Lucy Atkinson

Lucy Atkinson Manifesto - VP Welfare and Community

During my time at Lancaster I have sat on several society executives, represent the University as a City Councillor and become an NUS Delegate. I believe that my experience in representing students, and my passion for student pastoral care, qualifies me to go further and put it to good use for all Lancaster students.

This is a summary of my policies with further information included below:

Improve and promote volunteering services for employability

Better counselling and mental health services

Inclusivity in a post Brexit world

Make our campus greener by handing all essays in online

Ensure spine is disability friendly during changes

Improve our free Sanitary Product Service

 

Improve and promote volunteering services for employability

Volunteering is an important part of University as it allows you to become more employable as you need to differentiate from others in the current job climate, however the Union’s volunteering service is under promoted to the student population. As well as enriching your CV, volunteering is also important to your mental wellbeing as helping others can often have a positive impact on yourself. Volunteering for local organisations will allow students to foster greater ties to Lancaster and the local community and building new connections to local specialist businesses will also allow students to gain insightful experience. I also want to make sure that our volunteering service is available to all, by ensuring that students who have a disability are not excluded from enriching their time at Lancaster.

Better Counselling and Mental Health Services

Lancaster University has big plans for the growth and I want to ensure that our already stretched counselling service expands with this and raises the number of counsellors accordingly. I also want to change the current counselling rooms that are often very clinical, to a more relaxed setting, this could be achieved by a simple change in furniture.

Another issue with mental health at the University is the way it is dealt with in an academic context. I want to stop formalised and often threatening emails to students who have missed seminars for mental health reasons. I want to create flexible working conditions, by working with the counselling service on a case by case basis, so that no student is unfairly penalised. Recorded lectures are also another avenue to lobby for as they will improve the accessibility of all lectures across campus, this scheme is already successfully run in Faculty of Health and Medicine.

If elected I would run a self-care week. Self-care aids recovery for mental health issues, as well as helping people who may not suffer from an illness but need to de-stress. During the week activities such as: mediation, colouring boards and a self-care workshop will be run.

 

Inclusivity in a post Brexit world

Following Brexit there has been a rise in hate crimes across the country. Lancaster University is proud to have an international community and I want to ensure all students feel welcome. This includes continuing the ‘We are Lancaster’ campaign and making sure there is an effective student voice within the decision-making process. As part of this cultural events would be run to celebrate the diversity we have here at the University, but also working with the local council to hold an event in town to allow international students to feel part of the local community. I also want the University to lobby the Government to protect the rights of these students and offer advice to all students affected by the referendum result.

Make our campus greener by handing all essays in online

Gone will be the days where you must stand in the printer queue and spend money on an essay you have already submitted online. You will also not have to go in to physically collect feedback as it would be received electronically. Not only will it save you time and money but it will make our campus greener. If students do require printing it can be done on a case-by-case basis and no post graduate tutor would have to pay this out of their own pocket, it would be done by department themselves. Departments such as Marketing already implement this so a campus wide roll out is feasible.

Ensure the Spine is disability friendly during changes

Everyone is annoyed by the Design the Spine changes but the redevelopment is disproportionally affecting disabled students.  I want to make sure our spine is disability friendly during this time, for example, brail signs and Moodle notifications.

Improve our free sanitary products service

It’s brilliant that LUSU provide free sanitary products at the information desk but it can be awkward to queue up just to quickly grab a tampon or pad. I propose that sanitary products are placed in all our gender-neutral bathrooms (as not all those who menstruate have vaginas) so that they are in the place where they are needed.

If you’d like to read an extended manifesto with more ideas, please click here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lVhFBXRzn22Vg0pbLMTF6XXkpz60TOgZGFfDZRn1CYs/edit?usp=sharing