Michaela & Catherine for Women’s Officer
Welfare: Abortion support, support packs, Stand Up To Rape Culture
Engagement: Femme club nights, organisation, non-binary inclusion, chat & chill
Training: Improve teaching standards, society consultations, debate workshops, consent, self-defence.
Provide emotional and practical support service for women and non-binary dealing with abortions and miscarriage
- Currently, there is an appalling lack of support for unexpected pregnancies anywhere on campus. We will lobby the university to provide a dedicated system for those coping with emotional stress as a result of abortion, miscarriage or unexpected pregnancy to seek help. We also want unexpected pregnancy to be added to the university ‘common challenges’ information page, promoting awareness of the issue women face, and will use women’s network to provide further advice and support.
Distribute support packs for first, second and third years
- Link the different support systems in place between university, colleges, and YUSU - working with college teams to do this. The current disjointed system means often people do not know who they can turn to for advice and help. We will make sure the welfare and support frameworks in place are clear and available for all.
Provide sanitary products
- Push YUSU to bulk buy sanitary products and make them available for a suggested donation rather than a charge so that no person who is financially struggling is forced spend what little they have on this necessity.
Lead a campaign to Stand Up To Rape Culture, where we will:
- Produce a guide dealing with problems relating to stalking and harassment, and what can be done.
- Raise awareness and lobby different organisations which perpetuate rape apologism.
Run a mental health campaign about women, It’s Not My Period -Period
- While women are more likely to seek support than men, they are much less likely to be taken seriously. Often mental health problems are dismissed as women ‘being hysterical’ or ‘on their period’. We want to raise the profile of the problem, and launch a strong campaign to highlight the issue.
Put on femme culture club nights
- Where women and non-binary can have a space on campus to chill and have fun, creating a social side to the network.
Change the name of women’s officer to women & non-binary officer
- Non-binary erasure is a huge problem in liberation. The name change emphasizes that the responsibilities of the position also extend to representing and creating a space for non-binary people.
- Send out weekly emails with updates and events.
- Release ‘1 Minute of the Women and Non-Binary Officer’s Week’ where we summarise all our work that week in a short video, so you can be updated and hold us completely accountable.
- Be active every day during fresher’s week, running accessible day sessions and activities.
Run drop in sessions every other week for a ‘chat and chill’ where people can grab a coffee and talk to us.
Continue with the work on developing a Reporting Abuse App. Additionally conduct a Discrimination Consultation, gathering evidence so we can work to tackle specific behavior.
Provide gender and teaching workshops for postgraduate tutors
- Training standards are different in every department on campus. Working with all departments, we will advocate running a workshop as part of tutor training to highlight unconscious bias and gender specific challenges within the classroom - making sure that there are equal teaching standards across the board.
Approach societies on training needs
- We will approach societies on what they would like to do to boost women and non-binary participation and to deal with any unique challenges they may face. We aim then to develop tailored training sessions for groups of societies, to meet these needs, improve engagement with the network, and help societies grow in diversity and inclusivity.
Run public speaking and debate workshops for women and non-binary people
- To empower women in the public sphere, we will run a series of workshops aimed to encourage women to take a voice in debates.
Continue providing consent talks as part of the safety talks for undergraduates. Put on self-defence classes more than once a year, so more people can access them.
Michaela: I believe that the network should be a positive force for everybody, and is vital to tackling sexism, rape culture, and creating a positive environment for people to flourish. I come from a working class background - and was made homeless due to disability when I was 18 doing my A levels. I personally know how important diversity is and how important activism and networks can be, and a strong network is completely vital for every student. I want to make a difference, and I can deliver. My intersectional approach, with strong cross-network links, and a focus on getting stuff done, together. My experience:
- 3 years work experience in administration for top companies
- Chair of York Labour Club
- Secretary of EU Society
- Labour Students delegate on a national level
- NUS delegate to Women’s in Leadership Conference
Catherine: I hope to help foster a welcoming and inclusive environment within the network, that extends beyond core members to help engage more women and non-binary people. Having spent most of my adult life working in very male dominated environments I know how important it is for the network to be far reaching, to ensure that women and non-binary people in these areas are able to seek support in dealing with, and tackling sexism and machismo culture. I believe this is essential for the fight to achieve total equality at university, in working, in studying, and in socializing. My experience:
- PhD researcher in religious diversity and philosophy of language
- 2 years’ flexible part-time work as a research assistant for an economic consultancy firm
- 9 months working full-time as an office assistant in a private equity firm
- 5 summers part-time work assisting the organisation of an annual conference for a not-for-profit company working in regulation
- Former Campaigns Officer and former Communication Officer for the UoY Liberal Democrats
- Non-Portfolio Officer for York EU Society
- Elected NUS Delegate for the upcoming conference