Black Lives Matter Update

Listening

We want to ensure that the SU and College constantly facilitates spaces for listening and discussion. So far as an SU we have/are hosting a community check in, reading group, Black student forum, rep meetings, open working meeting for the Council agenda, film discussion, and working with students on developing a specific anti-racism survey.  

If you have any other suggestions on ways we can better facilitate spaces to listen then please get in touch and let us know.

Action

Here is an update of our recent short and long term actions, please get in touch with us on what else you would like to see us doing.

  • We met with the Vice Chancellor Office (VCO) and have asked for a space in the next Council meeting for Black Lives Matter (BLM). The Council meeting will be on 8th July, and we have to submit a paper for it by 30th June. We have/will consult with students via the rep meetings, Black student forum, alumni group, and a specific working meeting to review it together. You can see details on how to join the working meeting here. 

  • We met with Student Support asking them to explore ways in which existing funds/scholarships could be made more easily accessible to students from marginalised backgrounds.

  • We met with the scholarship and fundraising team to ask existing donors about changing the existing selection process to allocate scholarships to Black students. They said they will commit to identifying more funders who fund in this space and promote this more effectively to the Black community. 

  • We are putting together a proposal for Generation RCA to write a commitment into their policy for a specific fund for Black students. We will continue discussions on what should be included in our working group meeting (details to attend here.) So far students have raised the need for; a specific scholarship team to have an oversight of the process, monitoring and stats of its success with specific reporting on Black students (not just BAME), the need for outreach, and for students, SU and alumni to be involved in the above.

  • We have contacted relevant staff to ask for there to be a breakdown of BAME stats to include specific information on Black students, and for this data to be collected for all new students. 

  • We have taken part in a pilot Active Bystander Training with EDI reps. The aim of the Active Bystander Training session is “to empower the RCA community to challenge unacceptable behaviour. By continually reinforcing messages of unacceptable behaviour, the boundaries of what is considered normal and acceptable will change.” We are working with HR to roll out this training to all students and staff. 

  • We contacted the Colleges new EDI officer who is due to start in July asking them to speak directly with students when they start their post. We have shared student concerns on the hiring of this position with the VCO. 

  • We have put together Black Lives Matter resources on the SU website and are working with the College to put together a resource pack for all staff and students, which ties into longer term training and discussion around methods of inclusive learning and teaching. 

  • We have written a proposal to the SU board for a student led EDI working group next academic year which will report to the Colleges Equality and Diversity Committee.