Posted on Tue 22 Mar 2016 at 18:35 by Matt Auden
Our goal as a union is to represent our members; to do this fully we need to understand the needs and in this case, the diversity, of our students.
We use your feedback to inform everything we do, as a team of 5 full-time Sabbatical Officers and multiple part-time councillors we certainly can’t speak for every single student at Northumbria.
So whether it’s the price of food on campus, the cost of transport in the city or even your access to guidance tutors we endeavour to get ourselves out and about urging students to tell us your thoughts through comment cards, a chat and in many cases a free milkshake/brew.
We’ve seen lots of success through these methods, giving out a free coffee and having a chat with students about the daily issues you face is great to measure the general consensus however it’s not a perfect system. Engaging with students of colour, those with Disabilities and the LGBTQIA* community is not as simple as setting up shop on campus and asking students if they define into a protected characteristic and if so, how can we better represent them.
J Smith, our Equality Rep (Open Place) has created the following survey to give LGBTQIA* students the opportunity to inform the union of the gender, sexual and romantic diversities of its members and in doing so offering a platform to assess the level of representation.
Last year, NSU underwent a review of its democratic structures - and in doing so has taken great strides in the democratic participation of our members. Our Equality Reps gained more votes than any previous year and it is an absolute testament of the hard work undertaken by some truly committed volunteers - the Democratic Review should be given the time to take its course for the subsequent year but there is never a poor time to take stock of the views and recommendations of our LGBTQIA* students.
I’d like to thank J for taking the time to put together the survey and I would encourage as many people as possible to give us your feedback!
You can find the survey here.