As BME Officer, there’s basically no such thing as a ‘regular’ day. Things really do vary a lot depending on what committees I have lined up, if I’m meeting with students, or if I’m spending the day working on a project alongside the other sabbatical officers. One thing that never changes is how I start my day: a big mug of strong coffee (with oat milk of course).
After I’ve had my coffee, I’ll usually check my emails and Facebook messages. I tend to get a lot of messages from students who need signposting elsewhere (such as the BME Campaign or the Student Advice Service), so it’s really important for me to respond as soon as I can so they’re able to move forward and get the support they need. I then check in with the Sabb team and see if there’s any news I need to catch up on, or little tasks I need to complete before the day really gets going. Once I’ve checked off a few things, I’ll create a more thorough to-do list to give the rest of my day some structure and ensure I’ve given myself enough time to get stuck in with my campaigning work. I definitely find that I can get easily overwhelmed if I feel like I have a mountain of tasks to do, so it’s helpful for me to break things down into manageable chunks at the start of the day. It can often be the case that you’re working on lots of different projects at once, so this really necessary!
Once I’ve caught up with the team and done all my admin, I’ll usually have at least one or two meetings to take me into the afternoon. Sometimes these meetings will be internal SU meetings, but quite often I have University committees to attend. Beyond the obvious ‘Equality and Diversity’ committees, both the who and the what of these committees ranges dramatically day to day. Some days I’m discussing decolonising the Museums’ archives with staff at the Fitzwilliam, whilst others will involve me liaising with training providers or advocating for access work. My priority at every committee or meeting is to cut through the noise and make sure the needs of marginalised students are heard at every decision making level. Sometimes it can feel intimidating being often the only person of colour at these spaces, but it’s always so rewarding knowing you’re bringing a fresh and much needed perspective.
Aside from committees and team meetings, the rest of time tends to be spent organising with students and other sabbatical officers, which is probably my favourite part of the role. Whether it’s forming action groups, planning protests or drafting motions to take to Council, getting the chance to collaborate with passionate students on issues they care about is a privilege I look forward to every day.