Voice

Zelda Tobias-Kotyk - DoWell Candidate

Click here for Zelda's social media page.

MANIFESTO

I’m Zelda and I want to be your next Director of Wellbeing.

I’m a final year Psychology and IR student. I came to St. Andrews when I was 17, having never been on a plane and not knowing a single person in the U.K.. Like many students, I struggled to find a sense of belonging. Here I found friends who inspired me to advocate for the wellbeing of our student body.

I became a part of Sexpression, both as a volunteer and a committee member, working to empower people to make choices about their sexual health. I also started volunteering with Got Consent and helped to rework the training in order for it be more accessible and intersectional.

I became the sexual health rep on the Wellbeing Committee and used my time in the role to promote the interests of the student body when liaising with external groups such as NHS Fife, Terrence Higgins Trust and Rape Crisis Scotland. I worked to promote wellbeing in all realms; be it physical, mental or sexual.

I was elected the Students’ Association LGBT+ Officer; chairing Saints LGBT+ and sitting on Student Representative Councils, Student Services Council, Wellbeing Committee, Equal Opportunities Committee and the Tackling Gender-Based Violence Working Group. I created a motion to address hate crime and helped with motions to address sexual and gender based violence. I rolled out welfare initiatives in Saints LGBT+ and sought to increase visibility and education. I started a campaign with the Town Council and the University about discrimination and reporting of hate crime and have advocated for the interests of all students in both councils and the local community, especially in regards to protecting out of hours.

I have left a positive mark on a town that has given me so much. If elected, I will continue to work to improve the lives of the student population and be a positive voice for change. My years of experience and connections have equipped me to change St. Andrews for the better and would be honored to serve as the next Director of Wellbeing.

Wellbeing

I’ll continue to advocate for mental wellbeing by:

  • By continue the work the last Director of Wellbeing started by lobbying Holyrood for a Mental Health Crisis Team for Fife
  • Working with the Director of Education to ensure that all schools have a staff wellbeing officer.
  • Continuing to Promote and Support Nightline as a Source of Support for Students.
  • Working with Student Services to provide online feedback forms for students receiving support and working with them to cut down waiting times. Currently waiting times for appointments can be as long as a 2 months; by cutting down waiting times people will be able to address their concerns before they become crises.

    • Work on expanding peer support as a way to help cut down waiting times.

I will fight for better sexual health provisions by:

  • Starting a ‘Got Protection’ campaign. A lot of people are not aware of their contraceptive options or the services currently offered in St. Andrews. This campaign would seek to educate people about where they can access contraceptives and care, as well as information about safe sexual practices.
  • Revamping the Condom Rep scheme.
  • Improving the accessibility of condoms and dental dams by having better advertising and more variety of supplies.
  • Lobby the NHS to improve the drop-in clinics
  • Provide incentives for students to get STI tests

I will improve the sense of community by:

  • Encouraging more events in halls. Hall committees are mandated to run events with a wellbeing focus. I will have the Wellbeing Committee run regular events at halls and encourage subcommittees to do the same.
  • Working with the Lifers and Postgraduate Societies to ensure that their needs are being addressed. This includes encouraging other societies and subcommittees to do collaborative events, as well as advertising their events in advance so people can schedule if they want attend. I will also encourage groups to hold events during the afternoon.
  • Run coffee meet ups for students with caring responsibilities;.
  • Continue to run “Find Your Family Events”
  • Encouraging Alcohol-Free events

I will continue to run the working group for Sexual and Gender Based Violence and further explore the Union’s capacity to protect student wellbeing with regards to this issue.

I will continue to fight for out of hours.

Equal Opportunities

I will seek to improve accessibility by:

  • Lobbying the university to ensure that students with disabilities needs are being met. This will include making sure hearing loops are working in lecture halls, ramps are more available and working towards ensuring all buildings have accessible toilets.
  • Working towards improving the gender neutral facilities and how they are advertised.
  • Working with Member for Students with Disabilities, the DoED and Student Services to ensure there are inclusive models of teaching and assessing.

I will address hate crime by:

  • Making it easier to report hate crime within the union
  • Continuing the work I’ve done with the community council, the university and the union to run a campaign against hate crimes.
  • Lobby the University to include Conscious Awareness Training for all students.
  • Improve education on what hate crimes and discrimination are.

I will revamp the Equal Opportunities by:

  • Adding more roles to the committee. I will add a secretary and publicity officer. This will allow for more people to get involved and increase the work we can do.
  • I will run more equal opportunity events This will include networking events and talks with external speakers.
  • Having open forums so students are able to voice their concerns, share their ideas and get more involved in Equal Opportunities.

I will work to improve the Cultural Societies Forum and ensure that Pangea runs smoothly by:

  • Giving Pangea a subcommittee in order to spread out the work and get more people involved
  • Encouraging collaborations with different cultural societies.
  • Running cultural events year round in the Union.

Accountability

I will work on making councils more accessible by:

  • By making it easier for non-councillors to write a motion. This will include running a “How to Write a Motion” Workshop.
  • Running drop-ins with councillors so students can raise concerns and ask questions of their representatives.
  • Increase publicity for councils.

By adding an elected Member for Student Protection on the SSC. This individual would work to make sure societies and subcommittees were following the Students’ Association’s Zero Tolerance Policy and providing accessible events for all students.

I will change the remits of “Members for…” to give them subcommittee and mandate that they run at least one event or campaign a semester.

I will have an open door policy and assert that no problem is too small

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