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sally - liberation equality and access officer

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Sally: Liberation, Equality & Access Officer

Hey! I’m Sally, your Equality, Liberation & Access Officer. My role is to ensure that students feel safe and supported during their time at university. In particular, I support students from marginalised backgrounds, including women students, BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) students, LGBT+ students, and Disabled students.

I’ve just graduated with an undergraduate degree in Politics and Sociology. As a student I was really involved in a whole range of extra-curricular activities: these included being Education Officer on the Jsoc committee, President of UBTV (University of Bristol Television Society) and Chair of the Women’s Network. Through these groups, I made friends from all walks of life, and learnt about the diverse needs of students at Bristol.

There’s no ‘right’ way to do university, and everyone has a different experience. I’m here to make sure that all students are treated equally, respected and appreciated. Whether in a lecture hall, halls of residence, or a nightclub, students deserve to feel safe and welcome at the University of Bristol.

If you have any concerns, questions, or just fancy a chat, please feel free to come and visit me at my desk, message me on Facebook or drop me an email. You can also see my around campus during my officer open hours from 3-5pm on a Thursday.

Here's what I'm working on this year:

1. Tackle sexual violence

  • Make reporting incidents easier, by implementing the Report and Support system 

  • Improve support for survivors, and implement Sexual Violence Liaison Officers at the Uni 

  • Work with the University to deliver our RESPECT Campaign, changing the sexual culture at Bristol 

  • Bring together existing schemes around the University to identify gaps and create a sustainable and effective way of reducing sexual violence for students and staff 

2. Improve support for student leaders

  • Hold regular meetings and check-ins with chairs of the liberation networks
  • Provide appropriate training for student leaders, including: 

    a. Disclosure training 

    b. Mental Health training

3. Fight Brexit

  • Run a campaign to educate students around the dangers of Brexit  

  • Campaign for a People’s Vote, so that our students can have a say in the final Brexit deal 

  • Support our EU and Overseas students in the lead-up and potential impacts of Brexit

4. Challenge structural inequality

  • Continue to implement the recommendations from the BME Attainment gap report 

  • Work with the University to create training for staff that effectively tackles racism, sexism and homophobia 

  • Run islamophobia anti-Semitism training for SU staff and Officers 

  • Organise training for Student Health and Student Counselling on minority group needs by: 

  1. Setting up a relationship between our Network chairs and Student Health/ Counselling  
  2. Creating a template for chairs to run sessions with Student Health staff

5. Make SU events more welcoming and inclusive

  • Encourage societies and clubs to implement Equality Officers, and work with them to be effective in making change 

  • Create transparent guidelines and procedures for AMM (Annual Members Meeting) and Student Council, to tackle a toxic culture

6. Improve the SU's ability to support students 

  • Examine our current structure, and look at ways to further support our students 

  • Ensure that the training that we offer to students is practical and relevant  

  • Ensure that the SU can support candidates in elections at every step

Here's what I've done so far:

+ Policy

Confronting Transmisogyny - 05/06/2018
Needs Ratification

Protecting students in nightclubs and bars - 27/02/2018
Needs Ratification

Accommodating Students of Faith - 16/11/2017
Needs Ratification

  • April 18 – Keeping awareness of religious dates when planning events. Looking into who we can contact at the University to ensure dates are considered.

Stop Masking The Problem: University of Bristol To Take Action Against Sexual Misconduct - 5/06/2017

  • June 18 - Survey completed and report gone to SEC, University working out next steps.
  • April 18 - Worked on staff and student misconduct policy with the University. Working on creating an SU survey on sexual misconduct – this research will inform next steps.
  • Jan 18 - ELA Officer has started research in to this policy.

Anti-Slavery Commenmoration - 5/06/2017

  • April 18 - Various possible stakeholders have been contacted such as Estates, Chair of the BME Staff Network and the Director of External Relations. The ELA officer is yet to find the relevant person to speak to on this matter.

Make it policy to have specific accessibility information for event upfront - 21/03/2017

  • April 18 - We have created an accessibility checklist for use by the Union and societies and networks when running events. Document is ready and will be 'living' so can change over time. 

Trump the ban - 23/02/2017

Combating Antisemitism - 23/02/2017

  • April 18 - Discussed antisemitism as part of the Multifaiths forum.

Defend Migrants and Support Free Movement - 23/02/2017

Islamophobia Awareness Month - 27/10/2016

  • Nov 17 - SU supported BME Network to deliver Islamophobia Awareness campaign.
  • April 16 - Worked with ISOC to write blog and deliver exhibiton in the Foyer of the Students Union.

Time for Change: preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence on campus and supporting sexual survivors - 27/10/2016

  • June 18 - Sex survey report has highlighted the need for adequate support for survivors. This report is with the University and we hope to cocreate provisions going forward.

Guarantee liberation campaigns have a stall at Freshers Fair - 06/06/2016

  • 2018 - Liberation Networks to have stalls in the SU Living Room tent.

An Autonomous Trans Liberation Campaign at Bristol SU - 06/06/2016


  • Trans Network Chair elected in October and leading Trans Network.

Stand Up to Racism National Demo - 18/02/2016


  • 2018 - No demo since 2018. 
  • 2016 - Offered subsidised travel for students to travel to London for the demo.

Students' health service to be accessible to all genders - 29/10/2015


  • 19/01/16 - Jamie Cross brought up issue at several meetings where head of student health service was present. Sent email and recieved this response ' this is our new system, in response to student feedback! I’m pleased you’re happy, we aim to please!'. System now uses your DoB and first letter of your last name, not gender. 

Bristol SU must recognise holocaust memorial day - 29/10/2015


  • 2018 - Bristol SU continues to share relevant content on social media.

  • 2016 - Bristol SU retweeted some tweets by students about the day. Bristol SU collaborated with the Jewish Society and other relevant societies to ensure they were well supported in their plans for a remembrance event.

Commitment to BME welfare and attainment - 29/10/2015


  • June 18 - Task and finish group have come up with reccomendations which have been approved by SEC. Hopefully the University will continue to monitor attainment gap through the Head of Student Inclusion post.

  • April 18 – Task and finish group have met, University is funding a new staff post to look after BME ambassadors. Why is my curriculum white is ongoing.

  • Jan 18 - BME Attainment Gap task and finish group has been set up. BME Staff Network running. BME Network at Bristol SU ran Black History Month.

  • April 17 - Funding and research into BME attainment gap underway.

  • March 17 - Liberate the curriculum training for course reps being designed and integrated for next year. WP Lead in School of Arts carrying out a race diversity audit. Bristol SU HR People strategy will focus on increasing number and experience of BME staff.

  • Nov 16 - ELA Officer has spoken to counselling service about whether it’s possible to recruit more BME counsellors. Officers working closely with WP office and participating in UG Data Working Group to address BME attainment gap at Bristol. Trained reps at course rep conference.

  • 26/5/16 - Postgraduate Education Officer and Chief Executive attended NUS Race Matters Summit which looked at race and Students' Union staff. Bristol SU HR People strategy will focus on increasing number and experience of BME staff 

  • 26/5/16 - Bristol SU HR People strategy will focus on increasing number and experience of BME staff.

  • 22/3/16 - Liberate the curriculum training for course reps being designed and integrated (Action 8) - Laura Ho

  • 22/3/16 - Widening Participation Lead in School of Arts carrying out a race diversity audit (Action 5) - Laura Ho 

  • 22/3/16 - Bristol SU raised attention to the attainment gap in the Student Written Submission for the University's Quality Review - the University now finally acknowledges there is an attainment gap (Action 2) - Laura Ho

  • I’ve started conversations about a network (Action 4) with E&D at University - Jamie Cross

  • Nov 2015:
    -    PG Education Officer ran a ‘Liberate the Curriculum’ workshop at Course Reps Conference
    -    SU is bidding for WP research funding to investigate BME attainment gap at UoB
    -    ELA Officer has worked with ASSL to order 50 books from authors of colour as part of ‘liberated library’ project
    -    Part-time widening participation officer is planning to run liberation forums within academic societies/disciplines
    -    ELA Officer has spoken to counselling service about whether it’s possible to recruit more BME counsellors. 
    -    Officers working closely with WP office and participating in UG Data Working Group to address BME attainment gap at Bristol. 
    -    As part of Bristol SU’s Black History month events, SU held a panel event discussing BME attainment gap nationally. 

Improving Liberation Representation at Bristol SU - 09/06/2015


  • 04/08/2015 - Jamie Cross has spoken to the Representation team at Bristol SU and it has been agreed that part-time liberation officers and NUS liberation conference delegates will be elected through the honesty tick box system outlined in the motion. 

    Part-time liberation officers will be sent to their relevant NUS conference in the first instance, and if they cannot or do not want to go then an election will be held using the 'tick box' system. The 'tick box' system will also be in place if more that one delegate needs to be chosen for a particular NUS liberation conference. This will be the process whilst the motion is active (next three years).'

  •  22/3/16 - Honesty system in place for part-time officers elections 

Supporting Student sex workers - 09/06/2015


Change 'Log in' codes to reflect change in name - 10/03/2015


  • 08/10/15 - Jamie Cross has raised with Tracy Brunnock, head of Equality and Diversity at the University, who has said she will raise with IT services.
  • 08/04/15 - Alice Phillips emailed Neil Davey, Student IT Experience Manager in IT services, and received this reply - 
    "At present it is so significantly difficult to change a username and ensure that all systems that rely on it still work for the person that it is near enough impossible. There are many different systems and services which rely on the username as an identifier and most are not designed so that usernames in them can be changed, once someone is registered to use them. Even if it is possible to change a username sensibly in one system then that doesn't mean it would be possible in all systems, think of the wide range of computer-based systems and services that you use from day to day and then quadruple it for the number that rely on your username. You don't see the infrastructure behind the user-facing systems but they also rely on a single identity to link you to them. It is simply not feasible to change someone's username and for everything to continue working normally"
  • 30/04/15 - AP contacted John Hay at the Strategic Projects Office, who is in charge of the project to create a new identity management system. He said that even under a new system changing username would probably not be straightforward. He suggested that instead the project could consider having randomised usernames. AP replied that this was a very good idea and expressed a hope that this option would be taken forward.

UBU's commitment to widening participation - 10/03/2015


  • 08/04/15 - A new part time Widening Participation Officer will be elected in September 2015.

  • 08/04/15 - Alice Phillips made a series of proposals to the University's Student Recruitment Committee on widening participation initatives, including a full time Widening Participation Coordinator working in the Union on recruitment, retention and support of WP students and an increase in the fair access fund. Due to high competition for funding these were not successful - but going forward the Widening Participation department are open to an increase in the fair access fund coming from their department budget.

Tampons should be free. period. - 10/03/2015


  • 20/05/15 - 1500 tampons and pads were ordered and given out on campus and in the SU shop over a two week period. Pads are still being given out in the shop. We also got 500 students to fill out postcards which we will send out to MPs and MEPs. 

Students not suspects - 10/03/2015


  • 08/10/15 - Jamie Cross has organised joint event with UCU to discuss why both organisations have passed motions to condemn Prevent.
  • 08/10/15 - Jamie Cross has written educational blog on Prevent so that student body has a clearer understanding of this policy.
  • 08/10/15 - Jamie Cross will meet with the university to pressure them to be open and transparent in regards to how they are engaging with Prevent.
  • 07/12/15 - Supported the NUS Prevent day of Action on campus by handing out flyers and posters to staff and students.
  • 01/06/15 - Nationally UCU have passed a motion condemning the counter-terrorism and security act. 
  • 05/05/15 - Met with UCU and agreed that a meeting for students and staff to discuss the implications of the bill and ways to combat it in October 2015 would be a good next step.
  • 15/04/15 - Statement condemning the counter-terrorism act has been published on the website.

A better stance on bullying and harassment - 10/03/2015


  • 15/04/15 - An email has been sent to Tracey Brunnock, the head of Equality and Diversity at the University regarding this motion.
  • 15/04/15 - The Equality, Liberation and Access Officer will keep Just Ask up to date with any equality related workshops or talks that they can encourage students who have perpetrated discriminatory behaviours to attend. 

Renewed: Pro-choice motion - 29/01/2015


Re-affirm UBU Stance on Free Education - 29/01/2015


Gender Neutral Toilet in every department - 02/12/2014


  • 01/06/15 - The Estates Department and the relevant School Managers at the University have agreed to convert one toilet in 17 Priory Road (School of Modern Languages), two in 10 Priory Road and two in 4 Priory Road (School of Politics, Sociology and International Studies) to gender neutral. 

  • 30/03/15 - Beacon House Corporate Board have agreed that the two toilets in the cafe area of Beacon House will be gender neutral.

  • 05/03/15 - Alice Phillips raised in a meeting with estates department who were receptive to the idea. However they said that some departments are not so keen so AP will now contact them individually. The Director of Estates agreed to raise gender neutral toilets at the next Beacon House Corporate Board.

  • 31/03/2016 - Jamie Cross has followed up on the development of the new gender neutral toilets and recomended signage for them after student consultation.

Improve Trans Awareness by introducing pronoun introductions across the University - 02/12/2014


  • 05/03/15 - AP Raised this with the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Students Judith Squires. Judith has given the project to Tracy Brunnock from University Equality & Diversity, who will include pronouns in the University guidance on transgender students.
  • Raised in Undergraduate Studies Committee and Graduate Studies Committee by Alyx Murray Jackman (Sport and Student Development Officer) and Sorana Vieru (Postgraduate Education Officer). 
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies suggested pronouns be included in name list given to all seminar tutors. Deans receptive to the idea but felt they lacked knowledge - suggested that Bristol SU do a session as part of a faculty assembly.

Condemn the attacks on NUS Black Students Officer Malia Bouattia - 30/10/2014


  • 05/03/15 -A statement of support was released on the Bristol SU website by Alice phillips.