warrens and Andy Smith columns

Monday 4 February 2013

Message from Professor Anthony Warrens, Dean for Education, School of Medicine and Dentistry

Welcome back to the new term.  I hope you had a great break and a chance to recharge your batteries for 2013.

As you know there were a number of problems right at the end of last year associated with ongoing provision of services at the West Smithfield Library at Bart’s.  I wanted to update you because I think we have managed to go a long way towards solving the problem.  We were facing the loss of evening and Saturday library opening on that site as of the beginning of this calendar year.  I was first told about this at the very end of November and have been working with the library staff to find a solution.  In fairness to colleagues in Library Services, they have been very cooperative and understanding of our position.  But they too are under significant pressure.  

However, with some nimble footwork and judicious shuffling around of budgets, we have now managed to secure maintenance of previous opening hours.  It all happened a little too late to have the library staff replace the lost hours for the month of January, so I asked for volunteers amongst the academic and student office staff to provide weekday evening cover from 5-8pm during January.  I have to say we were significantly oversubscribed: people were falling over themselves to make sure that we could maintain this facility for you - which I actually found rather heart-warming.  I know how committed my colleagues are to providing the best possible experience and education for our students but this was a really tangible piece of evidence in support of that.  I’m sure you would want to join me in thanking them.

Finally, I’d like to thank Andy Smith and other student leaders who were very helpful in solving this problem.  It represented a very good example of effective staff/student collaboration which I think we are good at, and which incidentally was recognised by the GMC.


Message from Andy Smith, Vice-President, BLSA

Firstly, allow me to wish you all a happy new year. What with the holidays, there has not been too much to report on for this issue. Nonetheless, we can take it as an opportunity to look ahead to the term and all that it brings.

Firstly, there are a number of academic conferences being led by BL students and societies which is something we should be very proud of due to the amount of time and organisation that these things take. I am sure in due course reports of these events will feature in this publication. Furthermore, we also have the annual RAG and BLAS shows to look forward to.

On a sporting front, this term will see the conclusion of all the winter-sport leagues, as well as United Hospitals tournaments and of course the infamous Merger. It is always the hardest part of the season with accrued injuries and the like, so don’t forget it’s never too late to get involved. The prizes on offer are worth all the effort.

I hope you all have a productive and enjoyable term!

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