After George Floyd’s recent killing, and in the midst of a global pandemic and socio-political instability around the world, students’ voices have not been heard. Our prime minister does not acknowledge our specific struggles and the university leadership has made decisions that have further alienated us. It has taken a pandemic to expose the university’s lack of proper structures to cater for every voice and background represented among students. A lack of diversity in levels of decision making means that those most affected by the pandemic have been left behind. So I am running to ensure a greater voice for ALL University of Manchester students. We deserve to be heard and catered for in our learning environment, especially at an unprecedented time like this.
Hi! My name is Melody and I am a 4th year Law with International Study student. I am the chair of Urban Lawyers North, a society that helps to increase diversity in the legal profession. I am also a researcher in the Teach Black Studies campaign which aims to decolonise the curriculum here at Manchester. I have played basketball for 11 years and currently play for the university’s first team.
So, why me for General Secretary?
As General Secretary of the university I aim to allow all students to have equal opportunity to excel and thrive through 5 proposals I will outline below.
Transparency in diversity
Improving transparency is incredibly important as it requires students and faculty to be aware of how far the university is failing in areas of diversity, welfare and student support.
Sexual health and safety (Trigger warning: Sexual abuse)
Sexual violence, especially amongst women, has been a long standing issue. The university’s response on this has been late and often inadequate. At the end of the first semester of my first year, I knew 5 women who had been assaulted and not one had reported the experience.
The pandemic has brought unforeseen circumstances like never before to the university. However, rather incredibly, students have paid a huge price when the university should have instead protected them. Students should not be fenced into their accommodations, students should not have to protest in a pandemic and no student at all should have a stunted learning process due to lack of access.
Post pandemic priorities
Whilst we have proposed Boris’ road map to look forward to, many will have gone through a traumatising and difficult time during the pandemic and I am to make the return back to university as smooth and as considerate as possible.
Manchester is a vibrant, diverse, caring, fun and resilient community. This university is the heart of so many of our personal developmental journeys and I will ensure that the university supports instead of hinders this.