Hi everyone, with all the excitement of the elections over I wanted to address the events of the past week. Last Monday was International Women’s day but the events that followed showed us exactly why women’s equality is still a big issue even in this country.
First, we had the very poignant interview between Meghan Markle and Oprah Winfrey which, even if you do not like Meghan or the Royal family, the issue of mental health is still something that affects many people and is too often dismissed. This can be seen in the response to Meghan sharing her story, with people dismissing her feelings or flat out not believing her. Too often someone who is struggling does not want to come forward because they fear they will not be believed or will be dismissed. Mental Health has been at the heart of our work this year and is something we as an officer team feel very strongly about. If you need support there will be links at the bottom of the letter to resources and services available.
Then, there was the outcry around what happened to Sarah Everard. Something many women have to deal with is feeling unsafe in what should be normal situations. More often than not the response to this is “well why didn’t they do x, y, or z?” However, this time many women said enough is enough, we want actual solutions to this issue. Rather than shifting the blame onto the victims and looking at what they can do better let’s look instead at how this can be addressed at the core issue. These feelings came to a head on Saturday Night with women being arrested by police in London. We want to ensure that while you are at Derby you feel safe so if you have any suggestions please use the Ideas forum or if something has happened to you or someone you know, the Wellbeing service is there to support.
We recognise that many of you would have been affected by these events and wanted to assure you that we also share your concerns. If you want to reach out you can email any of the officers or use the Union discord to express your views. What should have been a week of celebration has become a week of change and we want to ensure that you as students have your say.
Emily Lane (she/her)