SRC Sabb Blog 2018/19 #7 – VP Student Support

Throughout the academic year, your GUSRC sabbatical officers will provide an update on the work they’ve been carrying out to make your experience at the University of Glasgow even better. Our seventh blog comes from your VP Student Support Fatemeh Nokhbatolfoghahai

Hiya everyone!

March is finally here, and before I had a chance to blink, I feel as though semester 2 has come and soon to be gone! It’s been a busy time for us here at the SRC, and we’ve been running a range of campaigns and events, as well as making sure that the student voice is loud and clear. Here’s a snippet of all that’s been going on…

Tackling Sexual Violence and Harassment

For many years now, the SRC has been at the forefront of campaigning for an end to gender based violence. As you might know, for a number of years we have run peer-led workshops called “Let’s Talk About Sexual Violence”. In January alongside the University, we were the first in Scotland along with GCU Students’ Association to launch the EU-wide campaign “It Stops Now” with a join statement from Lauren McDougall(SRC President) and Anton Muscatelli (Principal), and webpages with lots of links and support resources, as well as a video on all the training that has been developed for staff and students. It was also the official launch of the Anonymous Reporting Tool that we have been pushing to implement for a while.

We also set up a mural which we set up on level 3 of the library for which we received excellent feedback and coverage on social media. I believe bold statements like these are important to show that it is completely loud and clear that our campus has a zero tolerance approach to any form of sexual violence and harassment. It is sadly an issue on University campuses and this must change. I’ll be speaking in Dublin this week at the Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment in Third Level Education Conference about our campaigning and student activism.

Institutional response to UK-wide Racial Harassment Enquiry

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched an enquiry into Racial harassment in universities across the UK. Alongside the University’s Equality and Diversity Unit, we encouraged students and staff to respond to the surveys, and also responded to the enquiry highlighting the range of cases seen by our advice centre. We gave 3 recommendations we believe need to be pursued by University:

  • Improving current anonymous reporting tool to be better equipped to take on responses from students (and staff) around racial harassment and bullying.
  • Improved training for staff, and those who support students in student accommodation and other services, which includes unconscious bias training.
  • Better representation and celebration of ethnic and racial diversity in all areas of the university including senior management, academic staff, support staff and students.

Our hope is to hold discussion sessions before the end of the semester in order to look into the BAME student experience in general and understand where we can ask the University to take action to increase and support our diversity.

Care-Experienced and Estranged Students

After we were contacted by a student highlighting the need for the University to create a better sense of community amongst care experienced students, we hosted 2 lunches this semester that were hugely successful. These have been incredibly useful in helping us understand how we can work with Widening Participation to develop the support for this group of students.

In addition to this, I attended an event at the Scottish Parliament and heard of the various challenges Estranged Students experience whilst at University and hope to pursue some of these issues with the University.

And… More Welfare Campaigns!

As with last semester, our wonderful team of welfare officers have been working hard to help roll out a range of events:

  • 5000 Miles for Mental Health in aid of SAMH in collaboration with GUSA
  • International Students’ Celebrations, including a full day of events for Chinese New Year and a cultural exhibition
  • Exam De-stress goodie bag giveaway for Feel Good February at Garscube. We also held the biggest Mind Your Mate workshop we’ve had to date with over 50 attendees!
  • LGBTQ+ History Month: Past, Present and Future Panel event
  • International Women’s Week is still to come next week, so find out about all the activities here:

There’s been a lot going on but please do email me if you’d like to chat

Also, I love twitter so follow me! @GUSRC_VPSS

All the best?