Balliol is one of the most diverse Oxford colleges and prides itself on being incredibly open and progressive. We are, historically, one of the first colleges to have admitted black and Asian students and of course continue to welcome applicants from these backgrounds. Despite the underrepresentation of ethnic minority students in the University as a whole, Balliol is a relaxed and friendly college with plenty of support to ensure that everyone is happy and feels part of the college whatever their background.
The JCR elects two students each year to serve as Ethnic Minorities Officers, and two to serve as International Students Officers. These officers are there to ensure that students from these backgrounds are represented in the JCR and to respond to any complaints of harassment or discrimination, which thankfully rarely occur within Balliol! Contact Lilia, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jaden, email@example.com, if you'd like some advice or assistance.
Furthermore, the International Students officers are there to offer support for international students who, for whatever reason, may be finding it difficult to settle into college life - we recognise that it can be tough studying abroad and they are there to help. Contact Helen Trenner, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Otilia Casuneanu, email@example.com, if you'd like some advice or assistance.
Past events targeted at ethnic minorities and international students have included an international cooking competition, an international students' lunch for Freshers and an international students' tea as part of welfare week. Balliol JCR is always looking to collaborate more with the MCR, which allows for larger scale projects such as a series of discussion/debates focused on racial issues and cultural events. Furthermore, the International Students Officers organise storage for international students in the JCR storage rooms each term, to make it easier for those travelling home during the vacation period. To ensure there is optimal room for students' possessions, they work hard with the porters to maintain the rooms and organise clear-outs when necessary. Any unclaimed items are given to local charity shops or to the Charities Officers for auction.
Within the university as a whole there are a wide range of societies set up specifically for ethnic minority students such as the African and Caribbean Society (ACS), the Oxford Majlis Asian Society, the Oxford University Chinese Society and the Oxford Ukranian Society to name just a few. Even though most of these societies don't exist within Balliol itself, you are bound to find someone else from college wanting to attend them with you. Get in touch with Ayesha Wijesekera, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Naa Ntodi, email@example.com, if you'd like more information about any of these societies.