Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
The OCASA recognises that studying as a minority student comes with its own set of challenges. At least 1/3rd of our student population has one or more protected characteristics, and many of our student representatives are included in that statistic.
We deeply value the importance of appropriate representation, support, and protective measures, and as a team we are consistently working together to encourage the OCA to improve on how it handles equality, diversity, and inclusion. We want the OCA to be safe for everybody, everywhere
Supporting BAME Students
Racial and cultural bias and discrimination within Institutes of Higher Education and Arts organisations contribute to lower rates of attainment and participation amongst ethnic minorities; Ours is a long-term campaign to eradicate racial inequalities within OCA.
We are a college with an international footprint, and as such, our student
community is highly diverse and spreads across many geographic locations.
Equally, our students cannot be categorised purely by ethnicity, they are identified and characterised by many other criteria, personal as well as social factors; and it is for these reasons that our approach is highly sensitive to the identities of the individual and the specific and personal issues that they face.
The OCA is undergoing a review process that will see learning materials reflect a broader and more inclusive curriculum.
If you would like to learn more about how the student association supports our students on racial inequalities and diversity please contact Allan O’Neill.
Allan likes to work directly with individual students, this allows him to
understand their backgrounds and histories and helps to facilitate their OCA journey and supports their participation in the wider student community.
Supporting LGBTQ+ Students
We as a student association recognise that being LGBTQ+ impacts how you navigate the world - which includes how you navigate your time spent with the OCA. As diversity and inclusivity representatives, we work to advocate for LGBTQ+ students and to provide a space for you to be heard.
Currently, our main focus is establishing a network for LGBTQ+ students to connect, collaborate, and socialise. We have already begun running events by LGBTQ+ artists, and we hope to continue expanding on this. We are also advocating for the widespread inclusion of pronouns in biographies, email signatures, and wherever else necessary. This is to help make transgender students feel safe, welcome, and free to be themselves.
If you experience discrimination or feel uncomfortable for any reason, or if you’d just like to get involved with our work, feel free to email us at any time. Watch this space for updates on our progress, and stay tuned for our LGBTQ+ group!
Gender Equality at the OCA
At the Student Association we are committed to ensuring people of all gender identities are represented and have a voice. We live in a male dominated world, and the academic and artistic worlds can be difficult to navigate if you are not a man. The majority of our representatives identify as women and/or minority genders, and their voices are most often centred in the discussions we have.
Introducing equal and feminist theory and art into the curriculum is as important as any other form of diversifying educational materials. This, alongside our work with the LGBT+ community within the OCA, are long-term goals to creating an equal environment for people of all genders. We hope to hold artist talks and workshops by people who identify as women or minority genders, and to encourage students to research and engage with work from a diverse range of people.
Supporting Disabled Students
Being disabled brings its own set of challenges to almost everything in life. As diversity and inclusivity representatives, our role is to ensure you feel you have the exact same opportunities as everyone else. If you feel you are being discriminated against because of your disability, please reach out to us and we can help.
For more information on how the Student Association works to help disabled students, please visit our accessibility page.