The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) met on 24 September to co-opt new members and discuss motions on a trans* and intersex bathroom policy, sign the ‘see me’ Scotland pledge and adopt a zero-tolerance policy on harassment in the Students’ Union building.
Avalon Borg was co-opted as the new wellbeing officer and Lonie Sebagh as the new employability officer. The new positions will cover a huge variety of student related top- ics. The wellbeing officer will cover issues such as mental health, and will chair a nine-person wellbeing committee including representatives from Student Services, Nightline and Mental Wealth. The employability officer will focus on issues between students and the Careers Centre, the Knowledge Transfer Centre and CAPOD.
Teddy Woodhouse, the director of representation, said: “As the sponsor of the new changes to the SRC, adding an officer for both wellbeing and employability, I’m really excited to see the Students’ Association take on these incredibly important issues with firmer direction and increased ambitions. Having worked previously with both the officers now in post, I think we’re in for a great year of activity from these two!”
The SRC also passed a motion to adopt a trans* and intersex bathroom policy. This would allow these students to feel free to use the bathroom that correlates with their gender identity.
The motion, which was proposed by Association LGBT officer David Norris, also means that the SRC will encourage the University to adopt a similar policy and an Association-wide campaign would be held in order to raise awareness of the issue. The SRC will also look into the possibility of introducing a gender-neutral bathroom as part of the Union redevelopment. The motion was adopted with 20 members for and one member for against.
A vote was also held on whether the Association should sign the ‘see me’ Scotland pledge after a motion was proposed by Mr Woodhouse. The pledge aims to stop the stigma that surrounds mental health. With the motion passed unanimously, the SRC wellbeing officer and the director of representation will now undertake a campaign to empower students to control their own mental health, to increase awareness of access to support services for students and to break the stigma on mental ill-health.
Finally, Association president Chloe Hill proposed a motion to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on harassment in Students’ Association venues.
The motion stated that: ”The defining characteristics of sexual harassment are that it is unwanted, persistent and of a sexual nature. Examples of unacceptable behaviour include: unwanted sexual comments (including comments about your body or private life), unwelcome sexual invitations, innuendoes, and offensive gestures, wolf whistling, catcalling or offensive sexual noises, groping, pinching or smacking of your body, such as your bottom or breasts, having your skirt or top lifted without agreeing and someone exposing their sexual organs to you without consent.” The vote was carried unanimously by the council.