As mentioned in some previous blogs I am on the EnviroSoc Committee. I’m the Charity Secretary, meaning I’m in charge of fundraising for our chosen charity which members and the committee voted for. This year it is the World Land Trust- specifically we are raising money for their Elephant Corridor Appeal (which you can find more information about by searching online!). Our most recent event we undertook was our Penny Mile Week. The idea behind this was to collect 1p coins from as many people as possible, with the aim of collecting so many pennies that if we laid them all side by side they would form a line that was a mile long. The original plan involved drawing a mile-long line on top of the Student’s Union (SU) with chalk but the reliable British weather scuppered our plans, so we decided to host a stall inside the SU and create art with the donated money instead.
We managed to raise £300 just from people’s spare change (the majority of which was coppers!) which was brilliant considering the low footfall we experienced on some days.
Another extra-curricular position I undertake is leading the BAME Forum. Last year I nominated myself to be the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Forum Chair, which is a part time officer role in the Union Executive Committee. I represent BAME students at the university and feedback any suggestions, issues, compliments and motions that have been brought forward by these students either at Forums or in person. I also help bring news to the students about changes happening at the union or university, as the information is available to them but- students being students- there is often a lack of engagement with university politics. This is seen when looking not just at my forum members but many students: I must admit that although interested, in the past I too did not engage much with issues on campus. I wanted to change this poor level of participation which is why I ran in the elections last year and, thankfully, won!
I have done lots of things as part of the Forum- I’ve held seminars and given talks on historically important people, we have had discussions and debates and I am currently leading an operation to create a night at the SU where music of BAME origin is played- for example RnB, hip hop, bhangra, disco, Afrobeats. This was after many students in the Forum complained that they did not go to the SU for nights out because the usual playlist was not to their taste and they did not feel the nights were really catered towards them. Meetings and talks have been had with the relevant people and, hopefully with enough engagement, this will become a fully realised night at the SU that is held monthly in the way that other non-mainstream nights are. I’m pleased I took on this role as I feel that not only have I become more involved in what happens at my SU but that I have got other people more interested and engaged too. I’m pretty proud of that.