#startingtheconversation

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“A campaign to invite discussion on mental health and to promote the destruction of stigma.”

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Extended Manifesto

About Me: Experience

Welfare

As part-time Women’s Officer at Goldsmiths I committed to weekly Women’s Drop in service open to ALL self-defining women and none-binary folk who have struggled with issues ranging from harassment, to childcare and access needs.

One in seven women are subjected to sexual assault on campus[1], and as promised, I worked closely with liberation officers to form a Safer Spaces Working Group in which we produced a system for reporting such incidents to ensure the aftercare of survivors. In light of these statistics I set up the Women’s Forum and the Survivor’s Support Network for students who had experienced sexual violence and abuse.

Campaigns and Awareness

I organised Feminist Society events, open to all genders, as a site for cultivating a strong sense of political growth and arousing discussion about issues affecting our daily experiences. Topics varied from “Intersectionality 101” and “Riot Don’t Diet: Body Image and Feminism” to; “Feminism in Relationships” and “Conversations with Women of Colour.”

Last year I hosted meetings at Goldsmiths in the build up to the Women’s Library Occupation, where feminists from various collectives came together for a women-led direct action that sought to highlight the savage effects the cuts were having on the local community and services. Visit http://reclaimit2013.wordpress.com/ for more information.

Unity

As an activist with almost ten years experience I have struggled alongside other students, lecturers and staff, cleaners, single-mothers, immigrants and asylum seekers, Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC), survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse, Black and Minority Ethnics (BME) campaigning to raise awareness about deaths in police custody, and LGBT*Q communities who continue to fight for safer spaces.

As Welfare and Diversity Officer I will strive for ALL who study and work here; whether you are an undergraduate, postgraduate, mature, part-time, full-time, international, or Open Book student.

 I Promise to:

 Resist Austerity

If elected I will keep campaigning against the vicious cuts to our education. As a student who sought counselling at Goldsmiths for mental health issues, I know first hand how crucial it is for these services to remain accessible to all who study here. I will support the Disability Campaign and ensure the incredible work already done by our Disability Officers to raise awareness on campus continues. I will work closely with societies like RE: Mind, and projects like #startingtheconversation. I will fight to protect the Arts & Humanities and Sports that are often targets of the budget cuts, and ensure all societies are given financial support and advice.

Student’s Rights

I will join the nation-wide campaign to resist the recent changes in policy, which attempt to stop students demonstrating on campus. We have a right to protest and we must keep fighting to protect that right. I will continue to make visible injustices and violence that students have been subjected to by police in recent demos.

Solidarity with Teachers and Staff

 Without the tremendous work our teachers and staff put in to the running of Goldsmiths University we wouldn’t have such a diverse and exciting campus. I will continue to support our staff in fighting for better wages and working conditions. I will keep up the excellent work our current Campaigns Officer has started in raising awareness and support for our cleaning staff, whose work is usually undervalued and goes unnoticed.

More Representation for Marginalised Students

I will keep lobbying the university to make Women’s Officer a FULL-TIME position; 66.3% of Goldsmiths students are self-defining women and we need better representation. Our voices must be heard and our concerns are varied, diverse and need unique attention and care. I hope that this will open up avenues for more liberation officers to lobby for full-time positions, such as BME, Disabled students and LGBT*Q.

I will keep supporting such campaigns as “Cops off Campus” that affect our BME students who are targets of racial profiling and police brutality.

I will provide drop in services for students struggling with part-time and full-time work while studying, as well as other issues that can affect your academic experience and wellbeing. As a post-graduate part-time student I know how difficult and isolating it can be attempting to juggle ALL THE THINGS while studying. I want to be here to offer support, care and advice to anyone suffering in silence. I will also provide confidential advice to those on benefits, whether you are being threatened with sanctions or are trying to make a new claim. I will advise international students who are being faced with problems like immigration status and access to NHS services, housing, work and social welfare.

There will be ZERO TOLERANCE on homophobia, queer-phobia, trans*phobia, racism, Islamaphobia, misogyny, ableism, cis-sexism, and classist behaviour. 

 I will continue to work extensively with all liberation officers to ensure there is a mechanism for reporting discrimination on campus in order that our university is a safe space for all.

Together We’re Stronger

I envisage the SU to be a safe space where students can cultivate a strong sense of political cohesion to ensure that our differences are respected while we can unite to protect our education and services. But I don’t want this reach to be limited to Goldsmiths campus; in light of resent threats of closer of our union bar I want to draw more students into the SU by inviting local community bands and arts projects to participate in our entertainment. The SU bar should be a fun, safe and inclusive social space. New Cross is a hub for creativity and talent, and I hope to support more interaction between students and members of the community. Past campaigns, like Save Lewisham Hospital, have made me proud to be part of such an active student’s union here at Goldsmiths. I want the great work to continue.

 So Vote Bahar For Welfare & Diversity!

To this role I will bring passion, commitment, and ferocious energy. As a student and activist I will help students feel empowered to initiate lasting change. Figures who inspire me academically and politically include Audre Lorde, Selma James, Southall Black Sisters… and XENA WORRIOR PRINCESS ❤

WATCH THIS SPACE

Hello awesome Goldsmiths Students! I hope you’re all excited and ITCHING to be involved in the democratic process of VOTING for your future representatives. In the days and weeks to follow I will be posting regularly on here, and keeping you updated and informed on what I would like to achieve as *drum roll*…

WELFARE AND DIVERSITY OFFICER

So please watch this space for my extended MANIFESTO and all the wonderful things I will commit to do for YOU as your representative.

PEACE and SOLIDARITY