Two of our goals as a Students' Union is to have a positive impact on all students and make sure that everyone has a reason to be part of Staffs.
Part of this means working towards an inclusive University experience for everyone.
We do this by representing diverse voices such as through our student networks and ongoing campaigns to challenge discrimination.
So on Stephen Lawrence Day, where we note the impact racial prejudice can have on an individual and institutional basis, we want to dive into the details of what we've done so far to tackle this and give you the option to say how we can do more.
Around 17% of our students at Staffs are from a Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic background this year*
*(Data from students who have opted into the Union and chosen to share their ethnicity data with us, this is not necessarily reflective of the total student body, click here for an accurate picture from 2019-20).
According to our research, the most popular services we offered to BAME students this year were:
- Digital Welcome Fair
- Our venues (Ember Lounge and Verve)
- Student Advice
If you would like to know a bit more about how BAME students engage in the different services offered by the Students' Union or for a further breakdown in ethnic background, email email@example.com.
Black History Month
For several years, we have supported the UK Black History Month campaign.
This has involved celebrating black students and staff, hosting events and discussions around black culture, and discussing how we can tackle the BAME attainment gap.
We're always looking to get students involved in the planning and delivery of our campaigns, if you'd like to get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our ongoing campaign against all forms of discrimination has seen us recognise notable holidays for our diverse student population, signpost to where you can report and get support for hate crimes and discuss Islamaphobia with local charities and government figures.
We continue to remind students that they are in control of their behaviour and there is #NoExcuse for discrimination.
In the summer of 2020, when protests were hosted across the UK against institutional racism following the death of George Floyd in the US, our students told us we need to help.
As a result, we supported the promotion of a local protest in Stoke-on-Trent and created a designated space on our website for students to learn, act against racism, and support black students.
Equity training for all Students' Union staff
This year, NUS delivered equity training to all of your Students' Union staff to ensure that we can handle any difficult conversations around inequality in the most effective way.
We are in the process of creating online training modules so we are able to share these resources with more of our students and future staff.
Microaggressions and Exploring Race Inclusion Conference
We've worked with the university to explore how we can be a more inclusive place to study.
Part of this has been speaking to students about their experiences of everyday racism.
We launched the video below at the first Exploring Race Inclusion Conference which saw staff and students across the whole of Staffordshire University come together to talk about what actions everybody can take to tackle any barriers faced by BAME individuals in our community.
Back in October, your Officer Team back had this to say and it still rings true:
"...we all have a continued responsibility to educate both ourselves and one another [...] We also want to express that we are doing our best to represent the interests of our black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students, and even though as a team we haven't stood in your shoes, we are learning every day about the different experiences you go through and how we can work together alongside you to provide support and make you feel that Staffordshire University Students' Union is somewhere you are proud to be a part of."
There's still more to be done but we're proud to have made progress alongside the university. If you'd like to find out more, head to their pages on Race equality and diversity.
Have something to say about race at Staffs? Get in touch at email@example.com or have your say: