DSU Executive Officer discusses plans to help with student welfare

by Katie McKenna

As the cost-of-living crisis continues, DSU’s Union Development Executive Officer Amir Iqbal sheds some light on some schemes devised to help the largely low-income student body of De Montfort University. 

One such scheme was the free breakfast scheme originally introduced at the start of the year, which has now extended all the way to the end of June.

Mr Iqbal wants to extend the scheme even further, for as long as necessary. 

Hub: the Students’ Union building at the centre of campus

“We’ve had a good uptick of people coming in for a free breakfast, so in that regard, we believe they’ve been a success,” he said. 

“I personally believe we’ve done a very good job so far – not a lot of unis have been able to provide free breakfasts to the entire student population. We want to be able to meet the needs of every student.” 

Another topic Mr Iqbal was keen to discuss was his ideals for the lowering of graduation costs. He believes that there’s “a lot of misconceptions” when it comes to guest tickets, and he desires to make them more accessible for all. 

He also believes that the graduation support fund the university offers is under-marketed, leaving a lot of students unaware of a scheme that could help them through an otherwise expensive graduation. 

“I believe the lack of marketing was intentional on the university’s part, it’s very likely another way for them to make more money.

“It should be about the students first and foremost; they shouldn’t have to worry about the costs of an expensive graduation whilst also worrying about the cost of their next meal.” 

Another one of Mr Iqbal’s personal projects focuses on bringing awareness to honour-based abuse, a form of abuse used to justify controlling and violent behaviour on the grounds of bringing “honour” to a family or community. 

“We’ve been teaching DSU staff about honour-based abuse, we’ve had stalls set up, posters about it spread all over, it’s a year-long project we hope to continue into the next year.” 

Students with any concerns or worries should contact the DSU’s welfare team via the reception at the campus centre building. 

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