Welcome to my new blog! We're apparently getting blogs on the ULU Website when uni starts, but I start office now so It only makes sense for me to start now! Before this week I've been up to loads, I've been on Women's Hour on Radio for talking about student feminism, I've been asked to be on the Abortion Rights UK Board, I've been on various campus talking to women's and feminist groups about how I can work with them next year. As you can see, hardly ever a dull day in my role.
(I have a unashamed obsession with Alice in Wonderland and dedicated a third of my dissertation to it. #sorrynotsorry)
Second day of work was ... eventful. As some of you may know already, the University of London called the police on a female student activist for chalking a message about the 3COSAS Campaign outside the ULU Building and Senate House. One of my tweets of rage ended up being featured in the Independent the next day - Police accused of disproportionate force at ULU chalking arrest. You can read the statement from the sabbatical officers on the ULU Website. As you can imagine, not the greatest amount of work was completed that day. Learnt how sudden events quickly warp how student officers plan their day. At the end of the day I attended Birkbeck Women's Campaign outdoor AGM to meet and discuss some plans with the new members of the committee.
On friday I began the day by finishing the second draft of the Hollaback ULU Survey. After that I headed to NUS to meet up with NUS Women's Officer Kelley Temple to review the findings and potential next steps. After that me and Kelley attended the End Violence Against Women AGM. EVAW has started to do work with girls in schools which is great but we hope in the future that will help us to work on campaigns to do with women in HE and FE. There was a really impressive presentation by Sharyn Potter on tackling rape and getting better victim support in US Campuses for students of all genders, races and and sexuality. She included lots of useful things on empowering bystanders and we got to discuss the similarities with UK and US campuses.
- Note to self - Eat properly!
- Note to self - Remember you have to get up early tomorrow, your legs won't thank you the next morning if you take a 4k walk after work.
- Student activists, don't count on authority figures to look out for you, look after each other.
- As well as women's representation unions really need to start looking at black* students representation and outreach. There was a low turn out from Black students for the Hollaback! ULU survey and photos of NUS training days usually have an average of about 4 black students in them. It's not representative of the number of black students in HE & FE at all and we all need to do more to tackle this. Probably will do a follow up post on this!