The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Stanford - Union Affairs Officer

Talk to me about:

Mental health campaigning

Equality, diversity and access to education and societies

Supporting diverse and underrepresented students groups

Hey, I’m Des Ibekwe and I’m your Equality, Liberation and Access Officer.

As ELA officer I will support and empower students and the chairs of networks to work towards making the university more inclusive. Coming from East London and being a woman of colour I’m all too aware of the issues that can face those from liberation identities.

I want to be able to effect real and tangible change so that we can work towards a more inclusive and better university experience for all and make sure that student activists have an effective means of campaigning. 




Here's what I want to do for you:

1. Work to tackle Islamophobia on campus

In this current climate working to tackle Islamophobia on campus and ensure Muslim students feel safe, mobilising a student movement against PREVENT and working with the university to ensure the Halal foods are available on campus.

2. Advance the #FreePeriods campaign

Advancing the #FreePeriods campaign – sanitary products are a necessity not a luxury and we should treat them as such.

3. Empower networks and students

Empowering networks and students – supporting with campaigns such as ‘Why is My Curriculum White?’, Black History Month, LGBT+ History Month and Reclaim the Night.

4. Ensure that the recommendations from the UUK & BME Attainment Gap report are implemented

5. Ensure that the University properly deal with issues surrounding sexual violence and hate crime

6. Real and Relevant Discussion about consent and adjacent issues

Sexual Consent campaign focused on improving the current workshops and having real and relevant discussion about consent and adjacent issues

+ Policy

Trump the ban - 23/02/2017

Combating Antisemitism - 23/02/2017

Defend Migrants and Support Free Movement - 23/02/2017

Islamophobia Awareness Month - 27/10/2016

  • Blog on our website 

Time for Change: preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence on campus and supporting sexual survivors - 27/10/2016

Guarantee liberation campaigns have a stall at Freshers Fair - 06/06/2016

An Autonomous Trans Liberation Campaign at Bristol SU - 06/06/2016


  • Trans Network Chair elected in October and leading Trans Network

Stand Up to Racism National Demo - 18/02/2016


Students' health service to be accessible to all genders - 29/10/2015


  • 19/01/16 - Jamie Cross brought up issue at several meetings where head of student health service was present. Sent email and recieved this response ' this is our new system, in response to student feedback! I’m pleased you’re happy, we aim to please!'. System now uses your DoB and first letter of your last name, not gender. 

Bristol SU must recognise holocaust memorial day - 29/10/2015


  • Bristol SU retweeted some tweets by students about the day. Bristol SU collaborated with the Jewish Society and other relevant societies to ensure they were well supported in their plans for a remembrance event.

Commitment to BME welfare and attainment - 29/10/2015


  • 22/3/16 - Liberate the curriculum training for course reps being designed and integrated (Action 8) - Laura Ho

  • 22/3/16 - Widening Participation Lead in School of Arts carrying out a race diversity audit (Action 5) - Laura Ho 

  • 22/3/16 - Bristol SU raised attention to the attainment gap in the Student Written Submission for the University's Quality Review - the University now finally acknowledges there is an attainment gap (Action 2) - Laura Ho

  • I’ve started conversations about a network (Action 4) with E&D at University - Jamie Cross

  • 26/5/16 - Postgraduate Education Officer and Chief Executive attended NUS Race Matters Summit which looked at race and Students' Union staff. Bristol SU HR People strategy will focus on increasing number and experience of BME staff 

  • 26/5/16 - Bristol SU HR People strategy will focus on increasing number and experience of BME staff

  • Nov:
    -    PG Education Officer ran a ‘Liberate the Curriculum’ workshop at Course Reps Conference
    -    SU is bidding for WP research funding to investigate BME attainment gap at UoB
    -    ELA Officer has worked with ASSL to order 50 books from authors of colour as part of ‘liberated library’ project
    -    Part-time widening participation officer is planning to run liberation forums within academic societies/disciplines
    -    ELA Officer has spoken to counselling service about whether it’s possible to recruit more BME counsellors. 
    -    Officers working closely with WP office and participating in UG Data Working Group to address BME attainment gap at Bristol. 
    -    As part of Bristol SU’s Black History month events, SU held a panel event discussing BME attainment gap nationally. 

Improving Liberation Representation at Bristol SU - 09/06/2015


  • 04/08/2015 - Jamie Cross has spoken to the Representation team at Bristol SU and it has been agreed that part-time liberation officers and NUS liberation conference delegates will be elected through the honesty tick box system outlined in the motion. 

    Part-time liberation officers will be sent to their relevant NUS conference in the first instance, and if they cannot or do not want to go then an election will be held using the 'tick box' system. The 'tick box' system will also be in place if more that one delegate needs to be chosen for a particular NUS liberation conference. This will be the process whilst the motion is active (next three years).'

  •  22/3/16 - Honesty system in place for part-time officers elections 

Supporting Student sex workers - 09/06/2015


Change 'Log in' codes to reflect change in name - 10/03/2015


  • 08/10/15 - Jamie Cross has raised with Tracy Brunnock, head of Equality and Diversity at the University, who has said she will raise with IT services.
  • 08/04/15 - Alice Phillips emailed Neil Davey, Student IT Experience Manager in IT services, and received this reply - 
    "At present it is so significantly difficult to change a username and ensure that all systems that rely on it still work for the person that it is near enough impossible. There are many different systems and services which rely on the username as an identifier and most are not designed so that usernames in them can be changed, once someone is registered to use them. Even if it is possible to change a username sensibly in one system then that doesn't mean it would be possible in all systems, think of the wide range of computer-based systems and services that you use from day to day and then quadruple it for the number that rely on your username. You don't see the infrastructure behind the user-facing systems but they also rely on a single identity to link you to them. It is simply not feasible to change someone's username and for everything to continue working normally"
  • 30/04/15 - AP contacted John Hay at the Strategic Projects Office, who is in charge of the project to create a new identity management system. He said that even under a new system changing username would probably not be straightforward. He suggested that instead the project could consider having randomised usernames. AP replied that this was a very good idea and expressed a hope that this option would be taken forward.

UBU's commitment to widening participation - 10/03/2015


  • 08/04/15 - A new part time Widening Participation Officer will be elected in September 2015.

  • 08/04/15 - Alice Phillips made a series of proposals to the University's Student Recruitment Committee on widening participation initatives, including a full time Widening Participation Coordinator working in the Union on recruitment, retention and support of WP students and an increase in the fair access fund. Due to high competition for funding these were not successful - but going forward the Widening Participation department are open to an increase in the fair access fund coming from their department budget.

Tampons should be free. period. - 10/03/2015


  • 20/05/15 - 1500 tampons and pads were ordered and given out on campus and in the SU shop over a two week period. Pads are still being given out in the shop. We also got 500 students to fill out postcards which we will send out to MPs and MEPs. 

Students not suspects - 10/03/2015


  • 08/10/15 - Jamie Cross has organised joint event with UCU to discuss why both organisations have passed motions to condemn Prevent.
  • 08/10/15 - Jamie Cross has written educational blog on Prevent so that student body has a clearer understanding of this policy.
  • 08/10/15 - Jamie Cross will meet with the university to pressure them to be open and transparent in regards to how they are engaging with Prevent.
  • 07/12/15 - Supported the NUS Prevent day of Action on campus by handing out flyers and posters to staff and students.
  • 01/06/15 - Nationally UCU have passed a motion condemning the counter-terrorism and security act. 
  • 05/05/15 - Met with UCU and agreed that a meeting for students and staff to discuss the implications of the bill and ways to combat it in October 2015 would be a good next step.
  • 15/04/15 - Statement condemning the counter-terrorism act has been published on the website.

A better stance on bullying and harassment - 10/03/2015


  • 15/04/15 - An email has been sent to Tracey Brunnock, the head of Equality and Diversity at the University regarding this motion.
  • 15/04/15 - The Equality, Liberation and Access Officer will keep Just Ask up to date with any equality related workshops or talks that they can encourage students who have perpetrated discriminatory behaviours to attend. 

Renewed: Pro-choice motion - 29/01/2015


Re-affirm UBU Stance on Free Education - 29/01/2015


Gender Neutral Toilet in every department - 02/12/2014


  • 01/06/15 - The Estates Department and the relevant School Managers at the University have agreed to convert one toilet in 17 Priory Road (School of Modern Languages), two in 10 Priory Road and two in 4 Priory Road (School of Politics, Sociology and International Studies) to gender neutral. 

  • 30/03/15 - Beacon House Corporate Board have agreed that the two toilets in the cafe area of Beacon House will be gender neutral.

  • 05/03/15 - Alice Phillips raised in a meeting with estates department who were receptive to the idea. However they said that some departments are not so keen so AP will now contact them individually. The Director of Estates agreed to raise gender neutral toilets at the next Beacon House Corporate Board.

  • 31/03/2016 - Jamie Cross has followed up on the development of the new gender neutral toilets and recomended signage for them after student consultation.

Improve Trans Awareness by introducing pronoun introductions across the University - 02/12/2014


  • 05/03/15 - AP Raised this with the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Students Judith Squires. Judith has given the project to Tracy Brunnock from University Equality & Diversity, who will include pronouns in the University guidance on transgender students.
  • Raised in Undergraduate Studies Committee and Graduate Studies Committee by Alyx Murray Jackman (Sport and Student Development Officer) and Sorana Vieru (Postgraduate Education Officer). 
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies suggested pronouns be included in name list given to all seminar tutors. Deans receptive to the idea but felt they lacked knowledge - suggested that Bristol SU do a session as part of a faculty assembly.

Condemn the attacks on NUS Black Students Officer Malia Bouattia - 30/10/2014


  • 05/03/15 -A statement of support was released on the Bristol SU website by Alice phillips.