As a member of the Students’ Union and a registered student of the University, you agree to abide by the Queen's Equality & Diversity Policy. By familiarising yourself with the diverse group of students we have on campus, your Club or Society can be fun for everyone!
The members of your Club or Society may fall into one or more than one of the following non-exhaustive list: a home, EU, or international student, a man, woman, or non-binary person, LGBTQIA+, with disabilities, postgraduate, BAME, student parent, student carer, mature student, or part-time student. You should try to make your environment as inclusive and intersectional as possible.
If you’re ever unsure about something or are wondering how you can make your events and activities more inclusive, please feel free to ask for advice. We have lots of people who are happy to help!
Student Officers – Full Time
You can read about your whole full-time officer team here, but make a note of the specific roles below:
Student Officer Campaigns and Engagement - Chloe Ferguson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Officer Equality & Diversity – Roisin Muirhead – email@example.com
Student Officers – Part Time
Check out role descriptions for our part-time officers here.
LGBT+ Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s Officer – email@example.com
Disabled Students’ Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org
International Students’ Officer – email@example.com
Postgraduate Research Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Postgraduate Taught Officer – email@example.com
Trans Students' Officer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic Officer – email@example.com
Student Parents' & Carers' Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Irish Language Officer - email@example.com
Mature & Part-time Students’ Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Officer – email@example.com
Think about activity locations and times...
When planning your activities, always take some time to consider how their location might impact accessibility. Not all students will drive, and public transport may not always be a possibility. To overcome this, we recommend keeping your events fairly central to the university area, or if you're going further afield, why not set-up a meeting point so that people can travel together? During the Covid-19 pandemic, be especially mindful of any current travel restrictions, and remember that members of different households / bubbles must not car share.
It's also worth considering the time and day of your activities, as different students have very different schedules. While lots of local students head home for the weekends, we also have plenty who stay in Belfast and who would be free for Club / Society activity at this time. Similarly, some students might have caring or working responsibilities which prevent them engaging at certain times of day. You can't suit everyone, but what you can do is try to offer a variety of different activity times and days during the year. Someone who can't make a Tuesday evening might have loads of free time on a Saturday morning!
International students in particular can face homesickness, loneliness, or a desire to integrate more, and are often in Belfast when other students leave to visit home or spend holidays with their families. If your Club / Society is active on weekends or over festive / holiday periods – utilise this to reach out to your international peers.
Halloween and Cultural Appropriation
During the Halloween period, many events spring up where attendees will dress up in costumes. Whilst the majority of these costumes are fun or humorous, there are others which are offensive and culturally appropriative. Examples of this include ‘blacking up’, dressing in traditional or religious costume, stereotypical costumes, Islamophobic costumes, or mocking a protected characteristic such as a disability.
This is not to ‘police’ the costumes you can wear. Rather, we want all students to respect the significance of our community’s diverse range of cultures. Here at QUBSU, you may be refused entry if your costume is deemed to be inappropriate.
Event venues aren’t always accessible for students and members of the public, so keep this in mind when choosing your spaces. Access requirements are not just for wheelchair users; you should also consider people with varying levels of mobility, those with hearing or vision impairments, those with auditory or visual sensitivity, and other conditions and disabilities – visible or invisible.
Delegating responsibility to a member of your committee may be a good idea to ensure your event is accessible, or alternatively, everyone can commit to taking a collective responsibility. Consider whether you have step-free access, ramps, handrails, lifts, accessible bathrooms with adaptable equipment and emergency pull-cords, all-gender bathrooms, accessible parking, or whether your venue is likely to use flashing lights for those with photosensitive epilepsy. If you're using space on campus or within the SU, we can provide you with information around accessibility and highlight the relevant features.
Not all members of your Club or Society will consume alcohol. While it is perfectly fine to hold social activities for your members, be mindful of the fact that events which are consistently targeted at drinking alcohol can be off-putting for students. Even if a student does drink alcohol, they should not feel pressurised into drinking during the event. You can find some more guidance on events involving alcohol here. For any event or activity involving alcohol, you should complete a Risk Assessment and submit it to the Clubs and Societies team in advance.
Sexism and Sexual Crimes
No member of your Club or Society should be made to feel uncomfortable on the basis of their gender. This also includes inappropriate marketing of events.
When running any event or activity, make sure your committee is vigiliant for signs of inappropriate behaviour and take a zero tolerance approach.
This kind of behaviour can include unwanted or inappropriate comments about someone, inappropriate jokes, displaying of pictures that are of a sexual nature, non-consensual touching, unsolicited intimate pictures as well as other inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature. Noises such as ‘cat calling’ are not complimentary and constitute a form of harassment.
QUBSU takes all accusations of the above seriously. If something like this occurs, please report it and talk to someone you trust. If someone approaches you, deal with this sensitively and without prejudice. Avoid victim-blaming, and signpost them to the relevant support services. The Clubs and Societies team can help you with this.
If you would like more information about this for your Club or Society, please contact the SU. Information on support services for victims and survivors can also be provided by your student officer team, or by Advice SU.
It is important that all of your members know that they are entitled to make a complaint to the Students’ Union.
If someone wishes to make a complaint, you should direct them to the Student Officer for Campaigns and Engagement on firstname.lastname@example.org. You must be objective, regardless of your personal view on the matter, and not make any decisions which would affect any potential outcome.
If you witness inappropriate, racist, homophobic, transphobic or sexist comments, try to deal with the matter sensitively by having a chat with the person and informing them that inappropriate comments or actions will not be tolerated. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, make a note and refer it to the Students’ Union.