Hey, thank you for the question. Yes, this might make the role more difficult- but that doesn’t mean I’ll do a bad job, in fact I’d argue quite the opposite. Since the age of 12, everything I have achieved has been done in tandem with me juggling a plethora of mental health issues. I am well experienced with managing my mental health alongside difficult situations, and I don’t think it prevents me from achieving great things. Additionally, I also think this sends out a positive message to students, particularly those who may feel that their mental health is a barrier for their progression. My decision to be open about my mental health in my campaign is to show our students that we are capable of anything, regardless of our mental health issues.
Candidate for Vice President Welfare and Community
- Demystifying Access to Student Mental Health Resources- Working to Destigmatise
- Combat Sexual Assault through Education and Safeguarding Systems on Campus
- Improved Visibility of Diverse Commemoration Periods, like Trans Awareness Week
- Promote Sustainability through Student Led Initiatives and Eco-friendly Partnerships
- Dedicated Mental Health Support System for Postgraduates
Why vote for me?
Hi there! I’m Fleur and I want to be your new VP Welfare and Community!
As your Equality and Diversity Officer for 18/19, I’ve experienced working with both VP Welfare and VP Student Communities, and within multiple student zones. This is why I believe I would make your ideal VP Welfare and Community.
I will endeavour to:
- Create a leaflet for students about the mental health resources available in Southampton,how to access these, and information about waiting times
- Clearer information about how to utilise enabling services, apply for special considerations, etc
- Establish a mental health support system specifically for postgraduates by creating a working group with the postgraduate committee and University
- Pair “You Are More Than” events with SUSU initiatives to help students throughout the entire academic year- not just exam periods (including more support to students on placement)
- Improving resources for sexual assault survivors on campus
I was diagnosed with Bipolar-II in my first year, with no idea what support was available to me. This shouldn’t be the norm- students should be provided with information on how to get help before things get bad, not forced to search for it once they’ve hit rock bottom.
EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
- Ensure all social media content provided by SUSU affiliated societies are accessible for people with disabilities
- Ensure sustainable initiatives are not introduced at the cost of disabled students
- Improve visibility of commemoration periods, such as Trans Awareness Week and Black History Month
- Training sessions for society committees about the importance of inclusive language
- All toilets on all campuses to provide sanitary bins regardless of gender
- Push the University to provide more gender-neutral toilets
- More support for student parents, regardless of age, e.g. making SUSU events more child friendly
- Work with VP-Activities and International Officer to improve engagement for international students in clubs and societies
- More SUSU events to be available for all students (medics, nurses, etc)
- Fight for longer opening hours in SUSU spaces during “vacation period” (which it isn’t for postgraduates, students on placement, etc)
- Work on different sites (WSA, SGH) every week, ensuring I am approachable to all students- not just those on Highfield
I don’t agree with the term ‘hard-to-reach-students’- The Union just needs to improve at being more inclusive to all student groups.
HOUSING & SAFETY
- Introduce “How Do I Get Home?” pack - a resource for students providing walking and public transportation routes around Southampton and Winchester
- Increase support for housing, particularly for international students, students returning from year abroads or year in placements
- Introduce safeguarding system for students on nights’ out
- Pressure the University to make sustainable changes (turn the lights off at night!?!)
- Create partnerships with eco-friendly, sustainable, local businesses
- Introduce an initiative encouraging students to donate unwanted household appliances (toasters, kettles, microwaves, etc)
Let’s make a change we can be proud of.
Keep up with my campaign at fb.me/Fleur4WelfareCommunity
Ask me on Twitter @infleurtile and remember to
Vote Fleur #1 for VP Welfare and Community! #IPreferFleur
Questions & Answers Ask me a Question
Hey, thanks for the question. I had a look through the last 6 months of submitted You Make Changes, and couldn't find it anywhere- perhaps its worth submitting again? I can't make any promises currently, but if I am elected, I can promise to take a look at the You Make Change, or to have a chat with you about it using the SUSU VP Welfare and Community Facebook page. Our student voices matter, regardless of the subject matter :)
Hey, thanks for the follow up. Firstly, I think that Sam did a pretty fair job replying to your toilet paper wishes. As someone who sits on the sustainability zone, I know it can be super frustrating when you want to make (what seems like an easy change) but you have to go through the University. However, the trialling of the different toilet papers seems like a decent promise to me! I can't promise anything right now (as I have no power, lol), but if you vote for me and your toilet paper woes aren't fixed by the time I'm in the job, I'll give it a go and see what happens. X
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 25/02/19 08:45
Hey, thanks for the question. I want to set up a working group with the Postgraduate committee, any postgraduate student that wants to volunteer, the Union and the University to create a streamlined mental health support system, specifically for our postgraduate community on campus. Our mental health services should not be a 'one size fits all'- particularly as many mental health services at University are aimed at younger, school-leaving undergraduates. Additionally, I want to make SUSU events more accessible to our wider student body, including making them more child friendly, as many of our student parents also happen to be postgrads. I am not, however, a postgrad, and I don't want to speak for or over anyone. This is why I think a close relationship with the Postgrad committee is so key. I completely agree with you that it's so wrong our postgrads are overlooked, and I will do everything I can to change this if I'm elected. X
Hi, thanks for the question. To put it simply, it's not an easy task. As a student officer, there are only so many things I can do at once while juggling all of my other responsibilities. Something I mention in a lot of my interviews is that a lot of my manifesto points are things that I have tried to implement as a student officer, but been unable to, whether it be for time constraints, lack of control over a certain issue or not having the jurisdiction for it. While Isabella and I are working on this, it probably won't happen by the time we both leave our current positions in July. Therefore, I would like to be elected to make sure this incredibly important work continues on, as Isabella and I have both worked hard to try and get this implemented. It can definitely happen, but like a lot of things at the Union, it isn't a quick fix, which is why being elected in this role would give some longevity to the things Isabella and I have been working on this year.
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 26/02/19 09:06
Hi! Thanks for the question. We have seen recently that if there is a demand for longer opening hours, that it is viable to make this change happen, I am directly referencing the extended opening hours of Avenue Cafe which happened within the last couple of weeks. There is room for this change to happen, and if it's something that our students feel that they need, then we should be providing it. This is not something that will happen overnight, but it is something that is important to our wider student body, and I will do my very best to make sure that this change happens. I am not suggesting money will be cut from other areas, and that's also not quite how it works. If elected, i'd be happy to provide a transparent statement about how/when/ this change will happen, how much it will cost and where the money is coming from. X
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 26/02/19 09:12
Hi! Thanks for the question. In short, no. I know what the job entails, I still think I should be considering postgrads. Postgraduates are part of our wider student community, and they are also a huge part of the student population. Just because they do not necessarily fall within my remit does not mean I should be ignoring them, nor should any other candidate. My dedication extends further than what is spelled out in the job description, as it should for everyone else.
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 26/02/19 09:15
Hi, thanks for the question. Sustainability is a big part of student wellbeing, and something our current VP Welfare is working very hard on. While the 'responsibility' technically falls under the President now, it does not mean I can not have my own focus on this, particularly after my experience this year working on the Sustainability Zone Board. I want to make sure that any current plans in place do not fall through once the new sabbatical officers come into the job. My plan is to work with the new President to ensure our Union is sustainable as possible, and doing this by communicating many of the ideas that we throw around on the current Sustainability Zone Board, and communicating more with students.
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 26/02/19 09:26
Hi, thanks for the question. I can assure you that I have looked at the job description, many times! I reference these things because I think they fall within the wider remit of welfare: we need to be working with our students on all sites to ensure that they are getting the most out of the Union, we need to be working with medics who struggle with their mental health disproportionately, we need to be working with postgrads as they are part of the student population and therefore fall under *everyone's* remit. I'd really like to emphasise this because this has been a common theme in my questions recently: postgrads are part of our students, thus, they need to be represented by every sabbatical officer. While the VP Education and Democracy helps in postgrad representation, this does not mean the rest of the sabbatical officers should pretend that postgrads do not exist. I have answered a more detailed question about sustainability in one of my previous questions. This isn't an oversight- the role of a sabbatical officer is multifaceted, and much more than is just detailed in the job description.
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 26/02/19 09:33
Hi, thanks for the question! Firstly, this is because we have a 500 word limit and i wanted to use the space to talk about what I *want* to do, not what I have done, as this is ultimately what students will be voting for. I became Equality and Diversity Officer in late October 2018, which at this current point was 4 months ago. We must also allow for exam periods and the Christmas break, which was roughly 6 weeks (for me, anyway). In this short time, I have helped plan LGBT+ History Month which you are seeing currently, working with Emily Harrison to plan events for International Women's Day and I am currently working with the SUSU media team to film a video about the different accessibility features on social media. I (alongside Lucy, the Ethics and Environment Officer) have also set up an Instagram account for the SUSU Sustainability Zone to engage our students more. I am also planning diverse commemoration periods in advance so that our students feel more satisfied with the visibility of these on campus, such as Black History Month, for which we received a lot of feedback. This is also outlined in my manifesto, because if I am elected, I will be supervising the organisation of these events.
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 26/02/19 09:39
Hi, thanks for the question. I'm afraid I will have to disagree with you there. This year, it is one role, not two roles, this means the responsibilities are integrated, which I believe is reflected in my manifesto. Just because I only have one subheading for Community, does mean that there is only one area of my manifesto where community is involved. Equality and Diversity is a community issue, and the points in this subheading reflect this. In this job description, part of the Community section is "to work, to support and facilitate campaigns and celebrations of events with cultural significance, such as Black History Month"- one of my key points is to improve the Visibility of Diverse Commemoration Periods. Out of all of the candidates for this role, I have actually got the most points about community in my manifesto- some candidates have even been referring to the role as just "VP Welfare"- I think this shows that I have an excellent understanding of what the role entails, particularly the community aspect of it.
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 26/02/19 09:52
Hi, thanks for the question. I think integration of international students into clubs and societies is a huge issue currently, and one that I would specifically like to work on. In my manifesto, I also want to improve support for student housing, where I have especially outlined international students. Additionally to this, I want to have regular meetings with the international officer (a student officer) to ensure that we can do the most for our international students. I strive for our international students to have the best time at University- like I said in my surge interview, SUSU isn't just for British people or people who speak English, it's for everyone.
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 26/02/19 09:59
It's no secret that we share similar views- Emily and I were both on the Feminist Society for 2 years, and produced some excellent work together. We are both intersectional, passionate activists, and I am not ashamed of sharing that with her. I will not be answering anything about the incident because it isn't relevant to my campaign. I don't believe anything I have ever done suggests that I will not act with professionalism during my role. If you have any more concerns feel free to email me at email@example.com
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 02/03/19 19:23
Hi, thanks for the question. I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you on that one! When writing my manifesto, I specifically ensured that each manifesto point would match an element of the job description.I'm not sure what other elements of the job you're referring to here. I'll give you some examples where my manifesto reflects the role responsibilities: Promote student wellbeing, with a focus on mental and physical health safety and housing//Lobby the University to act on student feedback with regards to the support services it offers, and any wider wellbeing issues// Leading on equality and diversity within the Union// Ensure the accessibility and inclusivity of all sites and all activities there// Leading on Welfare and Community campaigns//Lead on welfare and awareness campaigns such as ‘You Are More Than’ //Support and facilitate campaigns and celebrations of events with cultural significance, such as Black History Month. These are just an example of points that are reflected in my manifesto. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any more concerns.
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 04/03/19 11:27
Hi, thanks for the question. If there were a community of students who were unhappy with a decision I had made, I would bring them in and set up a system to get feedback, understand their grievances and work to make the next decision one that everyone could be happy with. Similarly, if there was wide student backlash (for example, what happened with the rebrand), I think the Union need to be paying attention to students. The Union has a reputation (at least, since I've been here) of being silent when students are angry with something happening. This needs to change. We shouldn't be afraid of backlash, because it shows that our students share. We should be inviting students to criticise us more until we get to a point where all of the decisions we make ARE student led, because ultimately thats what a student union should be doing= reflecting student interests.
Hi, thanks for the question. Indeed, Emily Harrison has put on these events and I think they're a great idea. Making events child-friendly so that student parents are able to integrate with the student community more is not exclusionary- it's quite the opposite. We should be showing our student parents that the Union is here for everyone. Similarly, making fresher events child friendly is quite simple, and there are many freshers who would attend child friendly events, particularly as many freshers (as I have previously mentioned) are student parents too. I personally believe we should be hosting more fresher events which aren't drinking centred anyway, as I believe this encourages an unhealthy drinking culture and isolates those who don't enjoy these activities.
This question was also only asked to FleurAnswered by Fleur on 04/03/19 11:19
Hi! Thanks for the question. In short, my passion and dedication. I won't give something up without a fight, it's why you see many of my manifesto policies are things that I've been trying to do at the Union for years now. I wish I could put it into words, but simply, you won't find someone more dedicated to this than me. I'm also incredibly self-critical, which I don't necessarily see as a drawback, as I believe it allows me to understand student grievances more, which I think some of our sabbatical officers could be doing better at. I understand that I won't be able to please everyone, but believe me when I say that I'll still work my butt off for all of our student's needs.
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