Hello fellow students and colleagues! My name is Regina Barrera, and I am running for Vice President of Wellbeing and Engagement.
I have decided to apply for this position because I have always been interested in promoting wellbeing; which is why I am studying English and Psychology; where I have gained knowledge to continue doing what I love most; which is supporting my community.
I believe that every student deserves to live a healthy and fulfilling life when elected. I will work tirelessly to ensure that all students have access to the resources, education, and support they need to achieve their best selves.
Mental Health + Suicide Awareness
I consider that mental health is just as important as physical health and I will work to increase access to mental health services on campus, such as counselling services and support groups. I will also advocate for the inclusion of mental health education in our curriculum and create awareness campaigns to destigmatize mental illness and promote wellbeing.
I will work to promote a culture in which mental health is openly discussed and seeking help is encouraged. Often, students do not seek help due to lack of information or lack of available resources. As VP of Wellbeing and Engagement, I will expand mental health resources on campus and ensure that students know how and where to seek help if they need it. As it is crucial to address the issue of suicide prevention I will implement workshops and events to educate students about warning signs of depression and other mental disorders, and provide them with information on mental health resources and assistance that are available to them on campus.
As an international student I believe it is essential to prioritize our mental health even more, as we may face unique challenges and difficulties that we often have to deal with by ourselves. I plan to provide international students with a range of support services that can help them navigate the stresses of academic life, social isolation, and cultural adjustment.
One of the initiatives I would like to implement is to host regular mental health workshops and seminars tailored to the specific challenges international students face, such as language barriers, discrimination, and homesickness. By providing these resources, I hope to foster a community of support and understanding that will help international students thrive academically and personally.
Together, we can create a healthier community and support each other in our mental health challenges.
Diversity and Inclusion
Inclusion is a core value of a healthy and thriving university community. I am committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity that celebrates and respects diversity in all its forms. This means creating a safe and welcoming environment where every student feels valued and heard. As a community, we must work together to eliminate barriers to inclusion and create opportunities for all students to thrive academically, socially, and personally. This includes promoting cultural awareness and sensitivity, providing resources and support for underrepresented students, and advocating for policies that promote equity and justice.
Achieving true inclusion requires a collective effort that involves the entire university community. As Vice President of Wellbeing and Engagement, I am committed to collaborating with students, staff, and faculty to create a more inclusive campus environment. This means actively seeking input from diverse perspectives, engaging in open and honest dialogue, and taking concrete actions to address inequities and promote inclusion. I will work to establish partnerships with student organizations, community groups, and local businesses to create opportunities for cross-cultural interaction and learning. Together, we can create a university community that values and celebrates diversity, and provides a safe and inclusive space for all students to grow and thrive.
Sexual Health and Safety
I am also committed to promoting sexual health and safety on campus. I will work to expand access to free condoms (latex and non-latex) and other forms of contraception, increase awareness of sexual health resources, and provide comprehensive sexual education to students. I will also seek partnerships with local sexual health organizations to offer additional services and resources to students.
I believe it is crucial to prioritize the sexual health of our students. One aspect of this is facilitating easy access to STI tests. Many students may be hesitant to seek out testing due to a fear of judgement or a lack of resources. By providing convenient and confidential testing options on campus, we can remove these barriers and empower students to take control of their sexual health.
It is important to emphasize that access to STI tests must be provided in a non-judgmental and confidential manner. Students should not be made to feel ashamed or embarrassed for seeking out testing or treatment. As Vice President, I will work to ensure that all students have access to comprehensive sexual health education, including information on safe sex practices, STI prevention, and testing options. I am committed to creating a safe and supportive environment where students feel comfortable seeking out the resources they need to maintain their sexual health.
Something that I found extremely good and useful to de-stigmatize and promote sexuality, is SHAG week, and I think that definitely one week is not enough, so I would like for it to have an update and become a month - yes, SHAG month!!! :) - of awareness and promotion of sexual health, consent and sexual education.
It is also important to address the issue of sexual violence and I will seek to work closely with the with the counseling and health departments to ensure that students who have experienced sexual violence receive the necessary support and care. I will work to ensure that our campus policies and procedures on sexual violence prevention and response are up-to-date and effectively communicated to all members of the community. This includes implementing clear and comprehensive protocols for reporting incidents of sexual violence, and providing resources for survivors such as counseling services and medical care.
Additionally, I will promote education and awareness on consent, healthy relationships, and bystander intervention. By fostering a culture of respect and understanding, we can prevent incidents of sexual violence from occurring and better support those who have been affected by it. As Vice President, I will make it a top priority to address this critical issue and ensure that all students feel safe and supported on our campus.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Drug and alcohol addiction can have a devastating impact on students' lives. It's important to create a supportive environment that promotes healthy choices and provides students with the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions about drug use and alcohol abuse.
I am committed to implementing a comprehensive drug and alcohol abuse prevention program on campus that focuses on education, outreach, and support for students. This program will aim to raise awareness about the risks associated with this problem and equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to make positive choices for their health and wellbeing.
By taking a proactive approach, we can create a safe and healthy campus environment that promotes positive behavior and fosters academic success. I believe that by working together, we can make a real difference in the lives of our students and our community as a whole.
Additionally, as we all know, ‘Spiking’ is a serious issue that can lead to harm and even death. As Vice President of Wellbeing and Engagement, I will work to raise awareness of spiking and its dangers, and advocate for the implementation of prevention measures, such as the provision of drink covers and the promotion of the buddy system.
Bullying and Harrasment
In regards to the Bullying and Harassment situation, I believe that there are a lot of things to be improved and that the process to report instigators should be easier. Especially because being a victim of this type of behaviour can be very stressful and has a significant impact on mental health, which can affect a student's academic performance.
One of my top priorities will be to create a safe and supportive campus environment that is free from all forms of bullying, harassment and molesting. I will work to develop policies and procedures that address incidents in a timely and effective manner. This will include training and resources for students and staff to recognize, prevent, and respond to this type of behaviour.
I believe that it is important to address the root causes of bullying and harassment, such as prejudice, bias, and discrimination. As VP of Wellbeing & Engagement I will work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus through education, awareness campaigns, and advocacy. I want to work to create opportunities for open and respectful dialogue between students of different backgrounds, cultures, and identities to foster understanding, empathy and respect.
Together, we can create a campus community that values and respects the dignity and worth of every individual.
As for my goal to get a better financial support for students, I am committed to working for students and improving the university experience for all. I understand that many students face financial difficulties, which can negatively impact their academic performance and emotional wellbeing. For this reason, I will work to increase the quantity and quality of financial support programs available to all students, including international students.
To achieve this goal, I will collaborate with the university's finance departments and other external organizations to identify and develop new funding opportunities for students in need. I will also work to increase the transparency and accessibility of existing financial support programs to ensure that all students are aware of their options and can access them easily and without obstacles. In addition, we will provide information and guidance on tax and funding issues for international students, ensuring that all students have access to the resources they need to maintain their financial stability while studying at our university.
Food and Hygiene Bank
To elaborate on this point, I think that the implementation of the food bank was an excellent idea and a great support for the students, but I believe that it should be improved by introducing healthy and nutritious options as we also need to take care of the physical health of our student body. Regarding this last point I would like to survey the students to ask them about the products they need and try to help them with some of the economic burden that many of us face.
Vote Regina for Wellbeing and Engagement
I am dedicated to promoting the health and wellbeing of all students on campus. As Vice President of Wellbeing and Engagement, I will work tirelessly to create a supportive, inclusive, and healthy campus community that values and supports the diverse needs of all students. Vote for me, and let's build a brighter, healthier future for all!