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Multiple measures have been implemented to promote the welfare of Buchanan's members and the outside community. The Welfare Coordinator is our committee member dedicated to supporting students' wellbeing, and our recent initiative Tackling Elitism helps highlight improvement avenues that ensures all students' voices are put on an equal footing.
About our Welfare Coordinator
The Buchanan Institute's Welfare Coordinator for 21/22 is Isla Miller. The Welfare Coordinator provides support if you are struggling with a project or feel under pressure for any reason - for example, if your team is experiencing difficult group dynamics, if you have experienced harassment or abuse in any way, or if you simply need to chat to someone!
We’d like to emphasise that our research teams should be a safe space where everyone can contribute and voice their opinions and feel included. Buchanan has a zero-tolerance policy for any racial, sexual, homophobic or transphobic harassment.
Although we hope to make the Buchanan Institute as welcoming an environment as possible, if a fellow research group member or somebody on the committee has made you feel uncomfortable, please use our anonymous support form to report it. The Welfare Coordinator will then bring up the case with the Students’ Association or come talk to you in person for emotional support if you wish.
Buchanan can be a fun and rewarding experience, but dealing with any of these issues can make your experience less enjoyable. We understand that everyone deals with stressful moments throughout the semester. If you feel under pressure or overwhelmed (not just for Buchanan-related issues!) you can talk to her directly through internal communication channels or at workspaces and socials!
Elitism is the belief or attitude that individuals who come from a more privileged background with regards to wealth, power, intellect or connections are inherently more valuable to society, and therefore deserve to be in positions of power and have their voices heard above others. Elitism is not recognising that people from different backgrounds can experience a range of social and economic barriers. Our goal is to continuously evaluate how we, as a society, may be perpetuating elitism within our practises and structure, and to tackle and dismantle that structure.
Buchanan provides an accessible and welcoming way for people of all backgrounds to get experience in the policy world, network, and gain confidence regardless of their background. However, there are always ways to improve this and continue to make our environment more inclusive.
At the start of each academic year, we will circulate our Tackling Elitism anonymous survey through all our Buchanan members and encourage people to use it as a tool to voice any concerns about elitism in the Buchanan Institute. The suggestions, concerns and ideas will be used to facilitate a focus group later in the year where we will decide on what needs to change and what can be done. Buchanan launched its Tackling Elitism in early 2020, but wishes to continue and develop it, hopefully involving other societies as we grow.
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