I plan to improve student welfare by creating more and more causal spaces run by SUSU to talk about mental health with one another. Talking about mental health can be difficult and I want to help make it not so intimidating to speak about. I know there are already some spaces in the uni that run similar things, but I would like to expand this to be open to everyone who wants to at uni. Additionally, I want to work with making more things accessible for disabled people at university, whether these are lectures and educations settings, through SUSU itself. One thing that I've particularly noticed is the subtitles on SUSU videos. Of the 41 videos posted by the SUSU YouTube channel in the past year that would need subtitles, 17 only had embedded subtitles and 11 had none at all. I want to work with SUSU to make it more accessible so that all students can access its resources.
Candidate for Vice President Welfare and Community
- Create spaces to talk about mental health
- Make enabling and other services easier to access
- Work with VP activities on inclusivity in societies
- Work with the university to be more disability-friendly
- Create peer mentoring systems for freshers
Why vote for me?
I’m Liz Evans, a non-binary second-year Ancient History student. Part of the reason why I want to run for this position is that there’s a lot to be done in terms of students who are underrepresented by the university, and I want to help bring those issues to light and work together with other members of SUSU to create an inclusive university for all students.
Below are my five major points I wish to work on:
Create spaces to talk about mental health
I’d like to have regular casual times where, in either a one-on-one capacity or in a group, people can talk about mental health, university and life struggles in a more casual environment, that’s not just an office. Online example of this could be having a text-based way of talking that’s less intimidating than email or teams/zoom, and for offline, going to cafes or for walks, all of which could help autistic and ADHD students, as well as those with anxiety.
Make Enabling and other services easier to access
As an autistic person, I am aware of the difficulties that people face at university trying to get support. As part of making support more accessible, I would like to have much more clear signposting to Enabling services to call students, in welcome events and signposted around the university, as well as promoting them more on SUSU social media, to make the services and the help they can provide more apparent.
Work with VP activities on inclusivity in societies
I would like to work with the incoming lgbt+ officer, BAME officer and VP Activities to work together to create more inclusive spaces in societies. Being non-binary gives me a perspective on some ideas as to how non-binary students could be better included, such as gender-neutral language and changing rooms for music and performing arts, but I would like to draw together these officers to get an outline and a view as to what we can do to help improve inclusivity overall in our societies at university.
Work with the university to be more disability-friendly
One way in which I would like to make the university more accessible is to make sure that there is a blanket rule on having quality closed captions on all SUSU videos. Additionally, I would like to work with lecturers to find ways to support disabled and chronically ill students, whether online or back in person.
Create peer mentoring systems for freshers
Similar to systems in other universities I would like to encourage a peer-to-peer mentoring scheme between 3rd-year undergraduates and freshers in the same course. I would do this by running recruitment for volunteers going into their third year at university, which would mentor their incoming peers, introducing them to the course and the university, and supporting them throughout their first year.
Ultimately, I want to create a space for all students at Southampton University, and to do that I want to make sure that everyone is included regardless.
Questions & Answers Ask me a Question
Passion- I am passionate about working as part of SUSU and with the university to help make it easier for everyone at uni. I want to do everything I can to make this a better place for every student who is here or is coming into the university, creating a lasting legacy that will help students after I am no longer at the uni. Inclusivity- I want to make sure that the university is inclusive of all students and that everyone is getting a fair and equal opportunity and chance to pursue everything that they want to at university, and not be held back, by lack of accommodations, and barriers to getting support. Empathy- Listing to other students is integral to this role and I will make sure I do that if I am elected. My own experiences are nowhere near enough to cover the range of experiences at university, so I want to work with people with other perspectives for the best ways to work to make this uni and SUSU better.
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