UEA students have branded SU officer Amelia Trew as “hypocritical” after Concrete revealed while Ms Trew opposed this paper’s use of the word ‘crisis’ in regard to mental health she used the same word to describe mental health in her SU election manifesto.

Ms Trew was elected as the union officer for welfare, community and diversity in March 2019. It is one of five paid, full-time positions students can apply for. SU officers’ salaries are approximately £19,000. 

Uea(su) told Concrete Ms Trew opposes the use of the word ‘crisis’ in the phrase ‘mental health crisis’. In a statement Ms Trew said: “We really have to be careful in the way we use language”. She added: “What we don’t want to do is be careless with our choice of words and inadvertently put people off from trying to access services which they need.”

However, in her SU election manifesto Ms Trew wrote: “We are witnessing a national crisis regarding the Welfare of Students’ mental health which is increasingly growing as an issue at UEA.”

SU officer Amelia Trew branded hypocritical students
Photo: SU officer Amelia Trew, uea(su)

A student supporter of Ms Trew’s SU election campaign, who wishes to remain anonymous, called the revelation a “controversy”. They said: “I personally think such specific policing of what language we use when addressing what is quite frankly a crisis, is a prime example of why poor mental health is so prevalent”. They added they “will thoroughly support anybody who is being proactive in getting adequate support for students, whether it’s Amelia [Trew], Concrete or otherwise”.

Concrete launched its Mental Health Crisis campaign in September after four student deaths in just 10 months at UEA. The campaign has gained support from the mother of a student who took his own life at UEA as well as from mental health activist Stephen Fry, MPs, and other prominent figures including Gina Miller. Many students and their relatives are also supporting the campaign.

Lewis Oxley, a third year English literature with philosophy student, told Concrete: “I think [Ms Trew] is being hypocritical… after all she was elected on that promise”. 

Mr Oxley believes the mental health crisis is “a ticking time bomb.” He added: “It’s not just happening on our campus, it’s happening all over the country.”

According to uea(su) byelaws, one of Ms Trew’s roles as officer for welfare, community and diversity is “being the voice of UEA students on issues relating to student welfare, equality of opportunity liberation, diversity and access to education”.

Rosie Matthews is a second year biology student. She believes Ms Trew was “hypocritical”. 

“She’s just being a hypocrite, I don’t know what else to say”, Miss Matthews added.

After learning of the SU officer’s double standard another student said: “That’s a bit hypocritical”, adding, “she’s calling it a crisis”.

It’s not the first time an SU officer has been in hot water. In 2016 many students called for Jo Swo, then welfare, community and diversity officer, to resign after she bit an LCR security guard and stole from behind the bar. A motion of no confidence in Ms Swo was withdrawn after a “mistake” by the SU.

Uea(su) byelaws state: “Any member of the Student Officer Committee shall cease to hold office if they are subject to a motion of no confidence, submitted by ten or more members of Union Council, passed by a 75% majority of those members of the Union Council present and voting at a quorate meeting.” Union Council next meets on 7 November.

Ms Trew did not respond to Concrete’s request for comment.

You can contact student services by calling 01603 592761 or emailing studentsupport@uea.ac.uk. A full list of support services available can be found here.

Alternatively you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 24-hours a day or email jo@samaritans.org


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15 COMMENTS

  1. Chris must be looking for a job on The SUN writing rubbish like this. Shame on you for looking for negativity around such an important issue affecting students. You have truly reached the bottom of the barrel this time. Says something when you have to make up the news in this way.

  2. Is Concrete run by News International? I thought bullying was condemned by student organisations. Something seriously wrong with the editorial team. Someone should write aboit it.

  3. Interesting that you bring up the behaviour of officers but make no mention of the censuring of the Postgraduate Education Officer, Martin Marko, last year.

  4. This article is absolutely ridiculous, it’s a cruel excuse of an article attacking someone for changing their mind on one thing. I don’t see why you’ve attempted to start a public smear campaign against someone who’s trying to do good. This is garbage, concrete is a load of shit. A public apology should be given.

  5. Okay so she’s changed her mind on one thing
    Now we need to write a whole article about it and publicly shame her.
    This isn’t even news, it’s just sensationalist media. Amelia Trew has done amazing work as an SU Officer and as President of UEA Pride last year – where are the articles about that?
    Also, how did this get through the editors? As if I once wanted to write for this “newspaper”.

  6. I suspect that a good step in reducing the level of mental health illness would be to stop trying to get people fired from their jobs via nasty articles like this one!

    Incidentally, I don’t think use or avoidance of the word “crisis” will make one iota of difference to the uptake of mental health services, but I’d be interested to see the empirical evidence.

    If this evidence is not forthcoming, I think we should focus on what common sense tells me are some of the main drivers for better mental health: accessibility of services, good resourcing of services and high-quality research into mental health illness and treatment.

  7. Did there genuinely need to be a whole article on her using a word and later saying not to use that word? I don’t really get the need for that article at all, honestly read like a bias piece in my opinion.

  8. You’d think the editor would have been a bit more conscientious about dragging one of their peers through the mud like this – based on the responses I don’t think this article speaks for ‘students’ at all. It’s a shame to see the paper used as a rod to beat an SU official like this, especially one who by all accounts has the interests of students regarding mental health close at heart (policing rather than promoting dialogue around mental health seems a bit, err, hypocritical?). Bringing up previous (unrelated) incidents, making a point of SU salaries, and even hinting at the dismissal procedures is frankly a very dirty bit of journalism.

    Also, could the word ‘hypocritical’ on the front page have been printed any larger? This reads like a hit job, and I hope an apology is in the works

  9. As someone who used to be a member of Concrete and has now graduated it’s such a disappointment to see an article like this! It’s uncomfortable to say the least and comes across as more of a personal attack than a piece of journalism. Can’t believe this got put out, and i’m shocked that you’re encouraging this really…

  10. ‘Concrete, UEAs sudent newspaper, brands UEA SU officer Amelia Trew as ‘hypocritical” there, I fixed the headline of this absolutely appalling article for you.

    This reads as nothing else but a calculated attack by people who have somewhat of a platform to be heard. You’re upset about her use of the word ‘crisis’, months ago. In an interesting turn of events, people are able to grow and develop, and learn that past things they’ve said may actually not be the correct way of phrasing it! Who’d have thought it?

    And perhaps you should try to look at both sides of the coin before you make such an unsupported claim.

    You asked very few students, alarmingly few in fact, one of which is associated with Concrete. Ask yourselves if this is enough to make such a sensationalised headline. Very strange how you’ve left out any mention of what the officer has been up to as part of their position.

    And don’t get me started on how you’ve somehow managed to equate THIS with the behaviour of Jo Swo. It feels like you’re trying to plant a seed to lead to a vote of no confidence as if you have some sort of personal vendetta against this individual.

    I recently read an article from the edp24 about YOUR use of the word ‘crisis’ in your own campaign and how that has rubbed mental health experts the wrong way. It is clear to me that this officer may have an awareness of this and using the word ‘crisis’. But I guess this didn’t fit your narrative as it has been carefully avoided in this quite frankly embarrassing article.

  11. This article is so cruel, unkind and unnecessary. So what, you’ve disagreed about some phraseology. Act about it like an adult rather than try and create some online faux-smear. Amelia always comes across as a genuine, kind person who at her heart cares about people. I’ve only met Amelia maybe two or three times, even then only briefly but this article is unfair. Glad to see other people can see this for what it is, an unhappy editor throwing his toys out the pram. This article seems so personal at her, and referencing the Jo Swo as if it’s even comparable (or still relevant to be honest) is a bit much. The quotes from people sound like you’ve told them one thing she’s said without context. To be fair, I can see why perhaps avoiding the word crisis may be helpful, as some people may not seek help if they don’t think they’re in a bad enough way to warrant adding to the “crisis”. This isn’t even a story, more a kind of disagreement about wording which you’ve decided to try and turn the campus against Amelia for. What a nasty and immature article.

  12. who the fuck do you think you are to write such a personal, vindictive & frankly misleading article & abuse your privilege as someone with a platform to drag a student so that the whole campus can see?

    THIS is hypocritical, right here- anyone who genuinely cared about another person’s mental well-being would never start a fucking public smear campaign against another student.

    this bullshit needs taking down.

  13. This is crap writing and you should be ashamed of a blatant hit job on someone. Wildly coincidental that three people used the exact same wording unless they were prompted? 🤔 Saying we have to be careful around use of language and calling it “policing” is a complete false equivalency – this may as well have been written by the sun. You’re putting 2 and 2 together and making 14 – she’s not in hot water you’re literally making that up to fit your narrative. Worst Concrete article I’ve potentially ever seen.

  14. This is literally the definition of sensationalist media – this is frankly rubbish. Amelia trew supports the student support services and recognises that mental health is a serious problem. This article is literally written by students out to cause some drama for click bait so they can boost their readership numbers. It’s bollox.

What do you think?