Welfare and Campaigns

Ella Spencer

Hi, I'm Ella (she/her), your 2021/22 Welfare & Campaigns Co-President.

I'll be updating my Officer Blog weekly to keep you up to date with what work I am currently engaged in.

If you have any questions about anything, please don't hesitate to email me!

April 2022

Updates from my last report in January!


Sanctuary Scholarship proposal approved

The proposal the SU put forward to reinstate the Sanctuary Scholarship (a scheme  to ‘support those who might otherwise be blocked from embarking on a university degree, especially those with precarious forms of immigration status or who do not have access to Student Finance)  from 2 to 7 places, increase the maintenance loan from £6000 to £12,000 and commit to accommodation support, mental health support and tailored academic support was successful! It will start in July this year. I am following up with the relevant departments to find out who will be in charge of providing the types of support specified in the proposal, getting SOAS to issue public communication about the changes to the scheme, and utilising the alumni network to fundraise for future costs as has been done in the past to make sure SOAS keeps renewing its commitment to the scholarship.


SU Sanctuary Hardship Fund 

In 2019, the SU was given £10,000 from SOAS - £10 for every student that completed the NSS survey - which was intended to go towards the SU LGBTQ+ liberation campaign and to students on the Sanctuary Scholarship. From April onwards this money is now available as a hardship fund that students with unstable or unclear immigration status or those on the sanctuary scholarship can apply for here.



I am working with our Enough is Enough coordinator Heather & Hisham (Equality and Liberation sabb) on the Enough is Enough report which Heather drafted. The aim of the report is to capture the work of the project this year, the feedback we have received, and how we are incorporating feedback and expanding the project. I have also read and given feedback on the draft policy that Gendered Intelligence have drafted as part of their review of the Trans* inclusion policy at SOAS and I will be checking in on the progress of this talking to the new officer team during handover about how to make sure it is properly implemented once it becomes policy.


I have also been looking into the best way for the SU to consistently provide free welfare products (e.g. sanitary products, condoms, resources on mental and sexual health etc.) for students by reaching out to organisations and other SUs which I am waiting to hear back from.


Campaign archiving 

As I have 3 months left in my term, I am prioritising archiving the history of campaigns and projects at SOAS to make sure that this knowledge is passed on and the work is continued in the future. I am focusing on the Sanctuary Scholarship, the Justice For Worker campaign, SOAS Against Surveillance & Securitisation and Trans Dignity at SOAS as these are all campaigns I have been active in and have good knowledge of. My intention is to make timelines with key moments of the campaigns, as well as articles, photos & resources. I hope to pay someone to turn these into zines or something exciting that can be put on the SU website and printed off by students to use for their own campaigns. 



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This webpage was last updated on: 23 Oct 2018 16:49