BAME Student Representative Profiles
The following has been provided by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students that have held the post of Students’ Association Student Representative Council (SRC) Member for Racial Equality at the University of St Andrews.
Provided 3 Jun 2020: In 2019, I was elected as the SRC Member for Racial Equality which sits in the Students’ Association Student Representative Council (SRC). I am proud that during this time, I founded St Andrews Multicultural Week. The first celebration was hosted during the week beginning 4th November 2019. I formed and chaired a committee of students to help me organise this week. The aim of the celebration is to celebrate the cultural diversity in St Andrews and host collaborative events between cultural societies associated with the Students’ Association. With the success of St Andrews Multicultural Week 2019, it should continue to be an annual celebration and remains the responsibility of the SRC Member for Racial Equality.
During St Andrews Multicultural Week 2019, I organised the Multicultural Food Festival in Parliament Hall which was attended by over 1000 people including students, staff, and members of the wider St Andrews Community. This is now a staple event in the St Andrews calendar and students have appreciated its inception as a means of showcasing their cultures and learning about other cultures. As a vastly international University, this celebration is fundamental to making all students feel included and promotes understanding of cultural differences.
Additionally, I was an advisor on many different committees during my time as SRC Member for Racial Equality. I worked with Ruth Woodfield, the AVP Diversity and Julie Ramsay, the Director of Admissions to discuss the benefits and feasibility of name blind applications. The conclusions of these meetings will impact prospective students and the University in years to come.
I have always been interested in the diversity of the student population and how to increase its ethnic diversity. These meetings revealed that the underrepresentation of BAME students at the University is mostly due to the lack of BAME students applying. I proposed an initiative to the Admissions department to introduce an outreach stream of the Student Ambassadors program which would involve students going back to their school to promote the University. This will establish relationships between schools and the University which will provide more channels for communication. This initiative has the power to create positive change in the University and increase the diversity of applications. Lastly, I sat on the Race Equality Working Group with the aim of improving the BAME student and staff experience at the University.
At the end of my tenure, I changed the council position to be more inclusive of minority cultural backgrounds. The position is now named SRC Member for Racial Equality and Cultural Diversity which better reflects the variety of work that is expected. I have always strived to make students feel included and represented at university. This has always been the motivation behind the work I have done as a student councillor.