Thank you to everyone who’s been in touch this week with ideas, offers of help and criticism.
We’ve been taking this time to listen and find steps The Union can take to become a space where Black students are heard and are able to make change.
It is clear from the conversation that The Union has not existed as a space where Black students are heard. This is an unquestionable failing of The Union as a membership organisation and we are committed to addressing this inequality. In particular, we acknowledge a visible lack of Black students across our representation structures.
This acknowledgment does not diminish the continuing work of the BAME ambassadors and Black students who have often exhausted themselves trying to help The Union to listen and understand. Without their work we would not be in a position to move forward as we are today.
We have been considering what changes need to be made to ensure any progress made in the coming months is maintained.
This includes asking our Trustee Board (the ultimate decision-making body of The Union) to agree three structural changes:
In response to your calls to organise, we intend to use the powers of the constitution to create and fund a Black Students’ Campaign Group with an elected Chair and Committee
To guarantee a Black student voice in all policy decisions we’ll appoint a student from the campaign group to The Union’s Trustee Board as the co-opted member for the upcoming academic year
To ensure Black students are involved in all political decision making, the Chair of the Black Students’ Campaign Group will be a member of the Union Executive Committee, alongside the Student Officers and other student group representatives.
We’re also pulling together resources, signposting and support materials, which we’ll publish this week.
And we’re restarting the BAME Ambassador Project now, rather than in September. We’re recruiting the project coordinator role the moment.
We will keep listening to your experiences and ideas for change – so please keep sharing them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org