equality, diversity & inclusion

Your Union takes its role as a champion for equality very seriously, everything that we do as a Union is bound by our Equal Opportunities policy and we are accredited as a Zero Tolerance Union actively challenging sexual harassment within our society. 

 

 

 

 

You can read our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion strategy here.

 

 

 

 

 

Last semester we launched our new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. This comes with a framework and action plan which various members of the union team are responsible for delivering. These actions are coordinated by a sub-group that is accountable to the Trustee Board of the organisation. 

Below you'll find some information on the ways we work to champion E,D & I at Stirling. If you have any suggestions or feedback, we'd love to know. Please email us at theunion@stir.ac.uk or drop one of our Union Officers a message. 

BAME student experience survey

Trigger Warning: Mentions of Racism, Racial discrimination, LGBTQ+ discrimination, Gender-based discrimination.

As Sabbatical Officers we recognise that racism and racial discrimination is a very real problem facing students at the University of Stirling on campus and in the local community. In an effort to better understand the issues affecting students from the BAME community, we have designed this survey in collaboration and consultation with members of the BAME community in order to carefully and sensitively explore, in depth, the different facets of this issue. We're exceptionally grateful for this input and help from those involved. Please only complete this survey if you are a member of the BAME community.

We hope that by hearing the experiences of our BAME students both on and off campus, we can get a clearer idea of how we in the Union can work with the University to best support our BAME students and develop an anti-racist culture in Stirling. We also understand how traumatic and difficult it can be to re-visit these experiences while filling out this survey, so to support individuals at the end of the survey we will provide a list of resources.

Finally, we thank you for sharing your experiences and hope this survey can be a key step in developing an anti-racist culture at The University of Stirling and Stirling Students' Union. If you have any issues with the content of the survey, or further feedback on the survey, you can email theunion@stir.ac.uk and your information will be treated confidentially.

Please only complete this survey if you are a member of the BAME community.

Link to survey here.

- Edd, Amy, Josh & Lexi
  Your Union Officers

black lives matter

Updated: Tues 9th June, 2020.

Over the past week, we have felt deeply upset and disgusted by the staggering level of racism we are seeing across America and the world. From Aleppo to Minneapolis, Hong Kong to London and even in our very own Stirling, people have united to call out the evil actions and injustices carried out police, security forces and governments worldwide. In reflecting on this personally, and as a team, the Sabbatical officers all agreed that we should first take time to listen and learn before making comments on social media, and today we would like to break that silence and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

As an all-white sabbatical team, it would be easy for us to step back and act as though this won’t affect us, but this could not be further from the truth. As sabbatical officers we have been given a platform to represent students, and we need to use that to call out the racism we see and benefit from as white people, as well as empowering our student body to do the same because "in a racist society it is not enough to non-racist, we must be anti-racist" (Angela Davis). We recognise that this is not an isolated incident of injustice but instead a product of system which is at it's core systemically racist and we have a duty to challenge that and call for change.

White people have to do better, and higher education institutions have to do better. Among many other factors, “education is the great equalizer, and [it] shouldn’t be limited to the wealthiest few” (Jim Clyburn), so the education system has the duty to break down all the barriers facing the black community in pursuing education. The white washing of history must end, no matter how much shame it brings us to hear of the atrocities of our past. Only by accepting the truth of the past can we hope to never repeat such horrors today. We must be taught how to actively fight against the inequality of right now. You can help make this happen by signing this petition to demand the UK government include systemic racism and white privilege within the British curriculum.

While we know there will be many more tears to be shed, there will also be many more opportunities to make a difference. So use your voice to sign, share, donate and educate yourself with the resources below. We will never stop fighting for justice and equality and we will never stop being allies, because today, and everyday #blacklivesmatter.

What are we doing RIGHT NOW?

In regard to specific anti-racism actions we are taking forward over the coming weeks, we are working with students in the BAME community to collect statements of their experiences at our University and their concerns. We'll be sharing these anonymously in meetings with University management over the coming weeks. Of course we want to maintain strict confidentiality regarding any personal stories, so are working through the best way to communicate this broadly whilst also upholding concerns for the ongoing safety and welfare of our black students. In addition we are planning how we can apply pressure to improve the University's responses to racism, and the role they play as an educational institution. We would like to see them reform the curriculum to include more diverse voices and black history, our VP Education is currently planning for how to go about creating this level of institutional change through direct contact with faculties. Our Sports President has also been in touch with some of our teams and clubs about how they want to get involved with the movement and how we can best support them to do so. 

This is just the start and we will continue to update here and on social. 

If you want to get in touch directly with suggestions or actions, we welcome them. You can email us at theunion@stir.ac.uk and can be assured your message will be confidential.

Petitions to sign:
Sign the Justice for George Floyd petition here.

Sign the petition for #WeCantBreathe here.

Sign the Justice for Belly Mujinga petition here.

Sign the Justice for Breonna Taylor petition here.


How you can help in the UK: 
You can send a letter or email to your local MP. Find your local MP’s information at www.writetothem.com. If you are unsure of what to say, here is an example template you can use - make sure you vary some of the letter and give it a personal touch.

Donate to the George Floyd Memorial fund here.
Donate to the official Black Lives Matter campaign here.

Donate to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.

Donate to The Bail Project here.

Donate to the Belly Mujinga memorial fund here.

Donate to the Ahmaud Arbery memorial fund here.

Donate to The Movement For Black Lives here.

Find out about more ways to help here.

Books to read: 
White Fragility: why its so hard for white people to talk about racism by Robin Diangelo 
So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo 
How to be an antiracist by Ibram X Kendi 
The Condemnation of Blackness by Khali Gibran Muhammad
The Colour of Law by Richard Rothstein 
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
I Know Why A Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Divided Sisters by Midge Wilson and Kathy Russell
The Bluest Eye by Tony Morrison
Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo Lodge
A list of children’s books can be found here.

If reading these is not accessible to you, then you could watch these documentaries: 
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (2016) dir. Raoul Peck 
Ferguson: A report from occupied territory (2015) dir. Orlando de Guzman 
Do Not Resist (2016) dir. Craig Atkinson 
Let the Fire Burn (2013) dir. Jason Osder 
When They See Us (2019) dir. Ava Duvernay 
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015) dir. Stanley Nelson Jr. 
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017) dir. David France 
13th (2016) dir. Ava Duvernay 
Just Mercy (2019) dir. Destin Daniel Cretton

Podcasts, Radio Shows, and other Mediums to Listen To
1619 (New York Times)
About Race
Code Switch (NPR)
Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
Momentum: A Race Forward podcast
Pod for the Cause (Leadership Conf on Civil & Human Rights)
Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
Seeing White
Parenting Forward podcast (specifically episode ‘Five Pandemic Parenting Lessons with Cindy Wang Brandt’)
Fare of the Free Child podcast

Spotify also has a number of playlists celebrating black artists under ‘black history is now’ and ‘in solidarity: black lives matter’

If donating, buying or watching Netflix are not options for you, you can watch this stream with ads which will collect revenue.
 

preventing and tackling gender based and sexual violence

The Union is proud to work with the University of Stirling to prevent and tackle sexual violence through our joint strategy. We want to ensure that Stirling is a place with a culture of respect, where sexual violence is not tolerated and where it does occur those affected feel they can come forward with the knowledge that they will be believed and taken seriously.

More information on this strategy can be found here.

 

equalities zone

We have regular Equalities Zone meetings. These meetings are open to all  BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethinic), LGBT+, women, and disabled students to attend. These meetings are a forum for the Union to gather feedback and help solve any issues that may be arising. The Equalities Zone is where the four equalities officers are elected (who represent the four equality groups – BAME, LGBT+, women, and disabled students).

You can see who our current equalities officers are here!

 

equalities societies

Gender Equality Movement 

We are Stirling University’s Gender Equality Movement. Our aim is to promote equality for all of the genders and provide a safe space for learning about this topic (all while smashing the patriarchy).

We welcome everyone to come along to our weekly meetings at 6.30 on Mondays as well as to our social events. Feel free to come along to meet like-minded people and to find out more. Even if you’re not a registered member you’re more than welcome to come along.

 

LGBT+ society 

Our group stands for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, plus society, but we also more than welcome questioning or LGBT+ friendly students. We regularly hold socials, attend campaigns and run educational events.

Stirling University LGBT+ aim to provide the following for self-defining LGBT+ students and their straight allies:

• Provide support and a safe space

• Promote and represent the views and interests of LGBT+ students

• Hold social and educational events

• Campaign on LGBT+ rights and issues to raise awareness and work with the wider community

• Be fun and inclusive!

These student led societies are free of charge and anyone is welcome to come along.  You can find out more about them here

 

Feel there’s an equalities society that you would like to start up? You can contact theunion@stir.ac.uk for more information how to!