Nisha's Year as VP Wellbeing & Diversity

From organising vibrant festivals and insightful campaigns to working alongside incredible students and staff, Nisha's time as your VP Wellbeing & Diversity has been nothing short of amazing.

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Hi everyone, 

This will be my last update as your VP Wellbeing and Diversity and wow, what a year it has been! From organising vibrant festivals and insightful campaigns to working alongside incredible students and staff, my time as your VP Wellbeing & Diversity has been nothing short of amazing. I've truly enjoyed every moment, and I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to each of you for electing me as your representative. Check out what I've achieved this year!

Accessibility, Inclusivity, and Building a Sense of Belonging on Campus 

Festival of Languages and Culture 

In collaboration with Alastair and the University's International Wellbeing Department, I organised a Festival of Languages and Culture to celebrate the diversity we have at Royal Holloway. Students and University teams hosted stands with cultural food and activities and there were also two student performances as part of the event, Pavit played a short interlude on the Sitar and Sakurako’s performance of Noh from Japan. The festival will become an annual celebration at the University and will hopefully take place every October from now on!   

Women’s History Month (WHM) 

Olivia, the Women Students Community Officer, and I organised WHM. This year, we decided to have a different theme for each week of the month: 

Week 1: Women Advocating for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) - Included an EDI panel event with student and staff volunteers. 

Week 2: Women’s Wellbeing - Featured activities such as art expression, yoga, a sports day, and a library awareness stall with health information. 

Week 3: Women’s Rights - Highlighted the fight for gender equality and included vision board making and informational content. 

Week 4: Celebrating Women in Our Community - Focused on celebrating local women’s achievements with social media content and a friend-dating event. 

Diversity Fair 

I also attended the Diversity Fair hosted by the Careers Service this term. This fair aimed to bring together employers, charities, support networks, student societies and student communities to share their opportunities, network, and allow students to find out more about what they do. The event was a success and brought a range of diverse organisations and students together.  

Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil 

I also co-organised a Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil to honour transgender lives lost to violence, featuring name readings, silence, and sharing experiences. This event was hosted by Sam, the LGBTQ+ Community Officer, and the LGBT Society. 

Summer Skills Placement Programme (SSPP) 

I promoted the Careers Services Summer Skills Placement Programme with VP Education Sharanya. The program targets underrepresented students, offering short-term placements, a grant, and transportation reimbursement. 

Inclusion Awards

I presented the Sophie Christiansen Shield Award for Inclusivity at Colours Ball, recognising Cheerleading and Dance as the winners. I also announced the Sarah Parker Remond Inclusion and Accessibility Award at Society Awards as Law Society. Both societies achieved some incredible things this year and made the groups welcoming to all students. It was an honour to present the awards.  

BHM Speaker Event

I spoke at the "Decolonising the University: A Conversation with Professor Jason Arday" event. Muscab Salad, the Black and Global Majority Students Community Officer, also delivered a presentation on what decolonisation means to Royal Holloway students. The event examined the necessity for and challenges around decolonising higher education institutions and curricula, as well as providing examples of best practices. 

Conversations About Race (CAR) 

I have also been involved in meetings aiming to set up a new initiative called 'Conversation about Race'. This initiative will provide a safe space where students and staff can share their lived experiences together.  

Student Feedback 

Wellbeing, Community, and Diversity Executive (WCD)  

I chaired four Wellbeing, Community, and Diversity (WCD) Executive meetings this year to meet with all the inclusion Student Community Officers. This meeting allows for student voice to be incorporated into campaigns and projects that the SU is working on.     

Inclusion Community Officer Support

I have held regular 121 support sessions with all the inclusion Community Officers. In these sessions, we go through their manifestos, and I support them in implementing their aims through either admin support or helping them make the right connections within the University. They also make me aware of any issues affecting their community so I can escalate them appropriately.   

Disabled Student Experience 

I supported Alana, our Disabled Students Community Officer, in conducting research to enhance the experience of disabled students at Royal Holloway. We collected feedback by asking disabled students about changes they'd like to see to improve their experience. We then compiled the results into a research paper and developed an action plan to address the identified issues. I also accompanied Alana to meetings with key stakeholders, such as the Head of the Disability and Neurodiversity (D&N) service, to discuss strategies for addressing these concerns.

Sport Accessibility  

I also collaborated with Sport (ALS) to improve accessibility. We wanted to make the gym, sport and physical activity in general more accessible, so we ran two surveys - one aimed at disabled students, and one aimed at female students. 

The purpose of these surveys was to find out what disabled and female students want to see from sport, the survey also gave students the opportunity to sign up to be involved in future focus groups.   

Following the survey, we organised a focus group which I attended alongside Alana (your Disabled Students Community Officer) and other students who are interested in making physical activity on campus more accessible. The focus group was very productive, and the feedback given in the session will feed into Sport's wider accessibility plan.  

International Student Experience Survey 

I worked with Elise, our Research and Insights Coordinator at the SU, to develop questions for a short international student survey. The survey is only 10 questions and focuses on topics like friendship groups/communities, the cost of living and student experience. Next year, the SU will be researching and writing an insight report on the experience of international students, so this survey has helped kickstart our research in the area.

Sabb drop ins 

As a sabbatical officer team, we initiated Sabb Drop-ins every Thursday from 1pm-2:30pm. These sessions offered students a platform to voice concerns, ask questions about the Students' Union and University, or simply engage in casual conversation.  

Student Wellbeing and Mental Health   

Wellbeing Review 

As part of our annual Rate Your Union survey last year, we asked students to review the University's Wellbeing service. This led to the creation of insightful recommendations aimed at enhancing the service and ensuring it meets the needs of our diverse student population. Hannah and I explained these recommendations in a blog and have been advocating for them to be implemented. Olivia (your new VP Wellbeing & Diversity) will continue this project when she assumes her position.  

Coffee Catch-Ups

I initiated fortnightly Coffee Catch-Up sessions with the Student Wellbeing team and Advice Centre. These sessions provided a safe space where people could come together, it was also a way of bringing the Wellbeing and Advice teams to students in a less intimidating setting, helping to make wellbeing support more accessible.    

Media Involvement 

I also participated in filming for the PDA and Humanities Schools' digital magazine, discussing second-year student experiences and balancing mental wellbeing with studies.  

Wobble Week 

I launched Wobble Week in October to help students who were still adjusting to university life. The campaign offered events and activities to foster friendships and provide additional education and support. The successful week included fun events like pottery painting, Pets as Therapy, school rep study sessions, and anxiety management workshops. The initiative aimed to help students settle in and create a sense of belonging. I hope this week will continue to run in the future. 

Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week 

Hannah (SU President) and I organised Alcohol & Drug Awareness Week in January, which promoted a healthy, inclusive culture and aimed to reduce the harmful impact of substance misuse. The campaign featured educational and fun events like mocktail making, community coffee crawls, sober socials, and awareness stands in the library. We also provided informational blogs and social media posts, including tips for enjoying yourself sober, discussions on sober shaming, and interviews with the wellbeing team on the mental and physical effects of substance misuse. The campaign was a success, engaging students and raising awareness.  

Healthy Relationships Campaign 

I organised a Healthy Relationships campaign week to raise awareness of toxic and abusive relationships and promote healthy ones. This successful campaign featured activities like art expression sessions and self-care workshops. It provided students with the knowledge and tools to identify, address, and prevent toxic behaviour through workshops and online resources, aiming to prevent unhealthy relationships by highlighting inappropriate and unacceptable behaviours.     

Women's Wellbeing Week  

I briefly mentioned this earlier but as part of Women's History Month, me and Olivia also organised a Women's Wellbeing Week campaign to promote awareness of women's health and mental health. The week featured various events such as art expression sessions, yoga classes, a sports day, and a library awareness stall with information on women's health. Additionally, free period products were provided as part of the campaign. Online resources and information addressing the gender health gap in the UK were also made available to support women's mental and physical wellbeing. 


In May, the Advice Centre team and I organised some stressbusters to support students during exam season. We offered free fruit and water in the library, ran revision cafes, study break-out zones, and special extenuating circumstances drop-ins. The campaign featured various events, helpful articles, and engaging social media content to help students manage stress and pressure.   

Mental Health Awareness Week 

During Mental Health Awareness Week, the Advice Centre team ran a campaign which provided helpful resources, articles, events, and social media content. Activities included a social media challenge, puppy yoga, Zumba, friendship bracelet making, and a walk around Virginia Water Lake.

Wellbeing Fair 

I organised a Wellbeing Fair for this week which took place on 15 May in the library. The fair aimed to bring together all mental health-related University support services, societies, and charities in one space so that students could see the support available to them. 

Student Representation

I also represented student voices in a range of University/SU committees and meetings: 

  • Academic Board 
  • Joint Executive Committee 
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee 
  • Disabled Equality Group 
  • Gender Equality Group  
  • Race Equality Group (REG 
  • LGBT+ Equality Group (REG 
  • Inclusive Culture and Environment 
  • Inclusive Infrastructure  
  • Residential Steering Group  
  • Catering and Steering Group  
  • Wellbeing Catch up 
  • RHSU Health & Safety  
  • Trustee Board  
  • Management Commitee  

Thank you!

Thank you, guys, again for such an amazing year! Your enthusiasm, participation, and feedback have made this year an unforgettable journey. Together, we've celebrated diversity, fostered inclusivity, and built a stronger sense of belonging on campus. It's been an honour to represent you, and I look forward to seeing the continued positive impact of our efforts and what Olivia will achieve in the role next year! 

Here's to a fantastic year and many more to come!