22nd October 2020
Over the summer of 2020 I set up an anonymous contact form for students to bring to light sensitive issues which they may not feel they can discuss with me face to face. Having received a number of responses; I noticed a few common themes emerging relating to sexism and a lack of awareness amongst students regarding acceptable behaviours. Meanwhile I had been asked to sit on the panel for a sports teams disciplinary, where I heard about inappropriate comments that had been made between students. When discussing the appropriate response for the club we agreed that the most effective way to discipline the students would be to educate them, to prevent future incidents occurring.
As these issues related directly to my manifesto point of ‘bettering understanding of support services regarding sexual assault’ I decided to get to work on creating a document including information about the key areas in which understanding was lacking. I completed a couple of work-based courses on cultural/sexual harassment training to collect general information on the subject and then researched local support services and compiled a list of contacts for the Northamptonshire area, as well as specific services the university provide. I collaborated with Rosie - the Student Engagement Manager, to ensure we had covered all the relevant information and to create a couple of questions which students had to answer correctly to pass the module.
Rosie and her team transferred the information into an interactive set of slides which broke down the topics into manageable chunks and added the module to the Student Union’s training page. We decided that the module would be made compulsory for the core members of any University of Northampton sport club or society, and available as an optional module for all other students. It has also been written into the accreditation scheme, meaning that if a club wants to achieve the top level of accreditation; all of their committee must have passed the module.
I hope that by implementing this module students will be more aware of these taboo subjects and will know not only understand how to intervene but know how to get support should they have been a victim to any of the issues. If you are a student, you can access the training by following the steps below. Finally, should you have any queries/issues/feedback for me, please use my contact form accessible here - https://forms.gle/9cB5xsVb51ohxWx37
1. Login to SU website - https://northamptonunion.com/
2. Click on ‘My Account’ in the top right-hand corner
3. Click on ‘Training’ from the left-hand menu
4. Scroll down to view training modules
5. Select ‘Sexual Violence and Harassment Training’ module