We are still feeling inspired by the wonderful conversation which took place at our Student Insights event during Freshers a couple of weeks ago. Patrice, your Vice President Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and Sammi, Projects Officer, Student Support and Welfare were joined by Jiten Patel – an EDI expert, Marilin – acting chair of the Disabled Students Group and Sj – a member of OU Pride and regular Hoot writer.
The heartfelt conversation covered intersectionality, support, and inspiration. Sj has since written up her answers to our questions in her OU blog – so you can get a flavour of the discussion.
She was keen to share the support she’d received from membership of two of the Association’s groups “The Disabled Students Group was really great to find, and I just wish I’d known about it sooner, before starting out trying to apply for DSA (Disabled Students Allowance). But then I wish I’d applied for DSA sooner too. They and the LGBTQ+ Pride group have been lovely, supportive places, with plenty going on and lots of things to get involved with, whether you’re interested in activism, quizzes, book clubs or just belonging. They are welcoming, inclusive environments and I’m really grateful to the people who put so much time and effort into running them so well.”
Following the success of that first event, we are busy planning the next Student Insights event as part of Student Voice Week on Wednesday 17th November from 6 – 7.15pm GMT on MS Teams. Patrice will be hosting once again, and we will be delving into your Student worlds – hoping to hear your voices on all things EDI with a particular focus on what the Association’s values of Integrity, Equality and Inclusivity, Openness, Collaboration, Kindness and Compassion mean to you. Book your place today, we’d love to see you there.
Patrice says…“Remember Student Voice Week, is the time of the year where students (You) get to share their experiences, knowledge and VOICE – Value, Opinion, Inclusion, Choice and Equity with their peers, the Association and the Open University. These may not be actioned at the speed which we as students hope for, at times, but what sharing our (collective) voice does mean it will be hard for those who make decisions (at our uni) to ignore.
What’s most important (here), is that you truly can have a say, and your opinions truly do make a difference; (at times) today, (more often) tomorrow and (most certainly) in the future! I cannot express enough that, as your V P E D I, a Student Leader and a member of the Association, I truly do care; I want us to be better at listening, to offer support and help when and where necessary and, to understand what truly matters for yourselves as students; hence, having your input on our core values seems a fair place to start, to help structure our future and (potential) reforms which will shape how we can (all) work better together, and for the benefit of the student community!”
Although we hope to have contributions from the audience, there will be absolutely no pressure to come onto the microphone or to say anything at all – you are welcome to dip in and out as it suits you, stick to writing in the chat box or just listen to your peers. If you have any accessibility requirements before the event please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.