A Full Time Officer will ensure a strong voice for Welsh speaking students
Swansea University students have voted in favour of changing the role of the Union's Welsh Affairs Officer from being part-time to full-time.
The referendum was held over a three-day period last week to determine whether Swansea University's Student Union should employ a full time Welsh Affairs Officer, following a vote in favour at the Union General Meeting in May.
Of the 681 voting students, 519 were in favour of appointing a full time Welsh Affairs Officer.
Tomos Watson, current part-time Welsh Affairs Officer for the Union said:
"Being successful in the referendum to have a Welsh Full Time Affairs Officer in the Swansea Union is something that Welsh students have dreamed about for years. Being at the forefront, and part of the campaign has been a pleasure and the result is incredible.
A Full Time Officer will ensure a strong voice for Welsh speakers in the Union and within the organisation. This ensures a bright future and opportunities for Welsh Speakers but it also gives us the opportunity to take pride and share our culture and language with the wider student population.
With wider work through the academic departments offering students Welsh language opportunities, and now the potential impact of this role, the future is bright for the Welsh language community at Swansea. "
Dr Gwenno Ffrancon, Director of the Hywel Teifi Academy of Swansea University said:
"All staff at Academi Hywel Teifi, academics and administrators across Swansea University, would like to congratulate the members of the Swansea Students Union on the outcome of this referendum that has ensured a stronger voice within the Union from the thousands of Welsh speakers among Swansea University students.
The acting officer will not only raise a voice on behalf of Welsh speakers but will be a means of ensuring that all the institution's students have better access to and understanding of the language and its culture. A special campaign during the referendum was co-ordinated by Tomos Watson, the current part-time officer of the Union on behalf of the Welsh language, and he is commended for his leadership and perseverance.
We look forward to close and active collaboration with the Officer when he or she has been elected and a subsequent increase in the profile and prosperity of the Welsh language within the Union and the University. "
The outcome of the referendum will now be checked by the Board of Trustees of the Students Union and processed through its committees. Elections for the election of the first full time Welsh Affairs Officer will be held in Spring 2019.