I’m Charlotte Agnew and I am your President Welfare & Inclusivity (again!). My main role is to bring the voices of students to the foreground in topics surrounding your welfare, as well as making sure that every student feels included during their time at university.
I will be representing students from both Falmouth University and the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campuses, being sure to fully support in areas that are outside of your academic studies. These areas include mental wellbeing, welfare, accessibility, inclusivity, and diversity. I've been working with student communities to help raise awareness on important topics, develop and execute campaigns, and help to support and enhance student welfare services.
If you're reading this intro and you have any questions, feedback on any of these areas, or cool ideas about any future work together (solo or as a committee!) - I'd love to hear them.
- Charlotte Agnew (She/Her)
News & updates
Roles & responsibilities
- Community & welfare representation
- Liberation and faith
- Equality & diversity
- Widening student participation
- Local community
- Private housing and quality accommodation
- Health, happiness, and wellbeing
- Sexual, mental and physical health
- Disability and specific learning differences
- Fighting hate crime and supporting racial equality
- Liaising with student support services, living support, the police, multifaith chaplaincy and the SU Advice Service
- Accommodation - covering university owned and managed accommodation and including FX Plus ResLife
I'll be updating you throughout the year on the work I'm doing.
Manifesto priorities 2021/22
We are in a massive mental health crisis and students are much more than statistics. We have the voices, we have the ears listening, but we need more action in order to enforce positive changes and break down stigmas.
I want to create a map of all the wellbeing resources that both Exeter Cornwall and Falmouth students have access to across Penryn, Falmouth and Truro campus’. This will flag any gaps or areas of improvement to ensure that the mental health of every student is supported more effectively at every stage of their University journey.
More workshops and events that offer beneficial solutions to address any issues with inequality to ensure that the student experience is as inclusive as possible.
Utilize the liberation committee to provide a more consistent and secure platform for students to share feedback on specific areas on liberation. This will help to prioritize topics surrounding EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) by being consistently reviewed so that the SU, FXPlus and both Universities fully embrace the diversity of all students.
Extend the Falmouth & Exeter Facebook community groups beyond the digital online platform and into physical spaces. These monthly Icebreaker networking events is one big way to help tackle the concerning issues of isolation and loneliness that the pandemic and national lockdown has brought onto students.
These inclusive sessions will help bring communities such as mature students, international students, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ students or anybody else together to form new friendships (and even try out societies with!).
Welfare / Accommodation
The Rent Campaign highlighted gaps in representation for students in the area of accommodation. To ensure that consistent issues are flagged to the Accommodation PTO and progress is tracked, I want to create a student group of representatives that live in each area of accommodation.
This will improve student welfare by protecting the vulnerability of students.
Manifesto priorities and updates 2020/21
I will be working closely with living support and wellbeing support, both of which are under FXPlus, to help find alternative ways to make the forms easier to fill out.
I had a meeting with Kieth Hawsworth (FXPlus, Head of Living Support.), to discuss priorities for the upcoming year, the history of application forms in wellbeing as well as the systems that are currently in place and what needs to be improved.
I discussed these items further with David Dickinson (FXPlus, Head of Library Services).
I will prioritise planning important cultural dates such as Black History Month as well as international food weeks that highlight and celebrate key religious holidays. I will be working closely with empowering the Liberation committee, activity groups as well as students to help lead on these.
I met with Amelia Banton (SU President Experience) and Sophie Harrison (Director of Membership Services) to discuss our plans for Black History month.
I then met with Rosie Lea (SU Societies Coordinator) and Jasmine Jelley (Comms and Design Coordinator) to further discuss plans into the final details, before writing a statement.
Our Black History Month participation call-out has been shared to all students.
I have had conversations with colleagues in catering around my ideas for more cultural and religious food holidays in the food outlets such as The Stannary and Fox Café to diversify their menu. Becky Nesbitt from the Multifaith Chaplaincy was also keen to get involved as we work together to support faith and cultural societies to put on events and international food weeks. However, due to the Lockdown, this is more likely to take place following the New Year. Unfortunately the Culture Ball lead by the ACS (Afro-Caribbean Society) was postponed due to the second Lockdown. Since Black History Month, I have been having conversations with FXPlus to keep pushing EDI (Equality, Diversity, Inclusivity) as an agenda topic.
Due to the need for wearing masks and social distancing in light of Covid-19, I want to make sure that important resources are distributed to students to improve accessibility in communication. These include badges for those who rely on lip-reading or are feeling anxious, as well as apps such as live subtitling to make communication easier.
I met with Sarah Davey (CEO of Students’ Union) and Sophie Harrison (Director of Membership Services) to discuss Covid-19 resources for students, which included the possibility of distributing badges and lanyards to students that needed to visually communicate any extra needs due to the changes on campus, such as lip-reading issues for masks as one example.
The online environment has exposed new gaps in accessibility which includes subtitling for online lectures, videos and visibility to allow lip-reading as well as internet issues which can severely disrupts one’s access to lectures, etc. This is why I want to raise questions surrounding this in the SU’s next Big Course Rep Meeting to gain a more detailed picture of these issues so these barriers can be addressed as effectively as possible.
Along the themes of feedback, there has been a large amount which highlights the issues around waiting times for wellbeing support and lack of resources surrounding mental health. This important and critical feedback has been shared with David Dickinson, Director of Student Library Services in order to find ways to work effectively with FXPlus to distribute and signpost students to the right resources and find ways to help make waiting lists shorter.
This month I am leading the ‘Together, Wherever’ campaign which creates opportunities to engage with students with daily lockdown prompts, as well as president drop-in calls to have informal and private conversations with students to help build a picture of what they’re exact needs are in the longer run. This campaign also aims to bring the various wellbeing resources under the same umbrella in order to make it easier for students to navigate through it. I am also exploring how students are accessing resources whilst in isolation, as well as understanding how food packages are working. I am soon talking with colleagues in catering and accommodation to discuss how this is happening in other accommodations outside of Glasney. If you have any ideas, please get in touch!
I want to highlight different student experiences with a short film series project, acknowledging more diversity for international students and isolated students. this will in turn create collaboration opportunities for societies, to gain their understanding and perspective on these stories.
I raised this item in a Mature Students Working Group
Discussed in terms of finances for the upcoming year as well. Plans are being paused due to the uncertainty of Covid-19, but with the hopes of filming it in 2021.
I want to ensure that subtitles for online content is mandatory as part of the Quality Impacts Assessments.
I met with the Accessibility Team at FXPlus, who were really keen to take this on board to ensure that online learning is as inclusive as possible. We discussed Microsoft Teams subtitling possibilities as well as apps that are currently available that we could put on the resources page online.
Accessibility: Accessible Campus Routes
I will look into improving routes around campus, to ensure that all routes are accessible via wheelchair and meet other accessibility needs.
I attended Campus trials which tested out the one-way systems to ensure that they were suitable before new students arrive due to the new Covid safe one-way systems that have been put in place.
Although accessibility is good throughout routes, I flagged up that there needed to be clearer signage for accessible routes that are in place to make things as clear as possible.
Physical accessibility imposed before Covid-19 is still ongoing, although this area has expanded significantly since then. As well as monitoring accessible routes around campus, this has become even more important due to the one-way systems and the need for consistent sign-posting. Physical accessibility has also stretched to being able to communicate with masks on for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing both on campus and outside of campus such as in the supermarkets. In response to the communication barriers due to lip-reading, I am leading an SU project which is looking into making badges and stickers for lip-readers to communicate their needs, as well as an information and signposting on what lip-reading is and how to do this safely within a Covid environment.
I want to update the communication between students and academic staff to make sure that people’ ILPs are updated and checked more regularly, for an improved and more accessible teaching experience.
I will look into creating a new widget on the Falmouth + Exeter App which allows easier access to useful resources. These will be both for students looking for new accommodation and for those moving out of university accommodation, such as halls.
Look into the funding of mental health services for university students and help find alternative resources to help alleviate waiting times for living and wellbeing support.