Masami is running for Welfare Officer, here are their views on improving awareness and accessibility to LUU’s welfare support.

A crisis is something that can affect all of us, regardless of who we are, and is often a challenging addition to university life. However, many students fail to make use of the welfare support available to them. This could be because of the misconception that only certain groups of people can access welfare support, a general lack of services, or a lack of awareness and accessibility to support that already exists. It’s really important that students are aware of the support and services available to them before a crisis happens, which is why my campaign aims to improve awareness and accessibility of welfare support available to you on campus.

An area of welfare that impacts all of us is student safety. On average, someone is a victim of crime in Woodhouse Moor Park every week. Hence, a campus-wide campaign aimed at lobbying Leeds City Council for improved lighting in the park was suggested. However, this had been refused previously on three grounds**. Firstly, lighting would produce areas of shadow that criminals may hide in. Secondly, lighting may encourage gangs to congregate, leading to increased crime. Finally, lighting would negatively impact the environment.

Therefore, I recommend the following alternatives for a safer journey:

  1. If possible, avoid the park when it’s dark.
  2. Use alternative public transport. Use private hire taxis, and only if you feel safe.
  3. After 18.30, use the Night Bus by booking in with LUU security staff. It’s £1 and will take you to your doorstep.
  4. Night Bus is full or can’t spare £1? Hire an Amber Car and ask LUU security staff to walk you to your taxi. You can pay using your student ID; simply hand it over to the driver, then pick it up later from LUU in exchange of your fare.
  5. If you have no other choice, walk around the well-lit edges of the park, carry a mobile phone, let someone know where you are and walk with others.

Use this advice whenever you are walking in poorly-lit areas, and make use of The University of Leeds’ Cycling and Walking Map. The highlighted yellow routes show the recommended areas to walk or cycle for the safest possible journey.

Were you aware of the support outlined above? I want to ensure that no student is left unprepared during a crisis, and that’s why I call it ‘Well Fair Welfare’.

Masami Hirata-Smith, running for Community Officer.

(Image courtesy of  The Tab)

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