Durham Students’ Union pledges to ‘lead the fight against sexual violence’ in new strategy

By Madeleine Horton

Durham Students’ Union has pledged to ‘lead the fight against the threat and fear of sexual violence’ in its new strategy ‘Forwards 2018-2022’.

It promises to invite a critical review of Durham SU to ensure its practice is appropriately supporting students affected by or concerned about sexual violence, by 2020.

The strategy also promises to ensure the University demonstrates their continuing commitment to tackling sexual violence and measuring student confidence in their work.

It has also committed to work with local businesses to develop zero tolerance in Durham City venues, and have this in place by 2022.

Forwards “seeks to give our students the power and opportunity to make our university and community better for all of us, and inspire them to do so for the rest of their lives.”

The ‘Forwards’ manifesto highlights specific goals and principles for the Student Union, such as championing future leaders, offering students greater autonomy, building stronger communities and making ‘everyday life at Durham fairer.’

Students’ Union President, Megan Croll, stated that Forwards “seeks to give our students the power and opportunity to make our university and community better for all of us, and inspire them to do so for the rest of their lives.”

Durham Students’ Union has stated it aims to reduce the cost of the ‘wider Durham experience’, and has pledged to lower the expense of living in the city by 10% over the next six years.

This includes a plan to ‘build the case for more accessible college fees’.

To tackle poor accommodation standards, the DSU hopes to introduce a market platform for students to access high quality private rented sector homes, and reduce poor quality housing stock.

Meet your officers

 

A more sustainable financial model was also set out. A collaborate business model will be formed together with university Common Rooms, and £500,000 in charitable funds will be raised in 2022.

There will also be an effort to foster closer integration of the Union with community leaders and politicians, and to improve the reputation of the Students’ Union at large to become ‘a responsible, well-run organisation’ which is nationally recognised and accredited.

A commitment toward increasing the power students have during their university lives was stated, in addition to funding time for students to spend with academic staff to create and review their own curriculum.

We’ve got a strong student-focused vision for the next four years

President-elect of the DSU, George Walker, said, ‘’I’m really pleased that today Durham SU has launched our fantastic new branding. I think the new rebrand is very important as it allows us to clearly communicate to students our values as a Union and our plans to help them get the most out of their time in Durham.

We’ve got a strong student-focused vision for the next four years, and the new brand is about reflecting this in the way we look. We’re a students’ rights organisation – our members are vital to the way we run and what we do.

We know how important it is to listen to our members and really understand how we can work and communicate with them on their terms. Both the new brand and strategy come after a concerted period of listening, and I really feel they reflect what we heard and learned.

I hope that the launch of the new branding and strategy will set us on a path to collaborating with students more on the things that matter to them over the course of the next academic year. I would invite all Durham students to explore our newly revamped website and take a look at the work we’ve been doing.

I’d also like to say a big thank you to all of the students who helped in the development of the original concepts for the brand and for the over 1000 students who voted on which of the final three design concepts to proceed with. We’re really confident you made a good choice, and chose a brand that will lead us towards a positive future.”

The new branding, which features the colours lime green and purple, and white Gotham typeface, was chosen by a student poll in preference to two other design options. It was described as ‘Bright, Bold, Confident, Youthful, Vibrant and Informal’ in the selection description.

The Forwards 2018-2022 Strategy can be found here.

Photographs: Durham Students’ Union

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