Hi again everyone! I’m now two months into my year as Welfare, Community and Diversity Officer, and have spent some time reflecting on my manifesto and reformulating my goals to fit with what’s going to be a different year than I expected when I was elected in early March. As my first blog post was a call for volunteers, I’ll use this one as an opportunity to properly introduce myself.
My name is Em Anderson, I’ve just finished my BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, and I enjoy baking, travelling, and rock climbing. I ran for Welfare, Community, and Diversity Officer because I’m passionate about creating positive change and believe that every student’s experience at UEA should make them feel valued as part of a supportive, inclusive community. I hope to do that this year by addressing the following issues:
Your SU and Student Support Services have used campaigns and projects such as Never OK and Report and Support to tackle instances of harassment and make campus safer for students. I plan to build on their work by developing an induction programme that addresses healthy relationships and consent, so that students have a sound understanding of what constitutes consent and how to look out for themselves and one another in relationships.
Your SU stands against racism, but we still have a long way to go to improve the representation, safety, and inclusion of BAME students on campus. I am committed to amplifying the voices of BAME students, ensuring that they are core to the work done by both the University and the SU in fighting racism at UEA. I hope to work with our People of Colour Officer, Serene Shibli Sexton, to encourage and celebrate cultural exchange throughout the year and to make student leadership positions more accessible to BAME students.
The climate crisis is becoming ever more urgent, and is something I worked on as a student this past academic year. I hope to improve environmental sustainability at UEA and the SU by helping to develop the Sustainable Food Policy, and by improving education on why and how we should all change our behaviours to reduce the damage that we cause to our world.
Student mental health is an issue both deeply and widely felt, and the restrictions that have been introduced as a result of coronavirus are bringing new aspects into play. I am working with the other officers and SU staff to strengthen student communities within campus accommodation to reduce student isolation and help you to feel at home in this time of instability.
Although this is a year in which to expect the unexpected, I am here to help you feel safe and supported, and am always happy to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, look after yourselves and one another. I look forward to welcoming you back to UEA in September!