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The Joint Forum: Partnership working to tackle sexual violence and harassment in Bristol

Bristol's Joint Forum Against Sexual Violence and Harassment was established in July 2015. Forerunners of the group include the University of Bristol's Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Judith Squires and the University of West England's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Harrington. Both are members of Bristol Women's Commission (BWC), a collective that brings women's voices together to share ideas and expertise, working towards achieving women's equality in Bristol. In creating the Joint Forum, the founders have brought together: senior university staff; Students' Union representatives; Avon and Somerset Police; the local council; SARSAS and The Bridge – two charities that support survivors

The Interference: Dramatising experiences of sexual assault on university campuses

The idea for The Interference — a theatre production that follows a student sexual assault survivor's struggle — began almost three years ago in a meeting of minds between director and Professor of Theatre at Pepperdine University Cathy Thomas-Grant, and Scottish playwright Lynda Radley. They aimed to respond to increasingly worrying reports of a "university campus sexual assault epidemic" in the U.S. and in the U.K. and to challenge what they viewed as ingrained forms of victim shaming. The production has gone on to win two prestigious awards, including a Scotsman Fringe First for excellence and innovation in new writing, and a Broadway Baby Bobby. It has also been shortlisted for the Amne

Student Blogs: An international student's experiences of navigating the English language

My English is good, they say. I have even got several pieces of paper to prove it. My IELTS result says that I am good enough to study at a British (or American, Australian as well as Canadian) university at a postgraduate level. I practice every day, I read every day, yet, almost on daily basis I learn that I have only begun to scratch the surface of this amazing language. Take Lesson One of any English textbook. In Lesson One Mr Jones is asked how he is. He answers: “Fine.” Lesson One for an already fluent foreigner in Britain: this is, in fact, all you will ever need to know to answer that particular question. If, like me, you come from a culture where you are expected to actually give a

Guest blog: Malcolm Watson on student mental health and his new self-help toolkit

At a time of increased general awareness surrounding mental health in the UK, many worrying statistics have emerged about the current state of student mental health. This is something we need to address seriously as parents, teachers, support officers, institutions, and professionals with responsibility for the wellbeing of our young people. A recent Guardian report found that the number of students leaving university with a mental health condition has tripled in recent years, and in May of last year, the Office for National Statistics announced that student suicides were at their highest since 2007. In addition, student requests for counselling have risen by 22% in the last year to a high o

Student Blogs: Freshers' First Aid — Looking after your physical health at university

Exams are over, and you can finally put away those revision notes and say a (not so) fond farewell to the late night cramming sessions. If you’re hoping to go to university this September, or are returning for another year, you may already be starting to plan what you need to take with you: New duvet set ✔ Pots and pans ✔ Too many sets of fairy lights for decoration ✔ ...but what can you do to make sure you are looking after yourself? While the above items are important, it is easy to forget that there are also some practical medical precautions you could be taking this summer to make sure you’re fighting fit come September. Make sure you get the ‘meningitis vaccine’ Meningitis is a term usu

The University of Gloucestershire's students team up with local police to help keep the city saf

This September, the University of Gloucestershire's Student Community Patrol (SCP) will begin their sixth year of partnership working with Gloucestershire Constabulary, looking after vulnerable students and members of the wider community on a night out. The scheme was started by Linda Farrall (Membership Services Manager at the Students' Union) and a local licencing officer — the main point-of-contact for police regarding licensed premises. This year, funding for the SCP comes from Cheltenham's Late Night Levy scheme whereby businesses that are licensed to sell alcohol after midnight pay a charge that helps support the policing of the city's night-time economy. The SCP scheme is currently re

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