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
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
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