The SU


Spotlight on Inclusivity and Diversity

Spotlight on Inclusivity and Diversity

Showcasing the work of some of our student groups.

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At The SU we strive to empower our groups to be inclusive and show a dedication to the wider community. All students deserve to feel like they belong, especially if they’ve chosen to join a group, it also recognises that students are just as part of Bath as the other residents. 
 
At The SU there are dedicated Diversity and Support groups who continually strive for inclusion and diversity on campus and once again their commitment this year has been amazing, you can find out more about their activity on the Diversity and Support Groups page. As well as the D&S groups we wanted to spotlight some of our other student groups who have shown real dedication to inclusivity and community over the last year.

Choral and Orchestral Society (ChaOS)

As a society, ChaOS aims to be as inclusive as possible. With their many ensembles and choirs, they cater to a wide range of musical abilities and interests, supporting their members from many different backgrounds. Many of their ensembles/choirs are non-auditioned to welcome all levels of talent. They have also been open for members of the society to expand the society with their interests, with the creation of two new ad-hoc ensembles this year!

Welfare and Inclusivity Officer Sam Snudden has emphasised the availability of support for any member who might need it. ChaOS also committed to running non-alcoholic based socials, to include all members of the society. This included a Well-Being Week and the introduction of Mario Kart Mondays held every week.

Association Football & Futsal

Football & Futsal’s inclusivity and community endeavours could make up an entire article to themselves! This group has clearly worked hard to make their community a better place.

First, they had a campaign to fight food poverty. This started by raising awareness, sharing stories from Trussell Trust and Genesis Foodbank. They then went Tin Training, a food and hygiene product drive, with everyone across the teams bringing in an item of imperishable food or shampoo and soap. In all, they donated 74kg of food and multiple hygiene products to Genesis Foodbank Bath. The last leg in the campaign was volunteering at Bath Foodbank itself.

That isn’t the only thing Football have been supporting. Their teams have been wearing rainbow laces to show their support against homophobia in sport and trained in pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Week for Coppafeel.

Bath University Guides & Scouts

BUGS has a supportive environment for all members of the community. When there are new members, everyone is offered name labels with pronouns to ensure no-one is misgendered. On the programme plan an emoji system is used to state characteristics of the events such as how active they are, if there is disabled access, how loud it will be, if it is free and if it involves alcohol or is alcohol free.

When planning the programme, the committees try to make sure activities are as accessible and inclusive as possible by reviewing the distribution of emojis e.g., making sure there aren’t several paid events in a row and making sure every event that can be is wheelchair accessible. The society is supportive of LGBTQIA+ members and offers pride merch. For large events such as camps the society run a buddy system where members who have not attended a large event before are paired with a student who has, this allows them to ask questions and to feel more comfortable. It also allows new friendships to be formed.

In Semester 2, BUGS ran an International Campfire event. Members from all international societies were invited and encouraged to bring food from their cuisine/ stories of scouting and guiding in their respective countries. There was a good turnout with many participants being new to BUGS! In relation to the campfire event, members of committee offered lifts to the location, for anyone unable to walk the distance.

BUGS is a highly inclusive group, welcoming members from both Guiding and Scouting and those with no previous experience. Anyone at the university is welcomed into this diverse group whose core interest is a love of camping and other associated activities. Further to this, committee are always open to answering questions and will do what they can to improve a person's accessibility to an event, with people frequently offering others lifts.

Bath Computer Science Society

BCSS has strived to create a safe and welcoming space for their members this year. Guided by their Welfare and Inclusivity Officer Penn Mackintosh, they started several initiatives to make our group as inclusive as possible.

50% of their committee members identify as women and gender minorities, compared to 20% of the Department of Computer Science’s students. This increased representation has empowered BCSS to run events that they hope will encourage applications from a similar balance of genders for next year’s committee. New events this year included the inaugural ‘Grace Hopper Space Hopper Race.’ The charity event, involving contestants racing down space hoppers on the Chancellors’ Green, raised money for the SU’s International Women’s Month Charities while increasing the profile of Grace Hopper’s achievements in computer science.

BCSS also continuously promoted and supported the events of Women in Technology (WiT), a departmental student-led initiative and sister society. This has included extensively advertising and providing on-the-day support for their annual Wackathon, a hackathon for women and gender minorities.

This year, BCSS also aimed to increase their reach to students of all age groups. They began by running a freshers-specific boardgame social to immediately establish a welcoming environment and begin community building. To continue first-year engagement with their society, they recruited a First-Year Officer. There was fierce competition with strong applications from ten different students, reflecting the society’s impact on this group. They also recruited a Postgraduate Secretary after volunteering for the SU’s pilot programme. These initiatives ensured that the views of Bath students of all ages were represented in their meetings.

The committee reintroduced and widely advertised a cooldown room system. For every social event they have run on campus, we booked a quiet room that participants could join at any point. In some cases, this required additional efforts such as contacting security to make sure access to the rooms was maintained throughout the event. All committee members knew which rooms were booked out as cooldown rooms and successfully directed participants to the relevant location. At all off-campus socials such as pub events, they widely advertised that committee members were happy to introduce anyone new to our friendly society members and that they would be very willing to step outside the venue with anyone who needed space.

Finally, within their own committee meetings, they introduced a consistent format for their meeting minutes that were typed in real time. This ensured that all committee members were able to easily look back at what was covered in a meeting if they lost track. They also contained a clear actions section containing all agreed actions to take before the next meeting.

Bath Video Game Society

BVGS has an active involvement in female/non-binary gaming tournaments. They have a dedicated section of the society’s Discord accessible to women & non-binary members of the society which has been thriving and serves as a private space for people to chat and make friends. They've run numerous women and non-binary only events throughout the year, including a film night.

The society had fielded the most women & non-binary eSports teams into both the National Student Esports (NSE) league, and the University eSports UKI (formerly National University Esports League (NUEL)) in the university's history and have women & non-binary gamers competing at all levels in our mixed gender teams. They also advocated the NSE to change some of their practices around how they run their women & non-binary tournaments, to allow more people to be able to compete, and to make the organisation more in line with how they run their mixed tournaments.

They've always been welcoming to people of all races, genders, and sexualities. They have dedicated events for women and non-binary members only and even have a team for them to compete. They ensure that people who play all sorts of video games, even the niche ones, get a chance to discuss and play together.

Nightline

As a group, Nightline’s commitment to inclusivity extended to all potential volunteers, regardless of language, disability, culture, or background. To ensure accessibility, they began by sending out a welfare form to identify any specific needs volunteers might have. This allowed them to make necessary accommodations in their volunteer office, ensuring it was comfortable and accessible for everyone and removing any barriers to volunteering.

Recognising a gender disparity among volunteers, with more female and non-binary volunteers than male volunteers, they made special efforts to reach out to male students and increase their representation. This included targeting male-dominated courses and focusing on advocating for male mental health through initiatives like Movember awareness campaigns. These efforts have successfully increased the proportion of male volunteers in their group.

Nightline also implemented welfare measures to support volunteers experiencing mental health difficulties, offering alternatives to shift-based roles such as publicity volunteering. This ensures that volunteers can still contribute to their mission without compromising their well-being. Furthermore, they provide various welfare options, including taking welfare breaks from shifts and offering additional re-training opportunities, to support the mental health of volunteers. Finally, they ensure inclusivity by incorporating specific discussions about inclusivity and the importance of non-judgmental listening into our volunteer training weekend.

 

The above just gives you an idea of some of the amazing work that is happening behind the scenes and we want to ensure this level of commitment and dedication is recognised. Huge well done to all the groups mentioned above and all groups who are on the right path to becoming fully inclusive, we’re proud of all the work you do.

 

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