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. 

My plans for the year: 

I want students to feel they have support and help at the university. I want to have a positive presence online, on social media. Having the safe space to talk, rant or chat is very important in times like this, so that will be something I would like to do. I want to share inspiring quotes online so that it is uplifting. I think that in times like this, I want to be active and recognisable online, and I want to give the spaces for support and guidance.

I also want to look at the impacts of the pandemic on students, and give full support on this wherever they need it. 

 

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.

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.

What Hope Is Working On

Monthly Updates

Want to see what I've been up to? Check this out!

Officer Year 21/22

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… coming soon

 

Officer Year 20/21:

July/August

  • SU officers had a discussion on campaigns and our aims for the year
  • Learnt more about our feedback tool, SIMON and how to use it effectively to reflect on student comments
  • Had a meeting with the accommodation team about shared concerns for students and how we could best work together on this
  • Welcome 2020 planning meeting, to talk about welcome events for students
  • Had a discussion with the now Post Graduate Experience Officer, Daniel Clark about a potential buddy scheme for master’s students
  • Had my first Q&A on Facebook Live, where I introduced myself and my plans for the year, and also answered live questions from students
  • Had a chat with various lecturers from the Media school and students from the photography course about a buddy scheme
  • Discussed Humanities, and how we could best help/support with this subject matter, and voice concerns of students
  • Worked on updating the content in the ‘Advice’ section of the SU website, and also added a COVID section
  • Having a consistent social media presence for students, posting at least 3 times a week

 

September

  • Welcome Fayre planning/meetings
  • Meeting regularly with accommodation to raise student concerns 
  • Attended a Mature Student induction event, where I met lots of new students and was able to introduce myself and my role
  • Attended the LGBTQ+ network meeting
  • Welcome Week. Being involved in events including outdoor cinemas, songs and sunset, the Welcome fayre and virtual events
  • Hosted the online Bingo session and met some great students
  • Helped put together some world Mental Health day imagery for social media
  • Was a part of Luc’s ‘In conversations with’ video, as part of his ‘Get involved’ campaign 
  • Caught up with all societies, and shared some of their content on my social media, to help with promotion 
  • Officers began preparing and discussing content for Black History Month
  • Started planning for my November campaign, a checking in week for students

 

October

  • Attending a campaign committee with the university to see what each department is up to 
  • As an SU, we looked at our events calendar and what we could put on for the academic year
  • Spoke to external charities about suicide prevention, and training
  • Attended some inclusive behaviour training at Oxstalls, hosted by the Equality and Diversity manager
  • Throughout the month, doing further planning for my campaign week, ‘How you getting on @ UoG’ 
  • Had conversations with a mature student regarding a potential Nightline opportunity for students, this is still ongoing 
  • Met with Sussex and UEA about their Buddy Schemes, to help gain inspiration with piloting our own this year
  • Was part of the ‘Big 100’ events, led by Luc. We went to Over Farm and Gloucester Cathedral. This was to show students things they could do in Cheltenham and Gloucester
  • Attended an international student experience group to see how we can work to improve their student experience 
  • Looked at our Christmas events and what we could put on for students
  • Met with the dodgeball society at their session to introduce myself and talk about what I do and how I can support students, should they need/want it

 

November

  • Launch of my campaign, ‘How you getting on @ UoG’ which included drop in sessions by student services, goody bags, chaplaincy events and social media posts and top tips
  • Taking on board SIMON feedback, and passing these on to the relevant areas, such as the Welfare and accommodation team. We then had a discussion on how we can work and reflect on these comments
  • Regularly met with the university to review and enforce the rules of face coverings around campus
  • Met with the university to reiterate the concerns and issues surrounding student loneliness and isolation 
  • Met with Experience officers, Katy, Anna and Chloe, to go through their ideas, and help them with their projects that they want to achieve in their roles
  • Attending regular FCH community meetings to discuss issues and plans for the campus and wider neighbourhood 
  • Continuing to have a strong social media presence on my social media channels.
  • Continuing to mentor and support the Disability and Mental health, LGBTQ+ and FCH officers with their projects and future campaigns
  • Attended Gambling awareness workshops from an external charity for students to attend
  • Communicating and meeting with the International students society about how we can best support and promote them and their cohort
  • I filmed and created a video for the Buddy Scheme to go out to students. This was an introduction to the scheme, a bit about the roles of mentor and mentee and how to get involved. 
  • I attended a ‘Leading Well’ training day, led by Student Minds and Coole Insight. This was learning more about student mental health and how to practice self-care. This helped develop me as an officer in how to look after both myself and the students.

December

  • The Buddy Scheme in the Business school launched. We put out promotional content to recruit students and worked on setting up some mentoring training from the Your Future Plan team.
  • Met with a member of the Equality and Diversity team to plan how we could work more closely together. We also looked at how we could collaborate on a campaign in January on the themes of the awarding gap, digital poverty, racial inequality and issues for BAME students within the university.
  • I had some sexual violence training from an external charity. This has helped develop my awareness of this, and how to support a student should they come to me for help.
  • Working on SIMON feedback, and in mind of the student voice, trying to action them as best way as possible so they feel they have been heard.
  • Worked with some students who have been working on a well-being app, answering and supporting their questions related to mental health, isolation and the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Gathering common student concerns that have been arising from student services and the SU, and catering these on our social media, to further support students with helpful posts, videos and photos.
  • Writing up updates for my officer section of the SU’s newsletter. This includes things like events and training I have attended, successes and achievements, reaction to SIMON feedback and working for/against the university on certain student issues and problems.
  • Attending the LGBTQ+ network meeting, discussing topics like the LGBT History month, as well as external partners updating all for their plans and projects for LGBT issues. There are also discussions on events for this cohort of students.
  • Attending a student Q&A with Michelle Donelan, the university minister, where myself and the Education Officer asked student questions on their behalf and listened to Michelle talking about student testing in January, student mental health and tuition fees and rent reductions.
  • Further developments with the Nightline, the student led project, where meetings with the university have occurred and things are all going in the right direction.
  • Being present and involved in discussions in the BAME network, including working on racial harassment at the university.
  • Meeting with a member of the business school to discuss next steps and starting the matching system for mentors and mentees, ready for January.

January 

  • Being involved in the New Years New Challenges campaign, which looks at lobbying concerns of finance, education, and support in students. This includes fighting for rent reductions and lobbying feedback on the no detriment policy. 
  • Met with money advice to discuss the financial assistance fund available for students. We talked about the best ways to target and promote this to students. 
  • Lobbying student concerns of isolation and long waiting times in the spaces of university management meetings.
  • To continue to support the LGBTQ+, Disability and Mental Health and FCH experience officers. Campaigns include the awareness of pronouns, mental health conditions and putting on focus sessions for students. 
  • Attending the Oxstalls Induction Hub where we met and welcomed January Starter students. This was a great way to inform students of what we do, and where to come for help and support. 
  • Launched a social media campaign, including themed social media posts, for Motivation Monday, Keep Talking Tuesday and Wellbeing Wednesday. 
  • Met with the Mental Health and Disability Experience Officer and a member of the Equality and Diversity team to talk about how we could best support BAME and LGBTQ+ students. We are looking to plan and run a mental health awareness week for these cohort of students. 
  • Continuing to support students who contact me for support with their mental health, and signposting them to student services. 
  • Discussing the SU’s holiday calendar, and which days we would like to celebrate and acknowledge. 
  • Supporting our Ethical and Environmental Experience Officer with their planning of Glos goes Green, to spread the word to our sports teams and societies once ready. 
  • Meeting with Cheltenham MP, Alex Chalk to talk about the Mental Health crisis and what can be done about this at the university. I have currently sent an email back to Alex with actions and next steps and it is going in the right direction. 
  • Being involved in a Q&A at Oxstalls bar to answer student questions and give an update as to what I have been working on. 
  • Myself, several Experience Officers and the Student Voice manager had our first Liberation Committee, which I chair. This first meeting allowed us to note our priorities and what we want to work on to support the views and improve the student experience for marginalised students at the university. 
  • Met with Jo, from the Chaplaincy team to start planning an online session where we both have a conversation about mindfulness and wellbeing and our own mental health experiences.
  • Meeting with Stewart Dove, Student Registrar at the university to talk about student services and how this can be further improved to help support individuals.
  • Speaking with the universities’ welfare team to suggest that they look into setting up a centralised checking in email to all students, reiterating support available and contact information.

February 

  • Met with the team to look at the holiday calendar and which days we’d like to celebrate on social media, including various religious days to promote.
  • Further Nightline progression, supporting with communicating to the university with further steps, including the recruit for volunteers, all leading to the proposed launch.
  • Looking at how best to collaborate with local MP’s to work more dynamically on things like finance, mental health, and the overall student experience.
  • Had our monthly meeting with the Head of Student Registrar and Wellbeing Manager to get an update and raise various student issues and concerns.
  • Supporting student concerns on housing and lobbying these issues with the accommodation team
  • Mental Health discussions and the potential for some training for the officers.
  • Continuing with my social media project and posting three times a week. It’s now been running for over a month.
  • Had Mental Health First Aid training with a trained aider
  • Working with the Welfare team to produce a checking in email to send to all students, containing support information that’s available at the university.
  • Supporting our FCH Experience Officer with her first Feedback Fortnight themed focus group, gathering student feedback about various themes at the university.
  • Having conversations with various Experience Officers and the Equality and Diversity team about further support for LGBTQ+ and BAME+ students.
  • Having our monthly meeting with the Vice Chancellor and his management colleagues to discuss current issues, concerns and lobby student feedback that exist within the university.
  • Discussing with George, our SU Sports Officer to talk about what more we can be doing to engage with our sport and society teams, from all things events, challenges, and support sessions.
  • Further progression with the buddy scheme and gathering up both trained mentors and buddies to start matching them up together.
  • Meeting with a manager of the student services team to talk about the current mental health provision at the university and what more can be done. This also gave an opportunity for student feedback to be passed on.
  • Gathering as a team to talk about how best we can work with local MP’s to achieve productive change and further improve the relationship.
  • Meeting with the officers to talk about the current mental health crisis and discuss our plans to work on this issue.
  • Networking with lots of other SU Officers all around the South West area, discussing our priorities in our SU’s, as well as comparing ideas and top tips.
  • Undertook Domestic Abuse training from GDASS and how we can best support students.
  • Meeting as an SU to discuss the latest government announcement, what it means and what work needs to be done for our plans moving forward.
  • Meeting with the officers for an update and also to discuss our current work and priorities for students.
  • Attended a BAME+ session where a guest speaker looked at ‘Negotiating Queerness as a Commonwealth Immigrant’ and what more we can be doing as an SU and university.
  • Continued to support the FCH Experience Officer with her themed Fortnight Feedback Sessions.

March

  • Meeting with various students to support them with housing concerns  
  • Continuing our work within the Liberation committee, meeting to discuss pressing issues and priorities  
  • Posting content for University Mental Health Day  
  • Leading and chairing the SU’s campaigns committee, where we discuss upcoming officer campaigns and projects 
  • Mentoring the Mature Students Experience Officer, supporting them with their work 
  • Meeting with the residential advisors to talk about what themes are arising in and around the halls of residence  
  • Working with the equality and diversity team and experience officers to plan a mental health awareness week 
  • Beginning to have conversations on awards and starting to plan 
  • Working closely with the student services manager on mental health concerns 
  • Had our monthly meeting with the Vice Chancellor and colleagues to discuss SU concerns and pressing issues within the university  
  • Working with the education officer, marketing manager and some experience officers to pull together a women’s violence message for social media, with priorities the SU wants to focus on, such as education and self-defence classes to tackle this issue.  
  • Meeting with the Nightline to go over the policy documents and ensuring we are keeping momentum  
  • Attending the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion committee, where the usage of pronouns in the university environment was discussed  
  • Meeting with a member of student services to give feedback on the counselling service 
  • Being involved in the Outreach team’s event for the parents HE information evening to do a presentation on the SU 
  • Having another liberation committee to further discuss and give updates on the subject matters on the agenda  
  • Having our monthly meetings with the Student Registrar and Head of Wellbeing to lobby student concerns and get updates on each other’s work and projects  
  • Meeting to discuss the mature student’s strategy  
  • Leading a mindfulness and wellbeing session for students with Jo from the Chaplaincy team  
  • Attending a pronouns workshop, run by the LGBT society presidents

April

  • Working with some of the experience officers to explore an EDI presence in our sport and society teams 
  • Further planning of the Mental Health Matters campaign  
  • Attending the NUS 3-day conference, where I took part in some guest talks, attended campaign discussions, and found out more about what NUS is working on to represent students  
  • Went to the Executive committee meeting with the other officers and experience officers, where we discuss all our current work and priorities  
  • Meeting with students, and continuing to signpost them to student services for support 
  • Attended a student officer induction, hosted by NUS president, Larissa Kennedy 
  • Talking to the social media team at the university, reviewing its current content, and discussing what themes and topics can be addressed and promoted on future UoG posts  
  • Talking to the welfare team about Togetherall and how this can be further promoted to students 
  • Meeting with the university to talk about the LGBTQ+ festival of learning, an event which I am involved in 
  • Attending the external LGBTQ+ network meeting for Gloucestershire 
  • Working together as officers to release a statement on women’s safety and addressing student concerns regarding violence  
  • Meeting with the university management for our monthly meeting, where the issue of mental health waiting times was addressed, as well as getting updates from the team 
  • Launch of the Mental Health matters campaign, where we have themed day posts, such as information for the LGBTQ+ and BAME+ students at UoG. There are also specific Instagram lives that I host, chatting with some of the experience officers  
  • Attended the international student experience group, where various discussions on student barriers and current concerns were addressed 
  • Attended the Black Asian Minority Ethnic+ staff network, where issues of the awarding gap and racial harassment were discussed.  
  • Further work into planning some guest speaker sessions for Destressival 
  • Continuing to meet with the Student Register and Head of Wellbeing at the university to lobby student concerns, and discuss any current issues within this area 

May

  • Filmed a podcast with the Sustainability team on social prescribing, nature and mental health.
  • Starting the planning of awards at the SU
  • Being involved in the Festival of Learning presentation with the university on LGBTQ+ awareness
  • Chairing our last Liberation Committee, where we gathered feedback from Experience Officers on how to improve the space moving forward
  • Being involved in the university’s student led Q&A for prospective students
  • Exploring with the EO’s how the sport and society teams can have more of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusive presence
  • Attending a new university meeting which looks at social integration for new students in September, and how to best plan for their arrival post Covid-19
  • Being involved in the Destressival events, such as the Outdoor Cinema, Big Gig and online talks.
  • Exploring and reviewing the student mental health charter at the university, looking at how to improve it for students
  • Continuing to meet with students to offer support and signpost to student services
  • Selecting the graduation ceremonies as officers to decide who will lead the SU speech
  • Reviewing our SIMON feedback system, gathering feedback on how effective it is for students
  • Assisting at the Arena to oversee Varsity
  • Helping Imaani with an Ice Cream giveaway for students at Park and FCH campus
  • Shortlisting the society and SU nominations for awards
  • Working with Jo from the Chaplaincy Team to host some mindfulness sessions on campus
  • Meeting with the student trustees to see how their role is going and if they have any questions about the committees
  • Supporting the steering group with Nightline as it moves forward for the September launch

June

  • Attended the final executive committee with SU staff and Experience Officers
  • Wrote the report for the annual general meeting, where I updated members on my manifesto for this year
  • Worked with the university, LGBTQ+ Experience Officer and the LGBTQ+ society to host a session on ‘Cultivating an inclusive LGBTQ+ environment.’
  • Supported an introductory ‘Welcome to Committee 2021’ webinar for the sport and society teams and the year ahead.
  • Co- presented and supported the 2021 SU Awards
  • Met with the Barnwood Trust to explore how we could collaborate as they work to support disabled students and Neurodiversity, as well as students with their mental health
  • Working with student services to discuss women’s safety and what more can be done at the university and beyond
  • Reviewing the Liberation Committee at the SU for the next academic year
  • Officers having their monthly catch up with two senior members of student services for updates, lobbying student concerns and asking questions
  • Met with a student about the universities sexual harassment policy, and planning to have important conversations with the university to get them revisited and updated
  • Working with the team to arrange distribution of the award certificates and prizes for the winning students
  • Preparing for Handover week, where I am attending new university committees in my new role and undertaking extra responsibilities.
  • Had our regular university management meeting, where I addressed the issue of student safety, and updated them on my conversations with Anna, the Head of Wellbeing at the university. Things such as lighting, the role of security and public transport services were discussed
  • An introduction to the University Council, which I will soon sit on as Welfare and Diversity Officer
  • Meeting with IT to discuss the technical requirements for the Nightline in preparation for its launch
  • Had our Board of Trustees meeting, where we discuss the overall running of the SU, and make decisions on matters such as, finance and performance
  • Talking to the university about the current Subsidiary Company pension situation, lobbying student concerns and listening to the universities’ views
  • Attending the Council Away Day where items such as strategy, growth and academic school overviews were discussed
  • Meeting with the outgoing officers to gather their reflections and comments through their time in office
  • Meeting with the appeals and complaints team at the university to find out more about student casework
  • Attended the UoGSU Full Time Officer Leaving Event, where we wished the outgoing officers the best, and thanked them for their incredible work whilst in the role

What Hope Is Working On

Contact Us
  • 01242 714360
  • su@glos.ac.uk
  • The Park, Cheltenham, GLOS, GL50 2RH
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