As I enter my final month of being YOUR PRECIOUS PRESIDENT, I would like to use this as an opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of this journey. It’s been a great pleasure and honour working with you all. I can gladly say that I had a very successful year and I am moving on to greener pastures. Please find below this month’s updates:
Racist Incident on Campus
As far as I am concerned, this environment is not the place for hate crimes and racism. As your first Black Female President, it is my duty to ensure that the voices of our Black students are not silenced! We shared our initial statement clearly stating our position as we work with the University to ensure that best practice is put in place and appropriate measures are taken. I have also ensured that we collaborate with SARI (Stand against Racism & Inequality) who we are delighted to now work with. Therefore, I would like to remind all where we stand and that is absolute zero tolerance to racism! For more updates, check out my next blog post.
Private Accommodation Lobby
You may know, but we have been lobbying landlords, agencies and MPs, you can read more here. Amongst other responses, MP Jack Lopresti wrote on my behalf to Chris Pincher, Minister of State at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) raising our concerns, read more here.
Following this last update, on behalf of The Students’ Union, I wrote back, acknowledging the work done so far and arranging a future meeting. I also attended a student housing update and campaign planning meeting with NUS Vice President Welfare, Eva Crossan Jory.
Campus accommodation cost review, permanent Black Hall of Fame and sleeping pods
With the current state of things, students are very unlikely to arrive on campus from September. Therefore, I do not agree that they should be charged the same amount as last year. I have had discussions with the Vice-Chancellor, Steve West and the Director of Estates & Facilities (E & F), Chris Abbott and have made proposals for this cost to be made on a pro-rata basis.
I have also had meetings with students’ union and UWE Bristol staff, regarding a more permanent Black Hall of Fame (please find a digital copy here). This idea was welcomed by many, including UWE Bristol’s Vice-Chancellor, the Director of E & F and The Students’ Union CEO, Tim Benford.
Finally, with the risk of spreading coronavirus in mind, we are discussing administration and operational plans for the sleeping pods as promised.
UN75 survey and dialogue
We are collaborating with the United Nation (UN) on the Secretary-General's UN75 Initiative – “A global conversation to gather inputs from across the world on people's priorities for the future, on the occasion of the UN's 75th anniversary”. We are circulating this one-minute survey to our students and on behalf of the Union. I will also be hosting a dialogue session on the 24 June with students discussing “what people want for the future, how they envision the future and what they expect from their governments”.
This will be in collaboration with Prof. Sarah Leonard alongside other interested professors and parties.
Petition to waive debt for Healthcare Students
Alongside 28 (and counting) other students’ unions, we have signed a letter written by Greenwich students’ union calling for the government to waive debt for all healthcare students who have stepped up to work during this pandemic. You can view, sign or get more information here. Please share with your students or friends.
- Following the launch of the No Detriment Policy, I and Jane (VP Education) are working with the university to update/improve this policy if and where necessary.
- This month I attended what would be my last academic board meeting at UWE, Bristol. I also had the pleasure of joining the Global Lounge Team to welcome some of UWE Bristol's pre-sessional students with an induction session. Following this up with a presentation on the topic of kindness during Mental Health Awareness Week.
- We have had several meetings cross-campus discussing the recovery phase for The Students’ Union, including plans for Halley Nursery.
- The Students’ Union virtual activities are still on and I have had several sessions including, a Q&A session, an update on Black Lives Matter, a cook along as well as an Afro dance class.
I am here to represent the UWE Bristol student community and I am committed to improving the student experience here at UWE Bristol. As I prepare to handover this role, I will continue using my voice, chasing my dreams and working on campaigns that matter. Therefore, it would be an honour to connect with you via LinkedIn.