Latest Officer Update | December
Decolonising City: this covers educational, social, and cultural (student services) aspects of decolonisation at university.
The Union is continuing to Lobby City to take a more rounded look at decolonisation and go beyond just the curriculum in certain subjects. Since the update in October’s report, the VP Education has been lobbying individual School to implement a decolonised curriculum via the Student Attainment Working Group, attended by all Schools and Professional Services.
Decolonising Student services:
- During IAM, the SU VP Community and Wellbeing worked with the Library Service to create a display of books, to educate students about Islamophobia.
- Shahd also met with the Library to support with pushing out their ‘Liberating City Library’ collection to students, where students can request for books on a variety of topics, including race, ethnicity and nationality.
- As part of the anti-spiking campaign, we urged the President to ensure that the on-campus Security services are trained to support students who may have been spiked. We have also released a statement to signpost students about where they can get support. The SU wants to know that affected students are being treated with compassion and in line with First Aid regulations.
Student Mental Health and Counselling Services
- The Union continues to lobby for improved mental health provision at City. Recently, the VP Community and Wellbeing has begun revising and pushing for the mental health strategy to be reviewed by the University, mapping out plans for Mental Health Awareness Month and working with University colleagues to provide students with resources to battle mental health struggles clearly and swiftly through leaflets, stalls, humans of city, blogs, virtual fundraising, advice, and information (student space). The SU President has started working on a yearlong mental health campaign addressing the stigmas around mental health and have identified different communities that may be vulnerable to mental health. The Officers will shortly be starting a video series targeting the experiences of the different communities at City.
- Building Back City: The Union has received complaints about the lack of visible support services, both on campus and on the Student Hub. The Union know that students are on campus and expect for support services to be open and visible for students. The SU President has been working with and lobbying the University to increase the presence of our professional support services so students can easily access these services in the most convenient way for them.
- Sexual violence Support: The Sabbatical Officers released a joint statement (hyperlink) addressing the increase in spike drinking. Shaima has expressed concerns around safety to the University and we have decided to create a task and finish group with the University, which will include all appropriate parties, to discuss how we can make campus, especially, City bar, safer for our students. Ruqaiyah, Shahd and Shaima have also suggested improvements to the ‘You Report, We Support’ tool to make it student friendly and easy for students to use, whilst opposing the inclusion of the PREVENT duty in the tool, which acts as a deterrent for Muslim students to access.
- Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM): During the month of November, the VP Education facilitated an Islamophobia Awareness Month campaign, which included a range of events, to ensure that students learned about Islamophobia and how it is a significant issue affecting Muslims in the UK. One of our main campaigns for the month was #OpposePREVENT, targeting the PREVENT duty for its Islamophobic impacts. The SU VP Education also organised a Muslim History Bus Tour, covering little known Muslim historical sites in the City of London, and held a #RootedInReligion stall, taking photos of students, and asking them what Islam means to them.