In line with our commitment to student wellbeing, GUSRC would encourage our affiliated societies to include a Welfare Officer on their executive committee if they haven’t already done so.
The role of a Welfare Officer is to be a point of contact for issues relating to the wellbeing of society members, with the aim of fostering positive experiences and relationships within the club or society.
Example issues a Welfare Officer may handle:
- A club member has behaved in a discriminatory manner towards another
- A member of the society doesn’t feel included at events, or is nervous to get involved with the rest of the group
- A student feels that events aren’t planned with accessibility in mind
- A student is struggling with their mental health and doesn’t know who to reach out to
The Welfare Officer should:
- Signpost to support services and resources
- Act as a mediator for disputes amongst members
- Be a confident and supportive listener
- Be conscious of accessibility and inclusivity at events
- Be prepared to offer solutions and compromises when handling disputes, and be prepared to escalate more serious issues through the appropriate channels
We would encourage that anyone who takes on this position completes Mind Your Mate and Let’s Talk About Sexual Violence Training. It is important to remember that a Welfare Officer is not expected to act as a counsellor, or to handle significant conflicts or legal issues on their own. The SRC is here to support clubs and societies with these issues, and to signpost to the appropriate channels where necessary.