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To: Guild President Amitabh Jeganathan & Tenancy Chair Charlotte Kennedy

Safe Space for CaLD UWA Students!

I am a UWA student who has interacted with the Ethnocultural Department throughout my time on campus. They have a fantastic vision about creating an autonomous safe space for CaLD (culturally and/or linguistically diverse) communities. They told me that this year, UWA has 23,944 students enrolled and of those students, 46% were born outside of Australia and 25% of students spoke languages other than English at home. This is a considerable number of CaLD students at UWA whose voice deserves to be heard.

I am going to become part of that statistic during my time here and I believe that a physical space would contribute to my feeling of safety and general well-being on campus. I was disappointed to hear that this request was ignored and eventually refuted since such a high number of students identify as CaLD. I am aware that UWA is a big supporter of diversity and inclusion, so I really hope you reconsider making this vision a reality.

Why is this important?

There is a high population of students from a variety of ethnic, migrant, and linguistic backgrounds who deserve a safe space to feel supported and welcomed in their time at UWA. Currently, UWA has 23,944 students enrolled and of those students, 46% were born outside of Australia and 25% of students spoke languages other than English at home.

Experiences of racial discrimination are common among students of colour, however, many are overlooked and regarded as a 'slight comment' rather than an issue which deserves to be investigated.
It is important for the plight of racial justice to extend beyond merely celebrating diversity. For an authentic sense of inclusion to be fostered, it is required of institutions to implement systems of support for CaLD students. The introduction of a safe space for the Ethnocultural Department would allow students of colour and all CaLD students the chance and space to discuss, dissect and reflect on their experiences by connecting with other students who face similar barriers and difficulties. This would also allow space for CaLD students to raise awareness among students and pointing them towards processes of resolve in the face of discrimination and utilise the UWA's complaint system that is currently existent, but not particularly accessible.
Urging the need for an allocated room and therefore Ethnocultural safe space, is a necessity for UWA to be regarded as an inclusive campus for all.
With the reactivation and reopening of campus, comes the obligation of the Guild President and Tenancy Chair to fast-track the bureaucratic process, and align the Ethnocultural safe space’s establishment with the increased return of students to campus.

An Ethnocultural safe space would improve the campus experience for CaLD students by firstly cultivating a diverse and inclusive campus; but also filling the gaps that the University’s formal complaints processes are not able to address for CaLD students. Ultimately, a safe space would give students an outlet to express frustrations and anxieties of systemic and interpersonal racism, resulting in improved student well-being.

35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA 6009, Australia

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2022-06-13 00:40:52 +1000


A motion was passed in the last Guild Council meeting, moved by Amira Suraya Nunn and seconded by Adam Elyousef, the Ethnocultural Co-Officers, as read below:

The 109th Guild Council:

a) Supports the Ethnocultural Department’s petition with over 240 signatures as of 23/05/2022, to secure a safe space for students of CALD backgrounds.
b) Recognises the importance of these 240 signatures that represents the 46% of students that were born outside of Australia and 25% of students that speak languages other than English at home, from 23,944 students enrolled at UWA.
c) Directs Guild council to give priority access to Ethnocultural Department to acquire a clubroom at the next tenancy reallocation or whenever a space becomes open.

Feel free to reach out to Amira or Adam for any questions, or message the Ethnocultural Facebook & Instagram social accounts :)

2022-05-10 23:40:16 +1000

100 signatures reached

2022-05-10 22:58:41 +1000

50 signatures reached

2022-05-10 18:53:44 +1000

25 signatures reached

2022-05-10 17:43:01 +1000

10 signatures reached