Nicole Akuezumba

Candidate for Vice President Welfare and Community

  • Address gaps in inclusion, particularly for international and minorities students
  • Increase frequency of campaigns on improving physical and mental wellbeing
  • Promote transparency while reporting hate and sexual assault
  • Improve transitioning to first year by providing more student-led support
  • Address gaps in events with cultural significance (i.e. BHM & LGBT+HM)

Why vote for me?

Hi, I am Nicole and I study Geography with International Relations. I am currently Vice President of Women of Colour society; our events are focused on improving the wellbeing of students. I often meet students who don’t feel represented on campus, which is one of the reasons why I am running to be your next VP Welfare and Community. It is up to us to bring the change we deserve. This position is often associated with mental health awareness on campus and I think Laura Barr and the current officers have made a lot of progress on these issues, which have improved the student experience. However, I believe there are additional issues affecting the University community that need to be highlighted.

I want to be the voice of the students. There needs to be a restructuring in the SUSU, which starts with us. I want to put student’s needs at the heart of my term as VP, I’d like to use my role to improve current policies, and implement new ones, that are beneficial to the community.

If elected, I want to;

Make the process of reporting hate crimes and sexual assault more accessible to students. I feel there is a need for more transparency in the process, and progress, of reported cases, in order to improve student welfare. I’d like to review the current protocols for reporting hate crimes and sexual assault.

Address the gaps in campaigns and events with cultural significance. There is much to be done with Black History Month, LGBTQ+ History Month and similar events. The BHM events should attract students with empowering topics and themes. Similarly, LGBTQ+ students deserve more input on the issues that are affecting them.

Address the gaps in inclusivity for students. I want to create events that appeal to faith and minority students. I’d also like to make the transition into university easier for international students. To do this, I will create campaigns, events, workshops and support services across campus and student accommodations to make students feel less invisible and isolated while fostering a community on campus.

Introduce a year-round student-led support system. This system will involve student volunteers being present in halls beyond freshers week. This can supplement PATs, or act as an alternative if necessary. I think this can bridge the gap between PATs and Enabling Services, with the hope of improving student wellbeing.

Ultimately, I want to address current issues to make the university experience more inclusive and positive for all. That’s why you should vote for me.

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Questions & Answers Ask me a Question

Do you have any plans to tackle casual racism across the university? For example, with the coronavirus scares at present, racism against Chinese students has rocketed. How will you make sure people are supported if they experience racism and more importantly, how will you ensure that SUSU tackles casual racism?

I think this is a real issue, especially for those that fall victim to such acts of racism. As for support, SUSU should be working with student support and enabling services to provide on-site support for students who have experienced any form of casual racism. There need to be safe spaces on campus for people to discuss and share their experiences without disruption from others. As a student of colour, who has experienced casual racism, I think this is extremely important in the healing process. There should also be support for societies addressing such issues on campus, SUSU should always be working with them to improve the student experience. There could also be more support in halls – SUSU and student support could facilitate drop-in sessions at halls to check on students and their welfare. I think it’s important that this is done with someone who has knowledge of the experiences of casual racism, maybe a student ambassador or student volunteers. I briefly mentioned addressing the ways hate crimes are reported in my manifesto. The ways casual racism is reported and dealt with on campus is something that requires review. Additionally, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association were present on campus last week providing information about Coronavirus, I think if their message was more widespread on campus that’d raise awareness and reduce ignorance. If this event on the concourse was held over a longer period of time, or better yet, a video was broadcasted by SUSU explaining and summarizing their main points, I think this could do a lot as was seen with the Invisible Disability Awareness video that was made last January! I think such information being readily available is extremely important, and the SUSU could do more to raise awareness.

This question was also asked to Kayleigh LittlemoreAnswered by Nicole on 26/02/20 16:52

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