University of Northampton management is 'very white' says graduate appointed to improve BME student experience

The University of Northampton will appoint its first ever vice-president dedicated to improving the experience of black and ethnic minority students.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 1:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 2:03 pm
Northampton poet Tre Ventour has been appointed to represent BME students at the University of Northampton. Photo: Maryam Malik photography

The Student Union has announced it will appoint its first vice-president BME officer this July as the new Waterside Campus enters its second academic year.

Northampton-born poet Tre Ventour has been chosen to take on the inaugural role.

The 23-year-old, who is set to graduate with a degree in creative writing in June, said he wants to address how he feels black and ethnic minorities are not represented in the university's management.

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The new role has been created to improve the university experience of BME students. Photo: Maryam Malik photography

He told the Chronicle and Echo: "The university has serious problems in relation to its BME population.

"The management at the university is very white and when we see only white people doing stuff, you don't feel represented. It's about seeing yourself represented in your immediate environment.

"The uni could do more to represent their students' interests. There's a lot of students from London and they don't feel the uni does enough."

The role has been created to give BME students a dedicated voice at the Student Union and improve their experience on campus.

Tre said: "When you see people who look like you doing things you want to do, you think to yourself 'oh, I could do that job. Why shouldn't I aspire to do that?'"

"I think the university feel they are out of their depth in relation to this and needed to find people who know more than they do about representation.

"I've been elected to this position but this job is bigger than one person. I think the saying goes 'it takes a village.'

"I want to help the SU and university engage the student body. This will be primarily towards BME students, but there's no reason why this can't impact other students / engage them as well."

Tre says he will use his role to create more events for BME students such as poetry performances and panels about race identity. He also hopes to reach out to groups like Northampton Filmhouse to represent communities in the films nad productions they screen.

A spokesman for the University of Northampton said: "The University is looking forward to working with all of the newly elected Students’ Union officers to explore new ways of bringing our community closer together. We welcome any ideas they have to ensure all students know they can make a difference to living and studying here.“