What your reps are up to...

NSU reps volunteer to speak up for Northumbria students, giving their time to improve the student experience. This blog is their place to share views and updates, and we hope it gives an interesting insight into some of the work going on to speak up for students at Northumbria. 

Why should BAME's run for SABB roles?

As I have explained in my previous blog, I am the new BAME rep for the student’s union. In my previous blog I wrote about how I was one of the only minorities on our first meetings. There needs to be a lot more integration and less segregation within the Student Union in our university. 

I found, when encouraging BAME students to vote for me, they didn’t know what the elections were or what the purpose of them was. The lack of knowledge on this was astounding.  They didn’t really know about the ‘backstage’ work that goes on within the university. I felt totally welcomed by all the SABB team and the reps however I couldn’t help thinking there should have been more representation of minorities in that room which is why this manifesto point is most important to me. There needs to be more BAME students aware of this and we need these students to be as involved as we can in creating decisions within university. These decisions and policies are vital and rest assured everyone’s opinion is taken into consideration no matter how minor it is. Every opinion is important.

Throughout the years the SABB team has been primarily white with the exception of one year. But why is this? Maybe because one BAME individual doesn’t want to be a part of the team so the rest may follow. This shouldn’t affect your decision. If you want changes to occur within the university then you need to get involved, whether you run for a sabbs officer or an equality rep, they’re all important roles which allow you to get your views across. Even within the SABB team there are a number of roles you could run for, they include:

  • President Role Description
  • Trustee Declaration Form
  • VP Activities role description
  • VP Education role description
  • VP Postgraduate role description
  • VP Welfare role description

Each role has a detailed description on the SU website so it definitely is worth a look.

The majority of BAME individuals I have spoken to within the university feel underrepresented and feel as though they won’t fit into the SU team. However from my view point neither of these will be issues if there were more BAME students running for the roles. They will be a lot more represented and no matter what ethnicity you are the sabbs team will always be welcoming.

Your CV will look amazing and will definitely stand out from the other CV’s when applying for job roles. I have found a lot of BAME students don’t sign up to important roles within their time at university so they don’t get experience of vital skills they may need. So in a way these individuals are already at a disadvantage, not because of their ethnicity, but because of the experience they lack. Whereas if a ‘white’ member of the SAAB team was to apply for the same job role they’re probably more likely to get the job because of their experience. These kinds of roles don’t just benefit you within university life, there sure to benefit you even after university. You’ll definitely have something to talk about with your work colleagues.

There are so many amazing opportunities within this role, you get to listen and talk to a wide range of students and staff and attend conferences and meet even more people. So if you love anything like that you’ll love the role. Even if you don’t, there will definitely be something for you. Don’t follow the crowd.

I am a first year BAME student and I wasn’t too sure about the process itself however in due course I read up a lot more and the SU team was more than willing to give me guidance and answer any questions I had. I ran and of course won which is an amazing self-fulfilment. Being a first year student I am still relatively new to the university and then getting elected for this great role was awesome! There are a number of socials and meetings (formal and informal) where you can get to know the team and like I have mentioned before, we will answer any questions you have.

If you would like to run for the upcoming elections or want any more information on roles or deadlines just drop an email to me, salma2.asghar@northumbria.ac.uk or su.democracy@northumbria.ac.uk or any of the SU team. All emails are on the SU website! 

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