The Association Conversation Station was our new podcast, focusing on our 50th anniversary. We celebrated this milestone by chatting with many notable figures from both the Association and The Open University itself – past and present.

You can listen to our episodes below – transcriptions are also available.

Episode 1: The relationship between the Association and The Open University

In this first episode, our President Sarah Jones chats to Dan Moloney (Director of Engagement at the Association) and Rachel Garnham from The Open University about the 50-year partnership between the Association and The Open University. It's a fascinating look at how we work together well, but still manage to maintain our independence from each other.

Episode 1 – transcription

Episode 2 – It's our 50th birthday!

This is an extra episode to mark our 50th birthday (the big day was on 16 May 2022). Our President Sarah Jones catches up with Chris Roworth (our former President), Sir John Daniel (former Vice-Chancellor of The Open University) and Rob Avann (the Association's former Chief Executive Officer) to celebrate the achievements of the last half-century, share some funny stories, and look ahead to the future.

Episode 2 – transcription

Episode 3 – A celebration of OU Pride and our LGBTQIA+ community

June is Pride Month, so we celebrated all things Pride with this podcast, and how the Association has developed a wonderful space for the LGBTQIA+ community (particularly with its support group, OU Pride)! We will hear from Graham Rimmer, co-founder and first Chair of OU Pride (known at the time as PLEXUS), Alex Phennah, who is also a co-founder of OU Pride, and Lyndsay Thomson, current Chair of OU Pride.

Episode 3 – transcription

Episode 4 – 50 years of our Student Leadership Team

It’s been 50 years since the coming together of our first Student Leadership Team (SLT), previously known as the Central Executive Committee (or the CEC, for short), so this podcast looks at the work of the SLT, why it’s so important, and the difference it makes to our students. Sarah Jones chats to Fanni Zombor (former Vice President Engagement), Billy Docherty (Honorary Life Member of the Association and former member of the SLT) and our very own Ellie Milnes-Smith (Volunteering and Representation Officer for the Association).

Episode 4 – transcription

Episode 5 – The Association's archive project

As you might imagine, since 1972, we have built up quite a bit of archive material, so this podcast looks at the Association’s archive project. This project has enabled us to catalogue and order our wonderful content to make it a true celebration of our first 50 years! Our host Georgia Demopoulou chats to Matthew Taylor (Digital Archivist of The Open University), Nicola Powell (the Association’s Senior Volunteering and Representation Officer) and one of our students, Patrick Johnson, who volunteered on the archive project.

Episode 5 – transcription

Episode 6 – Freshers!

Twice a year we welcome a new intake of Open University students and welcome back our existing ones. 

As a result, we put on Freshers twice a year – a two-week programme of events, activities and chats (both face-to-face and online) to help new and returning OU students to learn more about the OU, to find out more about the Association and, most importantly of all, to connect with each other!

This podcast looks at Freshers and how important it is to the life of our students. You’ll hear from Nichola Connolly (one of our Student Leadership Team), Pete Turner (our Head of Student Community) and Tracy Thompson (Chair of the Association’s Space Society).

Episode 6 – transcription

Episode 7 – Accessibility, student groups, and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; how we support our diverse student community

Our host Verity Robinson (Head of Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Student Welfare) talks about the Association's work in this area, and speaks to two members of our wonderfully diverse student community, Laura Cranstoun (Disabled Students Group) and Sristi Sengupta (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students Group) about their experience as part of the Students Association. Ciaragh Hubert (Director of Accessibility at The OU) also joins us to talk about the University's ongoing work in the accessibility arena, and how students can access support and get involved.

Episode 7 – transcription

Episode 8 – Men of the Association

As November marks International Men’s Day, for this latest episode, Emily Cox (from the Association’s Volunteering & Representation team) was joined by our Deputy President, Gareth Jones, our Chair of Societies, Nigel Patterson, and our former Vice President Education, William Butler. They will tell us about how they are involved with the Association, their relationship with The Open University, and their experiences as an OU student.

Episode 8 – transcription

Episode 9 – Student Voice Week

This is a special edition of the Association Conversation Station. We're looking at Student Voice Week, and the ways it can help our students to influence decision-making at The Open University. Our host is Lou Robinson (our Vice President Engagement) and she is joined by Liz Marr (Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the OU) and our Deputy President, Gareth Jones.

Episode 9 – transcription

Episode 10 – Looking back at our 50th anniversary

This episode is a celebratory look-back at our 50th anniversary year of 2022. Andy Evans (from the Association's Digital Communications team) is joined by the Association President, Margaret Greenway; Sue Goodyear, one of our Honorary Life Members; Leanne Goodall, a former volunteer for the Association; and Beth Metcalfe, the Association's Acting Chief Executive. They discuss the last 12 months, as well as some prominent Association achievements and memories, and look at what's in store for the Students Association in the future.

Episode 10 – transcription