Community and Well Being Manifesto
Hi everyone! I'm Tom Underwood, and as you've probably guessed, I'm one of the candidates vying to be YUSU's Community and Wellbeing Officer for next year. With my experience as Chair of Well Being in Constantine, and Campaign Manager of the Mental Health Awareness Project, I believe that I’ve got the ideas, and the ability to drastically improve the well being of the whole university. So without further delay, what can I offer you as your representative?
Student Mental Health
The £500,000 pledged by the university to mental health support is a fantastic step. But what can we do with it?
- First and foremost, ensure that it is spent appropriately and with student consultation beyond YUSU.
- Increase the support available for students by utilizing the college system to the best of its ability, and ensuring that all existing support is of the highest quality.
- Provide Mental Health first aid training for porters and security to ensure that students suffering with mental health crises have access to help 24 hours a day, and that staff are equipped to deal with serious issues appropriately.
- Campaign to reverse the university's pipeline plan to discount long standing chronic health issues as mitigating circumstances.
Housing and Community
Let’s face it- housing is affects us all. But how do we get around inflating prices and diminishing quality in our off campus housing?
- Ensure quality control for all third party housing through vetting the access of letting agents' influence of campus via advertising rights and presence at housing fairs until they meet a certain standard.
- Work with the city council to promote and guarantee quality accommodation across the city.
- Recruit Neighbourhood Reps to represent off campus students. By creating these representative roles, students can feed back firstly on the quality and satisfaction of their housing. From there they can also help encourage other off campus students to engage further with university life and continue a consistent conversation.
- By building a relationship with the York community through RAG and volunteering we can strengthen our links with the city, and maintain a positive relationship with the local residents.
Liberation and Welfare Campaigns
The Liberation and Welfare committee have done a fantastic job at creating campaigns and events for students from all walks of life. But how do we build on that?
- York students care deeply about freedom of speech, however we’re also committed to protecting students. I believe that we should establish an organized student response policy for external speakers coming onto campus. Students will be able to bring their thoughts to the table, and have their voices heard through discussion. Through this, we can come to a conclusion that benefits everyone, with all parties contributing to making the event concerned as accessible as possible.
- Given the success of the Equal Opportunities Scheme (promoting understanding and accessibility in sports teams), expanding it to Societies will provide a better understanding of how student organizations can be more supportive and accessible to all students.
- Support Part Time Officers and their representative campaigns as much as possible by encouraging them to engage even further with their networks and communities.
As you can hopefully see, I’ve got a lot that I’d like to get done in a year. But that’s not all I bring. I’m driven, engaged, and experienced with these discourses on a daily basis- having been the Chair of Student Support and Well Being at Constantine, I’ve developed a good working knowledge of the Students’ Union and the Colleges, and through chairing The Mental Health Awareness Project I have been actively participating in the fight for improved welfare for over two years now. I want to continue that fight in a capacity where we can make real, tangible change.
Thanks for reading, and remember: