As you already know, the sabb team and I will be posting bi-weekly updates of what we have been up to, what else will be going on within the UCASU community and what is going on nationally. Here is a breakdown of what I’ve been doing.
After Fresher’s, I travelled to all four of the campuses to host the BAME and Women’s liberation group meetings and, so far, we have active BAME liberation groups at Epsom and Canterbury who plan to meet frequently. If you are interested in starting a liberation group on your campus, you can contact me for the BAME or Women’s groups at firstname.lastname@example.org or Riley for the LGBTQ+ or Disabled students groups at email@example.com.
Prior to Black History Month starting, I attended the course leader’s away day which focused on the BME attainment gap and the student experience. I spoke about my upcoming campaign Building Bridges for an Inclusive Curriculum, my plans for the campaign and how course leaders can get involved. It was great to see how enthusiastic everyone was and how they can get involved. My plan is to launch the campaign later this semester which everyone gets to get involved in.
One of the main projects I have been working on was Black History Month. This year was the first time UCASU have hosted events specifically for BHM, which was previously organised through the BAME liberation group. In total, including collaborative events with LSS and clubs and societies, there are 24 events going on across our four campuses and so far, it has been great to see students enthusiasm towards the events. Next week is the final week of of BHM and there will be one more event going across all the four campuses. Open Mic, Open Mind on Monday at Farnham, BHM Finale at Epsom on Tuesday, Snack and Sketch at Rochester on Tuesday,a discussion at Canterbury on Wednesday and a film screening on Thursday. If you have any questions about BHM or if you want to take part on The Black Voices of UCA, you can drop me an email or message on Facebook.
As well as October being BHM, this week is National Hate Crime Awareness Week; a week for us to unite and stand up against those who have experienced hate crime at some point in their life. In an article by The Independent, a police report from earlier in the year has stated that hate crime has gone up by 62% in schools and colleges and hate crime offences have risen by 17% to 94,098 in the 12 months to March, according to the Home Office. One of my campaigns this year is to start a consultation at Epsom and Farnham to measure hate crime and harassment that happens to students whilst they are at university and living in the local area of their campus; I will then produce a report based off the data I have gathered which I will present to staff, students and the local council. For more information about National Hate Crime Awareness Week, and how you can get involved, please check out https://nationalhcaw.uk/.