The Students’ Union at UWE launched a Speak Up Week campaign in partnership with UWE Bristol with the aim of raising awareness of students and staff experiences of harassment, sexual assault and all forms of discrimination – particularly for those from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds – and taking action as appropriate.
The President filmed a video introducing the campaign, which reached 4,123 views on Instagram. Watch the video here.
The first day, 24 October, saw the launch of the Speak Up pledge to all staff and students. The Speak Up pledge was signed at the launch event by Rania Regaieg, President and Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Students’ Union at UWE on behalf of The Students’ Union and its Board. It was also signed by Vice-Chancellor Steve West and Chair of Board of Governors David Lamb on behalf of UWE Bristol and Board of Governors. There are six signed copies of the pledge which will be put up shortly in student and staff areas by The Students’ Union and UWE Bristol across Frenchay, Glenside and Bower Ashton campuses.
Steve West, Vice-Chancellor, President and CEO said: “Creating a university culture that nourishes diversity, equality and inclusion underpins the University’s core values and signing the pledge came as a powerful symbol that the University and The Students’ Union collaboratively commit to tackle racism, discrimination, and inappropriate behaviour and reaffirm that together, we are #TeamUWE.”
Rania Regaieg, President of The Students’ Union at UWE and Chair of the Board of Trustees said: “I am very proud to be launching the Speak Up Week campaign. As someone who has faced many forms of discrimination, it is important to me to have the University’s support in signing this pledge, and in doing so committing to speaking up against racism and all forms of discrimination to build an inclusive community at UWE Bristol.”
During Speak Up Week, we organised Speak Up stalls across Frenchay, Glenside and Bower Ashton campuses to give students and staff the opportunity to (1) learn more about Speak Up, (2) encourage them to sign the pledge and the perefct opportunity to (3) gauge interest in re-launching the Speak Up Society. At each of the sites, we gave out free Speak Up pin badges and Pronoun Badges for those who engaged with the stall.
On Tuesday 25 October, the UWE Campus Climate Survey 2022 was launched to better understand the experiences of our students of campus support services that deal with sexual misconduct, assault and harassment (both preventing and reporting), as well as any personal experiences they had or incidents they may know about. The survey is completely anonymous and confidential and can be accessed here.
On Wednesday 26 October, we focused on tackling discrimination against the LGBT+ community by promoting the Rainbow Laces Day campaign run every year by Stonewall.
On Thursday 27 October, the President Rania Regaieg organised an informal event at The Students’ Union building for students and UWE Governors to discuss all EDI matters over a free lunch. The Student/Governor lunch event started off with a brief talk from the President on the importance of Speaking Up in creating inclusive communities and encouraged students to be as open as possible about their lived experiences. She then took them to attend the launch of the Celebrating Culture Hall of Fame in D block where Governors met more students and continued our Speak Up themed conversations.
The final day of the campaign, 28 October, saw the launch of a Myth-busting series. In its first edition, the President Rania Regaieg collaborated with our Faith Societies, namely Christian Union Society, Islamic Society and Hindu Society to produce a series of videos breaking some misconceptions about religion and faith. The videos can be found here.