Phoebe Crook, 2018/19 Students' Union Community Officer

Asha Sutton

Welfare and Diversity Officer

As Welfare and Diversity Officer, Asha represents over 9000 students at the University, through the Students' Union, on all matters relating to Welfare, Mental Health, Diversity and Inclusion. Leading crucial campaigns and lobbying student concerns to the university and beyond. Asha is also a director of the charity of the Students' Union, sitting on the Board of Trustees to make important decisions on matters of finance, accounts and overall running of the charity.

Manifesto Points

REBUILDING: COMMUNICATION

  • I have noticed that the pandemic has revealed certain cracks within the university - communication. This needs to be both more frequent and clearer to ensure transparency.
  • A way of partly achieving this is to implement fortnightly Q&A’s for students, with members of staff from different sectors of the university. This will enable students to voice their concerns, ask questions and feel like they are being heard.

Update: My first Q&A is coming up soon...head to our SU socials for more details! 

REBUILDING: STUDENT COMMUNITY

  • All students have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. I aim to work with various sport and society teams to help facilitate joint events/socials. However, I am aware that not all students participate in a sports team or society. It is about creating opportunities such as cross-campus events, so that all students can engage in the wider student life.
  • Students will now rightly be itching to have a normal experience of student life. I will do my best to help the transition from a virtual to physical student life run as smoothly as possible.

EMBRACE DIVERSITY AT UOG

  • A thriving student community is about embracing and celebrating diversity. I aspire to promote and raise awareness of this diversity, such as running events for important social and cultural events such as Black History month and LGBTQ+ History Month.
  • I want to run focus groups for all those that face marginalization. I really hope to embrace the diversity of UOG’s community, by bringing students together.

STUDENT SERVICES- VISIBILITY AND ACCESS

  • Through speaking to students, it is clear that issues of visibility and accessibility to services online are prevalent. I want to improve the visibility, such as on My Glos and social media to reaffirm timescales like for counselling waiting times. I would aim to work with student services to ensure students can access this support.

Priority Campaign- Everyone Is Welcome

As well as my manifesto points, I also have a priority campaign that I plan to focus on throughout the year that is related to Diversity and Inclusivity, and it is called 'Everyone Is Welcome.' You can find more details about it here, including specific action points of how I plan to achieve it: https://www.uogsu.com/student-voice/campaigns/2021-22/

What Hope Is Working On

Monthly Updates for 2021-2022

Want to see what I've been up to so far this year? Check out my monthly highlights and see what I've been doing for you as your Welfare and Diversity Officer! 

July

  • Attended my first university council meeting
  • Met with the complaints and appeals team to see how we can best support and represent students on a panel
  • Meeting with the Barnwood Trust regularly to see how we can best work together in lobbying for an advice service, supporting disabled students and creating our student networks
  • Meeting as officers to chat through student priorities, how we engage our student groups and how we hear from students through feedback
  • Starting the planning of my manifesto points, and meeting with the marketing team to create an action plan
  • Handing over last year’s work in societies to Charlotte, the Activities and Opportunities Officer
  • Attending various SU2021 events, such as campaigning in a pandemic, exploring diversity in your SU, how to best deliver to international students and how to create successful liberation campaigns
  • Meeting with the Sustainability team at the university to discuss what more the SU can be doing to help the environment, in regards to visibility, training, campaigning and raising awareness
  • Meeting with a student to see how the SU can signpost and support with implementing a student support system
  • Meeting with the university to discuss their plans for student safety, and how we can best work together to raise awareness and provide students with helpful resources and information
  • Going to our Welcome planning meeting to chat about events, social media plans and how the week will work
  • Meeting with the City Campus Designers to discuss the Gloucester campus and its SU presence
  • Discussing with the student voice team how we can run a Don’t Drop out Drop in campaign in the autumn to check in and support students
  • Working as officers to write up our priority campaigns for the year
  • Networking and discussing ideas and campaigns with other SU officers in the Lead and Change programme
  • Meeting with the University of Leicester SU officers to chat through their student safety plans and resources, to look at how some of these ideas could work at our SU

August 

  • Hosting an introductory talk of the SU to both the Year 10 and Year 12 summer schools 
  • Had a conversation with the officers and marketing team about the campus bars and what events can be hosted in the spaces for Welcome and beyond 
  • Had a meeting with officers to discuss our priority campaigns and focuses for the year 
  • Went to our monthly meeting with university management to talk about student safety, plans for welcome and induction, the Student Minds mental health charter and developments on the subco situation  
  • Learnt more about finance in the SU and how as student trustees we can review and keep an eye on this  
  • Continuing work on student safety resources, such as posters and social media posts so they are ready for Welcome 
  • Met with student service staff to look at student safety in the Night time Economy and what plans both the university and SU have for when students come back in September  
  • Did an Instagram Live with the university where I was able to introduce myself and my role, talk about my manifesto points and answer any questions from the live chat  
  • Met with the Head of Student Wellbeing to talk about student services, and how visibility can be increased to show students what training and experience staff have had to best support them, as well as looking at waiting times and how this can be best communicated  
  • Met with a mature student to gather their feedback on what more the SU can be doing to support this student group, including collaborating with the society to host events, such as coffee mornings 
  • Met with the CMSR team at the university to discuss having an SU presence at Open Day events 
  • Having a ‘getting to know you’ session where officers can take part in team building, learning how best we all work in our roles and how we can best perform together moving forward  
  • Taking a look at the new FCH bar, The Loft, to see how it’s coming along and how we can best use this space  
  • Chairing our fortnightly management committee to discuss items like welcome, student safety and Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity  
  • Attending our Board of Trustees meeting to present our finances, our people and performance, our officer reports and reviewing the SU and its direction  
  • Attending Wellbeing committee training for the welfare officers in sports teams  

September 

  • Officers met with the Chaplaincy team to talk about both SU and Chaplaincy plans for the year and a list of all the events 
  • Meeting new students at the induction talks and doing an introductory presentation on the SU 
  • Meeting with the Nightline steering group regularly to review the action list and ensure all is going to plan for the October launch 
  • Working on promoting and sharing Nightline content on both my social media channels and the SU main channels. This was also shared with the sports and societies so they could help spread the word.  
  • Attending the Mature Student ‘Street Fair’ event and chatting to both new and returning mature students. This also gave a good opportunity to introduce myself and talk about upcoming welcome events for them to get involved with  
  • Meeting with the Barnwood Trust charity to continue conversations about our independent advice service situation and potential funding for this 
  • Having our Welcome week, where we were able to host a range of different events and meet new students 
  • Officers going around campus to talk to students and hand out free lollipops! 
  • Attending the Black Asian Minority Ethnic Plus network meeting  
  • Attended a Mature Student picnic event at both Park and FCH 
  • I went to Hardwick and Pittville halls to meet students on their move in days 
  • Involved with the universities Equality, Diversity and Inclusion new strategy 
  • Talking to the university graduation team about officer doing speeches and how that will work at the ceremonies  

October

  • Continuing conversations with the university support teams on student patrols and how we can explore something for student nights out
  • Leading on the recruitment process for student trustees on our SU charity board
  • Attended university council
  • Continue to chair our fortnightly management committee for officers and managers
  • Attended a sustainability meeting to talk about what the SU currently does, as well as students giving their ideas and suggestions on what more we and the university can do
  • Meeting with students to support them and their wellbeing
  • Working with the student voice team to review our awareness days events calendar and add information on what we plan to do
  • Having our monthly meeting with the executive team at the university to discuss issues of accessibility, welfare and student safety, as well as to give updates of BUCS and Covid-19
  • Attending a meeting with the university on their new strategy, and providing feedback and thoughts on its formation
  • Being involved in night time economy conversations and how this is working currently, with a plan for the SU to meet with Moo Moos to discuss student feedback
  • Moving forward with the November Don’t Drop Out Drop In campaign, which aims to help students get support and gain information before they decide to drop out, defer or withdraw
  • Meeting with the University of Worcester President to talk about student safety and how both SU’s can support one another
  • Meeting with the Chaplaincy team to discuss how the leaf event will work for the upcoming Don’t Drop Out Drop In campaign week in November
  • Hosted and led a Q&A with the Head of Student Wellbeing at the university, where student questions, both pre-asked and live in the chat could be addressed
  • I led a recruitment cycle for new Student Trustees for our Board, and am pleased to say we recruited a student trustee and held some training for him to be prepared for our upcoming meeting

November coming soon...

What Hope Is Working On