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Tom Powell
12:13pm on 3 Mar 21 Tom Powell - Academic Executive Candidate Firstly I would like to thank you for your question its great to see engagement from fellow students. This is a brilliant question and is really important to many students across the university. From an academic point of view I think its really important that we promote the existence of the DSA as many students may not even realise they are eligible for extra financial support. The funding can provided specialist equipment and software that can make a big difference when trying to complete assignments or take notes in a lecture. It can also provide students with a helper that can assist an individual around campus. These are vital to ensure that everyone has equal access to the same facilities' and the same level of education, which I am a big campaigner for. As you know this is a government funding scheme and its set by the government so any change to the amount of funding available or who would be eligible for the funding would need to be campaigned on a national level. So my answer to this would be raise awareness of its availability amongst our fellow students and the massive effect it can have on someone's university experience to encourage all those eligible that there is support there for them. If you have any specific queries regarding this area or any issues you would like to make myself aware of then please feel free to drop me and email at P17198620@my365.dmu.ac.uk Again thank you for your question its great to hear from you :)
Joanna Dine-Hart
6:56pm on 3 Mar 21 Hello! Joanna Dine-Hart here, re-running for Union Development. Thank you for asking this question because this year highlighted how important DSA is for our students and myself and other executives have been working with the disability team around this. I think firstly it would be great to know what you would want to see? Is it more awareness, support, making it more accessible? These are all points I would want to work on with the Welfare and Equality and Diversity executive and the rest of the team! I think raising awareness will be key so students know the support they have and understand who can apply (a lot of students can but don't realise) this needs to change, as does making it more common to talk about. This all links to accessibility, knowing who can apply, where and how - making this information as easy to see as possible and making every student aware you have support. I guess in short, I would work with the other executives and the disability team at the University to make this more accessible for every student in all different ways. If you want to drop me an email at joanna.dine-hart@dmu.ac.uk to talk anymore about what you want to see then please do lovely! :)
Cameron Lalor
12:16pm on 4 Mar 21 Hi Alice, I am running for Opportunities and engagement officer. I think it's really import to acknowledge DSA, as someone who is on DSA for mental health and learning support I understand how difficult it can be for individuals not only academically but in their development of themselves during their experience within university. Not a lot of moments come in your life where you get 3 whole years to focus on your own development and I believe the same should be considered when developing your own mental wellbeing as well. As many of us can relate, having a functioning friend/social group can be a huge foundational pillar to feeling confident and safe. Now more than ever this has been made apparent with lockdowns and social restrictions. So to answer your question what will I do for DSA? Well its a simple but honest answer, making sure there is clear transparency and flexibility within the process of joining and making societies. I want people to be able to experience and feel comfortable trying out new activities and experiences, whether that is sitting down and playing dungeons and dragons with the games society or going on ski trips with DMU snow. By making things accessible, we break barriers and allow people to be themselves and flourish. I hope this answers your question and anyone is more then welcome to approach me with anymore queries, my email is P2426873@my365.dmu.ac.uk
Murraisha Burgess
8:09pm on 4 Mar 21 Hello Alice ,My name is Murraisha ,I am running for Diversity & Equality Executive , i have talked about what i would like to do for DMU on my Instagram : murraisha_dmu. but i'll love to share some of my ideas with now :). As DMU is quite diverse i believe i can add to it with inspiration from where i am from, Bermuda. Bermuda is unique as there is not one ethnic group that makes up a Bermudian we are infused with many different cultures. One of the ways we celebrate this is with a Bermuda day parade this is where all the cultures in Bermuda come together to show how they have infused with the island with floats, dances, food & music. I believe this could be something grate for DMU during freshers week. I would also like to address funding and create funding where there is minimum criteria to get funding for studies i believe that if you want to better yourself & learn there should be minimum obstacles in your way. As i myself has fallen victim to not getting funding due to my complex situation. Lastly, i have met with the woman's rugby team and they brought up that they are the only team with a diversity executive it will be an am of mine if elected to get this across the board because i believe that it would help make my position better if i can have a representative to relay concerns with and collaborate on ideas from each club. i hope this brief summary of my plans answers your questions & you can find out more on my Instagram: murraisha_dmu or by email: p2408397@my365.dmu.ac.uk Kind Regards, Murraisha
Staci Bloomfield
11:10am on 8 Mar 21 Hi there Alice, I'm Staci running for Equality and Diversity executive at the DSU. This question is important to all students, as well as those who are protected by being entitled to additional support for disabled students. I have a learning difference, namely, dyslexia and I know first hand that gaining access to additional support can be a frustrating and difficult time, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic. I have plans to support as many students as I possibly can, by using my voice and experience in my campaigning for disability rights and to be treated on a subjective view, we all have our strengths and weaknesses and we must be supported on our weaknesses and celebrating our strengths. Of course, we should be celebrating overcoming the weaknesses too. My aim for when it comes to the DSA is to provide a strong stance that disabled students do require further funding and additional support. DMU do have access to some great resources already and I have accessed some of these myself, I do think there needs to be room for improvement or even a new element that ensures disabled students are equipped to coming to DMU with the best opportunities among their peers. Disability rights is one of my biggest passions, therefore, I will be ensuring that in accordance with the correct policies, procedures and such in place, that we can create an even more level playing field for all students across the board. If that means that I can put something that will help you, or others within the community gain access to something else that will support them further in their studies? By all means! Please feel free to come and check out "Staci Bloomfield for Equality and Diversity Executive at DSU" on Facebook or email me on p2406983@my365.dmu.ac.uk with any other concerns you may have. Thanks for such a great question! Warm regards, Staci :)
Hope Heeley
6:10pm on 9 Mar 21 Hi, I’m Hope, i’m running for disabled student liberation officer. I myself have a disability (cerebral palsy) meaning that I had to apply for DSA just before I started university. It can seem really stressful having to apply for/sort out more paperwork and finance related issues than the “average“ student just because you are differently abled. However DSA is a really easy process if it is explained to you correctly and it can be incredibly helpful. If this is something you would like help with, feel free to email me: p2520130@my365.dmu.ac.uk Keep smiling Hope
Nabilah Patel
6:32pm on 9 Mar 21 Hi Alice I'm Nabilah and I'm running for Disabled Students liberation offier and I had to apply for DSA as well before I started university this year. It is a really stressful process when you're applying for it because the forms can seem intimidating and you might not know how to fill them out so it's always a good idea to ask for help from staff and family members that are good at filling out forms. You might have to sort out software for certain students if they have different abilities to everyone else and they might need help with issues such as finance because they might struggle to handle money on a daily basis. The process of applying for DSA is a very straightforward process if someone sits down with you and explains what you have to do so that you're filling the form in with the correct information, but it's really helpful to get some advice and guidance on how to apply for it if you're struggling and it's getting on your last nerve. If you want some help to fill anything out when you're applying for DSA feel fre to email me on p2588268@my365.dmu.ac.uk and you can find me on instagram and my user is @billybiskit so feel free to DM me if you have any further questions. Stay safe and keep smiling- hope you'll vote for me. Nabilah (if you can't pronounce my name just call me billy)
Ben Smith
2:03pm on 11 Mar 21 Hi. I am Benjamin Smith and I am running for re-election as Welfare Executive. Throughout this year, I have been working with the other Executive Officers and DMU to help promote and allow students to access the DSA. I think the DSA is extremely important and helps numerous students with disabilities or conditions each year but there are lots of students who could access this support still and could benefit from what can be offered to them through it. I would like to work on increasing awareness and make it as easy to access as possible for students. Lots more students are eligible for support but they are not aware of it and this has to change. Students should be aware and should be able to access any support that is available to them to give them the best possible chance to succeed as they possibly can. I think it is important to get the student view on how it can be made easier to access this as well and the DSU should continue to work with the disability team to ensure that the process is as easy as it can be and that there is continuous improvement to the service. If you would like any more information or want to talk to me further about this please do not hesitate to message me at @benjaminsmith_141.