Sheffield student’s campaign for safer spaces and better access to campus nightlife

by Charleigh Sharp

A campaigner running for election has criticised Sheffield Students’ Union, claiming disabled people and women lack safe and accessible means of enjoying themselves on nights out.

Abbi Kirk, 20, a Sociology student, is trying for the post of Liberation Officer and has spoken out over key issues such ramps not always being available and no specific safe spaces in the main campus bar The Foundry.

She said that she felt inspired through her own experience as a woman with anxiety disorder and the lack of quiet areas available in clubs to help people in grounding themselves when they feel overwhelmed. 

Conversations with her disabled friends also motivated her to focus on accessibility as a key part of her campaign. 

She said: “I don’t think disabled people are at the front of the universities mind when it comes to nights out and other social activities. Sheffield has regressed as a city. It can feel like a box ticking exercise. Universities and police don’t do enough. There’s no platform for disabled people. It really hinders disabled people’s ability to enjoy and experience things like those who are not disabled”

Abbi is also urging clubs in Sheffield to consider ways in which they can accommodate for disabled people during nights out and other social activities. 

The Students’ Union officer election is open until March 9.

The student union has been approached for comment.

Written by Lisa Bradley

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