Black & Minority Ethnic Students' Officer

BME Officers - Oluwaseun Matiluko and Radhika Jani

BME Officers - Oluwaseun Matiluko and Radhika Jani

We are the BME Officers here at Bristol SU and we work with the Equality, Liberation and Access Officer to represent the interests of Black and Minority Ethnic students.

Contact Oluwaseun and Radhika

Find out more about the BME Network

Join the University of Bristol BME Forum

Join the Bristol SU Women of Colour Group (for self-identifying Women of Colour only)

Here is our manifesto:

Together we prosper: increasing communication and support within the BME community & For RADical Change.

Utilising media to connect with BME students

  • BME Snapchat - communicating with students immediately, and promoting BME-relevant events going on in Bristol
  • BME YouTube Channel - videos highlighting the diversity of each community that contains persons who identify as BME. The Channel would also produce education videos ie. on issues like micro-aggressions, in order to educate the wider Bristol student community on issues that affect BME students.
  • 'Black is Beautiful' - it is interesting that we seem to have a society where BME features are not celebrated on BME people. The recent controversy over the Black woman's lips on Mac's Instagram page comes to mind. Thus, we think it's important to have posters and Facebook campaigns following the 'Black is Beautiful' movement, as we want to live in a world where we reinforce self-love in the BME community.

More conversations between students and the BME Students' Officers

  • Monthly discussion groups - where BME students can openly share experiences and struggles that are currently affecting them. This was we could rise together, and start plans of action and supporting schemes that the students want to support.
  • Monthly surgeries - BME students come to talk to us about personal issues confidentially on a 1-1 basis. Oluwaseun gained experience in the surgery format whilst working with Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, and so we believe we could effectively implement such a scheme.
  • Anti-racism society - this society would organise events (discussions, lectures, film screenings etc.) that encompass the experience of BME students of ALL intersecting identities. The society will be inclusive of Queer, Trans, and Intersex people of colour (QTIPOC) and will confront taboo and under-addressed issues such as BME mental health.

Support for all types of BME student

  • BME international student advice guide - many BME students are international students. Some international students face many hurdles at university and later on in their careers. Compiling information and advice from previous international BME students would prove helpful to incoming students - ie. on how they handled visa issues, language barriers, racism etc.
  • Socials - some BME students don't join groups like the 'Asian Cultural Society' or the 'Afro-Caribbean Experience', but yet would like to mix and interact with BME students. We believe that more socials, including two new socials, one for new undergrads and one for new postgrads, would be an ideal way for BME students to meet. This could range from nights out to more relaxed events, such as bowling. We would also work more closely with established university cultural societies, such as those aforementioned, in order to improve the university experiences of all BME students.
  • LGBTQ - some LGBTQ BME students struggle at university as, due to their cultural background, they do not have a lot of support. Our way of creating support for these students would be: bringing in more inspirational BME leaders and thinkers, who define themselves as LGBTQ, to lead discussions and linking up with UK Black Pride (perhaps organising a Black Pride event in Bristol).
  • BME Leaders events - statistics show that BME students may have more problems than white students in their future careers. Having BME leaders in to lead discussions or talks could help BME students pick a future career as well as creating a support network with other BME professionals.
  • BME charity fair - there are several charities that support BME students all over the country. I think that by having a huge event, with stalls selling food and clothes and celebrating diverse cultures, we could highlight the benefits BME students bring to Bristol as well as aiding these charities.
  • Continue with and expand 'Why is my curriculum White?' and 'Liberate my Curriculum' - we would invite more speakers, organise more events and organise trips to culturally significant museums. Moreover, one criticism of the BME Association is our current lack of visibility, thus we would work to increase the hype and publicity around our events - such as having a stall in the Fresher's Fair.

Why us?

Oluwaseun...

  • is a Burst radio presenter, on a show about race-related issues
  • is the author of a published book
  • is a newspaper and magazine writer who has written several articles on issues affecting BME students
  • is a Hiatt Baker JCR member and so is accustomed to organising events
  • is very academically gifted, receiving the highest GCSE results in her school year as well as some of the highest A Level results too
  • has held many leader positions before, including being a school prefect
  • loves aiding and helping charities, with one of the most rewarding moments being when she flew to Nigeria to aid a charity in working to reduce the Nigerian Maternal Mortality rate

Rhadika...

  • has been heavily involved with the existing BME Association, running its social media, helping organise and promote events such as the 'Why is my Curriculum White' series, chairing discussion panels and campaigning for national movements on campus.
  • has sat in various student forums and attended student elections, mainly to ensure that Bristol's BME voice is heard and forced into every agenda
  • has also become course rep and department rep for English Literature, attending meetings with senior staff to represent her peers, and is particularly keen to push for curriculum review in order to decolonise education. She was extremely honoured to have been awared Course Rep of the Month this January.