Tuesday 05-07-2016 - 12:20
We caught up with Angela Alexander who has recently taken up office as NUS Scotland Women's Officer for academic year 2016/17.
Hi my name is Angela Alexander and I am NUS Scotland Women’s Officer 2016-17.
Running to be your women’s officer
This is an exciting new challenge for me as I have been Student President at Ayrshire College for the past 2 years after studying for an HND in Sports Coaching and Development. For the past year I have been on the Scottish Executive Committee which opened my eyes to how influential NUS can be and how important an organisation it is for students – and I wanted to get more involved.
At NUS Scotland Women’s Conference in April I ran to be the Women’s Officer to make changes for the better, challenge the patriarchy and ensure that all of our work is intersectional – meaning that the women’s campaign works together with our other liberation campaigns for LGBT+ students, black students and disabled students.
I also wanted to stand up against the idea that you could only run for these positions if you had been to university first. In my role I want to encourage more student officers from a college background to be involved in our work, we need to build a movement that is inclusive of further education and I will ensure that this is the case.
During my two years as a sabbatical at Ayrshire College I worked on developing the Students Association into a strong and sustainable organisation that can influence the college to ensure that the students are at the centre of everything the college does. I implemented a new structure to suit our situation after regionalisation, updated the constitution so that it was fit for purpose and implemented a Student Partnership Agreement between the Students’ Association and the College. It was an amazing but challenging experience.
My highlight so far
The highlight of my time as a sabbatical has to be the launch of #ThisAyrshireGirlCan a campaign I started to encourage and empower more women into STEM and Sport. The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon came in to the college on International Women’s Day 2016 to launch the campaign video and to address the primary and secondary school children in the audience. She wanted to help to raise the profile of the campaign and highlight how far we have come in society but also how much further we have to go before we reach equality for women. The campaign is my biggest success and I hope to expand on this work throughout this year!
I have set out clear priorities this year for the Women’s Campaign and I’m excited to get started.
- ‘The Bairn Necessities’ report is high on the agenda; this looks at the experience of student parents at college and university in Scotland. Using the clear guidelines set out in the report, I will work with students’ associations to challenge their college or university to ensure improvements for student parents.
- Working with the National Society of Apprentices I want to encourage more women to get involved with the leadership team to ensure their voices are heard around the table, with the work that has been done to tackle the gender imbalance in certain subject areas we need to highlight now more than ever the challenges faced when it comes to employment.
- I want to continue the Women in Leadership Programme and the development of a brand new campaign empowering women, I’m sure it’s going to be a great but busy year.
- As well as these set priorities there is so much more to be done and I will ensure women’s voices are at the forefront.
- I will work alongside Women’s Aid to ensure that current issues around abuse survivor’s access to education are tackled. Education is not accessible for all, especially not women survivors of abuse, this needs to change!
What about outside of work?
Outside of work I am a parent of 4 children and live in a small village in Ayrshire. All of my spare time is spent with my kids. It is a challenge to be in a full-time officer role with parental responsibilities but this is something that I want to prove can be done. I’m looking forward to creating the change in NUS and in wider society!
If you are interested min my work and want to be involved then please get in touch.