News Article

Update from your Officer Team

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Dear Students

Please be advised that Soundarya Dundi, who was duly elected as RUSU Diversity Officer 2021-22 has taken the decision to step down from the role. We recognise that this was not an easy decision for Soundarya and she took a period of time over the summer to come to this decision.

Soundarya has provided a statement which she was happy for us to share on her behalf;

In the month of February, I was elected as RUSU Diversity Officer. I was really excited and looking forward to this opportunity. I was elated to see the trust that the student body had shown in me and my manifesto. I possibly couldn’t thank everyone enough for all the support.

But unfortunately, the past couple of months have been very difficult for me. I have struggled to recover from a serious illness and still need time and rest to heal. Thus, with a heavy heart and disappointment, I have decided to step down from the role of Diversity Officer 2021-22.

I hope you’ll be able to understand and support me in this decision. I extend my warmest and best wishes to the 2021-22 Full-Time Officer Team who I’m sure will deliver on their goals and promises for the collective good of our student body.

The Full-time Officer team, the RUSU Trustee Board and our staff team wish Soundarya a speedy recovery and all the best for her future plans.

This decision was formally confirmed in August 2021. Since then, the RUSU Full-time Officer team, and the wider RUSU Trustee Board, have considered options and decided upon a plan to ensure the responsibilities included in this position are effectively delegated across the organisation and that we put in place additional support and resources to ensure that we continue to focus much of our work on equality, diversity and inclusion and ensure the voice of liberation and underrepresented groups is heard.

We are excited by how we will achieve this. We aim to empower our Part-time Officers so they have an increased sense of autonomy on how to deliver their campaigns. We are developing processes to provide high quality project and campaign support and our staff team will support the Part-time Officers to help them develop as effective representatives and achieve their campaign aims; with the overarching aim to create positive change for our liberation and under-represented groups.

We are also liaising with the University of Reading to request that our Part-time Officers are invited join the membership of key university committees relating to equality, diversity and inclusion matters alongside or as an alternative to one of the Full-time Officers, so they are better able to represent the student voice for our liberation and under-represented student groups. We have hoped to achieve this previously so this year may be a perfect opportunity for our Part-time Officers to develop links and have greater access to work in partnership with key staff in the University.

This year, we also aim to develop the RUSU Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan and we will invest in resources to support the development and delivery of this plan. We have also identified which officer is best placed to successfully achieve each of the actions from last year’s Race Equality Review and are now looking at who will take on responsibility for writing and submitting this year’s Student Submission to monitor the University of Reading Access and Participation Plan. Alongside this, we are looking forward to putting aside time and energy to celebrate key cultural and religious celebrations and liberation events with our members.

We want to reassure our members that equality, diversity and inclusion is a key area of focus for all elected Full-time Officers and should not solely sit with one individual, therefore, we will be reviewing the roles of the Full-time Officers in advance of our Leadership Elections (which are due to be held in February 2022) with this in mind.

Over the summer, we have been busy planning for the start of the new term and are excited to meet you in the coming weeks. If you are on Whiteknights campus, please take some time to visit RUSU and check out the different opportunities, activities and events that you can get involved in. Also, look at our website for more information about RUSU and how you can benefit from being a member of your Students’ Union throughout your time at University.

RUSU Full-time Officer Team