She’s done more in one year than you’ve ever done
UEA’s Women’s Officer Dolly Ogunrinde has won the Inspirational Woman Student of the Year at the NUS Women’s Conference Awards.
Dolly was nominated for her work as Women’s Officer – some of which received national recognition.
The third year Politics and Economics student first raised a motion to sell sanitary products profit-free in the Shop. The motion was passed, and UEA became the first university to sell tampons, sanitary pads and menstrual cups at no profit.
Dolly said: “This motion has been so great because so many women up and down the country from different students unions have got in contact with me asking how to make this happen in their unions.”
The Never Ok campaign, which Dolly was involved in, also received nationwide recognition. Posters were placed around campus, with messages such as “even if you think it’s only banter… sexual harassment is never ok”, and “even if your team mates do it, sexual harassment is never ok”.
She said: “What I loved about this was that it was student-led. I held a caucus at the first semester and asked women students how they would like this campaign to be carried out.
“In the end it took months and months but it had so many different people involved, from the Vice Chancellor to the sports clubs. Everybody got behind it. It helped tackle sexual harassment on campus by saying it’s ‘Never Ok’.”
Dolly also got involved in the “Carry that Weight” event in October. Students were invited to bring a pillow to the Square and walk to the Women’s Centre in Norwich with survivors of sexual and domestic abuse.
Following her win, she said: “At times it can be the hardest thing being a part-time liberations officer and doing a full-time degree. But when I look back on it I am so grateful for all the help and support I received from people.
“A lot can happen in a year and I hope this helps other women know they can achieve anything they want if they dedicate themselves to it.
“Originally I was really scared of running for Women’s Officer. I was terrified of campaigning and was scared no one would vote for me.
“I could see things I wanted to see changed in the Union and I remember the previous Women’s Officer sat me down for a coffee one day and told me I should run. I think I just needed that extra little bit of encouragement and I’m so grateful she did that.”