Candidate for the position of Vice President Welfare & Equal Opportunities

Image for Grace Olusola

Grace Olusola

Image description: a photo of Grace sitting on an indoor wooden bench, with a ponytail and sunglasses on her head. She is wearing a bright yellow t-shirt, holding a white cup of tea and is slightly hunched over, smiling gleefully at the camera.  


Ready to listen, prepared to learn, equipped to take action  


Hello! I’m Grace, a third year History and English student at St Catz and I am incredibly excited to be running for WEO this year! As we witness restrictions wane, I hope to implement specific, realistic and measurable goals that tackle inequities illuminated by COVID. I would love to provide a space in which students feel listened to and, importantly, like something is being done; fostering a sense of community with welfare events, being ready to respond to the needs of students in real time, and working hard to relay these needs to the central university.  



  • Women*’s welfare rep 2020-2021 and trained peer supporter for St Catherine’s College  

  • OSARCC sexual violence awareness training and Bystander Intervention training 

  • Current welfare Officer of the Oxford University Dramatic Society  

  • Wrote an article on wellbeing and loneliness for a career access company called  ‘Fledglink’   

  • As a UAO Ambassador, I have had safeguarding and disclosure training 

  • I am writing and directing a play about body image and food relationship issues. To aid my research, I conducted a survey, gaining over 125 anecdotal responses, and am conducting the play with a conscious community and welfare-focused approach  



My priorities would be:  


Support for long COVID and chronic illness:  


  • I would work with the University Counselling Service to help support students experiencing long COVID and other chronic illnesses. After experiencing the ramifications of chronic fatigue myself, I believe support group sessions would help students struggling to know how to manage long COVID and other chronic illnesses alongside their degrees.  


Undiagnosed health conditions policy: 


  • Currently, those who are seeking a medical diagnosis, mental and physical, are at the mercy of their tutors if their symptoms affect their ability to work. This policy would seek to help students feel more supported and hold tutors accountable.  


Welfare training for student societies  


  • Provide welfare training for welfare representatives of student clubs and societies: I believe welfare members of clubs and societies have an essential and untapped perspective of the concerns and experiences of students. Establishing a link with them would lead to more students being able to access support and leave reps better equipped to fulfill their roles.  


Consulting suspended students  


  • I would form student consultation groups with students who have undergone the suspension process during the pandemic. With the rising number of self imposed suspensions, analysing the process is more important than ever. I would consult students to ascertain more closely the challenges they have faced, especially regarding college bureaucracy and difficulties returning. 



Tackling inequality in the postgraduate application process  


  • Actively campaign for the goals outlined by the Race Equality Charter Action Plan, especially expanding the information available to BAME and low income students about pursuing postgraduate taught and research programmes. As the pandemic has prompted more students to pursue postgraduate study, I would work to identify the barriers to pursuing higher education in these student groups and tackle them.