Students Staff

1 June 2017

One Essex – meet our design winners

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Communications, CER @ 3:51 pm

Our county-wide One Essex inclusivity campaign kicked off with the Students’ Union Hate Wall event. The event was a great chance for us to show off the branding of our campaign. The unique look and feel of the brand is all thanks to our fantastic One Essex competition winners, whose combined design ideas can now be seen as the brand for the campaign.

Here we hear from each of our winners about why the One Essex campaign and inclusivity is important to them.

Francesca

Francesca

Francesca:

  • What is inclusion to you?

Inclusion is when everyone is coming together. All is equal in a united front. Everyone is in peace and love. When there is no war, no drama

  • Why is inclusion important?

Inclusion is important because when everyone comes together, there is no hatred, there is no crime.

It upsets me that down the line when we have children, I don’t want them to have to live in an environment where no one gets along just because of their age, sex and everything like that. I want them to see that everyone is equal.

  • Can you give us examples of where inclusion has made a real difference?

I think because I have been in the University for almost a year and I haven’t been to a university before and I work here, as far as I can see around here, it seems that this University is a very united place where everyone gets along. People really come together here as one.

  • Do you think inclusion is under threat at the moment and if so, how can we best combat it?

I think it is slightly because how the UK is coming out of EU and how things are changing. It’s affecting many people and Europeans themselves are also unsure of what is going to happen so I think at the moment yes it is.

And hopefully we can do something about it because it looks as though there are things that are coming into place to sort this issue. But I know of a lot of projects to sort things out. This University really does resemble togetherness. I feel we need to aim in making others feel like they are at home. To not feel like they are an outsider.

This is why this University is good – no discrimination towards educational background especially when I have never been to a university to study before and I was worried.

But I felt welcomed here.

  • Where would like to see inclusion in 5 years’ time?

I would like to see (not just in university) where people are allowed to go to any country and feel like they are at home and are welcomed. I want to see policies in place stating that discrimination is not right, gender discrimination is not right. Everyone is equal. It’s hard to imagine how we can do it.

Stephen

Stephen

Stephen: 

  • What is inclusion to you?

Making sure we involve everybody in the community regardless of their background and the most important is to consider where that person is now and how they can contribute to the community. Be that in university or town, or the country as a whole. The most important thing is involving everybody.

  • Why is inclusion important?

It is important that we don’t exclude anybody or miss their needs so they can get the most out of where there are.

But including everybody, we can ensure that their voices are heard and different needs are met so that we can create a university, a country that works for everybody and not just for one group of people.

  • Can you give any examples of where inclusion has made a real difference?

I think it’s this University – I have been here for just three months and it’s already quite apparent here that everybody has a voice. And everybody can have their voice heard and I think that does contribute to a wide international community that can be listened to and where people understand one another. This University is a very good example of inclusion. Being English and living in an international community is brilliant – it gives opportunity to embrace experiences and cultures that I otherwise wouldn’t have come across. Food for example, out on the squares with the markets, the international food is probably one of the things that I wouldn’t have had the chance to try if it weren’t because the University being so inclusive. I wouldn’t have the chance to meet different people as well.

  • Do you think inclusion is under threat at the moment and if so, how can we best combat it?

I wouldn’t say that it is under threat at this moment in time, but I would say that the future is definitely uncertain after the political developments of last year. Brexit for example – the discussions can be quite dangerous as it doesn’t seem to include everybody and we are already seeing signs of that. The best thing we can do is to continue to ensure that our voices are heard and ensure situations like Brexit do work for everybody and do work for the whole community. I would say there is definitely a danger going forward but it’s also an opportunity to make sure that everybody’s voice can be heard and it can work for everybody.

  •  Where would like to see inclusion in 5 years’ time?

Hopefully we can get to a point where we won’t need to discuss it anymore because it’s a given thing and it’s something that occurs naturally and it’s already happening everywhere. That is the ideal where everybody can have their voice heard.

Yasmin

Yasmin

Yasmin Abdullah

  • What is inclusion to you?

Inclusion is a feeling of solidarity. While we may come from different countries, practice different cultures and live different lifestyles, we are all human beings and relate to one another in a host of ways – be it through our kind actions or emotions. We should exercise compassion always and strive to recognise humanity in any shape or form. Inclusion in the University of Essex should strive to include each and every Essex student to ensure that their voice is heard and their needs met.

  •  Why is inclusion important?

Inclusivity is crucial to build a tight-knit, supportive and loving community. A feeling of solidarity and one-for-all is proven to help motivate young people to strive for excellence and build strong ties between them and their community. We are only as strong as our weakest link; and if we exclude anyone, we will fall as a collective society. Not only that – inclusion makes all the difference in making Essex feel like just another institution of education, or a place to call home.

  • Can you give any examples of where inclusion has made a real difference?

Being a part of the International Students’ Association of the University of Essex (ISA) has definitely made me see that inclusion is a great factor in getting people to open up and share their own views and opinions. The ISA strives to create a space where internationals not only feel comfortable in their own skin, but motivated to share their culture and traditions with other Essex students. The International Concert and Cultural Gala are success stories that amplify the voices of International students and gives them a platform to thrive.

Moreover, I believe the Students’ Unions has done an excellent job in providing opportunities and events for all Essex students regardless of whether they are a Home, EU or International student. We are all encouraged to promote the causes we believe in and easily have access to contribute to the local community by the act of volunteering, which creates a feeling of inclusivity and solidarity that goes beyond the gates of university.

  • Do you think inclusion is under threat at the moment and if so, how can we best combat it?

As a student, I wouldn’t consider it under threat, but I do believe that political uncertainty brought on by the Brexit vote does create a cause for concern. More regulations for foreigners will reduce the number of international students who attend British universities, which offsets their aim and derails UK’s efforts of being an educational global hub.

The best the University could do is to strongly present themselves as a supportive and inclusive institution for international and EU students regardless of the political uncertainty that enshrouds us, be it through reassurance or show of solidarity. The Vice-Chancellor has done an excellent job in welcoming internationals in years past through his close involvement in the ISA’s activities. We are one of the most international Universities in the world, and it rests in our hands to continue being that way.

  • Where would like to see inclusion in 5 years’ time?

Personally, I hope to see the University and the UK embracing strength in diversity and encourage a world without borders. Talented students of any nationality should be welcomed anywhere across the world without having to fear political turbulence and its consequences on their future. We should encourage cross-country education in order to build a more open and welcoming generation.

The One Essex campaign is looking for more people to come  forward and share their story of why inclusivity is important to them. If you have a story to tell, get in touch with our team and be part of our campaign to spread inclusivity, diversity and respect. Contact Benita Ganeva;  bdgane@essex.ac.uk

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