My name is Bella and I am a final year BA Arts Management student. Having spent the majority of my life with mental illness, I know first-hand what it’s like feel isolated, to struggle to access appropriate services or being on a waiting list for months (or years) at a time, before receiving necessary treatment. It can be an incredibly difficult and daunting experience, one that has only been escalated by the ongoing pandemic. Many of us have lost opportunities, jobs, and are far from friends and family.
This academic year is not an easy time to be a student, especially for those of us dealing with a physical disability, chronic pain, mental illness and specific learning difficulties. Our university should provide needed support to every student, now more than ever. Goldsmiths must become an active network where the challenging and demanding nature of Higher Education is supplemented by meaningful support services for students with disabilities of any kind – whether university is online or not.
I’m running for Disabled Students’ Officer 2020-2021, because I want no student to feel disadvantaged or held back due to lack of support or accessibility.
If I am elected, I will campaign for:
- Ensure well-being and disability services focus on long-term rather than short-term support, for home and international students alike
- Free therapeutic group sessions throughout the year consisting of different groups (such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression and anxiety, bereavement, managing change, self-esteem, eating disorders, living with a disability) to create a student network of support outside the 1-1 counselling sessions
- Two mandatory personal tutor meetings per term – don’t let students struggling slip through the cracks
- Raise awareness of the systemic, physical, attitudinal and technological barriers that students with disabilities face, amongst Goldsmiths students and lecturers alike
I recognize that I have not been able to acknowledge many things that need to be improved. Thus, If I am elected as Disabled Students’ Officer, my upmost priority will be to amplify student voices. I will host meetings (as a group + one-to-one) where students with disabilities will have the opportunity to speak about the change that they want to see in our university.
Thank you for reading!