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Meet your 2017-18 Disabled Students’ Officer

Thursday 10-08-2017 - 09:12

After a year on the Disabled Students’ Committee, Rachel has big plans for the campaign, from fighting for better mental health provision to supporting the grassroots.

Hey! I’m Rachel, your Disabled Students’ Officer for 2017-18. I have just graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, majoring in Gender Studies. During my time at university, I campaigned with the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and last year sat on the Disabled Students’ Committee as the NEC 2nd Place.

One of my priorities for the year ahead is to protect our healthcare services – I will continue the campaign’s work to improve campus counselling services, as well as campaign against NHS privatisation, and I’ll create resources to support students’ unions and disabled students’ groups to run their own campaigns on similar issues.  

I’ll also campaign around access to education by researching the mental health of postgrad students who have teaching responsibilities to learn more about their experiences and how they can best be supported. I’ll also up our fight to scrap the £200 DSA surcharge.

I’m committed to building the grassroots, so in my role will be prioritising capacity building amongst activists too. I’ll be organising regional education and training days for disabled students, in addition to producing toolkits on how to set up active campus campaigning groups. I’m really excited for the year ahead and I’m particularly looking forward to working with many of you to take our campaigns further.

A few random things about me…

Outside of NUS, I like to spend my spare time hanging out with my friends, watching terrible TV and I love getting my nails done in sparkly colours. Communal care is really important to me, so to look after myself in the coming year, I plan on regularly heading up to Birmingham to continue having Friday night dinners with my friends.

My favourite pizza topping is seafood (on a gluten free base) and I love cheesy eighties music like Talking Heads. My ideal holiday is a good city break in Europe (I don’t do long distance travel well), and I’m hoping to go explore Berlin soon.

I’m always up for chatting about the work of the campaign and would love to hear from you if you want to get involved. You can get in touch with me at Rachel.Obrien@nus.org.uk and keep up with what I’m up to on Twitter.  
 

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