As the Student Union we have made a pledge to celebrate and encourage diversity within the university.
This year, we have created a new set of autonomous committees which provide a meeting place and a platform for minority groups. Our hope is they will provide a safe space for discussion, a stronger channel of communication and a wider scope of student engagement and interaction. When it comes to affecting change within the institution a collective voice is more effective than an individual.
Each committee appoints a voluntary officer who will form a point of contact with the SU.
We do not want to dictate how these committees operate as we believe the patriarchal structures inherent to our society are set out to disadvantage minority groups. However, we do unfortunately need to show these committees are working to enhance the student experience in order to secure a budget. For the first year, when we need to validate expenditure to the board of trustees, we will need a written report at the end of each term on the activities of each committee. How often each committee chooses to meet is up to them, though we would suggest a minimum of 2 meetings per term.
Each Committee receives £300 towards events which are intended to engage the student body.
We would suggest it makes sense to tie events in with national or global events throughout the year (Black History Month, Women’s Day, Trans Day of Remembrance, Gay Pride etc.) We understand this may not be possible due to moments when workloads increase or the way the Christmas, Easter and Summer Holidays fall, but would encourage committees to plan for these in advance so the Student Union can help promote these events, book the relevant spaces and engage as many students as possible.
If you feel like the title we have given to your committee is ill fitting, that the remit of a committee is too broad, that we have left something out etc. please let us know. If you feel comfortable working this out internally please do so. We are happy to be involved as little or as much as you would like us to.
One thing we strongly wish to avoid is tokenism. These committees should not be merely symbolic but effective. The aim of these committees is to empower students and create a channel through which their voices can be heard. If at any point you think this has been compromised we would hope to address the issue as soon as possible.
WHAT WE CAN PROVIDE
The SU will assist in the promotion of any events held. Should you wish to have ticketed events we are happy to organise this through EventBrite. If you are comfortable doing so it may be worth charging nominal fees for events (£1/£2) in order to make your budget stretch further.
We can book most spaces but do need a good bit of notice.
When possible we ask that money is spent out of pocket, this is then reimbursed on presentation of a receipt. If you wish to be paid in advance we must first receive an invoice. For example, were you to buy food for an event it is easier to provide the subsequent receipt. If you were to invite a speaker you could have them provide us with an invoice.
We will log your expenditure but it is a good idea for you to do the same in order to avoid overspending as we will not be able to cover any deficit.
At the end of each term we would be grateful of a document which let’s us know what you have been up to, how many meetings you held, what events you put on etc.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE INVOLVED PLEASE EMAIL BENJI.JEFFREY@RCA.AC.UK