This year has certainly been an odd one.
When we were all running for our roles back in January of 2016 the success of the Brexit & Trump campaigns weren’t on our radars of things that would likely occur. Nor, more importantly, were the consequences of those campaigns and impact they had on the political climate. We’ve seen an unprecedented rise in hate crime across the country, toxic language against migrants, refugees and people of colour has been normalised and changes in the Higher Education sector have left International Students in an uncertain position.
We came into post three days after the results of the Brexit referendum and, nine months on, I’m writing this blog on the very day that Article 50 is set to be triggered. But, despite defeat after defeat for young people, looking back over the year I haven’t witnessed a period of time where as a movement we have been so active, shown as much solidarity or been anything other than defeated – when we had more than every right to be.
I have been a proud advocate of The Student Movement throughout my year in office. We have a rich history of being trailblazers in advancing a progressive and inclusive agenda across the country. We stand up for what we believe in and fight to make changes big & small that have huge impact on the lives of our peers.
This year – a year that had the potential to be the most challenging and adversarial – has reinforced my faith & admiration for the student movement. Our student body has shown its commitment to celebrating diversity and campaigning for a more accessible & inclusive University, a more progressive campus and for more commitment to improve students’ well-being throughout their studies!
We had a Collection Drive for Help Refugees UK that was HUGELY successful. We’ve lobbied for an improved Report & Recording system so that reporting misconduct – including Hate Crime – is more accessible. I will be bringing a proposal to the Student Life Committee with Islamic Society to call for improved Prayer Space on campus. We’ve had tonnes of Mental Health campaigns. We saw a YUSU Elections with a diverse range of candidates having much bigger and bolder ideas on their manifestos. We had the best LGBT History Month and the most successful Global Week that I’ve ever seen. The first Full-Time Trans Officer was elected in the NUS – the first EVER paid, full-time representative of trans people in EUROPE! We’ve had one successful campaign after another from all of our liberation networks, student groups and Colleges.
So so much has happened this year that deserves to be celebrated! If you’ve done something amazing, if you know someone has contributed something special or a group of people have been a part of improving the student experience then NOMINATE THEM FOR AN AWARD! Be a part of celebrating the amazing things students do!
Information on the Love York Awards can be found here: http://www.yusu.org/opportunities/recognition/loveyorkawards