Case study

Tene Dowling

3rd Year Psychology, Bermuda

York was on the map for me for a while as I had family here in York initially and they always spoke about how beautiful it was. Britain has this stigma that it’s always rainy and cold but instead of listening to the rumours I decided to go and visit for myself. York was better than the other cities I had visited because it was pretty, safe and such a good place I could call a home. I have a daughter, so I was adamant that I needed to live somewhere that was good for me but also safe for her.

I knew what I was coming into, York is very white. As a confident person I started to utilise the University and the Union to speak out about better support mechanisms for all students. I slowly became the person who other students came to, to voice their thoughts and experiences. When the BAME Officer position came out at the Union, I felt like I needed to set the tone for what the position should be.

Pretty, safe and such a good place I could call a home.

I’ve done a lot with regards to ‘not just ticking a box’ but actually being an advocate for the BAME student community here at York St John University. It was important for me to put correct processes in place as it was my last year and I wanted students to understand that we are changing the narrative, we are changing the culture and making an impact. The change from my 1st year to my final year is massive and I’m proud of the experiences I’ve been through to make York St John University a better place for everyone.

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