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Inclusive LSE: the initiatives and projects you need to know about

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When you set foot on campus, you’ll soon realise that LSE is incredibly diverse!  There’s a huge variety in where your course mates come from (over 145 countries!), what their backgrounds are, what they like to do in their spare time and what’s important to them.

At LSESU, we want to make sure that everyone feels accepted and welcomed on campus. That’s why we have Part-Time Officers (student volunteers) who represent particular parts of the student community so that everyone’s voices are heard. We also put on events, initiatives and 

Here is a run-down of some of the elements of life at LSE that support the inclusion, acceptance and celebration of student diversity:

Pride Alliance, Rainbow Lanyards, Pronouns…

The LGBT Officer, Thiago, is really keen to make LSE more LGBT-friendly place and will work with the LGBT society, Pride Alliance, to organise a Welcome event for LGBT students and allies, and bring you a spectacular programme of events for LGBT history month. LSE staff and students can also choose to wear a rainbow coloured lanyard courtesy of the staff network Spectrum, and some LSESU staff wear pronoun badges to show we’re an inclusive organisation. 

Gender Neutral Toilets, Free Menstrual Products…

Previous campaigning by LSESU ensured that there are gender neutral toilets in every building on campus and this year we want to make sure there are baby changing facilities in Saw Swee Hock (SSH) as well. A preceding women’s officer introduced free menstrual products in SSH so that hopefully no student will have to experience period poverty. If you want to work on extending this to all LSE buildings, the Women’s Officer, Sumaya, would love to hear from you. 

Root out Racism, Black History Month, Justice for LSE Cleaners…

The Part-Time Officers, alongside the Sabbatical Officers, have been calling on LSE to root out racism on campus. The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the US galvanised the student community to address the longstanding issue of racism in education. The BME Officer, Sabir, Anti-Racism Officer, Faiso, and International Officer, Edouard, and the Sabbatical Officers of the Students’ Union, will work to make the curriculum less Eurocentric and fight for LSE cleaners to be treated fairly.

Alongside this, LSESU will also celebrate Black History Month in October. Last year student societies such as ACS, the staff network EmbRace and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion department organised many thought-provoking and celebratory events. Delicious Caribbean food, a Black history walk and a seminar on Islam in Africa were all part of the offering. 

Interfaith, Cultural Diversity, Dietary Requirements…

Bringing your culture and celebrations to your new home is important, and it is so much more fun to do it with other people. The India society and the Bangla society have both won awards for their events, so if you join them, you know you’re joining a thriving community. For those more spiritually and/or religiously inclined, the Faith Centre and faith societies are your first port of call campus.  For eating halal or kosher, LSESU food outlets have knowledgeable staff who can provide the info you’re looking for, and there is also a vegetarian and vegan cafe, called the Shaw Cafe in the New Academic Building. 

Hardship Fund, Childcare Costs, The LSE Nursery…

Knowing how to get around campus may be a bit trickier if you didn’t have parents or someone in your immediate family who went to university. For students with children, navigating finding a nursery or working in a job as well as studying may make it harder to feel connected to the student community. Your Community & Welfare Officer, Laura, will work on fighting the closure of the nursery, which is due to shut after providing 50 years of on-campus childcare. She will soon be seeking your views on the impacts and benefits this has for student parents.

Everyone faces bumps in the road at university. That’s why we have a Hardship Fund, a pot of money administered by the LSESU Advice Service that students can apply for if they are facing difficulty. Any student can apply for the Hardship Fund, but if you have unforeseen circumstances because you have medical costs, need to find childcare or if you have costs associated with your right to choose, you could be eligible for a financial award.

Social Mobility, Disabled and Mature & Part-Time Students’ Officers…

The Social Mobility & Class Officer, Isra, would be really interested to hear how you’re experiencing campus, especially during the pandemic. Definitely share your views, as your Part Time Officers are some of the people who can actually do something about any issues or barriers to your student experience.

We’ll also be electing a Mature and Part-Time Students Officer and a Disabled Students Officer in Michaelmas Term, as representatives for the respective student communities. These two positions will be elected in the Michaelmas Term Elections 2020, so if you would like to help make LSE more inclusive for everyone, make sure you get involved. The first step is to nominate yourself, which is basically putting your name forward - that’s all it takes! Find out more about the elections here.

LSESU is here to provide opportunities for everyone in the student community to get involved, and we are also here to represent you. The friendly, inclusive spirit you will find at LSESU is down to students like you who volunteer a bit of their time to help others! Making change at LSE is a rewarding experience and the perfect way to meet like-minded people.

This year the SU will be running campaigns on the Climate Emergency, Black Lives Matter, Diversifying the Curriculum, the LSE Nursery, LGBT inclusivity, and Hands Off LSE. We provide all the training and support you need to hit the ground running. Sounds like you? Get in touch with us at su.campaigns@lse.ac.uk! We’d love to hear from you.