Hi, I’m Oona! I’m a 4th year Politics student, and I’m running to be your Vice President Welfare.
Whilst the University increases student numbers year-on-year, our wellbeing services aren’t keeping up. Edinburgh urgently needs to become more compassionate and less isolating – this is my plan for change.
Creating a compassionate university:
- Art-for-Wellbeing Workshops across all campuses, from life-drawing to crafting – for commitment-free ways to destress, not just at exam time!
- Free yoga: I love the Main Library and ECA classes in collaboration with the Sports’ Union, why not expand them to King’s, Easter Bush and the BioQuarter?
- For students affected by bereavement or illness, financial barriers should never stand between them and their loved ones – I’ll start a Getting Home Fund.
- Medical students should be treated with the same compassion we expect from our doctors – I’ll lobby for better support for medics and mental health support while they’re on placement, to deal with the unique challenges they face.
- Students have a right to autonomy over their wellbeing – I’ll oppose Mandatory Interruptions of Study.
Putting accessibility on the university's agenda:
- Disabled students and staff should never be shut out from the university due to dodgy lifts, back-door library access and inadequate bathroom facilities. I’ve already campaigned for Changing Places on campus and will commit the University to breaking down physical barriers.
- Students accessing mental health services have doubled since 2012, but students often only find wellbeing services at crisis moments. I’ll make Edinburgh Welfare Aware from day one:
- Info sessions on support, counselling and disability services in the first lectures of semester
- Mental Health First-Aid training for society/club committees
- More counselling facilities and more diverse counsellors, especially at King’s
- Create a dedicated Advice Place at Easter Bush, and extend opening hours at King’s
- Students from the most deprived backgrounds have two times higher drop-out rates than the least deprived students, and BME students frequently report feeling alienated at Edinburgh. I’ll directly address the needs of low-income and BME students through the University’s Widening Participation strategy.
Building an inclusive campus free from harassment:
- Sexual harassment has no place at Edinburgh – I’ll build on the #NoExcuse campaign by making consent training, information and support available in halls.
- Sexual health drop-ins on every campus with inclusive advice, support and testing – for a sex-positive university
- Work with the new Trans and Non-Binary Officer to tackle transphobia on campus and ensure the University listens to and supports trans and non-binary students.
- Support work to diversify and decolonise the curriculum – no student should feel isolated or unrepresented by their studies.
Please vote Oona for VP Welfare 4th-7th March; fb.com/oonaforwelfare