In the Autumn Elections set for this week, Newcastle University students will decide who is to become the next Racial Equality Officer. The voting opens online on November 6 at 4pm, and closes on November 8 at 12am.
Any Newcastle University student can see the candidates’ manifestos and vote on www.nusu.co.uk/yourvoice/elections/vote/.
“At Student Council, ensuring that all voices are heard is of paramount importance, and when this space is filled, it guarantees that BAME student voices can be heard”
The Racial Equality Officer is a part-time position at Newcastle University Students’ Union that is aimed to promote anti-racism and racial equality on campus. The winner will become a member of the University’s Diversity Consultative Group, work with external bodies and review the Equal Opportunities Policy.
It’s also expected that the Officer will launch various campaigns to further racial equality on campus as well as represent Newcastle University students who self-identify as people of colour.
The Racial Equality Officer should’ve been elected in the spring NUSU elections, but the Union received no nominations for this position, and it has remained vacant.
Errol Kerr, Chair of Student Council, said: “As the past Students with Disabilities Officer, and having worked with last year’s Racial Equality Officer, it’s been a shame that we haven’t had a similar voice to work alongside within the Officer team.
”At Student Council, ensuring that all voices are heard is of paramount importance, and when this space is filled, it guarantees that BAME student voices can be heard at the highest level of the Students’ Union.
“Representative work is so very important at this University, with current student satisfaction rates among marginalised groups being low currently, as well as the many groups that do require stronger BAME representation. I am looking forward to having a Racial Equality Officer – the more BAME officers on the team, the better.”
Samantha Louise Cooke, who was Chair of Student Council last year, said: “It’s a real shame that we started the new academic year without a Racial Equality Officer.
“Even though the city has been celebrating 50 years since Martin Luther King’s visit, the Union hasn’t celebrated Black History Month because we haven’t had an Officer to put together the events programme.
Students of colour are poorly represented in the Union’s officer structure at the moment, so I look forward to the election and hope they do well in the role.”
Any student, self-identifying as a person of colour could apply for the position of Racial Equality Officer.
The Union welcomed nominations from undergraduate and postgraduate, international and home students.
The Autumn Elections results will be announced on Thursday, November 9.