One of the great parts of my role is working with the student support groups and I am very excited to work with two new committees to continue helping provide support and a safe space for students from the LGBTQIA+ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
How do the support groups work?
The student support groups are organised and supported by the Students Association and VP EDI to support students in marginalised and underrepresented groups. There are currently three support groups – The OU Pride group and the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students group and the Disabled Student Group (committee elections due later this year).
Each group has their own committee that is comprised of student volunteers elected by their peers from within the group’s community. The work of the committee is a great way to generate conversations about matters that are important to you and your community, the work can vary from awareness campaigns to community drop-in sessions. The support groups can also help improve education and understanding of the issues or barriers that can affect many students’ learning journeys
What are the group elections?
Each group committee is elected to a two year term and there are five vacancies on both the OU Pride and OU Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic Students groups:
- Group Chair,
- Group Vice-Chair
- Group Secretary
- Group Events Officer
- Group Communications Officer.
Each role will have its own remits and more in-depth role descriptions which can be found in the Candidate Zone. They will all require collaboration and communication with group members, the Association, the OU and of course fellow committee members all of which is are great ways to develop a sense of community amongst peers and gain or develop transferable skills.
Whilst that may sound a lot you will not be alone and there is a lot of support available from the Association staff which will include full training, induction and ongoing support. As VP EDI, I am an ex-officio committee member, so I will also be there to help support you during your term to develop strategies, implement ideas and raise actions or issues and any other way I can.
What do you need to do to stand in elections?
To be a committee member you do not need to have worked with the Association previously and each role may vary in terms of hours which can depend on working styles but if you have enthusiasm and ideas to get you started, you are already halfway there!
Being a volunteer, studying and life can be a balancing act and no one would be expected to juggle too much, there is plenty of health and wellbeing support available during your term.
Just remember if you do wish to stand in the elections, ensure that you have registered to join the group you wish to stand in through the Association on the links to the group page below:
What is the Election Process?
To ensure you are fully prepared and to answer any questions you may have about the process or what the roles may look like there will be candidate sessions held on:
Wednesday 8 March: 7pm – 8pm
Thursday 9 March: 11am – 12pm
Friday 17 March: 11am – 12pm
You can sign up for these and find other useful information about the group committee elections including manifesto writing tips, wellbeing resources and FAQs on the election pages here:
If you have any questions or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact: email@example.com
For those who want to be involved in the process but do not wish to stand don’t forget to VOTE once the voting opens – the timeline below contains all the important election dates