We are a passionate team that strives to empower and support students. We do this by working with volunteers, delivering vital services and raising awareness of barriers and challenges experienced by students. To give you an insight into our work, here's a summary of what we've worked on over the last six months.
The EDI and Student Welfare team is made up of seven amazing staff members: Verity, Tom, Anna, Sammi, Charlotte, Chibwe and Linda. Within the team, we run an Individual Representation service for students who have an existing complaint. The service was set up in 2021 as a pilot, and following the success of the pilot, the service will be continued. Due to the growing demand for support, a new Student Advisor was recruited.
Before this article went to print, the team had processed 442 Library Study Requests.
We have worked collaboratively with the Digital Communications team and Vice President Engagement to produce this Newsletter, The Hoot for Students in Secure Environments (SiSE).
A big part of our work includes supporting volunteers to run Student Support Groups. The Groups include a Disabled Students Group, an LGBTQIA+ Group called OU Pride and a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students Group. There has been a project to review the way these Groups operate, to ensure they are running as effectively as possible for the benefit of students. Two of the Groups have just been through elections and therefore the team has been busy training new volunteers.
Tuesday, 14 February was International Book Giving Day, and to celebrate it we collected 544 books for the Children’s Book Project.
February was also when several members of our team attended a kick-off meeting with colleagues from each team at the OU Students Association to discuss Accessibility standards for students. Our aim is to ensure that the Association provides equal access to all students, especially those who may face barriers when getting involved in Association activities.
On Thursday, 9 March University Mental Health Day (UMHD) was celebrated across the UK bringing the university community together to make mental health a university-wide priority and create ongoing change to the future of student and staff mental health. We got involved by running a Mindapples session to discuss with students how the environment can affect our minds, and we also covered positive steps that can be taken to stay healthy and happy. In addition to this, we shared tips submitted by staff and students to help with saving money as the cost of living increases! We also signposted students to resources that might help them with their studies or any challenges they may be facing.