Hello everyone and welcome to our first Be Better Do Better update.
This first update includes things we’ve been working on throughout November and December.
It has been a hectic semester for all of us in the SU, but we’ve managed to get some really positive work done since the campaign launched. Thank you for your feedback on how to take the campaign forward, we are reviewing your comments and will provide you with a response in January.
In the meantime, here are 10 things we’ve done since last time!
10 things we’ve done:
1. Launched this campaign and our mythbusters series!
During November we worked hard to release two separate mythbusters titled “The DNA of White people and Black people are different!” and “Universities aren't racist anymore”. Both of these were circulated around our social media channels and we have made more for the upcoming months.
Find our initial launch statement here
2. We responded to the University’s joint council/senate meeting and hold the University to account (See here)
During the University’s last joint Senate and Council meeting, we felt that the way issues around race were addressed were not adequate, so we held the university to account with an email addressed to members of senate. See the email here.
3. We organised race equality training for society committee members, and will continue to offer this throughout the academic year.
We are also working with the University Race Equality Officer for a further comprehensive training module for societies and students.
4. We recruited and trained 50+ community champions to learn how to be an active bystander and respond to racism & microaggressions as part of our #NeverOK campaign.
We recruited and trained 50+ community champions to learn how to be an active bystander and respond to racism & microaggressions as part of our #NeverOK campaign.
This training is a bitesize introduction to active bystander intervention, and how we can 'step in' or 'step up' to prevent all forms of violence, prejudice and discrimination from occurring or escalating.
Become a Community Champion and/or find out more about the NeverOK campaign here.
5. We organised events & activities about race and intersectionality as part of Black History Month and Disability History Month
We organised events about race and intersectionality as part of Disability History Month. See: https://su-disabilityhm.co.uk
We have one more event this Thursday the 17th of December at 6pm. We are proud to welcome Jumoke Abdullahi and Kym Oliver, creators of 'The Triple Cripples', for an online Q&A event in collaboration with CambridgeSU. With a discussion on the intersections of race, gender and disability, we can't wait to hear from the duo - we'd love to see you there!
Find out more and sign up here.
For Black History Month, the AU teamed up with the SU to celebrate Black Athletes with highlighting some amazing athletes and their achievements through social media. The AU committee raised £440 for ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ by organising the first AU Takeover: AU’s Question of Sport. The event proved popular as the tickets were sold out within 20 minutes. To integrate Black History Month into the Quiz, we had a specific round to challenge students on the posts we put out regarding black athletes in the previous week. Check out some of the posts we shared on social media here!
6. We reviewed and advised the University on their decolonise the curriculum handbook for academic staff
We reviewed and advised the University on their ‘Decolonise the Curriculum’ handbook for academic staff. This will be published in the new year and we’ll post an update about this when it’s ready.
7. Decolonised module re-development guidance
For the blended delivery of online and in-situ teaching this year every single module in the university had to be redeveloped. During this process we advised the university that this was an unmissable opportunity to decolonise the curriculum in older modules that haven’t been modified in many years. This is what we said.
8. We are working with the BAME Staff Network to create a BAME role model system
We have been working towards getting a BAME Role model system working within the university. This will hopefully help bridge the BAME awarding gap: (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/lack-role-models-key-cause-ethnic-minority-attainment-gap).
9. We are consulting with students about our current hate-crime reporting service, and potential changes we are going to make to reporting in the new year
This week we are consulting with students about our current hate-crime reporting service, and potential changes we are going to make to reporting in the new year. Keep an eye out for an email from Student Voice!
10. We did research into the representation of each officer position amongst BAME and women students over the last 5 years. We pitched changes at the AGM to ensure greater representation of these liberation groups.
We did research into the representation of our each officer position amongst BAME and women students over the last 5 years, and found that the Activities and Community and AU and Sport Officer were the least representative positions for these liberation groups. We pitched changes at the AGM to change the titles and numbers of officers from a 5 to 4 person officer team, to ensure greater representation of liberation groups and students generally. While these changes were voted down by students for various reasons, we are still planning to utilise this part of our research by committing to encouraging BAME students to run for full-time officer positions in the new year. Find out more about the research and our proposal here.