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Happier with Holmes - Welfare & Campaigns
My Five Key Policies
- Themed mental health awareness days; to destigmatise issues and provide support
- Safe taxi scheme; so you can get home safely - even if you run out of cash
- ‘Eat Well’ campaign; provide students with weekly recipes and food budgeting advice, and discuss the possibility of a health, cheap food outlet on campus
- Sexual health; termly Leamington-based GUM clinics
- Affordability; campaign for printing subsidies across all academic departments
Hi! I’m Ellen Holmes, and I’m standing to be your next Welfare and Campaigns Officer. I am passionate about mental health, student wellbeing, making student life and nights out safer, and improving support for international and year abroad students.
- Welfare Exec Member 2016/2017
- Successfully introduced the ‘Girls Against Gig Groping’ campaign to the SU
- Independently created and ran a ‘Self-Harm Awareness Day’ in January
- Sociology Student Mentor 2014/2017
- Head Steward at The Copper Rooms 2015/2016
- Publicity Officer of Warwick Northern 2016/2017
- Member of Warwick Surf
Problem: Many mental health problems remain heavily stigmatised or people know little about them, making it difficult for those who are suffering
Solution: Create a voluntary mental health council to work alongside the Welfare Exec to create and promote themed mental health awareness day campaigns.
Problem: Warwick currently spends £11.92 per student on mental health services each year - this is less than a medium Domino’s pizza!
- The University should increase funding for mental health services and campaign for greater access to counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy services
- Signposting for support series should be improved, along with regular ‘drop-in mental health sessions’ at the SU
- This is an issue f ever-growing importance and will be my number one priority for the year
- A ‘Self-Care Day’ in Freshers to encourage and promote the importance of looking after yourself
- Work with the University to improve the Personal Tutor System, to provide better support for students’ mental health and personal issues
- Generate funding to have the SU First Aiders Emergency Mental Health Trained
Problem: Whilst University is fun, at times it can be incredibly stressful, and sometimes we struggle, need a break, or need a bit of advice
- Introduce a termly student mental health and wellbeing event, with information from Warwick Mind Aware, the SU Advice Centre, Papryus, and the NHS
- Encourage wellbeing events, such as yoga and meditation sessions, delivered by sports clubs and societies to maximise student involvement
- Create a ‘Break Space’ so students who need to take some time out can grab a cup of tea, and take some time to relax and chill out.
- Encourage peer mentor programmes in each academic department so students can support one another and give one another advice
- Liaise with the Postgraduate Officer to create post-graduate wellbeing events outside of Undergraduate term time, especially in the run up to Master’s dissertation deadlines
- Turn the Graduate into a student recuperation area during exam periods, where you can relax and grab a bite to eat
- More Doggy Destress Days to help relax students during peak times of stress!
- Continue with the successful POP! Wellbeing Stand
Problem: Student life can be busy and expensive which can impact our food choice and eating habits
- Create an ‘Eat Well’ campaign for the SU website, to provide food and budgeting advice so students can access cheap and healthy recipes!
- Collaborate with the likes of Warwick Good Food and Warwick Vegans and Vegetarians to create recipes to cater for different diets
- Encourage Rootes Grocery Store to put on discount offers for weekly recipes!
- Discuss the possibility of creating a cheap and healthy food outlet on campus
Problem: For most courses printing is an expensive necessity
Solution: Campaign for printing subsidies across all departments so students aren’t left out of pocket
Problem: Finding housing can be difficult, especially as most places seem to disappear very quickly!
Solution: Get Warwick Accommodation to stagger the releases of student housing
Problem: Each year, many postgraduate students are left without a place to live
Solution: Help the University with producing a sustainable strategy for PH housing to prevent these circumstances rather than have to react to them
Problem: Individuals experience issues relating to inclusivity and accessibility whilst at uni
Solution: Introduce a ‘Liberate It’ campaign, as seen at Brighton SU, so students can register complaints and concerns, including access to buildings, lack of gender-neutral space, and a lack of diversity in curriculum, among others.
- Introduce the Tesco ‘Autism Hour’ at Rootes Grocery Store: An hour with no tannoy, music, shelf-packing, and dimmed lights.
- Implement a safer night out initiative in the SU, and encourage local Leamington and Coventry clubs to do the same!
Safer nights out
Problem: Sometimes we end up staying out too late and missing the last bus back home
- Create a Safe Taxi scheme, seen at Cardiff and Sheffield, so students with no money can get home safely after a night out
- Liaise with a local taxi company who will take students home, and the student will pay for the ride at SUHQ reception the next day!
International and Year Abroad
Problem: Luggage limitations mean students flying to the UK cannot always bring everything they need (or take everything back)
- Have the SU and University organise two trips to Coventry Ikea in orientation week to allow international students to buy kitchenware, bed linen, and anything else they need
- Have a place where students can leave their belongings for the next generation, so items such as kitchenware aren’t binned or wasted.
Problem: Going on a year abroad can be fun, but some people find it’s not for them, or struggle while they’re out there
Solution: Ensure personal tutors, Warwick Study Abroad, and the SU Advice Centre have the appropriate contacts and information to pass on to students who do choose to come back to ease this process.
Thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto.
Remember to vote, and remember, you’ll be Happier with Holmes!