J Smith
Culture Commissioner

I’m incredibly grateful to Seun for the opportunity to be involved with the Commission. It is fantastic that the commission is lead primarily by current students and to be part of such an amazing team of student leaders and activists.

It's important the focus of Commissions is researching into what the culture is like within our university and making recommendations on how we can help to embed the positive aspects and uproot those that lead to the horrific incidences we have seen over the last couple of months. For this work, it’s vital we get an honest assessment of how students view the culture celebrating the positive aspects, but also ensuring we’re addressing over the problematic and potentially horrific aspects and experiences that students will have had of the culture at our university. This does not take away all the positive work that has and is being done but focuses on how we add to this.

My aim is to work collectively with the commissioners to focus on amplifying the voices of students from underrepresented, marginalised and minority communities. It is vital that we lay out a vision in recognising each of these student communities as being at the core of building an inclusive culture, which recognises the intersection of issues impacting students from different underrepresented and minority communities and the barriers they experience including both within our institution and student community.

For anyone who has felt frustrated or deflated with everything that’s been happening at Durham over the last couple of months - the Commission provides a fantastic opportunity to feedback in helping to reshape and transform our culture within our university.