Annual General Meeting
Harm Reduction Campaign
My month-long campaign has focused on Alcohol and drug awareness, Safe sex and combatting NeverOk behaviours such as Sexual violence, harassment and misconduct.
Alcohol Awareness Week
During Alcohol awareness week I ran in person stalls with T3 stars recovery worker making students aware of how many units are in their drinks, encouraging spacers not chasers and the opportunity to use the drunk glasses to give students an opportunity to see how being drunk impacts your vision. I ran an in-person stall on Wednesday nights which got students to submit ideas why they drink alcohol and what they enjoy about drinking. I further conducted online polls focusing on welfare, and
Drug Awareness Week
During Drug awareness I held another in person stall with T3 stars recovery workers showcasing different types of drugs and their realistic effects on the user and their mental health. A votometor poll was held during that stall on nights out with students voting on their previous drug use.
During the week I highlighted the important of practicing safe sex and reducing the risk of STI’s and unwanted pregnancies. During the past three weeks myself and one of the Gender Equality Officer were giving out condoms on the nights out.
I met with the Head of Estates Clare and Derry, where I discussed the findings of my accommodation survey. I am pleased to see a positive move forwards on the change mini fridge policy, with more meetings planned and further research needed regarding extra energy usage.
International Student Survey
I launched my international Student Survey at the end of November working alongside Ching-Yu from the school of psychology which looks to examine the social, educational and welfare support provided to International Students. The survey will close in early February with analysis beginning to recommend the University on improvements.
I have been working hard on Movember which celebrates and removes stigma around male mental health, encouraging sports and societies to donate money to the charity Movember whilst starting conversations regarding male mental and physical health. I have done joint stalls with our odd ball representative to teach students how to check their balls for testicular cancer whilst removing stigma regarding topics such as testicular cancer.
I launched my campaign of Praise A Pal – where students submitted compliments and praises of their friends which I emailed out to the recipient. The campaign was utilised heavily, and I am happy with the engagement.
I launched my first wellbeing lounge as part of Movember in the Students’ Union, with a trained facilitator from counselling, peer supporters, and other activities such as gaming for students to come and relax whilst able to discuss any worried with the facilitator. This event was largely successful with a good turnout to warrant me to continue hosting these events
As part of Movember, I spoke out about international men’s day which I used as an opportunity to highlight issues facing men, such as mental health, suicide, sexual harassment, workplace deaths and signpost support for these issues. I made the day as diverse as possible by ensuring language and issues highlighted were inclusive to trans-men.
Resident Life Out of Hours Re-Hiring
I can finally announce (after 4 rounds of short-listing) that we have hired for our Welfare & out of hours crisis support. I am happy to welcome Fiona to the out of Hours Resident Life team.
I attended SafeZone’s annual conference (30th Nov – 2nd Dec) along with members of the Campus Security team and Resident Life. I have my own insight on how SafeZone could be utilised to
I have been working closely with Campus Security regarding their re-branding away from a punitive view and instead to complement their welfare and wellbeing roles out of hours. The new proposed name is (Campus/Community) Safety Team.
Mental Health Services
Both myself and Holly have been in discussions around improving counselling and making sure services are as inclusive as possible.
I have raised with the University on including training for counsellors regarding with topics and issues that are LGBTQ specific and I am waiting for a further response.
I have been working with Start to Success trying to encourage that University Staff received mental health training but also on top of this active bystander training for sexual violence and misconduct.
Violence Against Women Steering Group
I have been working with Naomi Smith from the Staffordshire Police Commission where two rounds of funding have been awarded. One for initiatives to ensure sexual harassment and misconduct is tackled, with a second to tackle spiking in the local area. A project regarding consent training via VR is being conducted between us and the Psychology department.
I am working with our Serious Incidents officer and the Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (SVLO’s) to streamline reporting services into a new NeverOk reporting portal which follows the basis of Northumbria Universities Unacceptable Behaviours policy.
As part of my Harm reduction campaign, I have hosted my first student feedback drop-in session to help improve reporting and support mechanisms. If you would like to add any feedback anonamyously, you can do so here.
Keele Student Support Fund
I have been meeting with the financial team to set up and give feedback on the new Student Support Fund that will replace the Keele bursary. The new Support fund is aimed to financially aid a wider range of students, such as those who received means-tested low loans, childcare costing for student parents and ensuring LGTBQ students can afford gender-affirming items and travel to Gender Identity Clinics.
Disability History Month
I have been working with Aysha and our PTO for Disabled students, Esther, to try and ensure there is a wide range of events as part of Disability History Month. Esther has organised a headphone disco event with KRAP to insure accessibility, whilst Aysha set up a panel event for students to hear the input of both physical and invisible disabled student’s experiences.
I hosted drop in sessions both online and in person to hear accessibility issues students are facing. The main issues were around lack of heating in learning spaces that trigger chronic conditions and reasonable adjustments not being adequately applied across assessments. I will bring these up at the next USVC.
I have worked with Student Services to set up Exam-plus which is taking more of a welfare-based focus to help students de-stress from the assessment and exam period.
Mature Student Accommodation
I discussed Mature Student specific accommodation with the Head of Estates (who oversee Accommodations) who informed me that Mature student accommodation was removed previously due to the low numbers of mature students living on campus.
There were discussions around the possibility of changing the accommodation allocation policy and algorithm which fit into where Mature students who live on campus can be paired or grouped up in accommodation. Further discussion around Mature Student specific accommodation is needed.
Mature Student Common Room
I, Alicia and Julie Willis (Student Experience and Support Officer Manager) met with Vicky from Estates and Development. We made good work on discussing the ideas of room locations and the needs of a Mature Students for a common room with relevant equipment and furniture.
I have reached out to Kristyan Spelman-Miller (PVC for Education & Student Experience) to be our sponsor. I am waiting to hear back from her.