Campus Celeb – Shaion Small.
This week Her Campus have been priviledged with the task of interviewing the most sought after character on campus, that’s right- Shai Small. As our current Equality Officer, Shai is often spotted by us HC Girls in Butchart, who are mesmerised by the immaculate fashion that is always on show. Seriously, my dream in life is to have a peek inside Shai’s wardrobe. So here, without further a do, is our interview with one of the biggest celebs on campus….
HC: Many of us are completely unaware of the daily routine of our Equalities Officer at AUSA, what exactly does your role involve?
S: So my role as equality officer is to oversee matters of equality and diversity. My major remit of this year has been LGBTQ+ (Forum) where we work on matters of discrimination that students have faced within Aberdeen as a whole. We organise campaigns on awareness and change, such as our ‘I Am Human and Love Without Borders’ campaign. This year I have not solely been working on strengthening the LGBTQ+ network within staff and students at the University of Aberdeen but to also increase the communities network around Aberdeen as a whole. Other areas of my role are to ensure that students across campus are fairly represented and fairly treated. This can be done either by taking matters to the AUSA executive team or to the Universities executive board, were the situation or issues raised are often rectified. Specifics of my role are to engage with students, see what their needs are and what values our student community should stand for.
HC: Wow! Sounds like life in the AUSA Office can be very busy! What has been your biggest achievement to date since taking on the position?
S: My biggest achievement of the year so far has got to be fundraising. Back in February for LGBTQ+ history month we had collaborated on over 15 events throughout the month. The forums major event however was the Valentine Charity Auction where we had managed to raise £222 for Albert Kennedy Trust, which works with supporting the UKs LGBTQ+ Homeless Youth. I think all together, forming a support network and a space for the LGBTQ+ community to be visible and made aware in student activism especially in AUSA has been my greatest achievement.
HC: We would agree, and think you’re doing a fabulous job! Where do you see life taking you in 10 years time?
S: Ah this is a tough question but I think that, my involvement within AUSA especially within Equal Opportunities has not only helped me to develop but has also made it clear about where my passions and thus career path lies…Simply said it has to be within politics.
HC: Please remember the HC girls if you become a high-flying famous politician one day! You are also very well known around campus for having an amazing dress sense, who would you say is your biggest fashion influence?
S: My biggest fashion influence has probably got to be my mother. Always looking on point before she leaves the house. As she says ‘each item of clothing you wear tells a story. What story do you want to tell others about yourself’. Those words have never died.
HC: She sounds like the most fabulous mother ever! We absolutely adored your outfit from King’s Ball- could you tell us more about it?
S: For Kings Ball I had worn a Bisht Cloak (made from black wool with gold stitching) that I had bought from Amazon, which was like £40, over a blue blazer from H&M, which was also £40, which had white roses sewn into it that had been bought separately on Amazon. The white shirt that had a black flower pattern was from Zara was around £20, black trousers that were £20 from Zara and Black shoes which were £40 from Next.
HC: We must say you looked very dashing! What are you working on with AUSA at the moment?
S: Currently my major project at the moment that will be extended throughout the year is on, mental health and wellbeing. The aim is to set up a fully functional society, which aims to de-stigmatise disabilities of all kinds and mental health. By raising awareness, fundraising etc. Majorly as a University we lack the pastoral care aspect of student life in general, the society will be aiming to rectify that by having appropriate buddying system to fully enhance the pastoral care aspect that can be utilized at university. If you would like to participate or even help in the organization of the society, please do contact me.
HC: And our final question to you would be if you could give your younger self any advice what would it be?
S: Advice I would give to my past self and to anyone now really, is to never give up and that in life it always finds a way to work, ‘When there is a will there is a way’. Work hard and never give up…but don’t forget to party harder.
You heard it here first HC readers. We think that’s great life advice and we will try our best to stick to it. We think the role of Equalities officer (and every other role) is so important here at Aberdeen, so please ensure to support AUSA by voting this week in the Students Elections!