**Trigger warning: this article is on the topic of sexual harassment in higher education. If you are affected, we invite you to contact us for support via the details at the bottom of this article.**
Last Friday, Union of Brunel Students staff wore black to show their solidarity with the Time's Up movement - responding to the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault on campuses, and in society at large. Inspired by the Students’ movement at Cambridge University, we wanted to show our student body know that their Union is reactive and supportive to the issue at hand of sexual harassment, and that you will never be ignored or unsupported by us.
As part of our ongoing commitment to this, we have been a part of creating the USV React initiative, led by Brunel and working with other universities to develop innovative training for frontline staff in how to best support students disclosing sexual assault to them. The majority of our staff have already been trained in this, and are ready to support you.
We've also championed the Ask For Angela scheme across The Academy and Loco's - if a student is in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation whilst out at our venues they can simply approach staff and ask to speak to 'Angela' to discreetly get help. Our bar staff have been fully trained to escort your safely from the venue, order a taxi, or offer any other support you may need during that time. There are posters for the scheme in toilets and around venues for further information.
This is only the beginning, we're keen to hear from our members about what they would like to see and have available around campus and online to offer a solution, support, and safety. If you have anything to add to the discussion email us.
If you're affected by the issues mentioned in this article, or want to speak to someone, you can contact our advice centre for support.