My aims -
Increase accessibility and work with other networks. I will ensure that the network runs a range of socials that are accessible and welcoming for all working-class students. I want to hold events such as Social Mobilitea - which can be a chill environment to drink tea/coffee and meet other students. In addition to this, I will ensure that network meetings and events are in easy to access locations. I would also like to work with other networks, as while being working class comes with a lot of barriers, these barriers can be worsened through other means, and meeting with others who experience both can help immensely.
Empower working-class students at York through increasing representation. I will do this through running campus-wide campaigns across campus on issues that affect working-class students such as reforming maintenance loans and hidden costs at university. These are issues that appeal to all students, whilst drawing attention specifically to working-class students who are massively affected by these issues. This will raise awareness of the network, getting new students involved and raising awareness to others.
Create a more inclusive and fun network in which working-class students feel they can make friends who understand their background. For me, the network has been massively helpful in making me feel like I am not alone. I want to do this for other students. To achieve this I want to hold more socials, such as courtyard meets before meetings and film nights. I will also maintain the fortnightly socials which the previous officers have ran.
Continue #YorkHasClass and hold more panels and talks. I want to continue holding the conferences which have been held by the network in the past, and in addition, have more informal TED-style talks and panels. For example, a debate from speakers across the political spectrum on how inequality can be best tackled in the UK.
Ensure students know the network is non-partisan. Students often feel put off by liberation groups, assuming they are only open to students of a certain political persuasion. If elected, I want to elevate the voices from a diversity of opinions and ensure all working-class students feel as though they have a place in the network if they want it. The network is a brilliant tool for working-class students to share experiences, have access to help, and feel more at ease and at home in York.
Raise awareness of how class biases negatively affect working-class students. Unfortunately, many subconscious biases that hurt those who are working class still exist even in progressive spaces at the university. One of the hardest things about being working-class at university is often feeling as though people are not taking you seriously because of differing backgrounds. Whilst these biases are often subconscious, they must be challenged and called out so that more fortunate students understand how they may be making working-class students feel unwelcome. I want to talk about this issue a lot more and raise awareness of it in order to make working-class students feel more at ease, even if that just means being a friendly face to vent to.