Manifesto

Candidate for the position of Vice President Welfare

Image for Eoin Burgin

Eoin Burgin

Hello! I'm Eoin – I’m a fourth-year geography student and Disability Officer at The 93% Club Edinburgh and I’m running to be your next VP Welfare. This year, our university has shown that student wellbeing isn’t its priority. I want to change that by pushing for a real Covid-19 grade safety net, confronting racism on and off campus, fighting loneliness with social support for this year's freshers, putting mental health first for students and staff and improving access for disadvantaged students.

Hello! I’m Eoin – I’m a fourth-year geography student and Disability Officer at The 93% Club Edinburgh and I’m running to be your next VP Welfare. This year, our university has shown that student wellbeing isn’t its priority. I want to change that – here’s how.

A real Covid-19 safety net for grades

Many students are working from home in cramped and distracting conditions – the current Covid-19 mitigation measures don’t go far enough. I’ll build on them by calling on the university to:

  • Apply a no detriment policy to Honours assessments
  • Offer free ‘first attempt’ resits without requiring Special Circumstances
  • Ensure every disabled student’s Schedule of Adjustments is updated to reflect the changes
  • Retroactively apply these measures to all semesters affected by the pandemic
  • Adopt this as permanent policy in case of future severe disruption to studies

Confronting racism and abuse on and off campus

Too many students experience regular abuse in our city. I’ll push the university to confront this by:

  • Expanding Report and Support – a new system for handling cases of sexual harassment – to all cases of targeted harassment, connecting victims with support services and pressuring the university to direct training and funding where needed
  • Providing active bystander training to staff and students
  • Supporting Back Off Scotland’s work to establish 150m buffers around sexual health centres

Fighting loneliness with social support for this year’s freshers

This year's freshers haven't had a chance to build relationships and support networks with fellow students. I'll support them by holding a 'Freshers 2.0' for second years in September, including a specific Activities Fair, Sports Fair and social events.

Putting mental health first for students and staff

Mental health services aren’t keeping up with demand. I’ll improve on this and more by:

  • Pushing for a greater number and diversity of counsellors to be recruited
  • Creating a consistent mechanism for requesting a BME or LGBT+ counsellor or a counsellor of a specific gender
  • Retaining digital counselling services alongside in-person appointments after the pandemic
  • Strengthening links between the Counselling Service and the Listening Service, allowing for easy follow-up appointments and reliable pastoral support
  • Working with UCU Edinburgh to protect staff wellbeing during the return to in-person teaching

Improving access for disadvantaged students

Disabled students and those from low-income households have been doubly disadvantaged by Covid-19. I’ll support them by:

  • Opposing the planned cuts to bursaries, which would restrict eligibility and reduce funding
  • Updating the university’s Widening Participation strategy to account for the impact of the pandemic
  • Guaranteeing lecture recording continues after the pandemic and accommodating online participation in in-person classes

Please vote Eoin for VP Welfare from 8-11 March, and visit Facebook and Instagram to learn more