The Equal Opportunties and Welfare Officer is responsible for welfare needs of all students, as well as ensuring equal opportunities are presented to all students. These responsibilities include chairing the Welfare Network, and working with staff of the University and the Union on matters within the Officer’s remit. The Equal Opportunities Officer also looks after the Student Run Service Nightline.
In his first year Byrne has become Course Rep and worked as a member of the Nightline Publicity team and is now full of ideas for the role of Equal Opps & Welfare. He says his work with Nightline has helped him appreciate the importance of confidential advice and he would like to develop online methods of offering help, as well as consulting other universities to consider alternative systems. He believes that there is room for improvement in the current welfare system and would work to encourage people to make full use of the pastoral care system.
Byrne also claimed he would approach local schools to encourage prospective students, especially those from poorer backgrounds, to consider university, and beyond this would like to do more to promote networks such as the LGBT both here and in the wider community. His other ideas include making more campus areas pedestrianised, by turning some roads into pavements. Byrne will missed the first weekend of campaigning because of filming for University Challenge, but hoped that the rest of the week would give him a chance to prove how “together we can make it work!”
Haligah has shown he is concerned with the welfare of students through his work in numerous mentoring positions. This has included working with students who are academically disadvantaged in some way, and working with college students. Inspired by system of mentoring in one of these colleges, Haligah said he would like to implement a similar system at University in which older students mentor new students.
He is also keen to follow in the footsteps of other Equal Opps and Welfare Officers by implementing a strong policy on sexual and mental health. Halligah describes himself as a “people person”, who likes meeting people and is willing to go out of his comfort zone in order to help others. He said he intends his campaign strategy to be “extravagant”.
Rosie Tressler is proposing to raise awareness of the role of Equal Opportunities & Welfare Officer and its relationship with the BME Officer, the Women’s Officer, the LGBT Officer and the Disabled Students Officer. Tressler is planning to expand student health schemes through “the expansion of Easy Tiger, free water fountains and vegetarian, vegan, kosher and halal food options around campus”, on top of a “Buddy Network orientated to help freshers settle more easily to university life”.
Tressler is also seeking to expand student relations through regular one-to-one office hours, ‘tea parties’ in SU Hubs & Satellite Campuses in order to “encourage Student feedback in a comfortable environment”. Tressler, as current Women’s Officer, feels she has had “relevant experience” and “appreciates how hard it is to raise the profile of a network”. Tressler feels she has realistic policies and intends to focus on putting them into practice.
Sophie Hindley describes the Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer as having “an important position at University” and relishes the “opportunity to address issues and problems faced by students”. Hindley wants to dispel the stigma attached to STI treatment and extend Sexual Health Screening not just for Freshers but for all years as well as raise awareness of the services the University has to offer.
Hindley wants to increase the use of media SRS to enhance campaigns in order to reach more students to ensure fair representation, including the representation of satellite campuses. All of these are intended to encourage feedback from students in order to address problems that need to be targeted.Hindley plans to implement these policies through “work with media SRS to target all years, contacting societies, health societies” as well as more student surveys to “see if the policies are working or not”. Hindley describes herself as “approachable, happy to listen and passionate”.
Images by Helen Miller