Here's a round up of the work we've done this term...
As part of our commitment to make our work transparent and accessible, we want to share with you what we have been up to this term...
Black Lives Matter
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have seen institutions and individuals alike reflect upon racism and its manifestations. The Black Lives Matter movement has revealed the urgent work needed to challenge and dismantle racism, and specifically anti-blackness racism. We have put together a resource pack on our website and held Black student forums, a community check in, a Black Study, Black Struggle reading group, and an open event on writing the BLM Council Paper as well as smaller meetings. We have been working with students to present this paper to Council (the governing body of the RCA) and will continue to put pressure on RCA to listen to Black students' accounts of racism within the RCA and action the mentioned recommendations. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to raise any concerns or have any questions.
We are aware this has been a challenging and unprecedented time for all. We've been working closely with the College to respond to the pandemic, and have been keeping students up to date via our website news section. We have been responding to the immediate issues arising, and taking part in consultations with students and staff planning for next academic year. We are continuing to support students via online platforms.
Sending a massive thank you to all the reps for your amazing work this term. We recognise how challenging it has been and hugely appreciate all your input. Together, we have taken part in Campus Assemblies, School Assemblies, College Wide Assemblies, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Assemblies and Show 2020 Assemblies. We take minutes and action points for students and staff after each of these meetings. We have shared with the board rep experiences of workload, and have asked that once budgets are confirmed for next academic year if payment or payment in kind can be given to reps next year.
Active Bystander Training
We took part in the pilot Active Bystander Training alongside students and staff which aims to empower students and staff across the College community to challenge poor behaviours, and bring about cultural change through the reinforcement of messages defining the boundaries of unacceptable behaviour. We are working with the College to roll this out to all students and staff next academic year.
Governance Review and Survey
We hired an independent Student Unions Consultant to review the SU. They met with students and staff to review the work we do and structure of the organisation. Once we receive their report we look forward to implementing their recommendations alongside your feedback from the survey so we can continue to improve the work we do. Key points raised that will be followed up on in the next academic year are equality, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and access to physical facilities.
Here’s some events we worked on…
Mental Health Week
Mental Health Awareness Week this year had the theme of Kindness. We teamed up with Student Support to host an array of resources and events including sharing acts of kindness, yoga, meditation, and a playlist from our very own DJ society.
We hosted an online instagram exhibition via IGTV of video work. Thank you to all who took part - we really enjoyed your work!
We teamed up with postgraduate research students to host a series of student led workshops. This term there were 3 fantastic workshops; ‘The Removal Game’, ‘Pleasure & Poetics’ and ‘Loops and Drones listening session.’
Black Student Forums
We organised - and will continue organising - these sessions for Black students, including alumni and incoming students who identify as African, Caribbean or Mixed Race Heritage. These forums provide an opportunity for Black students to connect and share experiences. It has also provided a platform for students to be able to not only share experiences but also inform the school of concrete actions that can be taken to address inequalities.
Community Check In
In this digital space, we’ve come together to talk about connecting, supporting each other, and sharing our coping mechanisms.
We hosted 2 reading groups, one on Audre Lorde’s “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action” and one on Robin D.G Kelley’s “Black study, Black struggle”
RCASU Invites you
Open for all pre-sessional and incoming students, we are hosting a zoom call with 3 current students to talk through their degree show work and what life is like at RCA.
The Pluralist is the RCA’s newspaper, written and edited by students for students and funded by us. The issues are available online and you can find them on our website here. The new issue launched in line with Show2020 and their new website.
We sit on many different committees across the College and support them with working on; sorting building and estates issues, a sustainability strategy, improving mental health, cross cultural dialogue, a student charter, health and safety, organising the shows, supporting staff unions - just to name a few!
To all the graduating students on an amazing show! You have overcome incredibly difficult circumstances to deliver a wonderful showcase of hard work.
Like what you’ve read? Wish we were spending more time working on something else? We are here for you - so let us know what you want to see us doing :) Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.