VP Welfare

Kai O'Doherty



 

 

 

 

Leading on representation and liaising with the University on matters relating to student wellbeing lie at the centre of my role as Vice President Welfare.  I coordinate and lead campaigns in relation to welfare, and equality and diversity issues including student safety, mental and physical wellbeing, and inclusion.



Email me at VPwelfare@eusa.ed.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Kai O’Doherty, your elected Vice President Welfare. I am an MSc Policy Studies student at the University, having moved here in September 2017. Before I came to Edinburgh I studied Political Science at McGill University in Quebec but I am originally from Bermuda.

Welfare has always been incredibly close to my heart, as the LGBT+ officer in 2017/18 but also at my undergrad university McGill I did a lot of work on sexual assault survivors’ support and policy advocacy.  I have a history of writing and giving trainings to new first year students on areas of sexuality, gender, consent, race and colonialism, and supporting issues of fair working conditions. I’ve done some work on trans issues as a trans student myself, just recognising how small things like having more gender neutral toilets or changing bureaucratic structures can make a big difference.

1. Improving Mental Health services

 

2. Tackling Sexual Violence on campus

 

3. Centring Anti-Oppression

 

 

More details to come soon!

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Better mental health support!

  • Counselling: continue the fight for shorter waiting times; better & permanent facilities at King’s Buildings
  • Improve Personal Tutor mental health support, through a massive review of compulsory training
  • Expand Mental Health & Wellbeing Week, focusing on campuses outside of George Square, and events spread throughout the year
  • Special Circumstances: quicker responses, clearer guidance, and fair and just decisions. Those with chronic illness shouldn’t have to prove “worsening conditions”.
  • Mental Health Peer Support groups: for postgraduate students especially

Zero tolerance of sexual violence & harassment

  • Create a pro-survivor, stand-alone sexual assault policy, replacing the oppressively inadequate current University procedures
  • Lead further review of visual consent campaigns, refocusing on survivor support
  • Build more opportunities for consent training

Community-building support for international students

  • Fight for the University’s reinvestment in a space for the International Student Centre
  • Push for community-building efforts from the University, beyond recruitment and visa regulation
  • Fighting for reasonable housing options, especially for those having to find apartments before arrival

It’s basic: expand the provision of hot water taps and microwaves across campus!

Fight for marginalized students!

  • Support Liberation officers to achieve their aims, ensuring an intersectional approach
  • Continue efforts to prioritize access for widening participation students to enjoy University with fewer barriers