President of Inclusivity and Diversity 2019/20 Wins
Written by Abi, views are Abi's.
So, we have finally come to the end of the year and what a year it has been! With losing team members and finishing in a Global Pandemic, I don’t think this is quite the year we were expecting but that hasn’t stopped us working hard and achieving.
Despite the peculiar ending to the role, this year has been amazing for me. I have been given opportunities that I could only dream of and I want to thank each and every student who supported me through this journey; whether you voted for me back in March 2019, were one of the Part Time Officers in my zone, or even just came to be tested in SHAG week. This job would not be what it is without the students so thank you for all of your support.
Finally, to my President Team members. Your passion this year is what has kept us all going through these challenging times. It has been an honour working alongside people who care so much for what they believe in, and it has been inspiring and eye-opening to be around you every day. Thank you for all of your hard work this year and for looking out for each other when we have needed a bit of addition support.
That’s enough of the soppy stuff (for now). Here, in no particular order, are some of my achievements from this year:
- Set up an accessibility Open forum for students to come and speak about their issues, concerns and frustrations
- Fed information back to the University on behalf of students
- Sat in multiple meetings since lockdown speaking with the University about physical work that is taking place on campus whilst it is empty
- Suggested the creation of a reporting tool on behalf of students which has since been implemented
- Suggestion at the start of the year about an accessibility map of the campus explaining where doors and toilets are in buildings – I believe a version of this is being looked at
- Wrote a proposal so the HUSU senior management team about installing an Accessibility Toolbar to our website which was completed this week!
- I have worked closely with Hannah (Trans Rep) this year to support with the increasing numbers of the Trans Support Group
- Got the University to buy and fly the Trans flag over Trans Awareness week, and asked them to fly it at halfmast on Trans Day of Remembrance
- Worked with the University on the naming of the Claire Birkenshaw Lecture Theatre – suggested the ceremony took place in LGBT+ History Month to celebrate the community
- Had the opportunity to give the Vote of Thanks at Claire’s talk
- Wrote the HUSU stance on the Jenni Murray Lecture Theatre
- Conversation had with the Estates Team regarding an increase in Gender Neutral Toilets across campus – issue of budget at the moment but had an agreement from them that they would look at some ‘quick wins’ in the meantime where signage could be changed to make it more inclusive
- Wrote a blog post about the Black Lives Matter movement at the start of June addressing the matter and encouraging people to get involved
- Worked with Simeon, Nicole (Student Voice Manager) and Ano (BAME Rep) to set up a BAME Campaign Network for students who want to get more involved and campaign on BAME issues as they please
- Started work with Simeon and the Library looking at how inclusive reading lists are – the university lead then had a baby so hopefully this will be continuing in the next academic year!
- Put pressure on the University to restart their work on the Race Equality charter as this was put on hold due to a staffing restructure – they have since confirmed this will be picked back up in the new academic year.
- Organised Show Racism the Red Card day by getting students, staff and trustees to wear red and get involved.
- Organised a charity dodgeball tournament for Show Racism the Red Card.
- I have worked closed throughout the year with Student Services, assessing what the current needs are for students and talking about how we can work together to achieve this
- Promoted Big White Wall on World Mental Health Day in October by creating our own Big White Wall full of mental health stigma (Which should hopefully still be up in the Advice Centre waiting area on the second floor!)
- I’ve had the opportunity to go and speak in the House of Lords to MPs about student mental health and the issues that students face daily, making them aware of the factors that contribute to poor mental health that they may not have been aware of before
- We have worked closely to look at how we can use the Student Minds partnership in a way that will benefit students the most
- Had the chance to visit different SUs around the country for networking events, and share best practice with other Sabbatical Officers
- Delivered two Signposting Training sessions to Committee members
- Created the new Wellbeing Advocate scheme as a way to improve the current Welfare Officer position and complete a manifesto point for me
- Found a way to make the role safer for students using it and in the role
- Created training for all those who sign up to complete
- Hope to get people into these roles in September!
- Had almost all zone positions filled after October By-elections
- Worked closely with each Zone member to encourage them to achieve as much as possible
- Supported reps in setting up their own events e.g. TDOR, Consent open forum
- Created each of the positions an email account, so they would not need to use their personal ones, and they could easily hand over
- Created Inclusivity and Diversity Business cards to make the Zone more well known (but then COVID-19 hit, so we couldn’t get them printed, but they should be around next year!)
Developing President Role
- As the first person to do a full term as President of Inclusivity and Diversity, I have spent this year evaluating and shaping the role since the name change
- Positive result as less people are confusing the purpose of the role
- Making is safer for my zone as less people are coming to reps with sensitive information that they are not qualified to hear
President Team Survey
- Created a survey on behalf of the President Team about representation at HUSU
- Analysed the results and wrote them up as a report that was presented to the Board of Trustees
- Identified a number of recommendations for the next President Team to continue with
Feeling of Safety
- Worked with Isobel at the start of the year to create Safe Campus cards
- Worked with the Advice Centre and Torch TV to create a video promoting the Hate Crime Reporting Centre
- Hosted a Reclaim the Night march with Evie around women safety at night – had around 20 people turn up including a couple of women from Women’s Aid
- Worked with Evie to begin her Consent Training campaign
- Very successful SHAG week with over 340 people being tested!
- Introduction of new prize for the student group who physically had the largest amount of members testing after feedback received from previous events
- Created two podcasts with Craig from MESMAC and Torch TV about general and LGBT+ specific sexual health
And that is me done for the year! Thank you so much again for all of your support (especially if you actually read all of that and are still here reading this!). I want to wish good luck to the incoming team and especially to Evie. The year you are about to have will definitely be in interesting, amazing, challenging one but it will also be one of the best years you will have.