Rachel Cairns will be acting as your VP Inclusion for the upcoming academic year. She'll be working closely with liberation groups and liberation reps to ensure that the campus is accessible, inclusive and intersectional. As well as this, she'll also be helping to make sure that history months and activism on campus run as smoothly as possible.
We caught up with Rachel to see to talk about her upcoming year.
1. What are you studying and what brought you to Strathclyde?
I just finished my third year studying English and Creative Writing & Journalism. I loved the look of the course but what really sealed the deal for me was the feeling of community at the uni. I saw that there was a poetry society and knew instantly that I was going to join it as soon as I could.
2. What influenced you to put yourself forward for the role?
Running for this role was never actually in my plan. It was only after encouragement from friends that I started looking into it. I had been getting increasingly involved in activism on campus, and, after looking into the role, realised this would be the perfect opportunity for me to make an impact within the community I care about.
3. What are you looking forward to the most as a Student Executive?
There are lots of things that I’m looking forward to as a student executive. It’s a really exciting notion to be able to give back to the community that made me feel so welcome in my first year at uni. One thing I’m excited to get to work on is improving accessibility for disabled students. There are lots of small things that, if adjusted, could make a massive difference. My aim is to ensure that disabled students have as positive an experience of Strathclyde as possible.
4. What were you involved in at the Union before taking office?
I’ve been involved in the union since my first day of freshers at Strathclyde. I talked to so many people about how excited I was to join the poetry society that by the time freshers fair came around, the people running the stall already knew who I was. Over the past year, though, I’ve gotten increasingly involved. As the VP for Live Poets Society, I helped run collaborative events with Nightline, the LGBT+ Society and the Feminist Society, where I went on to be a committee member, and with whom I took part in 2018’s Fight For The Night demonstration.
5. If there is one thing you would recommend to a student coming into the Union for the first time, what would it be?
I would tell them not to be afraid of talking to strangers. The union is a really welcoming space and I’ve met some of my best friends just by making conversation with them there. It’s really the perfect place to meet other people like you and expand your social circle - which always leads to new experiences and opportunities that you would otherwise never have experienced.