In Brooks Bar on a rainy Tuesday. We finally have two campaign managers!
Present: ES (Senior Welfare Officer), AC (Welfare Campaigns Manager), JG (Welfare Campaigns Manager), AH (Female Welfare Officer), BC, AS, HB, JC (Vice-President), HH (Postgrad Welfare Rep), LJH (Assistant LGBT+ Rep), JS (Working Class Students’ Rep), EK, HMM (Assistant Ethnic Minorities Rep), EGS (Students with Disabilities Rep), RM (LGBT+ Rep)
Apologies: OW (Male Welfare Officer), LA, SPB, LD, SDB, LVH, EG (Assistant Students with Disabilities Rep), LM, EM (President)
Absent: JZ (International Welfare Rep), MR (Ethnic Minorities Rep), HCM
Eating Disorders Campaign
AC: Our next campaign will be between 2nd and 8th March, with is eating disorder awareness week. We have some thoughts; we won’t use them all.
JG: To have something a bit more lasting, it might be nice to have some form of informative leaflet, that we can leave in the JCR, with links to websites and social media pages. Then also some posters, but this is a sensitive campaign and it’s a very personal issue. So we don’t want the material to be too medical.
AC: We also want a focus on how people can support friends with an eating disorder. Often people don’t want to bring it up, but there are good ways to help. So we want posters and info for social media. Also how people can anonymously report concerns within the university and have a professional deal with it. Often at University it’s hard for people to keep track of how much someone is eating and that can become bad quickly. We’d like to promote how to make a better culture and support flatmates.
JG: We also want to focus on things people say that might feed into the culture or be triggering. For example linking food with needing to go to the gym. We want to challenge those unconscious attitudes.
AC: We want this campaign to include a lot of people. People’s relationship with food and diet culture is a big issue. Tackling common phrases is important. We’d like to make this campaign tackle the more general culture.
JG: We want to be careful not to focus too much on body image, because eating disorders are much more complex than that.
AC: At the end, it might be nice to do a body positivity campaign, but make sure they’re kept separate so we don’t equate the two. That could be more light-hearted.
JG: For posters, we’d like things about spotting and supporting friends, different types of disorders, disordered eating. Some people only think of specific disorders but there’s more to it. We were struggling to think of an appropriate event.
BC: With a lot of people that have eating disorders, it’s related to control. Anonymous reporting can make people feel more out of control. Sometimes it’s better to speak to the friend. Language is also important, in terms of how to approach friends. Keeping the eating disorder separate from the person.
AH: It’s difficult to pick an appropriate event. Living at University can lead to people either having too much control or not enough. Maybe we could put some information in the dining hall in a way that’s not over the top.
Action: ES to speak to CI (Student Support) about this.
AH: It maybe should focus on signposting for support.
ES: If people are worried about friends, it’s important to tell people they can go to welfare or to college, and that college won’t necessarily action that.
BC: A lot of people also don’t know that we have a metal health adviser in college. We should make that obvious.
ES: On an issue like this, wording can be very important.
Action: Everyone to research this issue before the campaign.
BC: We should also include trigger warnings because this can be difficult for people who have these disorders.
HH: Could we make a shared folder for good resources on this?
AH: We need to be very careful about putting things in the dining hall that they won’t be intrusive or triggering.
AC: Maybe they should be less focussed on explicit information and more focussed on telling people where they can go for help.
AH: Maybe “Are you struggling with an eating disorder” rather than listing symptoms.
BC: I think it’s also important to avoid scaremongering with facts. We want it to be more about how to help people and yourself.
JG: We still have two weeks before the campaign to read and plan.
ES: We don’t always need to do an event. If we’re around college and visible we don’t have to have a single event. I like the leaflets suggestion.
AC: It would be good to have something that stays. If people are struggling, they won’t want to come to an event about it.
Body Positivity Campaign
AC: Potentially we could do a give away of something quite nice, maybe for a picture competition. Perhaps something like a photo of two people holding up their favourite thing about each other. Something light to end the term on. Or maybe a week long challenge where we encourage people to do a different thing each day.
ES: If anyone has any event ideas, let us know.
JS: I think an event for the body positivity campaign is a lot more appropriate.
AH: Outreach have been very active this year, maybe we could collaborate with them for this. There are a lot of good charities out there for this.
Action: AC to contact SA (Outreach Chair).