How will the monthly updates work?
Each association has a media and communications officer, who would primarily be responsible for each of those association updates. This could be in the form of newsletters or blog posts depending on what’s relevant for each of those associations. These media and communication officers would be looked after by the media and communication officer on the welfare committee who would make sure the monthly updates go out and take ownership over that.
How do you see the Loughborough in London Welfare and Diversity committee being structured and how would you track their progress?
I think the committee needs to be quite small to begin with, as having spoken to the current LSU in London welfare rep she’s said it’s quite difficult to engage new people into welfare at the moment. I would structure the committee as having a vice chair to support the welfare rep and a campaigns officer to help filter through the campaigns as I think that’s where we need to initially start with it, and it can grow and get a bit bigger as the section grows. In terms of making sure that things are going on, I think it’s about being in constant contact with the LSU in London rep, which is something that the vice chair of my committee would be in charge of as well as looking after the connection with the LSU in London reps.
How will you organise regular training and appraisals?
Appraisals wise I would like to run them termly with my committee, and then make sure that the association chairs of my committee are running appraisals for each of their sub-committees and then feeding back to me at either the beginning or end of each term. In terms of training, we have a training weekend at the beginning of the year with the welfare committee and I think that we need at least one training session a term as well, probably in the middle of the term whether that be on risk assessments or running events or how we can collaborate with each other. The reasons I want the sub-committees involved is because then they will feel supported as well and they can be a bit more autonomous within the associations.
How will you reward your best volunteers?
Obviously, I’ve said in my manifesto about the employability award for welfare and diversity volunteers which is something that the society section started last year under Jenna Holmes and is something that I can see being similar to the societies version of it. The careers network have the general employability award but I know for me, I’d be much more interested in it if it was specific to the things I’m most interested in. So, that would be making sure volunteers are making a log of all their hours and then at the end of a certain amount of time whether that be termly or at the end of the year they can then reflect on that time that they’ve given and reflect on what skills they’ve learnt so they know how to use those in interview settings for jobs in the future.
How will you ensure the diversity of all students is catered for?
We’ve got six associations now and that’s where a lot of the diversity comes from. I think for me it’s ensuring that we engage the majority education wise and we support the minority. It’s about making sure that our majority students, for example, our male students understand women’s issues and the white population understand ethnic minorities issues as well. I think engaging the majority will massively help the minorities as well.
You mention working with Education in order to introduce Welfare and Diversity into every department committee, what would be the role of these reps and how would they support their fellow students?
A couple of years ago we introduced welfare hall reps into the committees. Hall committees are slightly more solid and people understand them a lot more than department committees at the moment. After speaking to Jess Hurford who’s the DSF president she would quite like to add in a role of welfare and diversity head of section into the DSF who would then look after each of the welfare reps. I think the welfare reps in the departments initially are there to support the students and piggyback if you’d like onto our LSU welfare campaigns rather than doing their own, to begin with. They wouldn’t necessarily be expected to do that because they might not have the support to do that to begin with, that’s something that I can see coming once the department section has grown a bit more.
Will you work with the Postgrad EO and international committees to make sure those students feel happy and safe?
We have our international DO who I would be sharing an office with should I get into position and I’ve seen Marina who is the current international DO create her international committee and they’ve been doing so well this year so that’s something I want to continue and make sure that they link in with some of our other associations. At the moment, I think they’re a little bit separate because they’re a bit newer and I think that they need to be brought into our other associations such as the ethnic minorities association.
Will you develop the safe space idea of last year?
Obviously, the safe space idea hasn’t necessarily been implemented this year yet, I’m personally not sure that this is the best way of using our resources. There’s the potential of the new LSU building being built in a few years’ time but I don’t think really see that as something that’s vital to my year in office should I get into the position. I think it’s much more about engaging people into the section and bringing them into the welfare and diversity office and making them feel like they can come there with their problems rather than creating a separate space.
– Interview conducted and written up by Lydia Kah-Pavlou, Label Culture Editor