Candidate for the position of Vice President Equity & Inclusion

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CJ COOPER

Striving for equality on campus


3 Key Objectives

  1. Create or convert more spaces for gender neutral bathrooms that aren't just disabled toilets that have been labelled 'all genders'. Also, to work on eliminating the transphobic stickers that are appearing across all of our campus bathrooms.
  2. Tailor support packages for students with disabilities and extra needs, instead of having a one for all support summary.
  3. Make the hardship fund eligibility for all students, not just UK students.


Manifesto

I would like to strive for more equality across our campuses. The lack of gender-neutral bathrooms are an issue for students under the trans umbrella, as the current gender-neutral bathrooms are disabled bathrooms which discourages students from using them in case they take away the use of the bathroom from a disabled person. With the addition of transphobic stickers being placed in the bathroom, which is then causing our students to feel uncomfortable in what is supposed to be a safe environment for them to be themselves and feel accepted.

In addition to this, I have noticed there is a lack of support for disabilities such as ADHD. The university offers deadline extensions and extra time but does not offer any other accommodations that could be beneficial to students such as including incremental deadlines in the semester rather than one large deadline at the end of the semester. The time needs to be taken to ask students what support they need rather than assigning everyone the same support summary when it may end up hindering their work instead of helping.

Moreover, hardship funds are a very current issue and international and EU students aren’t always eligible for them. However just because students aren’t from the UK shouldn’t mean that they are unable to get financial support when needed. So, I believe a discussion is needed about the criteria for eligibility for hardship funds, to determine whether it’s possible to extend the eligibility for non-UK students as they are still deserving of support when needed as BCU students.

In my ‘I AM BCU’ speech, I spoke about my own mental health struggles within my degree and how I helped Polly set up the 'Put The Kettle On' society to help create a safe space for students to feel like they can be themselves. I would like to achieve the same as Vice President Equity and Inclusion. My goal is for students to feel represented and supported during their time at BCU and strive for equality across all our campuses because that’s what it should mean to be a part of BCU.