Miriam Barker

Candidate for Vice President Welfare

  • Compassionate
  • Determined and driven
  • Passionate and enthusiastic
  • Hardworking
  • Organised

Why vote for me?

Hey, I'm Miriam. I’m a third year philosophy and history student and I am running for the role of VP welfare! In a general sense, I am running because I want to help give students a platform to voice their concerns and ideas. I love working with people and making people’s opinions and ideas be heard. I am very passionate about helping people and want to be a part in changing and adapting things according to what the students want to better their experiences during their time at university.

I have been both teacher and committee member for the Universities Sign language society for the last three years. I have been massively dedicated to helping people learn and creating a community out of these classes, as well as raising money that goes to a hearing loss charity.

We need to remove the stigma around needing help, especially in a uni setting everyone needs help at some point and needs to feel safe and supported.  Particularly in the case of mental health, mental illnesses are so common the idea that those who have mental illnesses are in some way less than neurotypical people must be stopped.

 It’s important that we actively work to help people with disabilities or mental illnesses, not only raising awareness about them. Setting up workshops and events that target different issues and giving physical and mental problems equal attention.

As someone who has mental health problems and learning disabilities, I have first-hand experience of being at university and needing support for these things and therefore have a good perspective on how it impacts student life and how support such as enabling services can be improved to make this help more accessible.

Often, a better form of communication is all a problem needs to be resolved, but for problems which are more difficult more thought, compassion, and understanding is needed. I know I am personally dedicated and forward thinking enough to provide this.

Aims

  • Continue the work of the previous welfare officer- making successful past events a yearly occurrence, continuing to push for gender neutral toilets, awareness campaigns and publicising societies and classes that.
  • Have "you are more than your studies" events throughout the year, not just for exam season
  • Promote the use of services for both physical and mental health.
  • Work together with students and academics/tutors to more adequately support communication and training when it comes to difficulties with studies.
  • Work with halls officers to promote the above points within accommodation- support communication between reps and students.
  • Provide societies with the facilities to be accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Promote thorough support of student led LGBT societies and endorsements of staff led LGBT networks, with more informed discussion regarding what these communities need.
  • Work in educating staff on discrimination policies, fostering a healthier environment for people to enjoy campus and society events as a community.

Questions & Answers Ask me a Question

Could you discuss how you envision You Are More Than having a permanent presence on campus?

I think having events held throughout the year as opposed to only around exam times is a good way of making the campaign more consistently present. I also am hoping to have an allocated "nap" zone, for people to de-stress in-between classes, similar to the bean bag area that was in bar 2 last year.

This question was also only asked to MiriamAnswered by Miriam on 21/02/18 01:33

What are your intentions and policies for Sustainability? VP Welfare's role is made up of both the Student Life Zone and the Sustainability Zone, and are as important as each other. In hindsight, do you think it would have been beneficial to have some focus on Sustainability (particularly environmental sustainability) within your manifesto?

One of the points within my manifesto is to continue the projects that the current VP Welfare has put in place. By this I predominantly mean the sustainability campaigns, which she has done a lot for. So things like getting rid of the plastic straws, and having bins with both food waste and recycling to be put round campus. I think the continuity of these campaigns is a good basis for sustainability within the role, and in hindsight I think I could have been clearer in my manifesto about the sustainability focus of the current VP Welfare that I want to continue. Outside of this, I want to make sure every eating establishment on all campuses have veggie and vegan options (including hot food for the winter). Other than the fact veganism is rising in popularity, it is incredibly beneficial for the environment and so providing more of these options means people who don't eat meat aren't resigning themselves to eating chips if they wanted to grab some hot food on campus. I also want to promote pre-existing sustainability campaigns, as there are already some in place that need more of a platform to continue making a difference. For example Student Black Out, who a few years ago when I started was quite well known, but has since become less talked about. Less visibility means less involvement and for projects like this the more people involved the bigger the change that is made. I think generally a lot of problems to do with sustainability stem from them not being convenient. We are all very busy people and so we want to make things easier for ourselves when we can. Because of this, making recycling and reducing waste generally more convenient will make it so much more common. Even something as simple as making sure each bin option (food waste, paper, plastic and general waste) are all in the same area so you don't have to search for the right bin, will make a change.

This question was also only asked to MiriamAnswered by Miriam on 28/02/18 18:24

What do you do in your daily life to be more sustainable?

I try and reduce my waste as much as i can- I make packed lunches, use reusable tupperwares - simple things like this. I recycle as consistently as i can and also reuse scrap paper and card. A big one for me is water bottles. I drink a lot of water so have a reusable water bottle instead of constantly buying bottles- even if i refilled them i would always lose them, but because the reusable one cost me more than 50p i seem to remember it a bit better! I

This question was also asked to Dave Williams, Mairin Williams, Olivia Reed, Qiaochu Yang, Isabella Camilleri, Iona McPhersonAnswered by Miriam on 28/02/18 18:31

Rather than the rather allusive 'I will support the sexual consent campaign', what specific proactive steps would you take as welfare officer to help raise awareness about issues regarding sexual consent?

Specifically I want to continue the project the current comittee have put into place such as the anon sexual harassment page where people can submit harassment claims, the buddy schemes and ask Angela. I also aim to premote these pages and services further. Also to work with organisations, such as the SCA (sexual consent awareness) group on campus, to make workshops genuinely going over different levels of consent and questions or issues surrounding the topic in an open forum setting. Also during freshers to have halls reps stay sober(er) in order to properly keep an eye on students and report any issues or be able to send students home via taxi/safety bus etc

This question was also asked to Dave Williams, Mairin Williams, Olivia Reed, Qiaochu Yang, Isabella Camilleri, Iona McPhersonAnswered by Miriam on 02/03/18 05:44

Budget

  • 1 x T-shirt transfer paper - £8.90
  • 4 x Assorted paint - £0.00
  • 4 x Facebook add - £4.00