Manifesto

Candidate for the position of Vice President Welfare

Image for Elena Henning

Elena Henning

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Hi I’m Elena (she/her), a 4th Year Geography student and the Welfare Officer on the Geographical Society.

My work in welfare, coupled with my own personal experiences of the failings of the mental health and support system, has given me great insight into the University’s welfare system and has highlighted the urgent need for change. I am passionate about all students’ welfare, and I want to use my experience combined with other people’s voices to implement policies for positive transformation.

This will focus on Mental Health and Support, Inclusivity, and Safety.

Mental Health and Support

  • Compulsory mental health training for Personal Tutors
  • Continue the fight for more funding to the counselling service for shorter waiting times and more sessions
  • Lobby for the university to subsidise external counselling services
  • Diverse range of specialisations in the counselling team: BME, LGBTQ+, bereavement, sexual abuse, and more
  • Clear guidelines and upfront guarantees in the special considerations policy to save the anxiety of not knowing if yours will be accepted
  • Allow longer extensions than currently considered, awarded on case-by-case basis
  • Free period products for all menstruating people in all first year, postgraduate and university accommodation
  • Increased support for students in quarantine: trained mental health officers to provide check-ups and good care packages available.
  • More needs assessments and learning disability assessment testing to ensure all students get support they need
  • Fight for transparency about future hybrid teaching models
  • Increased support for students on their year abroad

Inclusivity

  • Introduce period products for all people who menstruate in all toilets
  • Increase the number of unisex toilets
  • More variety of period products in university buildings
  • Widen the eligibility of the Edinburgh University Rent Guarantor Scheme so no student is limited in their accommodation options
  • Increased funding to the Student Hardship Fund
  • Inclusion of having a part-time job in special circumstances applications
  • Lobby to increase bursaries back to their pre-2020 levels
  • Platforming BME voices through collaborations with the BME Liberations Officer to address racism on and off campus and online
  • Fight for more than one BME counsellor
  • Accurate and compulsory and accurate captions and uploads of transcripts on all recorded digital material
  • Collaborate with all Liberation Officers to fight for an inclusive environment

Safety

  • Introduce a required consent course similar to the Durham consent matters course before matriculation
  • Expand the Active Bystanders training to all committee members and include consent training to develop the #noexcuse campaign
  • Fight for the abolition of the 3-strike rule on hate crimes and more severe disciplinary action 
  • Create a compulsory course on anti-racist behaviour alongside consent courses before student matriculation can occur

Please look at my social media pages for more info:

Instagram: @elenaforvpwelfare2021

Facebook: Elena for VP Welfare

Vote Elena for #1 Welfare!