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Campaigning for the greater good

student campaigners on library square dressed up next to a campaign tabl Student campaigners on campus - Credit: Sussex Sweatshop Free

Our main job as your Students’ Union is to advocate for you, but we also want to empower you to campaign for yourselves.

Whether within the University or wider community, we want to help you create change through campaigns that are locally, nationally and internationally relevant.

This is why we encourage autonomous student-led campaigns, where we support students to campaign on big issues by providing advice, resources and access to funding through our Union-Recognition Scheme. 

Empowering our students to make a difference

This year has been a hugely successful one for student-led campaigns. More students are campaigning to create change, and those campaigns have made a big impact at Sussex and beyond. 

This year, we worked with the following seven new student-led campaigns:

  • Late Again B&H

  • Safe Nights

  • Access Sussex

  • The Living Wage Campaign

  • Plastic-free Sussex

  • Student Minds

  • Free Bus Sussex.

We also continued to support:

  •  Ecosia on Campus
  • Decolonise Sussex
  • Sussex Sweatshop Free. 

 

Student-led campaigns contribute to a much better student experience at university, by notably empowering marginalised and under-represented students. Decolonise Sussex continues to provide a space where the voices and experiences of BAME students are heard, improving the university experience for these students and contributing to reducing the BAME attainment gap.  Access Sussex has been empowering students with disabilities by creating a support network and working to reduce the stigma around disability.  In addition, Late Again and Safe Nights have both worked to ensure students can travel to campus more safely and easily by improving bus services and opening up discussions around student safety at night.

Student campaigners have also contributed to combating climate change and ensuring the University of Sussex and the Students’ Union have a greener impact. Ecosia on Campus convinced the University to make Ecosia its default search engine, resulting in over 10,100 trees planted. Plastic-Free Sussex successfully campaigned for the implementation of a plastic-free policy, mandating the Students’ Union to reduce its negative environmental impact. This campaign, as well as the work of Sussex Sweatshop Freehas helped encourage students to be more conscious and ethical consumers. 

A sense of community 

Along with the positive impact on the wider community, participating in student-led campaigns significantly improved the university experience of those students running them. Campaigning enables students to meet like-minded people and foster a sense of community. Moreover, student campaigners shared that leading a campaign during their time at Sussex had been empowering for them, improved their confidence in their, skills, ideas ability to make a difference.

Skills for employability

Being involved in campaigning also gave students the opportunity to gain and strengthen a wide range of skills including leadership, public speaking, organisational skills and team-working - thereby enhancing their employability.

Students also feel that being part of a campaign contributed to their feeling more integrated within the University and the Students’ Union. 

We look forward to supporting students with their campaigns next academic year!

 

Contact us

Got a comment/criticism about anything discussed in this article? Let us know on our social media channels!

facebook.com/thestudentsunion

twitter.com/ussu

instagram.com/sussexsu

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